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Days #5-8 of Compass Beta Testing


Some statistics so far:

  • Number of Compass Cards in use: 8,144
  • Total number of taps (as of September 16): 234,343
  • Number of routes used: 220
  • Number of buses used: 1,465
Compass vending machine

Pamela testing a new Compass Vending Machine!

Yesterday, I was back at Templeton Station to do some small group tests of the Compass system. The testers who volunteered to meet us there were able to try out the Compass Vending Machines and the fare gates.

We got valuable feedback from them and are looking forward to more upcoming similar small tests (watch your email to see if you’ve been randomly selected to receive an invite).

A few of us also spent some time looping through the fare gates to test how they would work with lots of people going through quickly. As designed, the gates simply stayed open during taps—you don’t need to wait for the gate to close behind the person in front of you, you simply tap in and walk through.

Wondering what would happen if you tap in and then pass your card back to the person behind you so she can go through too? We tested that, and sure enough, we got a message saying that the card was already tapped.

And while it’s possible someone could simply follow you in without tapping, just like now, that person would be considered to be on the system without valid fare and subject to a fine.

Did you know?  The Compass Card will replace over 150 types of fare passes currently in use!

Beta tester feedback: We’ve had thousands of comments sent to us through the Beta Tester feedback website! While we can’t respond to all of them, we are reading through them and are already investigating some of the things you’ve been telling us about.

One of the things some of you have told us: you’re not big fans of the screen colours. In some light, the screens can be hard to read. This is great feedback and our team is already looking into other options.

1 Comment

  • By neil21, September 17, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

    This has been mischaracterised by some as “fare gates stay open at busy times”.

    As anyone who’s used HK’s Octopus or London’s Oyster will know, it’s not that the gates just stand open, but that they don’t have to close between short-interval taps.

    The noise of London rush hour is the gates repeatedly smacking open as the flow of tappers is just a little too slow for them not to bother starting to close at all.

    To sneak through you’d have to be *really* friendly with the person in front. And of course you can always jump over them. Basically, most people don’t.

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