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Translink Buzzer Blog

Transit in the News – September 11, 2015

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share?
Comment below or 
email us.

Newspaper

Phoenix voters approve $31.7B transportation plan.

Envy no more: Edmonton transit cops get bikes.

Arkansas Metro transit system gets name change, new look.

Cheap bus passes for university students on agenda at Regina City Hall.

Codiac Transpo proposes more bus routes for Riverview, New Brunswick.

Downtown transit hub proposal to be unveiled next week.

The world could save save trillions with buses and bikes.

How Johannesburg’s public bus system saved South Africa 890 million.

Bombardier turned down Chinese bid for its rail unit report.

Denmark shuts rail link as Europe wrangles over refugees.

Rail ridership meets expectations with a little help.

Federal Liberals pledge $2.1 billion for Surrey light rail.

If you’re looking for interesting facts and fun stories about transit, check out our monthly Links and Tidbits series.

Author: Adrienne Coling

The September 2015 issue of the Buzzer is now on the system

Much of this issue is dedicated to Fall service changes that began September 7th.

There’s also information on Compass Card and upcoming bus anywhere with one-zone fare changes.

Details on International Walk to School Week (IWALK) can also be found in this issue.

And as always, we have our favourites – Contest Corner and Coming Events!

Happy reading! Pick it up today on the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express or you can download it here.

The next regular issue of  the Buzzer will be out in December 2015!

Author: Laura Tennant

Buy the right zone! 1-zone bus fares coming October 5th

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Beginning on October 5, 2015, the bus-only 1-zone fare will apply for all bus trips.

This means all day, every day, whether you’re using cash, FareSavers, a monthly pass or a Compass product, you’re cruising on a 1-zone fare.

Why is this happening?

With the implementation of Compass, we will be tap, tap, tapping our fares and the majority of riders on the system travel one zone.

As we move towards the Compass fare transition for all riders, extending the 1-zone rate to all hours ensures that bus customers don’t pay more than they should if they don’t tap out as they exit their bus.

Don’t worry, no one will be paying more than they do right now for their rides. In fact, with this change, many riders will be paying less per trip!

Remember! If you’re transferring onto another mode in the system like SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express, the 3-zone fares still apply before 6:30 p.m (except weekends and holidays which are 1-zone).

This means that an AddFare is required for your ticket. You can purchase this upgrade at any ticket vending machine (TVM) located in all SkyTrain stations.

Take a look at this handy chart to help you buy right!

right fare chart

You can find more information at translink.ca/onezone to help you transition to the 1-zone bus fare.

Questions? Ask away! Comment below or inquire with Customer Information on Twitter and by phone at 604.953.3333.

Author: Adrienne Coling

 

Labour Day service for September 7, 2015

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Ah those lazy summer days…. ARE ALMOST OVER!!!

Quick! Get out there and enjoy the last long weekend of the summer.

This Monday, September 7th is Labour Day and we will be operating the system on a holiday schedule.

Here is what you need to know about holiday service changes:

Buses, SkyTrain and SeaBus – will operate on the Sunday/Holiday schedule on Family Day, Monday, September 7, 2015.

West Coast Express train and TrainBus will not operate on Labour Day.

All services will be back on their regular weekday schedules, Tuesday, September 8th.

Bonus: you only have to pay one zone!

For more information, head to the Holiday Service page on our website.

This is also the start of Fall service changes. Be sure to check for any changes in your route or schedule here.

FYI: This service change is a bit different. As service changes are set to roll out on the Labour Day holiday, it means the schedule on September 7th will reflect holiday service schedule and may not show altered bus trips. So, you may not see a change in your route until Tuesday, September 8th.

Know before you go!

Use the Trip Planner to check your route and schedule times prior to leaving. The information noted here is subject to change. For the latest and most up-to-date information, bookmark translink.ca on your mobile device so you can know on the go. Customer Information can be reached at 604.953.3333 or tweet us @TransLink.

Author: Adrienne Coling

I Love Transit 2015: I Love Transit Adult Camp visits Burnaby Transit Centre!

