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IslandLink Bus operates bus service to most towns on Vancouver Island and connects with BC Ferries in Nanaimo. The same company operates AirportLink, ValleyLink, and WhistlerLink buses, which serve Vancouver International Airport, the Fraser Valley, and Whistler. Pacific Coach Lines operates frequent service between Victoria and Vancouver (both downtown and the airport) on BC Ferries. The Tofino Bus provides daily service from Vancouver, Vancouver Airport, Victoria, Nanaimo, and points en route to Port Alberni, Tofino, and Ucluelet. From May to September, the West Coast Trail Express shuttles hikers from Victoria and Nanaimo to the trailheads of the West Coast and Juan de Fuca trails. All bus companies ban smoking, and most long-distance buses have restrooms on board. Some even play videos.
Greyhound serves most towns in the province and provides frequent service on popular runs. The company's North America Discovery Pass provides unlimited bus travel for 7, 15, 30, or 60 days anywhere in Canada or the United States. These passes are an excellent value for travelers who want to wander the highways and byways of the country, packing many miles into a relatively short period of time. For occasional day trips, however, they're hardly worth it.
Bus terminals in all major cities and many smaller ones are efficient operations with plenty of agents on hand to handle ticket sales. In villages and some smaller towns, the bus station is simply a counter in a local convenience store, gas station, or snack bar. Getting information on schedules beyond the local ones is sometimes difficult in these places.
Most bus lines accept at least some of the major credit cards. To buy a ticket in really small centers, plan on using cash. Pick up your tickets at least 45 minutes before the bus's scheduled departure time.
Greyhound (800/661–8747 in Canada; 800/231–2222 in U.S. www.greyhound.ca.)
Pacific Coach (604/662–8074 or 800/661–1725. www.pacificcoach.com.)
Tofino Bus Island Express (250/725–2871 or 866/986–3466. www.tofinobus.com.)
West Coast Trail Express (250/477–8700 or 888/999–2288. www.trailbus.com.)