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Graphic illustration of Compass card and Translink card reader
August 1, 2019
3 mins read

Transit to campus

The UBC Life Commuter Guide

The TransLink network in Metro Vancouver includes buses, skytrains, SeaBus, and the West Coast Express, all of which you have access to use through your Compass Card.

As a UBC student, your transit pass (a.k.a. U-Pass) is discounted and included in the student fees you pay along with your tuition (unless you opted out). Every month, you'll get an email notification reminding you to request your U-Pass for the upcoming month. Once you request it, it will automatically be loaded onto your Compass Card! 

It's super simple to use

To ride

Just tap your Compass Card on the blue machine at the front of a bus or at the fare gates in train stations. For buses, you don’t have to tap off when you exit.

Pro tip: If you ever forget your Compass Card, you can pay for the bus by tapping your credit card on the same machine and TransLink will charge you directly for the journey.

To get off

Push the red stop buttons located on poles or pull the chord located along the side windows.

To find the next bus

Text the bus stop number found at the top of every bus sign to 333-33. You’ll get an automatic reply with the bus schedule. You can also download the Transit or Citymapper apps to find out when buses are due to arrive.

Where the buses drop off/pick up on campus

Bus stops for routes that can take you all around Vancouver are located in either the UBC Transit Exchange (or main bus loop) next to the Aquatic Centre or the trolley bus loop on University Blvd. 

Click on the TransLink map below to see the specific pick-up location of your particular bus line.

Due to construction and road closures near the bus loop, your bus may drop you off at a different location than its pick-up point (but don't worry, it won't be far away!). You will, however, continue to be picked up at the location specified on the above map. 

Download TransLink maps

We've also included a handy map showing the different bus lines that depart from UBC and where they lead to in the city.

Hacks to beat the traffic

If you live close to campus

Be prepared for many full buses to pass you during peak hours, especially in September. For a 9:00 am lecture, don’t leave at 8:50 am, even if you only live 10 minutes from campus—try to catch the bus at 8:15 or 8:30 am.

If your classes end between 3:30-5:50 pm

Know that you’ll be leaving campus during rush hour. Unless you want to be on a packed, stuffy bus just sitting in traffic, maybe plan to stay for an extra hour afterward.

You could finish an assignment, swim in the pool, read a nice book, or grab a coffee with a new friend. Take a break and then leave after 5:00 pm so that you’ll be able to have a seat and relax on the commute home.

When leaving campus

Catch a bus off-campus between the 15-minute and 45-minute mark of the hour. That way you miss everyone arriving at the bus stops and beat the people who will be leaving after class ends.

Transit etiquette

  • Enter the bus through the front door and leave via the back. The only bus that allows backdoor entry is the 99 B-line.
  • Move to the back of the bus!!! Especially during September when thousands of students are trying to get to campus. 
  • Front seats are priority seating that is reserved for individuals with disabilities, seniors, and passengers with small children.
  • Remove your backpack when it's crowded. Put it between your feet and make space for those around you.
  • Wear headphones if you’re going to listen to music, don’t eat on the bus, and be considerate if you’re talking on the phone!

Extra transit features

Bike racks

If you plan to ride your bike part way to or from UBC, you can easily put it on the rack at the front of the bus.

Lost and found

If you ever leave an item on the bus you can fill in this form and it could be returned to you. If you find a lost item on transit, return it to the driver.

Transit police

They’re here to help ensure the safety of riders on public transit around the city. Download the SeeSay app if you want to easily report any incident. If you’re ever in an emergency call 911.

It's easy to commute here

The perk of over 10 buses ending their service on campus means that busing is super accessible. Take advantage of your Compass Card and use the excellent transit service that Vancouver has to offer.