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

Bulldogs defeat Ridge Meadows Royals

Exhibition game proved to be challenging for both teams

Pitt Meadows man attacked on Lougheed Highway

Ridge Meadows RCMP not sure if road rage incident

Fraser, Pitt river seal hunt proposed in Lower Mainland

First Nations say fishing affected, DFO reviewing

Three Maple Ridge intersections should have easier stopping

New surfacing applied at dangerous corners

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

Most Read