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I Love Transit Adult Camp toured Burnaby Transit Centre yesterday to get a behind-the-scenes look at bus maintenance facilities, the trim shop and the sign making centre! We had loads of fun at BTC, learning the ins-and-outs of all thing buses. We even tried our hands at transit trivia!

Photos

Author: Laura Tennant

All you need is love…and transit!

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Annie and Mike Wedding

Annie and Mike met while waiting for the 351! (photo courtesy of Yvonne Campbell Photography)

To honour I Love Transit Week, what would be more fitting than to highlight love on transit?

Annie and Mike are one such couple that found each other while riding on our system!

The two musicians first met while waiting for the 351 Crescent Beach to head home for Christmas. Instruments in hand, the pair struck up a conversation that continued all the way to White Rock.

The relationship blossomed from there, but Annie and Mike never forgot their relationship’s transit roots.

So much so, that when the 351 service was altered after opening of the Canada Line, the couple made sure to commemorate the ride. Jumping on the very last 351 to ever run all the way to Vancouver, the pair marked their last trip by handing out homemade brownies to everyone on board!

But this was just the beginning. Transit continued to hold a special place in Annie and Mike’s heart, and even worked its way into more of their relationship milestones.

Let’s just say that Mike took it to the next level when he asked Annie to marry him on the bus!

As he tells it, last year the two were busing home for Christmas when he had the driver call Annie to the front. Mike then popped the question in front of everyone on board!

The couple were hitched earlier this year, and managed to also include transit and travel in their wedding celebration!

In awe of Annie and Mike’s tribute to love and transit, I asked them a few questions about their relationship on board.

Any guesses as to why so many of your relationship milestones happened in transit?

We both have never owned cars. We choose where to live based on where we work and near the major transit routes and bike routes. Our current apartment is right on the 99 B-Line and we can get downtown or to the SkyTrain with only a half hour bus or bike ride.

Besides your wedding photos, how did you incorporate transit into your wedding?

We mentioned on our invitations that we encouraged guests to use the 351 Bridgeport Station to be their designated driver. And of course, our ceremony was right at the end of the 351 route!

What are you up to now? Do you still take transit together?

Of course. We are both musicians and music teachers so we are always biking and transiting around the city. We just took 30 kids to Bard on the Beach on transit for the UBC music camp we ran this summer, so transit is very much a part of our work and personal lives!

UPDATE: Jarred and Nina

Nina and Jared Wedding

Nina and Jarred were married on a bus in 2013!

Riding transit has fostered more than a few romances! Jarred Greff and Nina Schmidt  also met on the bus and then tied the knot on transit! We checked in with the pair to see how married life has been treating them.

What are you two up to these days?

Since the last time we spoke with TransLink, we’ve been up to quite a lot actually. We’ve travelled to Germany, Mexico, Los Angeles, Denmark, San Francisco and Regina. We’ve also been busy with a new company that we have started in addition to our day jobs.

You mentioned you are running a business? What’s it all about?

Our company is Greff Growler and we design and manufacture insulated growler carriers that find their way to microbreweries, juiceries, cold pressed coffee shops as well as retail boutiques. My brother Scott and myself along with my wife Nina are the core of Greff Growler.

Are you two still riding transit together?  Celebrate anniversaries on the bus? (Just kidding, but you never know….)

We definitely still ride transit. However, for the summer months, our bikes are our main modes of transportation.

Author: Laura Tennant

I Love Transit 2015: Julia and Tate tell us why they love transit

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Julia and fam

Julia and her family love taking transit!

Julia Longpre reached out to the Buzzer team to tell us about her transit-going family. Although they can drive, they choose not to.

Why? Because they love transit!

Walking, taking the bus or SkyTrain is this family’s preferred way of getting around the region for work and play.

Julia has used the transit system in Vancouver for over 20 years and seen it grow while living in various places from East to West.

We sat down with Julia and her son Tate to find out more about why they choose and love transit:

Where do you take transit?

