On Saturday morning, I woke up very early in the morning to go out to the airport. The purpose was to visit a friend who was coming in through Vancouver on his way to Bangkok. His layover was about five hours. Not long enough for him to venture out into the city but long enough for us to have a leisurely brunch.
Using public transportation to get to the airport from where I live offers two interesting options. Keep in mind I live just about due east from YVR, so the most geographically sensible route is to go due east. So option one does almost exactly that: a bus from the 22nd street Skytrain station goes east along Marine Drive and stops at the Marine Drive Canada Line station. From there, it’s just a few stops to YVR. The other option involves riding the Skytrain northwest all the way to Waterfront (going in almost the complete opposite direction from where YVR is) and then taking the Canada Line south, visiting almost all its stops. This option makes the least sense geographically.
In reality though, both options take about the same amount of time, with the difference being less than ten minutes. The reason why the times are almost the same is that the bus crawls compared to the speed of the automated trains. While going in proper direction, the bus is subject to more stops, traffic lights, and traffic congestion. In the time it takes the bus to go from New West to the south of Vancouver at Marine Drive, you could get to Waterfront, hop on the Canada Line and speed south to the Marine Drive station and meet up with the bus.
Knowing this, I decided to take the bus option to the airport and the other option on the way back home. It was an interesting trip in both cases. On my way to YVR, I got to see a new bus route which is always useful. On the way home, I got to see many of the Canada Line stations I hadn’t seen before. It really is amazing how fast you can travel from YVR to downtown Vancouver.
As a side note, this was the earliest I’ve been to the airport where I wasn’t traveling nor transporting people to/from YVR. I got there before 10am. If you know me, that’s incredible for a Saturday morning.