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Is it cheaper to take the bus or train from Vancouver to Seattle in 2024?

There are a few things to consider when choosing between the bus and the train.

While you might think the train from Vancouver to Seattle costs more than the bus, prices have increased off the rails. 

When Flixbus launched its bus route connecting Seattle to Vancouver, prices started at a jaw-dropping $17.99 for a one-way trip.

But prices have increased on the popular route since it launched, putting costs on par with other modes of transportation. 

Many people also prefer to take the train since the experience is a bit smoother but some dates might still cost more for the trip. Either way, the train and the bus are cheaper than flying between the cities.

Flights between Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Seattle International Airport (SEA) are surprisingly steep considering the distance, with one-way flights starting at $181. 

There are a few things to consider when choosing between the bus and the train.

Train from Vancouver to Seattle 

The Amtrak Cascades passenger train offers service from Vancouver across the Canada-U.S. border to numerous cities across Washington and Oregon. 

One of the most popular routes takes passengers from Vancouver Pacific Central Station to King Street Station in Seattle, Washington. Prices on these trips start for as little as $34 for a one-way trip, but prices may increase during popular travel times, such as mid-day or over holidays (see slide two). 

Guests who purchase the value ticket pay the lowest price and must pay a 25 per cent fee if they cancel. No changes are permitted on the low-cost tickets, either. 

Guests who purchase the flex fare for an additional $3 receive a full refund if they cancel and will not pay a fee to change the ticket. 

Business class guests will enjoy extra legroom with footrests but can expect to pay nearly double the cost ($68 versus value at $34).

Guests may also disembark on the journey at other destinations along the 18-stop Pacific Northwest itinerary, including in Bellingham, Washington, and Portland and Eugene in Oregon. 

In 2026, guests will be able to enjoy riding the popular route on a new fleet of Amtrak trains.

Bus from Vancouver to Seattle 

One-way tickets from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver to several locations in Seattle start for as little as $39.99 with Flixbus.

While you may not always be able to get the lowest fare, there are typically options costing just over $40 on numerous dates at non-peak travel times (see slide three).

On average, tickets for the Vancouver-to-Seattle route cost $48.99, according to Flixbus. 

When you book your ticket, ensure that the final Seattle stop works with your itinerary as there will be several listed as options, including the University of Washington 1100 NE Campus Pkwy, Seattle (6th Ave S & S Lane St), the SEA airport, and the Seattle Bus Station (503 S Royal Brougham Way). 

The bus route from Vancouver to Seattle covers 228 km and takes about three hours and 20 minutes to complete. However, this time can vary based on current traffic conditions. 

The first bus is at 7:20 a.m., with the last bus leaving at 6 p.m. with multiple trips in between.

Other popular routes from Vancouver include Bellingham, Portland, Everett, Washington, Medford-Ashland, Phoenix-Tempe, Washington, D.C., New York, Mount Vernon, and Tacoma.