We take the SkyTrain to visit family in Surrey. We take the bus to school and I can’t wait for Tate to be able to take it by himself! It’s an important skill for kids to have. We like to head to Pacific Spirit Park and Spanish Banks beach and all over the city by bus.

What do you feel are the benefits of not owning a car?

Not owning a car was a big reason why I was able to stay home with my family. A car, parking and gas cost a lot of money each month.

I’m also a big environmentalist and I don’t feel guilty when I get out and get on public transit because I know it’s helping the environment. Plus the ease. It’s just stress free, no worrying. I love being able to sit there and just look out the window.

What would you like to see change on transit?

I don’t see a lot of kids Tate’s age on the bus. You see little kids, babies with nannies and it seems to me that really young people are taking transit and then the older people. We need to get more families on transit, that middle age group, so when the kids grow up, they’re more likely to be transit users.

Yes, like most people, I’ve missed the occasional bus or had a bus be full, but I really have no complaints about what the system is now. We just need to get more cars off the road. It makes for a much better city! We need to change the outdated attitude that public transit is somehow a less desirable option than driving.

**While Tate couldn’t decide on his favourite part of transit, he did let us know that his uncle is a bus operator and he likes being on his route!**

Stay tuned for other awesome I Love Transit stories from riders like Julia and Tate throughout the week!

Author: Adrienne Coling

Rail replacement work continues September 5-7, 2015

Jennifer at Edmonds Station speaking about rail replacement. No, we did not organize the SkyTrain to move past her perfectly timed. It just worked out that way!

Work continues this weekend as TransLink replaces major sections of its 30-year-old SkyTrain track while keeping the service open for customers. Keeping the trains running while this critical work is done during non-peak hours will mean delays for customers taking the Millennium and Expo lines this weekend.

Where is the rail being replaced? 

Last weekend (Aug.28-30) crews replaced approximately 950 linear metres of rail by Edmonds Station. The work was completed on schedule, despite high winds and a downed tree in the area where rail was replaced.

This weekend, crews will replace rail along the S-curve between Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations.

How will service be impacted? 

September 5 to 7, all day (Labour Day weekend)

  • Expo and Millennium Line service will be reduced, while crews replace rail west of Commercial-Broadway Station. Trains will single track at Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations.
  • Millennium Line will operate between VCC-Clark and Columbia stations only.
  • A frequent bus shuttle will operate between VCC-Clark, Main Street-Science World and Stadium-Chinatown stations from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Millennium Line customers travelling into or out of downtown Vancouver in the afternoon should consider using this bus service.

To minimize waits, customers are encouraged to consider alternate bus routes to reach their destinations! Thanks for your patience while we complete this necessary work! 

Author: Jennifer Morland

Vancity Buzz’s Deputy Editor Kenneth Chan tells us why he loves transit

buzzer_header_ilovetransitKenneth Chan is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Manager of Vancity Buzz. He is known for his articles on public transit, urban design, development projects and the local economy. On the side, he is the Co-Founder of the Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society, the non-profit organization that will be hosting a major public New Year’s Eve bash in downtown Vancouver at the end of this year. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Kenneth on a sunny day in Vancouver and not far from Waterfront Station.

Kenneth on a sunny day in Vancouver and not far from Waterfront Station.

“Always hold onto the hand rail, grandson.” That’s something my grandma would often say during the many times we descended down the famously long and steep escalator at Granville Station. Looking back, there was always an unexplainable childhood fear of falling and creating a domino-like tumble effect.

I was only about four or five years old at the time, but those SkyTrain trips to Chinatown and Metrotown are some of my most vivid early memories of taking public transit in Metro Vancouver. That’s how I started to become familiar with public transit, eventually growing to love it as a teenager, coupled with the endless hours I spent playing Sim City and trying to replicate the New York and Metro Vancouver regions.

I grew up near UBC and eventually studied there as well, so I’ve always understood and appreciated the conveniences of living close to a cluster of public transit services as well as school and work.

