Getting To Whistler: Limo, Bus Or Taxi?

Consistently voted number one ski resort in North America by major magazines,Whistler Blackcomb is visited by over two million people who travel from all over the world to enjoy the world class ski and snowboard slopes. For Whistler, a relatively small town of only 10,000 permanent residents, that’s a very impressive feat to pull off. In one year, Whistler Blackcomb receives over 30 feet of snow over 8 thousand acres of trails, providing a winter sports paradise for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.

When traveling in from all parts of the world, most travelers fly in and arrive at YVR Vancouver international Airport. From there, Whistler is about 135km north of the airport. Now, there are a variety of ways to get there—everything from hitchhiking, taking a bus or taxi, to chartering a plane or helicopter. Yes there are many ways to approach this. Let’s rule out the hitchhiking, because we consider it a little dangerous (though not illegal to up the Sea to Sky Highway), and let’s also rule out chartering a plane or helicopter, because the majority of people heading up to Whistler just wouldn’t do that. Let’s approach this from a practical perspective for the average majority of people looking for transportation to get up to Whistler from the airport or from somewhere in Greater Vancouver in general. Let’s look at the three most common means of transportation that people heading up to Whistler will take: a limousine service, a bus or a taxi. Each has its benefits and the most practical choice varies between each situation. To define “practical”, let’s look at the cost and convenience of each method.

A bus ticket up to Whistler from Vancouver will cost you about $70 per person, which isn’t too bad. Convenience-wise, taking a bus isn’t ideal. You’ll need to reserve your bus ticket in advance, and then you’ll need to potentially find your own transportation to get to the bus station before the designated departure time. Once your gear is loaded onto the bus, the ride is actually quite nice since you’re high and elevated giving you a nice view of the Sea to Sky Highway and the seats are usually quite clean and comfortable.If you need to take a taxi to get to the bus station, that’s going to add onto your overall cost. Likewise, when you arrive in Whistler, you’ll be dropped off at the bus station there. To get to your final destination whether it’s a hotel or a different part of Whistler village, you’ll again need to transfer your gear and find your own transportation. Taking a bus up to Whistler is pretty common, as it’s one of your more affordable options. However, let’s take a look at what a taxi or limousine service has to offer.


The cost of your average taxi from Vancouver to Whistler will cost you about $300 one way. Unlike a bus, the cost of taking a taxi is per-vehicle with a maximum capacity of 3 people plus gear. So, if you’re heading to Whistler with two other friends, or some other number divisible by 3, it’ll cost you about $100 per person. If you’re travelling with one friend or by yourself, that price goes up significantly to $150 or $300 per person, respectively. Ouch.

Convenience-wise, the taxi is a pretty good choice. Unlike taking a bus, you don’t need to find or pay for your own transportation to the bus station or bending your schedule around the bus’ departure time. You can call a taxi within the hour of whenever you want to leave, and a taxi will come to your location on your schedule. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that. The same goes for where you get dropped off. Where you get dropped off is your choice. You can get dropped off right at your exact destination without having to transfer you and your gear from the bus station to another vehicle.


Ok, last but not least, let’s take a look at using a limousine service and see if a limo is ever a more practical choice than taking a bus or taxi. Because limousines are commonly used for special events like weddings, proms or graduations, most people assume that a limousine service is basically never that practical and should be reserved for those special events when there’s a need for luxury. Well, that actually may not be true in some cases. A limousine service can, in fact, be a very affordable and convenient choice.

Let’s talk about convenience first. Like a taxi, and unlike a bus, the limousine will come to your location on your schedule to pick you up and will drop you off at your exact destination. You will have to book the limousine in advance, as you would with a bus, but with a limousine service, you can expect much better service than you would with a taxi. Limousines will come with professional chauffeurs who will open doors for you and load/unload your gear for you. When you get inside the vehicle, you can expect it to be clean, fresh, comfortable and include some free refreshments.

The beauty of a limousine service is that you can fit a lot of people in their vehicles. And when I say “their vehicles”, I don’t just mean the traditional stretch towncars. Limousine service companies will typically have many vehicles to choose from—everything from a towncar, luxury SUV, stretch SUV limo and passenger vans. With the larger vehicles, you get the best of both worlds where you can fit a lot of people like a bus, yet like a taxi, you pay on a per-vehicle basis. So yes, taking a 10-seater limousine by yourself would be highly unpractical (though you’d have more leg room than you could shake a leg at). The key to making a limousine service the most affordable and convenient way to get to Whistler, is to go with a larger group of people that fills up the vehicle. For example, you can take a classy stretch SUV limo to Whistler with a capacity of 10 people and all their gear for about $700. Fill it with 10 people and that works about to $70 per person—about the same as taking a bus with all the added benefits of taking a limo. Some companies will even offer you a handsome discount if you book the return trip with them as well. Our friends at KJ Limousine Services will give you up to $100 off when you book your return trip at the same time. That makes it cheaper than taking the bus. You definitely can’t beat that.  Check out their promo video for this year:

So the next time you’re heading up to Whistler with a group of friends, think about taking a limousine maybe. It might just save you all some money and it’ll make the ride there that much more memorable.