The best thing the AMS does for us all is the U-Pass. You pay for this when you pay for all your fees, but essentially, you pay $42.50 a month for unlimited transit in all three zones and in all modes (buses, SkyTrain and the SeaBus). To access this magic pass, you need to buy a Compass Card for six dollars and load your card online every month at upassbc.translink.ca. Sign up for monthly reminders or get a friend to be your real-life monthly reminder to request your U-Pass so you never have to pay out of pocket for transit. As of now, the future of U-Pass is unsure. If it is up and running, make sure you take advantage of it.
How to take the bus in Vancouver
Never cut the line. Outside of busy buses — especially the 99 — people will often line up to enter the bus. This may not be as prevalent in pandemic times, but the best way to piss people in Vancouver off is to cut the line getting on the bus. Just don’t do it.
Move to the back of the bus. Again, on busy buses: Please. Move. Back. That way more people can get on the bus and fewer people can be late to their 9 a.m. classes that they’ve already been late for twice this week.
Take off your backpack. Your backpack filled with your textbooks, laptop, notebooks, snacks and whatever else you carry around does not deserve person-sized space on the bus. Take it off if you’re standing and place it on top of your feet, especially if the bus is full. If you’re sitting, place it on your lap and not the chair next to you.
Priority seats. The seats in the front of the bus are meant for people who are pregnant, elderly or have visible or invisible disabilities. Don’t sit in these seats if you don’t fall in one of these categories. But also, don’t police those who do. People have all types of disabilities — ones you can see and ones you can’t.
Bus routes you need to know
99. This is the express bus that can take you into Kitsilano and all the way to Main Street and the Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain station. This is a super quick and crowded bus that can take you a lot of cool places, but it does not go downtown.
14. This takes a similar route to the 99, but it actually goes all the way downtown. If you want to go to Pacific Centre or to the bars on Granville, this is your bus.
4. This bus goes down West 4th Avenue, all the way downtown. 4th Ave is the place for a bougie brunch and expensive boutique shopping. It’s also super close to the beach!
R4. This is another express bus that takes you into Kerrisdale, a great place to study and go out to eat.
44. An express bus you can take downtown.