But the introduction of the 99 B-Line, which complemented the high number of local bus routes that already serve near my house, was the real game changer in making public transit a truly feasible, quick and cost-effective way to get around. This was compounded by the launch of other routes and services over the years – first the now-defunct 98 B-Line and then the Canada Line – that enabled a speedy transfer to other destinations and connections.

I’ve used public transit in dozens of other major cities, and I can confidently say that our region already enjoys a highly developed transit network that punches above its own weight when considerations are given for our relatively small population and comparisons are made with the systems found at other similarly sized North American urban regions. Is there room for improvement? Of course there is, but some context is always important.

Public transit’s feasibility as a primary mode of transportation depends on a combination of factors such as speed, frequency, convenience and network size. The larger the service area with quick transit services that are competitive with driving times and the associated high costs of car ownership, the greater the ridership haul.

A case in point is how the automobile became such a flexible and attractive mode of transportation in the Post-War years. Road networks grew exponentially in size over decades, making driving an easy way to get around.

The same case can also be made when the network size of other modes grow and improve. Vancouver is now one of the most walkable cities in North America following years of ambitious city-wide pedestrianization prioritization efforts, and a similar level of accessibility is now being attempted for cycling through a number of ambitious bike infrastructure initiatives by both municipal governments and TransLink.

In a similar way, it became exponentially more attractive to use public transit in Metro Vancouver after the opening of the Canada Line. I would even go as far as saying the Canada Line helped spark a ‘transit revolution’ of sorts; this major extension of SkyTrain, the backbone of the public transit network, drastically changed our perception of public transit and its place in the region.

Today, we want more transit and we want it now. Prior to the Canada Line, we were arguably indecisive and uncertain about transit expansion, but it’s now a ‘no brainer’ (apart from the ongoing question of how we’re going to pay for it).

With the opening of the Evergreen Line next year, imagine being able to travel from Lougheed to Coquitlam in about 15 minutes or from VCC-Clark to Coquitlam in about 35 minutes, with trains arriving every three minutes during the day. And with a potential underground extension of SkyTrain to UBC along the Broadway Corridor, imagine being able to travel from UBC to Coquitlam in just under one hour on a transfer-less one-train ride.

Transit expansion opens up so many more possibilities for the region, for where people live, work and play. Furthermore, it should be noted that these macro-level considerations are absolutely vital given just how geographically tiny and constrained the Metro Vancouver region is, to the point that our limited size demands a highly efficient transportation system that simultaneously molds efficient land use and is a catalyst for smart, dense development projects.

At the same time, the economic feasibility of a transit service is dependent on the population and employment density found along and near the route of the service. Roads, parking lots, and urban sprawl take up room that Metro Vancouver does not have – without infringing on our vast areas of agricultural land reserves, protected regional parks and forests, and other sensitive ecosystems. These are all spaces we love and take for granted.

There are negative repercussions to affordability and the economy as well as our social, health and well-being if we do not build our relatively young region in the most efficient manner.

And it all comes back to having an efficient transportation system. This is why I love transit.

Author: Laura Tennant

I Love Transit 2015: a fun-filled day at I Love Transit Camp (Kids)!

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This year’s I Love Transit Camp took campers between the ages of 8 and 12 years on a tour of SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre,  Burnaby Transit Centre and had a visit from Transit Police! The day was jam packed with all things transit and our campers got an exclusive behind the scenes look at our facilities. Here’s a peek of what we got up to!

Photos

Submissions

Author: Laura Tennant

Everything is awesome when transit meets LEGO!

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Translink Bus

There are many ways you can celebrate transit! Over the years, we’ve have transit lovers make videos, paint and even bake in the name of our system.

Tim Tosino shows his affection for transit through LEGO! He’s a member of the Vancouver LEGO Club and has built a number transit vehicles and transit related infrastructure.

He’s behind the LEGO Canada Line Station built for the 2010 opening and recently showed more of his work at the Surrey Musuem’s A Fraser Valley Odyssey running until September 19th!

To hear the story behind his work we caught up with Tim to chat about the exhibition and his LEGO transit pieces.

 1) You recently contributed to the Surrey Museum’s LEGO exhibit. Can you describe your transit pieces? How many are there and how long did it take to build them?

