Vancouver Island Transportation Infrastructure

“Travel to and around British Columbia is a vacation in itself, whether by sea or air, train, boat or motorcoach. We provide information on Air Services, BC Airports and Airlines, Bus and Coach operators, Ferries, Ferry Terminals and BC Ferry Routes, Rail Routes and Rail Tours, Taxis, Shuttles and Limousines, and Rental of Cars, Trucks, Campers, RVs, Cycles, Scooters and Motorbikes.”

The Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 19) stretches the length of Vancouver Island’s east side and is the main North-South artery for travel and transportation of goods. Other two-lane highways connect inland and west coast communities. 

Southern Railway of Vancouver Island (SVIprovides rail freight services to customers on Vancouver Island and connects to the continental railway network. SVI also operates daily inter-city passenger service from Victoria to Courtenay on behalf of VIA Rail Canada, Inc. Southern Railway of British Columbia operates two Subdivisions and one Spur:

  • The Port Alberni Subdivision (37 miles)
  • The Victoria Subdivision (140 miles)
  • The Wellcox Spur (3.2 miles) 

Junctions with other railroads via rail barge between Nanaimo and Tilbury (Vancouver), BC


Campbell River Airport (YBLis open for operation 24 hours a day and staffed between 05:15 and 23:00 hours. It has one 5,000ft x 150ft grooved runway equipped with high intensity lighting and ILS approach. The airport is currently served by three scheduled carriers serving Vancouver, Port Hardy, Bella Bella.

Comox Valley Airport (YQQis located on CFB Comox and provides a 10,000ft runway with full service airport facilities for commercial aviation. The Comox Valley Airport is capable of handling Code D aircraft and is conveniently located within a 3-hour drive of all Vancouver Island locations. There has been a 400% growth in passenger numbers since 2001 and YQQ is now the sixth busiest airport in BC. WestJet provides direct daily service to Edmonton and twice daily service to Calgary. Central Mountain Air and Pacific Coastal fly several times a day to Vancouver. In the winter months there is direct service to Puerta Vallarta and Cancun.

Nanaimo Airport (YCDoffers a broad range of airport facilities and services built around a 5000ft runway and parallel taxiway system. Approach facilities include a Stand-Alone GPS, Distance Measuring Equipment, a Non-Directional Beacon, and a newly installed Omni Directional Approach Lighting system. Commercial aviation services and facilities include scheduled flights and air cargo, charter flights and freight-courier services, aircraft refueling and maintenance, flight training and instruction, as well as aircraft parking and hangers. Current flight schedule to Vancouver is operated 7 days a week with 6 flights on weekdays and 5 flights on weekends.

Port Alberni Airport (YPB), classified as a general aviation airport, features one runway of 3,952ft in length..

Port Hardy Airport (YZTis owned and operated by Transport Canada. It has one runway measuring 5,000ft and two others at 4,000ft each. Regular air service is provided to Bella Bella and Vancouver.

Port McNeil Airport (YMPis a general aviation facility with two runways measuring 2,400ft and 3,650 ft.

Qualicum Beach Airport (XQUhas one asphalt runway (3,565ft long x 75ft wide) with displacements at each end of the runway. One primary operator offers passenger service to Gilles Bay, Port Alberni and Vancouver.

Tofino Airport (YAZ)has 3 runways, each measuring 5,000ft. Scheduled passenger services are available to and from Vancouver.

Victoria International Airport (YYJis the 9th busiest airport in Canada with over 1.5 million passengers per annum. Currently, Air Canada offers 31 daily departures with non-stop service to Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. WestJet has 12 departures daily to Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Kelowna. Horizon Air links Victoria to Seattle with 5 daily departures and United Express offers daily non-stop service to San Francisco. Victoria is also served by Pacific Coastal Airlines, B.C. West Air, Air Speed Aviation and Alpha Executive Air with 16 daily departures to Vancouver, Abbotsford, Nanaimo and Delta.


British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferriesprovides passenger and commercial service to 47 ports of call on the BC Coast. The largest terminals on Vancouver Island are located at Swartz Bay (Victoria), Duke Point (Nanaimo) and Departure Bay (Nanaimo).

Port Authorities
The Nanaimo Port Authority has the mandate to administer, control, and manage the harbour, waters and foreshore of the Georgia Strait in an area adjacent to Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.
Port Alberni Port Authority was formed July 1,1999, as a continuation of the Port Alberni Harbour Commission. Under the Canada Marine Act, the Port Authority is mandated jurisdiction of the Alberni Inlet from the Somass River to Tzartus Island.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority was incorporated as a not-for-profit society in February 2002, and began operating its four port facilities, divested from Transport Canada, in April 2002. Acting as an advocate for the harbour, the GVHA is working to improve its function as a working harbour, and a marine transportation centre with a strong focus on tourism.

Vancouver Island Harbour Inventory

Moving Forward 2015 – Click here  to enjoy this video regarding transportation on Vancouver Island, prepared for the 2015 Transportation Form.