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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Compass Card and Faregates

[CLOSED] Listen and take this poll to choose the best Morgan Freeman Tap to Pay announcement on transit!

In light of information we’ve learned through news stories on May 24, 2018, of serious allegations against actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a VISA ad campaign on the transit system. We will be reaching out to VISA to discuss further.

– TransLink Media Relations

If you’re of the 35% of poll respondents who opt not to listen to anything while traveling on transit, you’ve likely heard a familiar voice during your commute. In celebration of Tap to Pay launching on May 22, 2018, you will now hear Morgan Freeman welcoming SkyTrain and bus riders into Vancouver by sharing some fun facts, etiquette reminders and a heads up that you can now Tap to Pay with your contactless Visa and Mastercard credit card or Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay at Compass Card readers across the system.

Read more »

Traveling on transit just got easier!

Hey Metro Vancouver! As of May 22, 2018, you have more ways to pay for your transit trip!  You can now tap your contactless Visa or Mastercard Credit Card along with Apple, Google and Samsung Pay for your adult cash fare to get you from A to B on transit!

No more ticket line-ups, finding exact change or worrying about determining how many zones you intend to travel through. Just make sure to tap your intended payment method separate from your wallet to ensure the correct card is charged.
Already love your Compass Card? No worries! Keep using your Compass Card on the system to ensure that you are receiving the maximum discounted fare.

Watch our live stream for a full recap of the event.

For more information on Tap to Pay, check out translink.ca/taptopay

Will you pay with a contactless Visa or Mastercard Credit Card or stick to your Compass Card?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

5 things you need to know about Tap to Pay launching on May 22

Get ready…Tap to Pay launches on May 22! That means Compass Card readers will accept contactless Visa® and Mastercard® credit cards as a convenient way to pay an adult, cash fare. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay with a Visa® and Mastercard® credit card linked will also be accepted. Please note: card readers will not accept debit cards, including Debit Mastercard and Visa Debit cards.

Here are five things you need to know to get ready:

1. Tap your card, not your wallet

Tap only the card you intend to pay with, whether it’s a Compass Card or a contactless Visa® and MasterCard® credit card. This ensures the correct card is charged once the technology goes live.

If more than one payment card is presented at a card reader through tapping a wallet or any item with multiple cards inside, the system will charge the first card it detects, which may not be the one you intended for payment. Read more »

Tap your card, not your wallet


Today, TransLink launched a campaign across our system to educate our customers on an important behaviour – they should tap their Compass Card, not their wallet or a phone case with multiple cards inside!

The campaign sets the stage for the introduction of new convenient, payment options coming later this spring. Customers will soon be able to tap a contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card or mobile wallet on our card readers to pay their fare – “Tap to Pay!”

No wallet-tapping!

We’re reminding customers to tap only the card they wish to use to pay their fare. After the new technology is launched, tapping a wallet, phone case, backpack or purse – any item that holds multiple cards – could result in the unintended card being charged. Don’t be a “wallet-tapper” – change your behaviour and let your friends and family know, too.

Next steps

The launch of this new technology is still a few months away. In the meantime, we’re excited about the difference this will make for our customers, especially tourists and other infrequent riders. “Tap to Pay” means no more ticket line-ups, digging for change, or worrying about fare zones.

Compass Card donation bins expand to YVR Airport and Burrard stations

We’ve expanded the Compass Card donation bin program to include YVR Airport Station on the Canada Line and Burrard Station on the Expo Line!

TransLink is expanding the reach of a program that taps into the generosity of its customers by turning unwanted Compass Cards into transit passes to help families and children in need.

Read more »

Universal Fare Gate Access Program launches


Transit customers who are not able to tap a Compass Card at fare gates due to a disability will now have greater access to the SkyTrain system with the launch of the Universal Fare Gate Access Program.

The program, the first of its kind to our knowledge globally, provides participants with radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards that will automatically send a signal to RFID readers located above designated accessible fare gates. The fare gate will open when the card comes within range and close once the customer passes through.

