Vancouver, we’ve got you covered for the SkyTrain!
The SkyTrain is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to make your way across Vancouver. This light rail transit system has been around since 1985, starting with the Expo Line.
Over the past 35 years, the SkyTrain network has grown to three lines—Expo, Millennium and Canada—that serves over 526,000 daily riders with their 53 different stations. With that much foot traffic, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd.
Fear not though, Rocketman has your back. We’ll help you navigate the SkyTrain system, and help you move between TransLink services if you need to. We want you to get to your destination on time, with the least amount of stress, and we’re ready to help you out!
How to pay for the SkyTrain
You can pay for your next SkyTrain ride in a number of ways. TransLink encourages riders to use their Compass Card contactless payment option, which is a great solution for regular riders who want to make their ride less stressful.
You can also use an American Express, Mastercard, or Visa, along with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay to pay for your travel. You simply need to tap your card or device on the reader to pay.
How to buy fares/passes?
You can set your Compass Card to autoload, or you can add money to it online or through a vending machine. Those paying via credit card can simply tap-to-pay at the station.
Where to buy fares/passes?
You can purchase your Compass Card online, at a vending machine, or in-person at a transit office or an authorized retailer. If you want to pay with a credit card or mobile wallet, you can tap-to-pay at the station.
SkyTrain Fares Zones
There are three different fare zones across Metro Vancouver that TransLink and their SkyTrain service. If you are riding the SkyTrain, you will need a valid fare for zone 1, 2, or 3. All trips across the system starting after 6:30 pm on weekdays and all through the weekend (and holidays) are considered a 1-Zone fare.
What is POP?
All SkyTrain vehicles and station areas within the fare gates are considered Fare Paid Zones, which means you must pay your fare before you enter these areas. You must have proof of payment or POP while riding the SkyTrain, this can be in the form of a Compass Card, Compass Ticket or a successfully tapped payment card.
While riding the SkyTrain, Transit Police and Transit Security regularly conduct fare checks. Riding without a valid fare could risk you getting a fine of $173.
If you have used a Compass Card, Compass Ticket, or a contactless credit card that you have tapped to pay with, you can transfer across SkyTrain, SeaBus, and regular buses on a single far for up to 90 minutes. If you are including travel on the West Coast Express, you have 120 minutes.
Fares paid with cash on the bus do not have transfers attached to them. TransLink and the SkyTrain highly recommend travellers use contactless payment.
Not only can you purchase single tickets to travel on SkyTrain, but passengers can purchase both monthly and day passes. Eligible students can purchase a discounted U-Pass BC so they can take advantage of the elaborate Vancouver transit system. Likewise, Low-income seniors and persons with disabilities have access to the BC Bus Pass Program.
Large groups can purchase bulk Compass tickets by contacting email@example.com at least 10 days ahead of their ahead of their trip, if you need to travel sooner than that, contact the Compass Customer Service Centre via phone at 604-453-4490.
There is a contactless option to pay for SkyTrain (and other TransLink services), and it’s called Compass Cards.
You can get yourself a Compass Card for $6 at any SkyTrain, SeaBus, or West Coast Express stations, online, or you can visit select London Drug stores. With a Compass Card, you can purchase single fares, month or day passes, and participate in Bike Parkade enrollment.
Compass Cards make travelling on the SkyTrain easy. You can reload your card online, at CVMs, or in-person at the Stadium–Chinatown or West Coast Express offices.
Once it’s loaded up, you can transfer across all modes of TransLink transit, including SkyTrain, the regular ol’ bus, and SeaBus, on a single fare for up to 90 minutes (or 120 minutes if you’re using West Coast Express services). You simply tap to pay and your card will automatically deduct the amount of your travel.
Getting around Vancouver with the SkyTrain
The Vancouver SkyTrain can be a great way to zip around the city, especially since it’s so easy to connect with other TransLink services. But Vancouver can be a bit of a complex city to get around, so Rocketman wants to help! We’re happy to be the little (text-based) voice in your phone, guiding your transit journey.
Rocketman helps you keep up-to-date on your SkyTrain trip. We provide you with real-time alerts, updates, and let you know whether or not you can expect delays. It’s our hope that we can help take away some of the stress that comes with travelling on transit.
SkyTrain safety and security policies
Safety is a top priority for the SkyTrain and TransLink, they aim to deliver a transportation that gets you to where you’re going while promoting your health, safety and security.
