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Greyhound serves most towns in the province and provides frequent service on popular runs. IslandLink Bus operates bus service to most towns on Vancouver Island and connects with BC Ferries at Departure Bay in Nanaimo. The same company operates AirportLink, ValleyLink, and WhistlerLink buses, which serve the Vancouver International Airport, the Fraser Valley, and Whistler respectively. 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 washrooms on board. Some long-haul buses even play videos. Greyhound's North America Discovery Pass provides unlimited bus travel for 7, 15, 30, or 60 days anywhere in Canada or the United States served by Greyhound. The passes can be purchased at U.S. bus stations (if your travel starts in the United States); Canadian and overseas residents must buy them online two weeks in advance. 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, short day trips, however, they're hardly worth it.
Bus terminals in major cities and even in many smaller ones are usually efficient operations with service all week and 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.
In major bus terminals, most bus lines accept at least some of the major credit cards. Some smaller lines require cash or take only Visa or MasterCard. To buy a ticket in really small centers, it's best to use cash. You should plan on picking 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 Isand 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.)
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