As of today, more than 40 per cent of SkyTrain stations have been outfitted with RFID technology. All SkyTrain and SeaBus stations will be equipped with this technology by the end of the year.

We’ve chosen a phased roll out so we can begin restoring access to the system as soon as possible. A phased approach also allows us to take customer feedback and make adjustments to the system as we go, which gives us the best opportunity to get this right.

It’s important to us that this customer group have the same travel experience as our other customers. This unique, locally-developed solution, allows those enrolled in this program to use the same fare gates as everyone else to independently travel the system as they please.

This technology, which was designed by TransLink and implemented in partnership with Vancouver-based Hyperlight Systems, is at the forefront of the industry. World-wide, no other transit authority (to our knowledge) offers fully-automated, touchless access to a gated transit system.

For information on the program and how it can best benefit you, please call 604.953.3698 or email opengates@translink.ca. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

#ThanksABillion for one billion Compass taps!

It’s time to celebrate!! We are quickly approaching ONE BILLION Compass taps across the system and we want to commemorate this special occasion and to thank YOU, the Compass user, we have an exciting contest where you could win one of ten, special edition #Canada150 Compass Cards loaded with $50 in Stored Value! 

Update: Around 8:30 a.m. on August 24, 2017, a customer who boarded a bus on the 100 22nd Station/Marpole Loop tapped in on the bus’s mobile validator to record the billionth tap since the Compass system was first switched on for testing in September 2013! Read more »

Contest: Show us your Canada for a chance to win a #Canada150 Commemorative Compass Card!

Happy 150th birthday Canada! ?????? Celebrate by getting a limited edition commemorative compass card ??

A post shared by Megan | Vanfoodventures (@vanfoodventures) on

Hey Metro Vancouver. We LOVE that you LOVE the new, limited edition #Canada150 Compass Cards! In fact, you love them so much that you’ve bought out SIX of 16 Compass Vending Machine locations around the region in just 24 hours! 

As of July 4, #Canada150 commemorative Compass Cards have sold out. 

Read more »

Celebrate Canada’s 150th with a commemorative #Canada150 Compass Card!

Canada 150

These limited edition Compass Cards are available starting June 22 until supplies last

On July 1, our fair land will be celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

That’s just a fancy way of saying Happy 150th Canada!

To mark this momentous occasion, TransLink is releasing 20,000 special, limited edition Canada 150 Adult Compass Cards.

These cards will be available on June 22 at Compass Vending Machines in select SkyTrain Stations. To find a location nearest you check our interactive map.

**Look for Canada 150 decals on CVMs**

#Canada150 Commemorative Compass Card

Commemorative Compass Cards will also be available at the Compass Customer Service Centre located at Stadium–Chinatown Station open on Canada Day from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. while supplies last. Limit one per person.

Get yours before they’re gone and celebrate Canada’s 150th by tap, tap, tapping in style!

Want to win your way into the celebration? Stay tuned for details on how you can win your very own #Canada150 Commemorative Compass Card!

Celebrate Canada Day in person and online!
Use the hashtag #Canada150 to share your celebration moments with people across the country!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Donate your Compass Card to a great cause!

Compass Card Donation Bins

Moving people is what we do, and now through a new initiative with a long standing partner, the United Way Lower Mainland (UWLM), you can help!

Simply donate your new or semi-used, unregistered Compass Cards into one of our donation kiosks located around Vancouver. There are currently five donation kiosks for customers to donate their unregistered Compass Cards:

Canada Line kiosks

  1. Waterfront Station
  2. Vancouver City Centre
  3. Broadway–City Hall

Expo Line kiosks

  1. Granville Station (Dunsmuir exit)
  2. Compass Customer Service Centre (Stadium–Chinatown Station)

We hope to install more donation kiosks in the coming months at key locations around Metro Vancouver where customers are likely to tap in to their generosity and support this program and the United Way.

Transit plays an important role in helping people live full successful lives, whether it’s going to work,  job interviews, healthcare appointments or other activities that enrich their lives.

