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I'm spending 8 days in Vancouver, and I want to use public transport every day. What kind of ticket should I buy? What options do I have? What's the cheapest option?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

While the cheapest option for locals is the monthly pass, that's not really an option here.

Note that normally, bus/Skytrain tickets are $2.50, unless you're travelling more than one zone, in which case it jumps to $3.75.

Assuming you're flying into YVR, there's the Skytrain into the city. It's worth noting that straight away, you'll be hit with a $5 charge for leaving the airport on the SkyTrain, and that's not even counting your ticket.

However, there's a way around this. You can buy Faresaver booklets of 10 single or two-zone passes, that work out cheaper than ten regular tickets, being $21.00 and $31.50. And you don't have to pay the $5 when using a Faresaver ticket (I was sceptical too, but I have checked this with two Skytrain attendants and confirmed).

In the airport, on arrival, ask for directions to the 7-11 (it's next to the post office). You can buy these booklets from any 7-11.

Now it's two zones to get into town, so it sort of makes sense that you get at least one booklet of two-zones. However, you might consider a book of one and a book of two, as most travel you do would be downtown and a single zone.

Note that after 6.30pm, and on weekends, all travel is counted as just a single zone.

These tickets are all valid for 90 minutes, and on the Skytrain, bus, and Seabus (ferry to North Vancouver).

One other option you could consider if you're going to do a lot of travel in one day, is to get a day pass for $9. You can buy this at any Skytrain station.

Let me know if I missed anything and I'll add to my answer.

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With the $9 day-pass, you also skip the $5 airport surcharge, so it is a good choice for the day you arrive. –  SigueSigueBen Aug 9 '12 at 4:29

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