Living here offers many transportation options, including BC Transit, riding a bicycle, carpooling and driving to campus. Pay parking is in effect at the Comox Valley campus. See How do I buy a parking pass? or visit BC Transit for a bus pass.
In Canada, you should cross streets only at a corner or at a crosswalk and obey
traffic lights. It is against the law to cross in the middle of the block. This
is called jaywalking. If the police see you jaywalking, you may have to pay a fine.
Many corners have crosswalks - wide white lines painted on the road. At a crosswalk, wait for cars to stop, and then cross.
Although people who are walking have
the right of way, you should always be careful when crossing a street.
You can access bus maps and schedules for Campbell River and the Comox Valley
online at www.bctransit.com. Buses pick up people at bus stops. People get on
the bus at the front door and get off at the back door. If you want the bus driver
to let you off at the next bus stop, pull the cord above your seat or push the red
button on some of the poles. To ride the bus you need exact change or a monthly
pass to ride the bus. You must ask for a transfer from the driver when you pay your
If you take the bus a lot, it is cheaper to buy a pass or book of tickets. The College
Student Monthly Pass is a discounted bus pass available to North Island College
full-time students only. The College Student Semester pass is a pass valid for a
full four month NIC semester and is available to full-time NIC students. These passes
are available at the North Island College Campus bookstore. Bus drivers do not sell
books of tickets or passes. Check the BC Transit website
for more information about discounted student bus passes.
In Canada, many people use bicycles as a mode of transportation. You do not need
a license to ride a bicycle. People on bicycles must obey the same rules as car
drivers. You must have a light in front and a red reflector on the back of your
bicycle to ride at night. The law says everyone who rides a bicycle must wear a
helmet (except Sikhs who wear a turban for religious reasons). When there is a bike
lane, you should use it. Most city buses have bicycle racks for two bicycles.
There are several bicycle racks at North Island College where you can store your bicycle.
To prevent theft, it is important to use a good quality lock for your bicycle.
Cars and Driving
In all of North America, people drive on the right side of the road. You need a
license and insurance to drive a car in BC.
If you have a driver's license from another country or Canadian province, and you
are registered as a full-time student at North Island College, your license will
allow you to drive in BC for as long as you are a full-time student.
If the above does not apply to you, as a new resident you have 90 days after you
move to BC to get a BC driver's license. If your driver's license
is in a language other than English or French, you must also carry a certified translation
The process you will need to follow to apply for a BC driver's license, including
the tests you will need to take, depends on the type of license you have now. Applications
are available at all Driver Service Centres. For more information on licenses, specific
requirements and locations of Driver Service Centres, visit the Insurance Corporation
of British Columbia (ICBC) website: www.icbc.com. For more information visit: ICBC's Moving from another country page.
When applying for a BC driver's license, remember to bring with you one piece of
"primary ID" that is your Study Permit and one piece of "secondary ID" that is your Passport. If you do not have proper proof of
identity and driver licensing history (if applicable), your license application
will not be able to proceed. Check ICBC for a list of acceptable identification
The speed limit on most city roads is 50 kilometres per hour (km/h), unless you
see a sign for a different speed. Outside cities, the speed limit is usually higher.
Park and school areas usually have a speed limit of 30 km/h.
The speed limit on North Island College campuses is 30 km/h.
The fines for speeding (driving faster than the speed limit) can be very expensive.
In British Columbia, all drivers and passengers must wear seat belts. The police
can give you a ticket and you will have to pay a fine if you or other people in
your care are not wearing a seat belt.
Never block a fire hydrant, bus stop, sidewalk, crosswalk, road, alley, or driveway
when you park. Always check for signs indicating parking restrictions to avoid getting
a ticket. Many places in Campbell River and the Comox Valley have free parking. Others,
such as North Island College’s Comox Valley campus, have pay parking. Be sure to follow posted signs regarding parking guidelines.
People who are walking have the right of way on city streets, and you need to watch
out for them at all times. Most pedestrians cross the street at intersections or
designated crosswalks and obey traffic signals. Please yield to pedestrians at all
When a police car, fire truck, or ambulance has its lights or siren on, you must
get out of the way as quickly and safely as you can. Move your car into the right-hand
lane or to the roadside and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed you.
British Columbia has very strict laws about driving after you have been drinking
alcohol. If the police stop you after you have been drinking alcohol, they can take
away your driver's license, make you pay a fine, and/or send you to jail. If you know you will be celebrating, plan ahead. Book a taxi, have a designated driver or take public transit.
Learn more about living and studying at North Island College by liking the Office of Global Engagement on Facebook
, where we post information for students, photos of class trips, upcoming community events and much more!