“Some of the region’s most vulnerable populations are reliant on both United Way funded programs and services – and on TransLink,” said Cathy McLay, CFO and EVP, Finance and Corporate Services, TransLink. “I am extremely proud of this new initiative and the ongoing commitment employees across the TransLink enterprise display to our United Way campaigns each year.”

To donate a Compass Card, simply deposit the unregistered Compass Card into your nearest donation kiosk. You can unregister your existing Compass Card by calling Compass Customer Service at 604-398-2042 or by visiting the Compass Customer Walk in Centre. Both the deposit and balance of unregistered Compass Cards will be converted to Compass Tickets for distribution by UWLM to selected agencies working directly with those in need.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Compass Stored Value Minimum Load Drops to $5!

You’ve asked, and we’ve listened!

We’re happy to announce that we have lowered the minimum Stored Value load amount for Adult Compass Cards at Compass Vending Machines (CVM)! Customers can now load Adult Compass Cards at a CVM and select a minimum Stored Value of $5! This change was based on feedback received from you, our customers, requesting a lower minimum Stored Value than the original $10.

This change applies only to Stored Value at a Compass Vending Machine. When loading Stored Value online, customers can choose from a number of set options starting at $10, or can choose to “pay balance” to bring a negative balance back up to zero. Minimum Stored Value load amount for Concession Compass Cards remains at $5.

For customers wishing to load an amount outside of the set CVM, online or phone parameters, a Compass Customer Service staff member at our walk in centre located at Stadium–Chinatown Station can help. For added convenience, customers add AutoLoad to their Compass Card directly from their bank accounts to automatically renew monthly passes or to top-up Stored Value using this form.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

TransLink 2016: A year in review

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Another trip around the sun. 2016 – what a year! It’s been a busy and productive 366 (leap year) days for TransLink.

Let’s take a look back at 2016 in the world of Metro Vancouver transit!

New CEO.

In the spring, we welcomed new CEO, Kevin Desmond. Kevin came to TransLink from King County Metro Transit that serves the Seattle area.

Kevin jumped in with both feet to lead the charge of a very full and important year while emphasizing our customers’ needs, transparency and excellent service.

We’re so happy to have him at the helm!

Compass.

This word was on everyone’s lips this year!

Compass Card tap outAfter a roll out that started with Upass users then West Coast Express, the general public adopted Compass with Monthly Passes at the beginning of this year.

Then, on April 4, 2016, the fare gates closed requiring riders to tap in on buses and in and out at all gates to pay their fare.

With Compass, you can travel seamlessly across the TransLink transit network with one card! Compass also allows us to gather important data on peak periods, bus route ridership and more – helping us better plan and run the transit network.

Expo ’86.

May 2nd marked the 30th anniversary of Expo ’86 – the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication held on the north shore of False Creek.

This was North America’s largest World’s Fair and a monumental event for Vancouver that left a lasting legacy – our SkyTrain system starting with none other than the Expo Line!

SkyTrain started regular service on January 3, 1986.

100 years of the Buzzer. 

Happy birthday, Buzzer! The print Buzzer hit a major milestone anniversary of 100 years!

This free, on-transit publication began on June 2, 1916 without a name. That soon changed and it has been delivering informative, fun and interesting transit and community related tidbits to the riders of the transit system ever since.

You can pick yours up on your ride or download here.

Federal funding.

PM Justin Trudeau made some lifelong transit friends when he announced more than $900 million will be invested – by the Government of Canada, British Columbia and municipalities – in public transit projects across the province.

This important funding promise allowed the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council to present Phase One of the 10-Year Vision for approval. But we’ll get to that soon enough!

LTE connectivity.

Rogers and Fido customers were treated to not one but two connectivity projects allowing riders to use their mobile devices.

In July, the Dunsmuir tunnel downtown Vancouver was connected and in November, the Edmonds tunnel followed suit!

Up next? We will continue to work with Rogers to build out wireless coverage along the Evergreen Extension, Columbia Station and tunnel and in New Westminster.

