TransLink refutes reports of Compass Card delays

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      TransLink is denying reports claiming that the official roll out of its Compass Card system has been delayed until 2014.

      “We’ve always said implementation will begin in 2013 and that a full launch will happen closer to 2014,” TransLink spokesperson Jiana Ling told the Straight.

      A follow-up email offers further clarification.

      “The Compass project is on schedule,” Ling wrote. “Implantation will begin fall 2013, which includes beta testing (this begins September 9). After the testing period, we will begin robust educational programs where customers will be educated on what the Compass is and how to use it.”

      On September 3, CBC News published a story on its website with the headline, “TransLink's Compass Card rollout delayed”. In that article, Ling was quoted as saying that the Compass system won’t be ready until 2014.

      That report sparked concerns that there would be a period during which transit users would be forced to travel without existing discounted fare options such as FareSaver tickets, and also without the Compass card’s reduced rates.

      Earlier this summer, TransLink announced that effective January 1, 2014, it would eliminate a number of discounted options for riders.

      Free rides on Sundays and holidays for family members of monthly pass holders will come to an end. Also being discontinued is the Employer Pass Program, which provides for a 15-percent discount, and FareSavers booklets, which offer packages of 10 tickets at roughly a 20 percent discount compared to cash fares.

      The Compass system will replace those forms of payment with cards that require preloading for riders to “tap” in and out of TransLink fare-paid zones. The cards will cost a $6 deposit and offer a 14-percent discount. Compass will also give riders the opportunity to register their cards, which will allow for TransLink to provide additional services such as auto-reload options and balance protection in the event of lost or stolen cards.

      In a telephone interview conducted this morning (September 4), Ling described the CBC News report as “inaccurate”, and addressed concerns about a possible Compass delay creating a period of time when discounted transit fares would not be available.

      “There will be a transition period where both the old fare and Compass card can be used simultaneously,” she said. “By having this transition period, it allows for our customers to get comfortable with the new system.  When we feel our customers are comfortable with the new Compass system, we will officially launch it.”

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      Gary K

      Sep 4, 2013 at 12:02pm

      I hope Translink buys back some of the unused single ride tickets and Transit Passes when the Compass card comes into full use.


      Sep 4, 2013 at 12:57pm

      Dangerously goofy Translink drops lots of balls....

      'We'll just hang another sign on this sign explaining what this picture means. That's cool, right?

      The Compass Card: Confusing The Masses Of Transit'

      Meanwhile I am on welfare and can't even get interviews let alone work in my field...hmmmm.


      Sep 4, 2013 at 1:36pm

      why does transit charge less for evening use? Isn't that price gouging? why should workers/commuters pay so much more than casual users who party and raise hell.If they can afford hockey concerts etc. they should pay full fare

      real testing?

      Sep 4, 2013 at 3:09pm

      i have been reading the beta test does not include 'tapping' the compass card through the turnstiles. i also took a recent transit trip bus/skytrain. have also noticed as per other observers there don't seem to be enough turnstiles. just wait until rush hour. i can't help but foresee an overload situation, the system won't be able to adjust to numbers of users at peak transit times. this in turn will impact the account connected to the card & user.

      Billy Bones

      Sep 4, 2013 at 7:28pm

      It's funny how so few people have any confidence that the Translink administration, despite being ridiculously overpaid for no reason what so ever, are at all capable of implementing this system which has been in use in other counties for up to thirty years.

      Xander Davis

      Sep 4, 2013 at 7:56pm

      And that brown stuff on the turnstile flaps and card readers is not peanut butter.


      Compass cards are readily faked in other countries. They just never admit it.

      andrew jackson

      Sep 4, 2013 at 9:29pm

      I go to school and i use a upass to get on the bus but when the fare gates are running the school upass is hopeless to me.

      Silver Top

      Sep 5, 2013 at 6:35pm

      System should be set up to deduct how many stations you travelled, so that it's FAIR! I had just purchased two sets of Faresavers, a set for one zone, and another for two zones. They'll take me a year to use up. Can I exchange them?

      Why can't they have it so that transfers from busses will work at stations?

      Smart Chick

      Sep 7, 2013 at 8:58pm

      What A Joke ? Just Another Cash Grab For Translink. As If We Don't Pay Enough For Their Crappy Service. Guess They Need To Sucker Someone In For Their Mismanagement Of Their Funds. Also The Federal Government Should Do An Audit As Where All This Money Supposedly Goes With Fare Hikes ETC,Since Our Provincial Government Won't Do It.

      My existing Faresaver tickets

      Sep 26, 2013 at 3:31pm

      I have a bunch of Faresaver Tickets... are they now saying that I am forced to use them all up by the "transition period" or else they will become null and void???
      That would be UNACCEPTABLE!!!

      Existing Faresaver ticket holders must be able to receive a FULL REFUND for any unused tickets, or be able to add the full amounts of those tickets onto the new compass card.

      I only use Faresaver tickets whenever I have a need, not because they are threatening to void them if not used. I paid a lot of money for each booklet!!