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8 things to know as Compass Beta testing wraps up: Final day of testing!


Three cheers to all our testers!

Three cheers to all our testers!

Today’s the final day of Compass Beta testing! Be sure to get in a few more taps before the test officially ends and help us finish strong. As testing comes to a close, we thought it it was fitting to recap some of the highlights of the Compass system. Here they are:

8 things to know as Compass Beta testing wraps up

1. Your data won’t be compromised. No personal information is ever stored on the card so if you lose it, you can sleep well; no one will be able to make sense of the small amount of non-personal gibberish on those cards. And if you do lose it? That leads us to #2.

2. It gives you peace of mind. If you register your card, you can take advantage of Balance Protection, so if you (or your kids) lose your card, call us to protect your balance and have it transferred to a new card.

3. It’s easy to get. Online, over the phone, at a Compass Vending machine at a station or London Drugs, at the Metrotown FareDealer Office or at the West Coast Express customer service—there are lots of options. You’ll need to pay a $6 refundable deposit, then load it up! (If you get your card from a machine, you’ll need to load at least $10 on it; when you load Concession Cards at a CVM, you’ll need to load at least $5). You can even pick up a preloaded card at one of our retailer FareDealers.

4. You can load your card in your pajamas. Really! Go online or call us to load your card up with Stored Value, a Monthly Pass or a DayPass. Venturing out? You can reload at a Compass Vending Machine at a convenient location.

5. It’s easy to use. Tap in, tap out. That’s it.

6. You can set it and forget it. Register your card and sign up to take advantage of AutoLoad. When your card balance gets too low, or your Monthly Pass expires, Compass will automatically reload your card for you so you don’t have to worry about it.

7. It’s flexible. On your way to a friend’s and then decide to get off earlier than planned? No problem! Compass will automatically calculate the correct fare for you when you tap out, making sure you don’t inadvertently pay too much.

8. Help is never far away. Online, in-person, over the phone—you can reach us and we’ll be happy to help. We know change doesn’t happen overnight and we’re here to help you through the transition and beyond. There’s lots of information, resources and outreach coming your way to make this easy and fun!


Thank you!

With your help, we gathered over half a million taps! All that information and feedback will be used to make adjustments to the Compass system before it goes live.

We hope you’ve enjoyed your Compass experience and encourage you to continue to engage with us and share your thoughts. Be sure to let your family and friends know about your experience too!

Just a reminder that your test card will be deactivated at the end of October – hold onto it as a keepsake that you were one of the first to trial the new system!

As always, please send us your final thoughts and feedback via

Thanks again for your participation and enthusiasm.


Got a Compass topic you’d like to see covered?

We’ll have lots more Compass-related blog posts in the coming months and would love your input. What would you like to see us cover? Send your suggestions to

We might use it for a future post!


  • By Simon Fourt, October 1, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

    Hi my compass card number 0164083699016963 when I tapped out today the card reader stated on the top $.0.00 on the amount taken off and on the bottom $97.34 stating remaining balance

  • By Ryan, October 1, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

    i was wondering is there a exact date of when the compass card system will launch? Thank you

  • By Steve Mahnn, October 2, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    I was wondering if there is any place on the compass card that a hole can be punched into to clip it on to a jacket or a belt, or does the whole card need to remain intact for it to function? If a hole is possible, could you let me know which part of the card would work?

  • By Pamela Findling - Buzzer Contributor, October 2, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

    Hi @Simon: Please be sure to enter your feedback at the Compass Beta Test website. That’s the best way to make sure we get it and can track it. Thanks!
    @Ryan: We’re going to be phasing in Compass, a few small groups of people at a time. The first groups of people will be able to start getting their cards late this fall. We’ll keep rolling the cards out a few groups at a time and by spring 2014, everyone should be able to get one. After that, once we’re confident in the system and our customers are comfortable, we’ll close the fare gates.
    @steve: In order to ensure the card will work, holes can’t be punched in the card. However, we’ve heard some creative ideas for carrying them. The one you might like is putting it in a sleeve that has a hole and a clip or lanyard.

  • By Reva, October 3, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

    What happens if you forget to tap out partway through a trip where you take more than one bus/train? For example: if you board the #20 bus at 41st, tap in, but forget to tap out as you exit the bus at Broadway Station, and then you tap in to get the Skytrain downtown, remembering this time to tap out as you exit Granville Station. Would the card charge you for two separate trips? Or is it smart enough to realize that you were making just one trip?

  • By John Farrell, October 3, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

    Hi Reva
    I found during the beta test that the system is smart enough to recognize that you are making a single trip. I tapped-on in North Van to the Lions Gate Bridge, then took a West Van bus with a not-in-service reader downtown, then the Canada Line. When I got off the CL at Oakridge, the system deducted an add-fare at that point, rather than deducting tha add-fare downtown as it usually had, so it apparently recognized that my trip had started in a different zone.

  • By Ryan, October 8, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

    My concern for the upcoming use of the Compass Card is with the elimination of Fare Savers. We have a lot of people at work on Sea Island who commute part time and/or work part time, and do not find it cost efficient to buy a monthly pass. With the elimination of Fare Savers, they will no longer have a prepaid fare they can use to avoid the extra $5.00 surcharge to depart Sea Island. I was testing a cash fare card for 2 zones, and my $100 was eaten up pretty quickly paying $3.50 to go to work, and $8.50 to come home. Will Translink look at an option for the many workers on Sea Island so that they do not end up giving up using transit because of the added cost without Faresavers?

  • By Pamela Findling - Buzzer Contributor, October 16, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    Hi, Ryan. Thanks for the question. We’re still in negotiations with YVR on this one, but I can tell you we are working to find a solution that works for employees on Sea Island.

  • By ;-), October 16, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

    Here’s an idea…. put a Compass reader at the 7eleven…. those who tap there first avoid the surcharge. Kinda like today where tourists head to 7eleven before going to the Canada Line.

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