#Compass1Million.

This summer we hit one million active Compass Cards.

That means that a million riders across Metro Vancouver embraced the switch to Compass and were tap, tap, tapping their way to and from school, home, work and more!

With such great news, we had to celebrate with a fun contest to thank you for using Compass!

Mark IIIs.

These beautiful new SkyTrain cars were the hit of the summer! Especially because the A/C is just oh, so cool!

Press tourThese cars rode across country – on flatbeds – to reach out region.

Each 4-car set is fully articulated (you can walk from one end of the train to the other), has more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs, bikes, strollers and riders with luggage plus, they are more environmentally efficient!

Transit riders and enthusiasts eagerly awaited the first trip on August 18th and our Mark III VIPs got a front seat for the journey!

SkyTrain Wedding.

Something old, something new, something borrowed something… transit? Hey, whatever floats your SeaBus!Congratulations Nathaly and Jeff!

Jeff and Nathaly met on Canada Line and it was their dream to get married on transit.

Enter a white (naturally) Mark II SkyTrain, a full band, wedding guests and one interloping Buzzer blog writer and you’ve got a SkyTrain wedding!

It was a distinct pleasure to document this lovely couple’s big day aboard our beloved SkyTrain at Stadium–Chinatown Station.

I Love Transit Week.

I love transit week is a time for enthusiasts of all ages can say loud and proud, “I LOVE TRANSIT!”

Poems, colouring contests, a special Buzzer, HTC opening tour, kids camp and more – we felt the transit love from riders of all ages at a variety of events.

Interested in participating in next year’s festivities? Keep your eyes peeled for rumblings on the Buzzer blog in spring!

Hamilton Transit Centre.

In one September weekend we said goodbye to North Vancouver Transit Centre and hello to the brand new HTC building in Richmond! HTC

Did you notice? If not, that’s a good thing! CMBC made the seamless transition from one TC to the other and got your buses on the road from their no locale A.S.A.P.

Hamilton Transit Centre has capacity for 300 forty-foot buses, including up to 80 community shuttle buses and 150 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelled buses.

HTC performs three functions: dispatch, fuel and wash service as well as maintenance for buses servicing the Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver areas.

Pattullo.

Opened in 1937, this bridge is one of the busiest Fraser crossings in the region. So, it’s unsurprising that while we go ahead with plans to build a new bridge, this ol’ girl needs some safety upgrades in the interim.

We know the evening and weekend closures impacted a lot of drivers and we appreciate your patience as we rehabilitated the crossing to ensure its safety for all.

Repairs included:

  • milling off the asphalt surfacing from the deck
  • removing all deck concrete down to the top layer of rebar
  • repairing concrete delamination and cleaning or replacing rebar
  • repaving the deck area with a concrete overlay

Crews managed to finish early allowing for goods and people to move freely over the Pattullo Bridge once again .

CUTA.

CUTA is the Canadian Urban Transit Association and this year’s Fall Conference and Transit Show happened right here in Metro Vancouver on November 5-9.

This year’s theme was Inspiring Sustainable Change with a variety of seminars and speakers discussing today’s demands, tomorrow’s challenges and the possibilities for transit in our country and around the world.

TransLink had many speakers engaging with experts and transit enthusiasts from around the globe. Including CMBC’s Derek Stewart who spoke about the impact of climate change to transit agencies.

New Westminster upgrades.

We are upgrading SkyTrain Stations across the rapid transit network.

New Westminster was one of them. I say was because the work is done! On November 21, we officially completed and opened the overhauled station for riders to use and enjoy!

The completed upgrades at New Westminster Station include:

  • A new elevator and escalators to improve access for customers with disabilities
  • Improved lighting throughout the station
  • Glass panels to replace the mesh screens and improve station visibility from street level
  • Better integration with the surrounding community to make it easier to connect to and from the SkyTrain system
  • New public art that improves the experience of riders

10-year vision.

