Public Transit Exists, but Not Exceptional
It is possible to get around in Vancouver, Washington by public transit, but transportation services aren't quite as good as they once were. Among other things, TriMet bus route #5 from downtown Portland has stopped operating, so there are no options of getting to downtown Vancouver using TriMet any more.
Bus services in the Vancouver area are operated by C-Tran. The services are reasonably good for a smaller city, but Vancouver and its surrounding area is spread over a huge area. Thus, transit services are fewer and scattered rather than concentrated into a populated area.
While TriMet stops short of the Washington State Line these days, C-Tran continues to operate a number of bus routes that connect to downtown Portland from various parts of Clark County. However, these operate commuter hours only. For connecting from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver at all other times and days, you would need to take the MAX yellow line from downtown Portland to the Delta Park station, and transfer there to C-Tran bus route #4. You can also take TriMet bus route #6 to Janzen Beach and transfer there to C-Tran bus route #4. Neither of these are fast options.
From east Portland to east Vancouver (as well as Camas and Washougal) there is bus route #65 from the Parkrose Transit center north and then east to the Fisher's Landing area on the very far east side of Vancouver. It operates Weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. However, the MAX station on the Portland side of the river is only served by red line trains.
Other routes that come into Oregon are express commuter hours only bus routes.
Within Vancouver itself, C-Tran operates core routes through downtown Vancouver, with branches extending to the north and east. Route #3 City Center does just that: it is a reasonably frequent service bus that circulates through downtown Vancouver.
The fare structure is somewhat complicated for a small transit agency. Prices listed are as of 2013, so check the web site as they may have changed.
"C-Zone Fares" are valid for all regular service buses, including everywhere in Clark County plus the regular service that goes to Janzen Beach, Parkrose and Delta Park. The "C-Zone" fare does not allow the use of a transfer - you get allowed to make one trip on the bus on which you pay your fare. The All-Zone cash fare is valid for all C-Tran buses except the express routes to Portland, plus TriMet MAX and buses (but not the Portland Aerial Tram). The express cash fare allows the use of all of these, including TriMet service and C-Tran express bus services.
TriMet tickets and passes are valid on C-Tran local and limited routes, but not the express routes between Portland and Vancouver.
- Budget Travel
Amtrak Service Several Times per Day
The Vancouver Train Station is not some huge, spectacular edifice that great gobs of people flock to see. It is an older style wooden station, though it certainly has a charm much different than the huge marble, stone and brick edifices found in the larger cities.
However, all trains that serve Portland, Oregon also serve the Vancouver, Washington station.
The platforms themselves have no roof over them. However, there are several bus shelter structures that serve the purpose of keeping those on the platforms from getting wet while standing on the platform. They do not, unfortunately, do much to help those getting from the platform to the station.
The station has limited baggage services, but they do in fact exist at this station.
Parking is free at the station.
One of the major shortcomings of the station is its location: it is approximately a 3/4 mile walk 1.25 km) to downtown Vancouver, and the station lacks public transit services. The nearest bus route is bus route 3, which is located at 12th and Jefferson - which is about 5 blocks away.
Getting to and from the station can be a bit of a chore even by driving, as it is located in a busy railroad junction and sometimes access is obstructed for long periods at the crossings. If the crossing at 11th & Lincoln is obstructed by a long train, you will have to go south on Hill, and then diagonally across 8th, 7th and 6th. There is a bridge under the railroad at 6th. However, this bridge has very limited clearances and therefore vehicles of any size should not try to drive under this. If you are on foot, it is best to be on the south side of this bridge as there isn't any save way to cross under the railroad line on the north side of the road.
Summer Construction to Avoid
Avoid traveling through the interection of SR 500 and 112th st or Gher Road, they are making a bridge for 500 to go over this intersection.
You would be best off using Fourth Plain Blvd. To get to Gher road, or if you need 112th take a left on 121st, another left at NE49th St, and then a right at 112th.
Construction has not yet started check the below link to see construction in the area.