Guide to transit in Vancouver and U-pass

Public transit is not only a handy option to get to UBC if you don’t live on campus, but also a great way to explore the Lower Mainland.

As a student, you are required to pay for a transit UPass as part of your tuition. To access it, you’ll need to buy a $6 Compass Card, sold on campus at Shoppers Drug Mart and the UBC Bookstore. Afterwards, you’ll need to link the card with your UPass on

Make sure to reload the pass before the beginning of every month, and you’ll be able to take unlimited trips on the bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus.

The UPass is only available for students registered in at least 3 credits or those paying more than $185.20/month in tuition. This means students on a co-op work term still have access to it.


The 99 B-Line runs along Broadway. The 99 stops at Broadway-City Hall, where you can transfer to the Canada Line SkyTrain. Notably, the Canada Line can get you downtown and to the airport. The 99 also stops at Commercial-Broadway Station, where you can access both the Millenium and Expo Lines.

The R4 runs along most of 41st Avenue. If you’re commuting to campus from outside of Vancouver, then you will likely be using this bus. It’s big, green and rapid (hence the ‘R’ in R4). It also stops at Oakridge-41st Station (Canada Line) and Joyce-Collingwood Station (Expo Line).

The 4, 14 , 44 and 84 are super useful if you want to shop and eat along W 4th Avenue. The 4 and 14 can also get you downtown and pretty close to Kitsilano Beach.


Use Google Maps or the Transit app to find out when buses are coming or if there are any delays. If you’re commuting for classes, make sure to give yourself enough wiggle room in case you miss a bus (or two). Buses can get full in the morning, especially during the first few weeks of class, so budget extra time just in case.

Be mindful of the time if you’re out late as most buses and trains stop running around 1 a.m. There are some night buses, but they come much less frequently.

If you’re on the bus or SkyTrain, it’s important to be aware of others and follow some transit etiquette rules: take off your backpacks when it’s crowded, say “thank you” to the bus drivers and offer a seat if you can for someone who might need it.