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Getting To And From Vancouver
Vancouver International Airport
As one of the world's most accessible airports, over the past 20 years Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has worked to ensure all passengers with disabilities have a positive experience travelling to and from Vancouver.
- Outside the terminals, ramps and special curbside parking are available at both the Arrivals and Departures areas. Relief areas for guide dogs and service animals are also provided on the Arrivals level outside the main terminal.
- Throughout the airport, facilities include fully-accessible restrooms, phone booths and TTY phones, plain language signage, low-mounted flight information monitors, visual paging monitors and public address systems, check-in counters adapted for wheelchairs, and contrasting, textured flooring to guide visually impaired travellers.
Individual airlines have trained staff who can assist in escorting passengers through security checkpoints and to the gates. It is recommended that disabled travellers state their particular needs when booking, and again at the ticket counter. Additionally, YVR Airport Customer Care personnel can be reached at 604.207.7077.
The Canada Line of the SkyTrain connects YVR to Richmond and downtown Vancouver quickly and easily. The line is fully accessible by elevator from both the Arrivals and Departures level.
More than 500 trained and licensed taxis currently serve the airport. Wheelchair-accessible taxis and vans are available, and no reservations are required. Curbside staff is available to provide assistance.
Most airport rental car companies can provide accessible vehicles, but a minimum 48 hours advance booking is required. Check with your rental car company for further information.
KJ Limousine provides transportation service to travellers with mobility challenges in their luxurious MV-1. Their services include YVR Airport arrival and departure transfers, private tours, Whistler and cruise ship transfers. The wheelchair accessible vehicle is designed perfectly for wheelchairs and scooters, with a fully integrated four-point wheelchair and passenger securement system by Q’Straint.
Passengers enter the MV-1 from the side via a motorized ramp. The inside has plenty of room for wheelchairs or scooters to maneuver and seat the wheelchair passenger in the forward position, next to the driver. The MV-1 can seat one wheelchair or scooter comfortably, plus three additional passengers. There is plenty of room for all passengers to ride safely and securely, while still having lots of space for luggage in the trunk.
Hotel courtesy shuttle buses provide transportation service to local hotels. Many hotel shuttles can accommodate wheelchairs and mobility aids, but it's advisable to contact hotels directly to confirm availability and book a pick-up.
Greyhound Canada provides assistance to disabled travellers boarding buses, as well as baggage handling, and proper stowage and retrieval of mobility devices.
Special needs passengers are charged regular one-way or return fares. Guide dogs and service animals or accompanying adult attendants may travel with a disabled passenger at no extra charge. Travellers with special needs can be pre-boarded where seat selection is available.
Passengers who are able to climb the stairs of the coach without assistance may stow their scooters in the baggage compartment free of charge. Passengers who cannot climb the stairs of the coach on their own must travel with a wheelchair and request a wheelchair-accessible coach.
For additional information on Greyhound services for disabled passengers, call 1.800.661.TRIP (8747). Deaf and hard-of-hearing passengers can access a special toll-free TTY number 24 hours a day: 1.800.397.7870.
VIA Rail staff are trained to escort disabled travellers to the platform, assist in boarding and disembarking from the train, and help with loading and unloading baggage. Priority boarding is available five minutes before regular boarding commences. All VIA trains are fully accessible to passengers in wheelchairs.
In certain circumstances, VIA Rail offers free travel to one companion accompanying a person with disabilities. Any additional persons needed to assist in helping those with disabilities board and disembark will be offered the best available fare. Guide dogs and service animals travel free. Passengers are asked to book travel and specify their unique needs 48 hours or more in advance, by calling 1.888.VIA.RAIL (842.7245) or TTY 1.800.268.9503, or by visiting their local VIA ticket counter.
Disabled travellers planning to arrive in Vancouver via Amtrak must make reservations for accessible services (such as space for a wheeled mobility device, access to a transfer-accessible seat or accommodation, and those with hearing or vision loss) by visiting their local Amtrak ticket agent, online, or by calling 1.800.USA.RAIL (872.7245) or TTY 1.800.523.6590, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please specify the type of assistance required at time of booking.
Special discounts apply; however, written proof of disability is required when picking up a ticket. Companion fares are also available to attendants accompanying a disabled passenger. Guide dogs and service animals travel for free.
BC Ferries provides a variety of services for persons with disabilities, including special vehicle loading for people who require wheelchair access to an elevator. A limited number of wheelchairs are available to customers travelling without a vehicle.
Service animals are permitted in BC Ferry terminals and onboard our ships. Grass areas are available at most terminals. Persons with disabilities can have a friend or relative assist them to the ship using a BC Ferries visitor pass. Pacific Coach Lines and Greyhound motor coach personnel are trained to assist passengers to board and disembark the buses once they are onboard a BC Ferries vessel.
Reservations are required. Please call 1.888.BCFERRY (223.3779) at least 24 hours in advance of travel to reserve a wheelchair or arrange assistance.
Rocky Mountaineer offers 65 award-winning Canadian rail vacations through British Columbia and Alberta between April and October. Some Rocky Mountaineer train coaches are wheelchair- accessible, and GoldLeaf Dome Coaches have elevators for guests who have problems using the spiral staircase. For complete information on services for disabled travel, contact Rocky Mountaineer at 1.800.665.7245.
Westcoast Sightseeing does have wheelchair-accessible buses with a hydraulic lift that are available on request, for daily tours of Vancouver, Whistler, Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Victoria. As demand is high, please call 604.451.1600 to book the wheelchair bus in advance.
Access to Travel is a special needs information web site created by Transport Canada to provide you with facts on accessible transportation and travel across Canada with the aim of making accessible travel easy and enjoyable! This site also has a detailed list of Canadian transportation companies offering accessible local, intercity and national service.