Get there by bus!
Taking the bus can be intimidating if you’re not used to it, but it shouldn’t be. We hope this will equip you with some practical information about:
- getting on and off the bus
- accessibility for walkers and wheelchairs
- how to pay: Compass Card and more
- schedules, bus routes and maps
- bus etiquette
- where to ask questions and access additional transit info
Step 1: The bus stop
The bus will only stop at bus stops that people need. Try to stand right at the bus stop prior to its arrival to show you want to board the bus.
Step 2: Board the bus
When the bus arrives please enter the bus using the front doors. The bus driver can lower the bus for easier entry.
Step 3: Pay your fare
As soon as you enter, you will need to pay for your fare—you can do this using exact change, a Compass Card, or a Credit Card.
Step 4: Find a spot
The seats closest to the front doors are reserved for older travellers or people with disabilities. The bus driver will normally wait for riders to safely settle before moving.
Step 5: Request your stop
Remember the Blue Bus may not stop at all bus stops. If you are a newer rider, you may want to let the bus driver know the stop you’re looking for when you first get on the bus. Or, simply request your stop by pulling the stop request cord that runs along the windows or pushing a red stop request button on poles around the bus.
Step 6: You made it!
When you arrive at your destination, exit the bus using the rear doors if possible.
You can bring your walker and wheelchair on the bus! The entire Blue Bus fleet consists of either low-floor or lift-equipped buses. Always enter and exit through the front of the bus if you do get around with the assistance of a walker/wheelchair
Passengers with wheelchairs or scooters can board/exit the bus more easily at wheelchair accessible stops.
For a complete list of accessible bus stop, download the most current Blue Bus Rider’s Guide at the link below.
To learn more about accessibility on all Translink buses, visit the link below:
There are several ways to pay for your transit trip:
Compass Card—load, tap and ride!
This reloadable fare card works everywhere in Metro Vancouver. There are several places where you can buy and reload your card on the North Shore.
Protect your Compass Card by putting your name and phone number on your card, in case it gets lost.
Even better, register your card. This will also protect your balance so you don’t pay someone else’s fare.
In-person at a local retailer
Stop by North Shore locations such as London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, Seven Eleven, Safeway, Save On Foods and Marketplace IGA.
To purchase, reload or register your card by phone, call 604-398-2042. At a Compass Card Vending Machine Compass Vending Machines are located at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, Park Royal London Drugs, and all SkyTrain and SeaBus stations.
To purchase, reload or register your card online at the link below.
Tap to Pay (Credit Card)
You can tap a contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card or mobile wallet on card readers to pay an adult, cash fare. You don’t need to purchase additional fare when transferring from bus to rail.
Note: seniors 65+ will pay full price (not concession fare) if using a credit card.
Paying cash on a bus
- exact coin fare is required
- you can transfer to other buses with your bus transfer for 90 minutes, but you’ll need a Compass Card or Compass Ticket to transfer to SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express
Like Compass Cards, these are sold from a Compass Vending Machine. Compass Tickets purchased from a Compass Vending Machine expire at the end of service on the day they’re purchased, even if not tapped.
Your fare is determined by your mode of travel, time of day, and how many zones you travel in.
- buses are a one-zone fare, all day, every day.
- a single fare is valid for 90 minutes on bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus.
- compass Cards, Compass Tickets and Tap to Pay provide seamless transfers across bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express (within the applicable transfer and in-system time). Cash fares do not.
Fares for Single Trips
Travel by bus across the North Shore and beyond is always a one-zone fare. Higher fares may apply for SeaBus, SkyTrain or West Coast Express trips.
Concession fare eligibility
HandyCard holders, seniors 65 years and older and youth 14 to 18 years with valid photo identification proving age, and children 5 to 13 years. Children under 5 years ride free when accompanied by an adult (maximum 4 children per adult).
It’s as simple as a tap, and you can’t miss the card reader as you enter the bus!
Simply tap your card when you start your bus journey. Tapping in ensures you’ve validated your fare. On buses, you do not need to tap out when exiting, but you will need to tap out on SkyTrain or SeaBus.
How to tap
- Remove card from wallet to avoid interference.
- Hold it flat against the card reader on the lower part of the screen until you hear a beep and see a check mark to proceed.
- When you tap, the card readers indicate the fare deducted, the remaining balance and the date the pass expires. (This information will appear on your first tap upon boarding a bus).
There are several ways to get your schedule, if you are travelling in and around the North Shore!
You can pick up a hard copy at the West Vancouver Library, Municipal Hall or Seniors’ Activity Centre, or find printable downloads on the Blue Bus or TransLink websites.
More and more, this information is best found online! You can access a complete list of schedules and maps for travel around the Lower Mainland and North Shore on the TransLink website.
As a courtesy to your fellow transit passengers, please:
- Keep doorways clear. Stand back and allow passengers to exit before boarding buses and trains.
- Leave the courtesy seats for those who need them, unless you really need one yourself. The seats closest to the front doors are reserved for people with disabilities or older travelers.
- Don’t eat while you’re on transit.
- Put down backpacks, luggage, grocery bags & laptops.
- Walk left. Stand right.
- Have your Compass Card or other payment ready!
Are you an older adult looking for help with getting around Metro Vancouver?
24/7 Seniors Transportation Information Hotline
Call operators will be able to provide information on:
- how to obtain a Compass Card
- what to expect in transitioning out of driving
- how to apply for HandyDART and/or HandyCARD
- how to access community shuttle services or volunteer driver programs and more
You will be able to access answers to questions about Metro Vancouver area transportation 24/7 in multiple languages!
Blue Bus Information
Print the brochure
Print a copy of the brochure so you have all the information when you need it.