Our region is growing and along with that comes greater need for public transit.640x194_buzzer_blog-01

The Mayors’ Council 10-year Vision Phase One was approved by the TransLink board and council on November 23.

Along with the federal and provincial funding promised in June, municipalities will pitch in their share with TransLink for some much needed transit upgrades and projects.

Phase One improvements in 2017, 2018, and 2019 include:

  • 10% increase in bus service
  • 15% increase in HandyDART service
  • 20% increase in rail service
  • New or expanded transit services for neighbourhoods that currently have few or no transit options today
  • Safer walking and cycling routes
  • Reduced traffic congestion by fixing bottlenecks on major roads

Metro Vancouver residents will start to see added service in the new year with much more to come in the coming months and years!

Evergreen.

Sometimes, it IS easy being green! EmeansGo

On December 2, the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension opened to great excitement despite the rainy weather!

The community celebration at Coquitlam Central Station ran all day with riders eagerly awaiting the first official ride on Evergreen.

With this extension, TransLink has the longest, automated, driverless rapid transit system in the world!

Twitter Heroes.

If you’ve ever called 604-953-3333 or tweeted @TransLink, you’ve interacted with CI (Customer Information).

This crew works tirelessly to help keep riders informed on specific routes, transit timings, disruptions, detours and all things transit related!

Started in 2010 as a pilot project, to date our followers have reached over 135,000 people and CI has sent out 295,039 tweets!

A big thank you to these awesome people who keep us moving!

Well, that about wraps it up. We can’t wait for what 2017 will hold for our region and transit!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Now you can tap, tap, tap your way into bike parkades with Compass

Compass is now integrated into our bike parkades!

This means you can easily use one card for transit travel and storing your bike with your Stored Value.

Using your Compass Card at the bike parkades is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

#1: Get a Compass Card.

#2: Register your card at compasscard.ca.

#3: Enroll in the Bike Parkade program.

Use of the parkades only costs $1 per day, up to $8 per month!

Here are some tips for using the bike parkade:

  • Make sure to remove your helmet and any or panniers from your bike
  • Lock your bike to the rack with a sturdy lock
  • Keep your Compass Card with a positive balance to use the parkades

For more information watch the video above and check out translink.ca/bikeparkade.

*Yes, that is our very own Buzzer blog contributor, Jessica! Autographs are available upon request*

Author: Adrienne Coling

I Love Transit: Don’t forget to share your transit love and keep tapping your Compass Card!

I Love Transit 2016

It’s mid-I Love Transit Week and we’re loving all the things you’re sharing with us! Don’t forget to share the #ILoveTransit love online and in print.

Yesterday we did a Facebook Live about I Love Transit as well as the data we collect with Compass. I had the please of being joined by one of our senior planners to tells us all about the data we collect and why it’s important to always tap your Compass Card.

Spoiler alert – we need the data you provide by tapping your Compass Card to make sure we’re providing the right amount of service to get you where you’re going!

Have a watch and ask us any data or I Love Transit questions you have. We’re standing by!

Author: Robert Willis

Congrats to our #Compass1Million winners!

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A few weeks ago, we hit one million active Compass Cards!

To celebrate we wanted to thank you, our customers, who embraced Compass and use it to tap, tap, tap their way across the system.

Hence the awesome #Compass1Million contest!

We had 500+ entries and the lucky eight chosen at random will receive $50 of Stored Value on their Compass Card and a nifty transit prize pack.

Congratulations to our winners!

Jason – Surrey (Twitter)
Ben – Vancouver (Instagram)
John – Port Coquitlam (Twitter)
Jeannie – Vancouver (Instagram)
Michal – Vancouver (Twitter)
Claire   (Twitter)
Katelyn – Surrey  (Facebook)
Romela – Vancouver (Twitter)

Thank you to everyone who took pictures with us out on the system, shared the photos across social channels and celebrated one million Compass Cards with us!

Did you miss this contest? Fret not!
Stay tuned to the Buzzer blog for many more contests coming up for
I Love Transit, Mark IIIs & more!

Author: Adrienne Coling