There are two Nova LFS busses and two GMC Community Shuttles. Each bus I worked on for a couple nights, maybe 10-12 hours on each model.

2)  Why did you choose to build transit pieces? Do you have a favourite one?

I have a modest interest in transit. I like the Nova better because I have actually been on one. I’ve never ridden a community shuttle.

3)  I’ve heard that LEGO shapes have evolved over the years to be rounded. How has that affected the types of pieces you can make?

The best curve to come out in recent years is the one that is 2 studs wide and 2/3 bricks high. I used them on top of the regular buses and on hoods of some recent vehicles.

4)  Do you plan out pieces beforehand or just build on the fly?

I might think about how to do a particularly challenging section or  sometimes I look up how other models are build on sites like Flickr, but  it’s mostly on the fly.

5)  Do you have an idea of how many pieces go into each model? Can you give me an example?

Usually I don’t count, but I would estimate at least 300-400 pieces for the GMC and 500 for the Nova.

6) Do you ride transit? If so, what part of the system do you like to ride the most?

I take the Canada Line every day to get to BCIT.

Thanks Tim for bringing our system into the LEGO dimension!

 

Author: Laura Tennant

I Love Transit Week 2015 is here! Join the love and get a chance to win a prize!

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Like a kid on Christmas morning, I am giddy with excitement to announce the official kick-off of our 7th annual I Love Transit week!

Right on the heels of our 125 anniversary of transit in the region, we’re celebrating all that is transit for Metro Vancouver.

What do we have going on? Well, take a look!

September 1: I Love Transit Camp for kids (ages 8-12) at SkyTrain Operations and Maintenance Centre and Burnaby Transit Centre.

September 3: I Love Transit Camp for adults (age 13 and up) at Burnaby Transit Centre.

September 9: Colouring contest draw – download the drawing from the print Buzzer here.

 Be sure to check out our social media channels for stories, photos, videos and lots of other exciting I Love Transit week content!
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Feeling lucky?

Why not enter the the I Love Transit contest?!

This is your chance to show the world what you love about riding buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express in Metro Vancouver.

I love transit because it helps me get me where I’m going without worrying things like gas prices or driving in gridlock traffic.

I use my commute for some “me time” whether that be reading, listening to music or enjoying the scenery whizzing past.

So, let’s get creative as you tell us why YOU love transit!

Snap a photo, write a Haiku, draw a picture, perform a song, or however you want to show transit some love then share that on social media with our hashtag.

The Prize!

  • A Monthly FareCard!
  • A cooler tote bag
  • A map
  • Buttons
  • A special secret prize!

How do I enter?

Twitter

  • Follow @TransLink and send a tweet to us that includes and completes this sentence:

@TransLink #Ilovetransit because…

  • An acceptable entry (on many levels): “@TransLink #ILoveTransit because it allows me to sleep more!”
  • Be sure to include the correct #Ilovetransit hashtag and complete the sentence to be entered
  • Accounts must be public to participate

Instagram

  • Follow @TransLinkBC and post a selfie on transit or a great photo from anywhere across the system with a caption that includes and completes this sentence:

@TransLinkBC #Ilovetransit because…

  • Please note that we’re @TransLinkBC on Instagram, not @TransLink—that’s somebody else’s account!
  • Remember to use the hashtag and not just tag us in your photo
  • Accounts must be public to participate

The Buzzer blog

  • Leave a comment on this post that completes the sentence:

I love transit because…

Rules

Check out the I LOVE TRANSIT 2015 contest terms and conditions, but here’s the lowdown:

  • The Contest will open on August 31, 2015 and all entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on September 4, 2015. Late entries will not be considered.
  • One entry per person per day for each channel. Yes, you can enter up to three times in total!
  • The FareCard will be for one, two, or three zones, depending on where the winner travels.
  • We’ll announce the winners from a random draw on the blog, Twitter and Instagram!
  • To be fair to everyone, one person cannot win all three draws. So, if we draw your name for one of the channels, you will be excluded from the other two FareCard draws.