With that in mind, there are a number of security measures in place to protect riders and staff, including:
Transit police who regularly ride the SkyTrain, you can contact them via phone at 604-515-8300 or text message 87-77-77, and Android users can use the SeeSay app
Security cameras throughout stations and on trains that are actively monitored
Emergency cabinet (located on SkyTrain platforms) with an emergency telephone, fire extinguisher, and emergency train stop button
Passenger silent alarms which are on every train—this is the yellow strip above the window
Speakerphones on every train to connect you with the operator
Riding SkyTrain should be a safe and secure experience for every traveller!
SkyTrain COVID-19 information
COVID-19 has put a kink into the everyday lives of many Vancouverites, but SkyTrain (and TransLink as a whole) is committed to helping you get around the city and where you need to go.
During this time, SkyTrain riders might notice some changes that have been implemented to promote physical distancing, improve sanitation, and avoid overcrowding. With that in mind:
Do not ride the SkyTrain if you are unwell
Masks are mandatory while waiting for or riding the SkyTrain
Maintain a distance of at least six feet from other passengers
Bring hand sanitizer and use it before and after your ride
Plan your trip (with Rocketman!) and allow for a little extra time to get there
Opt for a contactless payment option
The SkyTrain is there to get you to your destination safely, and that includes your health!
Is the SkyTrain safe?
The SkyTrain is a safe and inexpensive option for getting around Vancouver, whether you’re a resident or a visitor.
What happens if there is an emergency on the SkyTrain?
If you are riding a SkyTrain vehicle or are at a station, there are a number of security protocols in place.
SkyTrains and stations are monitored by both customer service and security staff during operational hours, they are able to provide assistance and first aid if the situation requires it.
SkyTrain stations are equipped with designated waiting areas equipped with CCTV cameras, and emergency cabinets equipped with a red emergency telephone, a fire extinguisher, and emergency train stop buttons. Train vehicles are also monitored by CCTV cameras, have a passenger silent alarm, and a speakerphone that can put you in contact with the train operator.
At a train station…
If an emergency situation arises while you are at a SkyTrain station there are a number of tools available to you.
The station is monitored by CCTV cameras that are there to record incidents, should they occur. Within the designated waiting area there is an emergency cabinet that can be accessed, it is equipped with a red emergency phone, a fire extinguisher, and an emergency train stop button. If the emergency situation requires police, medical, or fire assistance, call 911.
This is a good place to remind everyone to stay off the tracks at all times, and observe all safety signs and lines set up within the station to ensure the safety of you and all other SkyTrain riders.
On a train…
If you are riding a SkyTrain and an emergency situation arises, you can alert the train operator by engaging the silent passenger alarm which is a yellow strip. There is also a speakerphone that will put you in direct contact with SkyTrain operators.
If fire, police, or medical assistance is needed, remember to call 911.
What do I do if I see something on the SkyTrain and need to report it?
If you want to report a non-emergency incident to Transit Police, you can do so via phone at 604-515-8300, or text at 87-77-77.
If you want to report an incident to SkyTrain directly, you can do so via their online feedback form or by calling them at 604-953-3333 Monday through Friday from 5:30 am to 12:30 am, and on weekends from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm.
How do I lodge a complaint with the SkyTrain?
If you need to file a complaint with SkyTrain, you can do so via their online feedback form or by calling them at 604-953-3333 Monday through Friday from 5:30 am to 12:30 am, and on weekends from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm.
While you can also usually contact them via the TransLink live chat services, they are temporarily unavailable due to COVID-19.
What to do when you lose something while riding the SkyTrain?
Did you leave something behind on your last SkyTrain ride? You’re not alone, it happens all the time!
If you get to your destination and realize that you left something behind, call the Lost Property Office at 604-953-3334 between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm from Monday to Friday and report it—that way staff can get in contact with you if it’s been turned in. When it’s time to pick up your item, you’ll want to make your way to the Lost Property Office at the Stadium–Chinatown SkyTrain Station located at 590 Beatty St.
While the Lost Property Office is currently open, they’re only able to assist one person at a time to support physical distancing. They recommend that you call ahead of time to ensure that it’s ready to be picked up.
During this time, you should expect a three to four day delay for items to be delivered to the office—if you have misplaced an important item like medication, keys, or a wallet, let the office know immediately as they might be able to prioritize it.
What to do when you lose something at the train station?
If you leave something behind at a SkyTrain station, call the Lost Property Office at 604-953-3334 between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm from Monday to Friday and report it.
What to do when you lose something on the train?
If you leave something behind on the SkyTrain, call the Lost Property Office at 604-953-3334 between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm from Monday to Friday and report it.