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Translink Buzzer Blog

Compass Update: Big news for Monthly Pass holders!

imageThe transition to Compass is in full swing!

In fact, more than 300,000 riders now have a Compass Card with more and more people tapping every day!!

What’s next for Compass:

  • December 2015 is the last month to buy and use a paper Monthly Pass (FareCard).
  • For January, customers who want to travel with a Monthly Pass need to get a Compass Card and load a pass.
  • Customers can get a Compass Card today – December monthly passes can be loaded online starting November 16 and at Compass Vending Machines starting November 20.

What else is new?

On November 21, an additional gate will close at most Expo and Millennium Line stations as part of the transition to Compass.

This way, you can start getting used to tapping in and out with more closed gates!

Are you looking for more info? Check out


All Compass customers are reminded to tap in and tap out on rail and SeaBus to ensure they are charged the correct fare.

Not tapping out on SkyTrain, West Coast Express and SeaBus could result in additional charges and “insufficient fare” message on the next trip. This is true for Compass Monthly Passes.

On buses, you only need to tap in!

If you get an insufficient fare message, you’ll need to top up your card with Stored Value before you can continue travelling.

Check out all the ways you can learn more about Compass and get tapping!
Order cards: or 604.398.2042 or toll-free at 1-888-207-4055
View our Compass 101 video playlist:
Have questions? Ask away at!

Author: Adrienne Coling


  • By Jordan, November 18, 2015 @ 9:08 am

    Awesome. I’m actually looking forward to more gates being close; they’re a good way of knowing you actually tapped out!

  • By Juan, November 18, 2015 @ 9:13 am

    I commend this move, as it exposes the existence of monthly passes loaded onto a compass card. Apparently lots of people do not know that you can load a monthly pass onto the compass card.

    Does that necessarily mean we are looking at 100% faregates closing by Q1 2016? (Referenced from the board meeting reports)

  • By Adrienne Coling, November 18, 2015 @ 10:35 am

    Thanks for the comments Jordan and Juan!
    This is definitely an important step in the transition.
    There is no hard date for all the gates closing as we are still rolling Compass to more customer groups. Once that happens, we will close the rest!

  • By Steph, November 18, 2015 @ 10:54 am

    I still have a bunch of faresavers that I probably can’t finish by the end of the year. Are they going to be useless and I’m gona lose all my money??

  • By Rhiannon, November 18, 2015 @ 11:06 am

    I have the same question about outstanding faresavers. I thought I saw something back in the summer from Translink saying that we’d be able to somehow ‘transfer’ the outstanding faresaver dollar amounts we still had to our Compass card, but I haven’t seen anything more about this.
    Will we lose the money tied up in our faresavers or do you have a way to refund us or credit us the money?

  • By Joe, November 18, 2015 @ 7:06 pm

    Take them to Compass Customer Service at Stadium Station and they’ll credit them to your Compass Card at the Stored Value rates ($2.10 for each 1 zone faresaver, etc).

  • By Paul, November 18, 2015 @ 8:02 pm

    I’ve noticed that at Metrotown Station, there are only Compass TVM’s now. All of the old style TVM’s have been removed. This means that those with old-style paper tickets or monthly passes can already not buy an addfare if they need to upgrade their ticket at Metrotown station. I confirmed this with a Skytrain attendant when I asked him that question yesterday. I believe that Translink should advertise this more widely, such as on the buzzer blog and/or the Translink website so people are aware of this.

  • By Adrienne Coling, November 19, 2015 @ 2:55 pm

    Hi Paul, thanks for your suggestion. I will pass this along! Also, just for everyone’s information regarding old AddFare machines, the remaining TVMs for traditional fare media will only accept cash now.

  • By Captain Marvin, November 19, 2015 @ 11:52 am

    I’m assuming Faresavers will continue to be valid on buses long after they are stopped being produced. If you have it, you can use it. It will be valid for bus travel only once the gates are closed. Having said that, it’s sensible to convert 2 and 3 zone Faresavers to stored value so you don’t overpay for bus trips and to convert all Faresavers if you plan on using the Seabus and/or SkyTrain. This is my assumption so please correct me if this is not true.

  • By Adrienne Coling, November 19, 2015 @ 2:54 pm

    Hi Captain Marvin :) Yes, you got it! FareSavers will be valid on buses for the foreseeable future. However, once the gates close, it would be wise to have a Compass Card because only a Compass product can open the gates.

  • By Captain Marvin, November 19, 2015 @ 11:57 am


    It might be a bit of a pain, but if you need an add fare for a paper transfer/Faresaver you can get a zone upgrade from a bus driver.

  • By Adrienne Coling, November 19, 2015 @ 1:58 pm

    Hi again! Please don’t worry about losing any money because yes! FareSavers can be handed in to the Compass Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown station. The value of your FareSavers can be transferred onto your Compass Card as Stored Value!
    You do have the option to still use FareSavers on buses and other modes until the gates close. However, Monthly Passes will be Compass only come January.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, November 20, 2015 @ 1:39 pm

    Hi again Paul: I did some asking around about Metrotown and tradition fare machines.

