TransLink vice-president of enterprise initiatives Mike Madill says the new Compass smart card won't be available to all transit users until next summer.

Compass card rollout delayed for most transit riders

TransLink cites trouble with customer service website for change to smart card launch plan

TransLink has shuffled its schedule for rolling out its Compass card, meaning about two-thirds of transit users will now wait until next summer to start using the new payment system.

Officials had previously promised the cards would be available to all by late spring and that came after criticism that TransLink had failed to deliver on the “operational by fall 2013” signs on SkyTrain faregates.

West Coast Express passengers had been told they’d be first to get the new cards in December, but they have now been pushed back to late spring.

The general public won’t be offered the smart cards until sometime in the summer, said Mike Madill, the TransLink vice-president in charge of the $194-million project.

The decision to delay stems from what he called “areas for improvement” flagged with the online customer service system that Compass users will log in to register cards, load money and control options like auto-loading from their connected credit cards.

“It’s functional, but it’s not to the service standard we require for our customers,” Madill said. “We want to make sure we get it right for our customers all the way along.”

TransLink previously planned to stop selling FareSaver tickets Jan. 1 but now says the booklets of prepaid discounted tickets will continue to be sold into next summer.

WCE passengers will also be able to keep buying seven- and 28-day passes until Compass arrives for them.

First up will now be income-assisted seniors and others with disabilities who now have the BC Bus Pass, which provides unlimited transit access B.C-wide for $45 a year.

Madill said they will get Compass cards by the end of January if they’re Metro Vancouver residents, while Compass cards will also go out to Canadian National Institute for the Blind pass holders, as well as all TransLink employees to replace their current annual passes.

Since those are all annual passes that don’t require payment top-ups, there’s no need for the website to be working yet for them.

BC Bus Pass users elsewhere in B.C. – such us low-income seniors who come over from Victoria – will be able to get daypasses good on TransLink’s system for those trips.

Metro holders of BC Bus passes will be able to flash their Compass cards to ride on the BC Transit system elsewhere in B.C.

“For those folks the benefit remains the same – that was an important principle for the government,” Madill said.

Those first groups amount to 80,000 users or about a tenth of the full ridership of 800,000 that TransLink hopes to convert to Compass cards.

Madill said TransLink hopes to actually close the faregates – meaning SkyTrain access will only be by tapping in and out – by the end of summer or early next fall.

“We’re not going to take the step of closing the faregates fully until all customers have had a chance to get a card and learn how to use it.”

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP search for missing 17-year-old girl

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

Surrey to begin ‘public engagement process’ on policing transition next week

First in a series of public events set for May 23 at Cloverdale rec centre

Construction launched for South Surrey high school

Education minister announces $6M for completion of land for new school in Sunnyside neighbourhood

North Delta med student helps plant the seed of hope

​Jas Hans shared his mother’s story with a patient at to help the new mom cope with her fears

Free winter parking, higher summer rates eyed for White Rock waterfront

Councillor calls for more hard data on the impact of trial free parking on Marine Drive businesses

Jeep totalled, four young people in hospital, after single-vehicle crash in Surrey

Mounties have not ruled out any possible factors in what led to the overnight crash

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read