All Metro Vancouver transit users will finally be able to buy and use Compass cards this fall. They'll tap in and out on readers at stations to record their trip length

New transit world coming with Compass card

Smart card convenience, advantages on tap for all Metro Vancouver transit users by this fall now that TransLink has abandoned bus tap out

A minority of transit users are already using it, but the full rollout of TransLink’s Compass card this fall will bring cash-free convenience and other advantages to all other riders who sign up.

No longer will passengers have to find correct change for a cash fare, or spend time buying prepaid tickets or passes ahead of time at stores.

Instead, they’ll log in to the compasscard.ca website or insert the card at kiosks and and load money on their account, which will be automatically drawn down as they use it.

RELATED:Compass card rollout means big fare break for some bus ridersTimeline of Compass card’s troubled history

Users won’t even have to remember to reload their card – they can activate a Compass option that automatically tops up the account when it falls below $5 with a pre-set amount from their bank account or credit card.

Right now, passengers who lose their monthly pass are simply out of luck and a bunch of money. Under Compass, as long as they’ve registered the card, they’ll be able to deactivate a lost or stolen card and transfer the balance to a new one.

FareSaver tickets and paper monthly passes and day passes will cease to be sold at some point, likely by early 2016. Compass users will be able to buy electronic versions of those passes for their account.

For regular monthly pass users, the auto-load option can be set to automatically buy the next month’s pass.

Users can check their balances online, through a mobile website, or through an automated phone system.

Families will be able to have multiple cards registered to one payment account.

And come tax time, monthly pass users who until now had to collect their monthly receipts to claim the federal public transit tax credit will now be able to simply print a transaction history from the Compass website.

Holdouts who don’t want Compass will still be able to pay cash, but it will cost them more.

Fares paid by Compass with money loaded as “stored value” will get a 14 per cent discount from the cash fare.

At transit stations, cash payers will buy a paper Compass ticket at a vending machine that will work at faregates.

Buses will continue to accept cash indefinitely but the paper transfers they issue won’t work at SkyTrain or SeaBus once the Compass faregates are shut – those riders will have to pay an extra fare at that point.

By October, people will be able to buy Compass cards in station vending machines. By November, they’ll be available through retail outlets or by mail order over the phone and online.

Officials aren’t predicting exactly when all the faregates will be closed.

The long-delayed rollout is happening now because TransLink on Thursday abandoned its original plan to require passengers tap out as they exit buses.

As of Oct. 5 it will charge only one zone on bus routes that previously required payment for two or three zones.

Further in the future, other things become possible as well with Compass.

TransLink wants to ultimately charge based on actual distance travelled.

And when a major service disruption occurs, it may be possible to issue refunds to the specific Compass users affected by something like the SkyTrain meltdowns over the past year.

For more information on the system, see askcompass.ca

Just Posted

Abbotsford woman charged after police find loaded gun in bag at mall

Danielle Rigdon, now facing 11 charges this year, was on house arrest at the time

Aldergrove community stakeholders react to town centre plans

‘The mall has been an eyesore for many years,’ says Home Hardware owner

Langley Mustangs runner sets Canadian record

Sarah Inglis celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a standout performance at the Canadian All Comers race

Told ‘no’ twice by local shelter, homeless Surrey man sent to Hope anyways

Deemed medically stable, patient was taxied to Hope by hospital when a spot in Surrey wasn’t located

Music students to stage protest performances in Langley

Sunday demonstration planned to oppose budget cuts at Kwantlen Polytechynic University

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Woman punched on the sidelines of B.C. soccer game

Both involved were watching the U21 game in West Vancouver from the sidelines when things got heated

Most Read