    You are right that there are no longer any traditional fare machines at Metrotown. We apologize for this inconvenience, but due to the layout and construction at Metrotown Station, we aren’t able to have both old and new ticket vending machines in service at the same time. Riders in need of an AddFare have a few options:

    Customers can travel to an adjacent station (Royal Oak or Patterson) and purchase an AddFare before crossing a zone boundary.

    For FareSaver riders, we recommend they use up their FareSavers during one-zone trips or off-peak travel and purchase a Compass Card or a Compass Ticket for their current trip (please note the Stored Value rate is the same as the FareSaver rate)

    For riders who start their journey elsewhere, such as on a bus, we recommend they purchase the appropriate fare in advance of arriving at Metrotown station.

    Monthly Pass holders who regularly travel through Metrotown Station, we encourage customers to load their next month’s pass onto a Compass Card to enable add fares from all stations.

    I hope that helps!

  • By Stefan, November 20, 2015 @ 2:15 pm

    I still have OLD 2-zone FareSavers to use up, with a face value of $3.75. Are they still valid? Can I still use them?

  • By Laura Tennant, November 24, 2015 @ 9:40 am

    Hi Stefan, for the time being, you can still use your 2-zone FareSavers. Once the gates close you will no longer be able to use them, but you can trade them in at the Compass Customer Service Centre at Stadium Chinatown Station for Stored Value on your Compass Card!

  • By Captain Marvin, November 21, 2015 @ 4:03 pm

    I have a question about forgetting to “tap out”. If I forgot to tap out from SkyTrain but tapped into a bus within the 90 minute window, won’t Compass recognize how many zones I’ve travelled and charge appropriately? If this is the case, maybe it’s sensible to have an express exit from SkyTrain for those transferring to a bus and reserve tapping out for those who’s trip ends with SkyTrain/Seabus (or unsure they won’t go over 90 minutes)? Making everyone tap out at rush hour is going to be hellish at some stations so if there is a way to avoid it and still not overpay I’m all for it! And those who use the express exit and don’t transfer? Their own problem. Thanks!

  • By Captain Marvin, November 21, 2015 @ 4:06 pm

    And express exit for those also with 3-zone passes and legitimately travelled 3 zones! You can only pay so much, so if you’re already at the maximum, why make them get in que too?

  • By Captain Marvin, November 21, 2015 @ 4:08 pm

    Wouldn’t this lead to a smaller group of people needing to tap out and keep things orderly?

  • By Andrew, November 21, 2015 @ 4:35 pm

    Captain Marvin, people are forgetting to tap out as most faregates are still open. For almost all taps cards on transit systems around the world, u either have to tap and out on all transfers to make sure the correct fare is charged or its pay by individual trip. So there is no work around the tap out. If u do forget to tap out, just call Compass Customer Service to fix it.

  • By Captain Marvin, November 21, 2015 @ 11:57 pm


    I understand why people are forgetting to tap out of SkyTrain. Just curious if tapping into a bus will essentially force a tap out of SkyTrain? If I travel by SkyTrain from Waterfront to Main Street and don’t tap out but tap into a 3 Main for example, will Compass realize it’s impossible for me to have travelled more than 1 zone? Essentially I can’t be present on a bus on Main Street and be in Surrey at the same time. Just wondering if that’s a logical line of thought in the world of Compass?

  • By Andrew, November 22, 2015 @ 2:45 pm

    Captain Marvin, the compass readers on all buses are programmed for 1 zone now therefore it is not able to credit back the difference if u tapped in on Skytrain first but didn’t tap out. Before October 5 when compass readers on buses were still programmed for 3 zones, if u forgot to tap out on Skytrain, then the force tap out would work and u be credited back the difference.

  • By Stefan, November 24, 2015 @ 12:44 pm

    Thanks, Laura. I transitioned to working at home earlier this year, and suddenly I have all these unused multi-zone FareSavers that aren’t even required any more if I’m just hopping the bus somewhere!

  • By Raymond, November 25, 2015 @ 8:33 am

    What time does my monthly pass expire on my compass card? is it 4:00 am?

  • By Captain Marvin, November 25, 2015 @ 12:06 pm


    I’m sure it’s the last day of the month’s service day. The last Nightbus basically. The November pass should be good for Nightbuses from the November 30 service day although you are on the calendar day December 1. Once you tap into a bus without the “N” in the route number on December 1 morning, you’ll need a December pass, or stored value.

  • By Raymond, November 26, 2015 @ 5:55 pm

    if a compass card can still tap in in the bus? does that mean its not damaged.

  • By Raymond, November 26, 2015 @ 5:58 pm

    What if i have two zone faresaver tickets, can i turn those into compass customer service centre too?

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