Saturday, July 03, 2010

Quick Shuttle Bus Service to Vancouver, BC

Today I took the easy way (relatively speaking since it was a holiday weekend) south from Powell River to Bellingham to visit with Mom. This route uses both Pacific Coastal Airlines and the Quick Shuttle bus.

Quick Shuttle provides international bus service between the greater Vancouver area and Seattle, Washington. Scheduled service from Canada starts at all major downtown hotels and cruise ship terminals (in season), continues through downtown Vancouver, followed by a stop at Vancouver International Airport. One final stop is made at the Campbell River Store in South Surrey before crossing the border at the Pacific Highway (Truck) Crossing.

The Quick Shuttle has resumed direct service to Vancouver Airport. Drop off is on the upper departure level of the International Terminal. If you are catching the bus heading southbound at the airport, the pick up location is on the lower arrival level of the International Terminal, just outside the main set of doors at pillar number 4.

There are also some new border crossing rules. You must make a reservation by phone or online thirty minutes before the bus leaves it's first stop in the direction you are traveling and you must provide travel document information that can be transmitted to Customs prior to your departure. This makes travel planning a bit more difficult. You can't just hop on the bus like the old days.

A special U.S. Customs and Immigration building takes care of bus passengers. After everyone has been cleared, the bus continues south with stops at Bellingham International Airport (perfect for those cheap Allegiant Air trips to Reno, Vegas and Palm Springs), Tulalip, downtown Seattle and finally Seattle International Airport. The cost $55-56 for adult one-way or $98-99 round-trip. Fares can be paid in either Canadian or U.S. dollars and you save 5% by booking online. You may select your own start and stop points within their route (as long as it includes a border crossing) for a reduced rate.

Heading north from Seattle, the stops are in reverse order. Canadian customs and immigration is handled in a special building as well. All passengers must remain on the bus until their luggage has been removed for inspection. You take all personal items with you, pick up your luggage and get in line to meet with a Canada Border Services Agent. You will need to present your travel documents (see the U.S. and Canadian websites to verify the current requirements) and a completed Customs Declaration Card. Once you've cleared, it's back on the bus for the remainder of your journey.

Wayne and I use the Quick Shuttle frequently for our trips between Bellingham and Powell River. The buses are clean and comfortable, have a restroom onboard and free WiFi so you can surf the web to your heart's content as you roll down the road. In fact, I'm sending this post right from my comfy bus seat.

The Quick Shuttle is a good way to miss some of those longer border lineup waits. So, if you need cross-border transportation, check out Quick Shuttle online at www.quickcoach.com or call them at 800-665-2122. They'll be "quick" to take care of your needs. - Margy

10 comments:

  1. A bus with WIFI is very convenient!

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  2. Very cool. The WiFi really caught my attention too.

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  3. Anonymous8:44 PM

    the wifi sucks (doesn't work) and when did the trip get so expensive??? I remember it being much cheaper. This review is useless.

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  4. Everyone has their own opinion for sure. The wifi is not super high speed, but works fine for e-mail, Twitter and posts to my blog. The alternatives for transportation between Seattle, Bellingham and other points in between and Vancouver that I know about are more costly than the Quick Shuttle. If you have any better recommendations, I would love to hear them. I make the trip several times a month and anything better or cheaper would be helpful. - Margy

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  5. I love shuttle busses, and with wi-fi and a restroom. What ever more could you possibly want. Perfect. Margy

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  6. Hi Margy. I know that you are not a travel site. I always vist your book shop when in PR. Instead of arriving on Pacific Coastal I thought I'd like to get a bus and see some of the scenery. Do you know of anyother bus line that travels from Vancouver to Powell River. Malaspina only does a late journey mid week. No good for sightseeing. I am in the UK and will be coming up from Portland Oregon on Amtrak. I can get off at Van or Seattle. Any suggestions based on your knowledge?

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  7. Hi Helen - The only public bus to Powell River is the Malaspina Coach Line.

    http://www.malaspinacoach.com/schedule/schedules.htm

    There are two scheduled runs from Vancouver to Powell River. It's handy because the bus stops at the train station. The morning trip would be all in daylight. The evening trip would be in sunlight (in the summer we have sunlight well after 10:00) for most of the trip.

    Hope you get to visit us soon. Let me know if you have any other questions. - Margy

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  8. glad we don't have all that faff between England and Scotland!

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  9. Hi Sue - you taught me a new word, faff. I looked it up, it says it means to waste time doing something not necessary. It sure does feel that way lots of the time. - Margy

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  10. The easiest way to schedule is through their website 24/7. There are links in the post, but here it is again. http://www.quickcoach.com

    You can call as well during business hours and get excellent customer service. 1.800.665.2122

    Margy

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