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Transportation & Lodging

Assistance with transportation and lodging associated with cancer treatment may be available for patients and their families.
Transportation

What travel assistance is available?

For those who need assistance with transportation to and from cancer treatment appointments, the following resources are available:

Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society is a non-for-profit organization in the lower mainland providing free transportation to cancer related medical appointments for those who may not have the means. For more information, call 604-515-5400.

 

If you have limited finances and no other options are available to you, the Canadian Cancer Society - Travel Treatment Fund may be available to you. It may help you with some of your travel and accommodations costs to attend your treatment appointments. You can print the application from the website or call the Cancer Information Service at toll-free 1-888-939-3333.

The BC Bus Program is available for low income seniors and people on disability from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. For more information, contact the BC Bus Program or call 1-866-866-0800.

 
BC Health Connections provides options for transportation to medical appointments. There are several programs that are available to your in your area. 

BC Ferries provides assistance for people with disabilities, assured loading cards and is a part of the TAP program. See their website for details.
The TAP program through the Ministry of Health offers travel discounts to eligible BC residents who must travel for non-emergency medical appointment not available in their own community and whose travel expenses are not covered by third party insurance or other government programs.

To be eligible, you must be a BC resident and enrolled in the Medical Services Plan (MSP); you must have a physician’s referral for medical services that are not available locally, escorts are also eligible if traveling with those incapable of independent travel. TAP forms are available from your family doctor, specialist’s office, or a cancer centre.

  • Phone: 604-683-7151 (Vancouver)
  • Toll-free:1-800-663-7100 (Elsewhere in BC)

Individuals (and spouses if required as medical escort) may be eligible for assistance with treatment travel costs through their private extended health benefit plans.

 
Freemasons in BC & Yukon provide free rides to and from primary cancer treatments. Service is available in Vancouver (including Burnaby, Richmond and New Westminster), Vancouver Island, the Interior and Prince George. 

If you live in one of our service areas and need rides to your primary cancer treatments, call 1.800.299.0188.

If you have been certified by a qualified medical practitioner as experiencing a permanent impairment of mobility to such an extent that the use of public transportation would be hazardous you may quality for this rebate if you own or lease a vehicle.

 

People who are the registered vehicle owner (or if you lease the vehicle), have a permanent disability and are considered handicapped under the Motor Fuel Tax Act, may be eligible for a 25% discount on basic Autoplan. Applicant must have a Motor Fuel Tax claim number when applying for insurance discount.  Limit of $400 per year could be claimed. Call the Consumer Taxation in Vancouver.


  • Phone: 604-660-4524
  • Toll-free: 1-877-388-4440
Handicap parking signs allowing people with disabilities to use designated accessible parking spaces are available in most parking facilities. Permits are available to people with permanent or temporary disabilities that impair mobility and organizations that provide transportation to persons with mobility impairments. Refer to issuer for application and process.

  • If you need a permit for Greater Vancouver, Victoria & Prince George, apply online at Social Planning and Research Council of BC (SPARC BC) website.
  • For temporary, permanent or organization permit cost is $15. Visitor permits are $25. A refund of $10 is issued upon return of permit. For more information, call 604-718-7744.
  • If you need a permit for the BC Interior, apply in person at the City of Kelowna, Revenue Branch. Permanent (3 yrs) and Temporary (1 yr) permits are available the cost is $10 plus taxes. Permits must be returned to Revenue Branch,1435 Water Street, Kelowna. For more information, call 250-469-8757.

Hope Air is a non-profit organization that helps low-income earners with the cost of flights for those who need to travel out of area for medical appointments. See their website for details and application process

Check with airlines often they have services for people flying and who have special requirements including the need for a companion when traveling. Contact the airline for information.

 

Lodging

Where can you stay when you need to travel?

For those who need assistance with accomodations associated with cancer treatment appointments, the following resources are available:

Canadian Cancer Society Lodges
Cancer lodges run by the Canadian Cancer Society provide lodging for out of town patients and their families, who need to be close to a cancer centre for treatment or tests. You must be independent in your daily living activities and/or have an escort to assist you. You can contact the Lodges directly to find out more or to register. 

  • Jean C. Barber Vancouver Lodge, 575 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 4C3, Phone: 604-879-9131
  • Vancouver Island Lodge, 2202 Richmond Avenue, Victoria, BC, V8R 4R5, Phone: 250-592-2662
  • Southern Interior Rotary Lodge, 2251 Abbott Street, Kelowna, BC, V1Y1E2, Phone: 250-712-2203
  • BC Cancer – Prince George (Centre for the North), Kordyban Lodge, Prince George, BC, Phone: 250-562-3535

Medical Travel Accommodation Listings
For more information about hotels, motels and inns close to your local cancer centre, refer to  Medical Travel Accommodation Listing. Put in the name of the city where you want to stay and you will receive a list of available accommodation. When you book a room, don't forget to request a medical rate.

Call your cancer centre Patient & Family Counselling Services they may have a list of alternate lodging options.


Traveling tips

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