When I landed at the airport (YVR) I'd take an elevator up to the top floor and walk a bridge to the SkyTrain. There was only one train. So no chance of getting on the wrong train.
You buy a one way ticket from the machines on the left. I believe it was $7.50 to get downtown. Hotel was on Howe St. so I got off at Vancouver City Centre. Roundhouse/Yaletown to Howe St. is all uphill. After a long flight I found it easier to walk the level ground from Vancouver City Centre. Most the hotels are easier to walk to from Vancouver City Centre.
When you go back to the airport it is only something like $3 because there is no airport fee. At first I thought I bought the wrong ticket but going back to the airport is definitely cheaper.
The train is always full of travellers going to or coming from the airport. So I always felt safe, even though the train has no driver (it is completely automated).
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