Photos may be used in the print Buzzer, the Buzzer blog, tweeted by @TransLink, posted on the TransLink Facebook page and @TransLinkBC Instagram account.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Rail replacement is set to start August 28th!

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Riders take note! Work to replace running rail on the Expo Line is set to begin August 28th.

TransLink is replacing major sections of its 30-year-old SkyTrain track while keeping the service open for customers. Keeping the trains running while this critical work is done during non-peak hours will mean delays for customers taking the Millennium and Expo lines this weekend and next.

Where is the rail being replaced?

  • Edmonds Stations’ inbound curve west (outbound has already been completed)
  • S-curve between Commercial-Broadway and Main-Science World Station

When?

  • 11 p.m. Friday Aug. 28 to end of service Sunday, Aug. 30— Inbound curve west of Edmonds Station
  • Labour Day weekend, Sept. 5-7:—S-curve between Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World Station

How will service be impacted?

11 p.m. Friday Aug. 28 to end of service Sunday, Aug. 30:

o   SkyTrain Expo and Millennium Line service will be reduced. Trains will single track at Edmonds and Royal Oak stations.

o   Passengers should allow at least 20 minutes of extra travel time.

o   Millennium Line will operate between VCC-Clark and Columbia stations only.

o   Additional trains will operate from Waterfront to Metrotown stations only. Passengers boarding the Expo Line in Vancouver and travelling to stations east of Metrotown should wait for “King George” trains.

Labour Day weekend, Sept. 5-7

o   SkyTrain Expo and Millennium Line service will be reduced. Trains will single track at Commercial-Broadway and Main Street-Science World stations.

o   Passengers should allow at least 20 minutes of extra travel time.

o   Millennium Line will operate between VCC Clark and Columbia stations only.

o   A frequent bus shuttle will operate between VCC-Clark, Main Street-Science World and Stadium-Chinatown from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. between VCC-Clark, Main Street-Science World and Stadium-Chinatown stations. To minimize delays, Millennium Line customers travelling into or out of downtown Vancouver in the afternoon should consider using this bus service.

To minimize waits, customers are encouraged to consider alternate bus routes to reach their destinations!

 

Author: Laura Tennant

Transit in the News – August 27, 2015

A weekly section about transit making headlines around the globe. Have an article you want to share?
Comment below or
email us.

Newspaper

GO Transit adds train trips to Brampton and bolsters bus service to Pearson airport.

Reports of NYC subway assaults soar in the last year.

Grand River Transit miss the mark 20 per cent of the time.

Central Subway dig in San Francisco leaves some downtown shop owners buried.

Downtown Vancouver bus route changes contingent on Robson Street plaza.

New Azur metro trains begin daytime testing in Montreal.

Council greenlights electric buses for St. Albert, Alberta.

British parliament candidate proposes women-only subway trains.

If you’re looking for interesting facts and fun stories about transit, check out our monthly Links and Tidbits series.

Author: Adrienne Coling

Compass Tickets—Coming Soon to a SkyTrain Station Near You!

Starting this week, Compass Tickets are available at Braid, Lougheed and Sapperton stations. This marks the start of our phased roll out of Compass Tickets.

We know you’re excited about Compass, and now you can start traveling with Compass Tickets as they become available at SkyTrain stations over the next two months. Compass Cards will become available in October. Please note, Compass Tickets need to be tapped in and out, too!

You can purchase Compass Tickets at Compass Vending Machines (CVMs), which are being activated in phases. CVMs will be turned on at several stations each week between now and the end of October.

With the phased roll out of CVMs, we’re giving our customers the time and support they need to adapt to the new system. We’ll have extra staff at each station to assist people and answer questions.

In order to help customers adjust with ease, until December 31, 2015, traditional Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) will remain in place at all Millennium/Expo stations; and one cash-only TVM will remain at each Canada Line station.

Customers who already have Compass Cards can also use CVMs to load Stored Value and check their balance.

CVM with Compass Ticket dangler 01

Compass Vending Machines are now up and running at some stations!

Author: Laura Tennant