Vic to Van and Back Again: A Student’s Tale
Planning to go to that concert in Vancouver? What’s the best way to get to the BC Ferries terminal from UVic?
The first option is to carpool, or to post in a rideshare group on Facebook. For twenty to thirty dollars, it is relatively easy to get a ride to the ferry. Both of these strategies work great for groups, but can make the weekend getaway pretty costly for 1 or 2 people.
The ferry costs $57.50 for a car, and then add another $17.20 per person (BC Ferries). Splitting costs for this journey would become about $50 each. This cost only gets you to the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen. Bussing is cheaper but takes more time.
Bussing with the UVic pass is a great way to get around for free, but it also is a great way to waste your time. See the BC Transit site for schedules and maps.
The longest route to the ferry from UVic takes over 2 hours by bus. This would be either going downtown and taking the 72, or taking the 26 to Uptown and taking the 72.
It is almost never worth taking this bus because of the time it wastes. Instead it is essential to carefully plan your trip to be efficient with bus times. Give yourself a 5-10 min buffer by arriving to a bus stop early. Not only may the bus come early, but it also may just fill up right away and leave. This is a common occurrence on Fridays and Sundays especially. Don’t waste your time by showing up late or by taking an inefficient route.
There are 2 great routes from UVic to the ferry that outperform other options financially and in time efficiency. The first of these is the 76 bus that goes directly from UVic to the ferry on Fridays. It leaves at 1:45pm or 3:45pm on Fridays, and returns at 4:50pm, 6:50pm, and 8:50pm to UVic on Sundays. It takes 45 minutes or less, and is guaranteed to get you to the ferry in time as a walk-on. It also is free with the UVic bus pass.
The next route is taking the 39 from UVic to the highway and catching the 70. This is next-best route and takes about an hour and fifteen minutes on average. If you have to travel at a time that the 76 isn’t running, the 39 to 70 is your new go-to.
Once you are in Vancouver, the 620 gets you to the sky-train, and Google Maps does the rest. If you are bussing on the Vancouver side, you will find that lining up at the doors of the ferry 15 minutes before it leaves and walking/jogging to the bus line-up will save you 30-45 minutes also. Vancouver bus info.