Nanaimo campus commuting

Commuting to the Nanaimo Campus

Here are some tips to help make your travel easier.

So you’re commuting to Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo Campus? We’ve got some tips to help you get here whether you’re taking transit, biking, walking or driving.

Coming by Bus

Most places within the City of Nanaimo are linked to VIU campus by transit, making it a great option to get to and from campus. Check out the RDN Transit Riders Guide for route details. The VIU Students’ Union sells discounted bus passes to students, and employees can access discounted bus passes through the PROPASS Program. Connections can be made to 70 CNX  (to Nanaimo Airport and Duncan) from several routes that service VIU.

  • Bonus tips: Check out RDN on Twitter for service updates and download the NextRide app to see the location of your bus along its route.

Coming by Bike

Another healthy and economical option is cycling. Check out these resources:

  • There are bike racks installed throughout the campus, as well as covered bike parking outside the gym (Building 190) and near Building 470 at the top of campus. The bike parking near the gym is in a locked enclosure and is accessible via your student card. Check out the Nanaimo Campus map to pick the most convenient spot.
  • Bike lockers are available for rent through the VIU Campus Store.
  • Showers and change rooms are available in the gym, Building 108 (Trades Discovery Centre), Building 210 (Health and Science Centre) and Buildings 250, 305, 356 and 460.
  • Check out the City of Nanaimo’s Cycling Map to help you plan your route to campus.
  • Hub City Cycle has an affordable options for buying a bike second-hand.
  • Security tip: Students and employees with 529 Garage, the largest community-powered bike recovery service.  

Coming on Foot

If you live nearby, walking to campus is another option. A multi-use pathway that connects south Nanaimo with north Nanaimo goes right by VIU. Check out the City of Nanaimo’s map for more details.

Coming by Car

Arrive early if you're driving

During the school year, Vancouver Island University’s Nanaimo Campus is a busy place with high demand for parking spots. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, the most desirable spots fill up quickly. Arrive early to reduce time spent hunting for a spot. A couple more tips: 

  • Save time by downloading the Indigo parking app and avoid lining up to pay at a machine. 
  • Download VIU's Safety App and use the "Campus Maps" tabs to navigate the parking lots (there are different types of parking lots, including economy, general, short-term, residence and employee). Economy, general and short-term lots are available for student parking. 

Try carpooling/sharing a pass

Want to save money? Lower your carbon footprint? It’s easy to share a long-term parking permit, or carpool.

VIU uses vehicle licence plates for parking management rather than displayed parking passes, making it easier to share a long-term parking permit. Simply register up to 10 licence plates on the same pass. Just remember, only one car registered on the permit can park on campus at a time.

For those looking to carpool, there are a number of designated carpool spaces in high-demand locations around campus that are available before 10:30 am to vehicles arriving with two or more people in them. Previously, people had to apply for a special carpool permit – now the spots will be available for vehicles with two or more people in them at the time they park.

Check out some carpooling tips

Save time by parking farther away

If you can’t find a spot close to your building, there are usually spots farther away. Lot A and Lot L – the economy lots – fill up more slowly than the other lots. Bonus: you log a few extra steps on your way to class/work!

Do you have questions this page didn’t answer? Email Facility@viu.ca.