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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Maple syrup taffy among treats and demos at 11th annual Vive les Voyageurs festival

Fort Langley National Historic Site celebrated French Canadians and Métis fur traders

LETTER: Different taxation system necessary

Langley Township taxpayer argues that taxes shouldn’t be based on assessed home values

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Man clings to roof of car driving along busy road in Maple Ridge

The man was also seen jumping on the vehicle

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Most Read