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10 essential tips and tricks for commuting to and from live events

10 essential tips and tricks for commuting to and from live events

Passengers walkthrough Compass fare gates.

Our transit system offers the perfect way to get to concerts, sports games and other live events! With services and tools to make every commute easier, we’re here to help get you to the people and places that matter most. Here are the top tips and tricks to make taking transit to events go smoothly.

1. Pay for your transit fare using your contactless credit card

Our Compass Card readers accept contactless American Express, Mastercard, and Visa credit cards along with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

All you need to do is tap your card or device on the card reader to pay and enter the system. Just remember to tap your card not your wallet! This is the easiest way to avoid lines at the Compass Vending Machines after an event. Learn more at translink.ca/taptopay.

2. Use a Compass Card for discounted rates

Fares paid using a contactless credit card are charged at the adult, cash rate, while a Compass Card uses the Stored Value rate. A one-zone adult fare is $2.45 on Stored Value with a Compass Card compared to $3.05 cash.

Setup AutoLoad and never run low on Stored Value on your Compass Card, or load Stored Value at a Compass Vending Machine on your way to the event. Please note that online top-ups can take up to two hours to become available, whereas Compass Vending Machine top-ups are available immediately.

3. Pre-purchase your return Compass Ticket

Paying by cash, debit or credit at a Compass Vending Machine? Pre-purchase your return Compass Ticket to avoid lines at the Compass Vending Machines when venues let out and stations get busy. The Compass Ticket expires at the end of the service day.

Whether you’re paying for your fare using a Compass Card or a contactless credit card, each rider needs their own card as proof of payment unless you are a child 12 and under who’s travelling with a fare-paying customer.

4. Tap-in only on buses, tap in and out on SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express

There’s no need to tap out on buses, which are a one-zone fare.

If you’re paying by cash on bus, you will be issued a paper transfer, which allows you to transfer between buses, but not to the SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express. Pay for your fare using a Compass Card or contactless credit card to seamlessly transfer across all modes during the 90-minute transfer window.

5. Catch a ride from the NightBus District

Just got out of a late-night event and need a reliable ride home? Starting around 2 a.m., all NightBus routes will leave from one central downtown location. The NightBus District is located at the intersection of West Georgia and Granville Street, where you can wait comfortably in a central and well-lit environment.

Buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes, seven nights a week. With ten routes across Metro Vancouver the NightBus will get you home when you need it most.

6. Plan your trip and check Transit Alerts

Our Trip Planner is a foolproof method for planning any transit excursion. All you have to do is input your starting location and where you want to go. The system automatically finds you a route, complete with a map, transfer instructions, and total travel time. Best practice is to plan your route ahead of time to ensure a quick and easy commute home after your event.

7. Combine transit with taxi and ride hailing

If you’re planning on taking a taxi or a ride hailing service home, why not combine it with transit? Utilizing our system and then calling for a ride will save you money and help avoid lengthy waits for drivers to become available.

8. Park and Ride

Maybe you prefer to drive to your event but don’t want to go through the hassle of parking downtown. Our Park and Ride system has parking lots in convenient locations across Metro Vancouver. These lots all have easy access to transit so you can head to your event with no lost time.

9. Utilize your bike with transit

Combing cycling with transit is an easy way to get your event quickly! If you cycle to a station there are three ways to park your bike:

  • Bike Parkades: indoor facilities for customers with multiple bike racks inside.
  • Bike Lockers: a reserved locker for your bike.
  • Bike Racks: outdoor racks for locking your bike up.

Our bike parking guide has maps of our lockers and parkades so you can find the one most convenient for you.

10. Brush up on the schedule and see if there’s room to ride

Next Bus is a quick way to look up departure, real time, or scheduled times for a specific bus stop and bus route. Simply go to translink.ca/next-bus and input your route number for a short rundown of helpful info.

We’re also working with Transit app to predict bus capacities across our network. The predictions are based on historical trends and automated passenger count data. Just download the app, search for your route and the systems will tell you how full the bus is. Finding out if there’s space on your bus ahead of time is a great way to plan your route and avoid crowds.