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Translink Buzzer Blog

Category: Compass Card and Faregates

TransLink launches Compass Mini

Adult and concession Compass Minis go on sale on December 6 at Stadium–Chinatown Station’s Compass Customer Service and Waterfront Station’s West Coast Express office.

Tapping with Compass has never been more convenient! We’re introducing Compass Mini as another way to pay for transit in Metro Vancouver. Compass Mini looks just like a small Compass Card that attaches easily to keychains and backpacks.

“The launch of Compass Mini is a part of our commitment to enhance the customer experience,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Compass Wristbands have been a real hit and I’m sure customers will enjoy the convenience and practicality of the new Compass Mini.”

Compass Mini works the same as the Compass Card and Compass Wristband. Tap in and out when travelling on transit and reload online at a Compass Vending Machine, by phone or in person.

During its initial release, 5,000 adult Compass Minis and 2,500 concession Compass Minis will be available starting on December 6. Read more »

TransLink’s 12 Days of Giveaways: win Compass Wristbands and Science World tickets

12 Days of Giftmas - Day 4

We’re back for another day of TransLink’s 12 Days of Giveaways Giftmas!

Today, we want you to take a peek inside The Science Behind Pixar, experience Nikon’s Small World art display, or catch an immersive film on the worlds largest OMNIMAX dome by partnering TELUS World of Science with a pair of general admission tickets to Science World AND a pair of adult Compass Wristbands each with $20 in Stored Value, so you can take transit to get there!  Read more »

Tap into style with Compass Wristbands

Compass Wristbands

We know transit takes you to school, work, and everywhere in between. To help make Metro Vancouver’s transit system a little more convenient, we’re introducing Compass wristbands. A wearable Compass Card made of food grade silicone that you wear on your wrist!

To gauge public interest in Compass wristbands, we’re doing a limited release of 1,000 adult wristbands and 1,000 concession wristbands starting December 3. Compass wristbands work the same as Compass Card—tap in and out when travelling on transit and reload online, at a Compass Vending Machine, by phone or in person.

There’s no cost for the Compass Wristbands, however just like a Compass Card, your Compass Wristband includes a $6 refundable deposit that will live on the wristband. Remember to tap the part of the wristband that displays the contactless symbol or your tap won’t work. Read more »

#CanadaRemembers – honouring veterans with commemorative Compass Cards

Remembrance Day Compass Cards

The POPPY DESIGN is a registered trademark of The Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command and is used under licence.

This Remembrance Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

We are proud to launch two variations of a limited edition, commemorative Compass Card in honour of all Canadian veterans who have served our country.

Adult Compass Cards, adorned with an illustrated poppy design, will be available until supplies last in Compass Vending Machines at 25 SkyTrain stations across the system.

Look for the Remembrance Day-branded sign atop vending machines or contact Customer Information (604-953-3333) to find out where cards are still available.

They will also be available at Stadium–Chinatown Station’s Compass Customer Service and the West Coast Express office at Waterfront Station.

Read more »

[CLOSED] Listen and take this poll to choose the best Morgan Freeman Tap to Pay announcement on transit!

In light of information we’ve learned through news stories on May 24, 2018, of serious allegations against actor Morgan Freeman, TransLink has decided to pause his voice announcements as part of a VISA ad campaign on the transit system. We will be reaching out to VISA to discuss further.

– TransLink Media Relations

If you’re of the 35% of poll respondents who opt not to listen to anything while traveling on transit, you’ve likely heard a familiar voice during your commute. In celebration of Tap to Pay launching on May 22, 2018, you will now hear Morgan Freeman welcoming SkyTrain and bus riders into Vancouver by sharing some fun facts, etiquette reminders and a heads up that you can now Tap to Pay with your contactless Visa and Mastercard credit card or Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay at Compass Card readers across the system.

Read more »

Traveling on transit just got easier!

Hey Metro Vancouver! As of May 22, 2018, you have more ways to pay for your transit trip!  You can now tap your contactless Visa or Mastercard Credit Card along with Apple, Google and Samsung Pay for your adult cash fare to get you from A to B on transit!

No more ticket line-ups, finding exact change or worrying about determining how many zones you intend to travel through. Just make sure to tap your intended payment method separate from your wallet to ensure the correct card is charged.
Already love your Compass Card? No worries! Keep using your Compass Card on the system to ensure that you are receiving the maximum discounted fare.

Watch our live stream for a full recap of the event.

For more information on Tap to Pay, check out translink.ca/taptopay

Will you pay with a contactless Visa or Mastercard Credit Card or stick to your Compass Card?

Author: Sarah Kertcher

5 things you need to know about Tap to Pay launching on May 22

Get ready…Tap to Pay launches on May 22! That means Compass Card readers will accept contactless Visa® and Mastercard® credit cards as a convenient way to pay an adult, cash fare. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay with a Visa® and Mastercard® credit card linked will also be accepted. Please note: card readers will not accept debit cards, including Debit Mastercard and Visa Debit cards.

Here are five things you need to know to get ready:

1. Tap your card, not your wallet

Tap only the card you intend to pay with, whether it’s a Compass Card or a contactless Visa® and MasterCard® credit card. This ensures the correct card is charged once the technology goes live.

If more than one payment card is presented at a card reader through tapping a wallet or any item with multiple cards inside, the system will charge the first card it detects, which may not be the one you intended for payment. Read more »

Tap your card, not your wallet


Today, TransLink launched a campaign across our system to educate our customers on an important behaviour – they should tap their Compass Card, not their wallet or a phone case with multiple cards inside!

The campaign sets the stage for the introduction of new convenient, payment options coming later this spring. Customers will soon be able to tap a contactless Visa or Mastercard credit card or mobile wallet on our card readers to pay their fare – “Tap to Pay!”

No wallet-tapping!

We’re reminding customers to tap only the card they wish to use to pay their fare. After the new technology is launched, tapping a wallet, phone case, backpack or purse – any item that holds multiple cards – could result in the unintended card being charged. Don’t be a “wallet-tapper” – change your behaviour and let your friends and family know, too.

Next steps

The launch of this new technology is still a few months away. In the meantime, we’re excited about the difference this will make for our customers, especially tourists and other infrequent riders. “Tap to Pay” means no more ticket line-ups, digging for change, or worrying about fare zones.

Compass Card donation bins expand to YVR Airport and Burrard stations

We’ve expanded the Compass Card donation bin program to include YVR Airport Station on the Canada Line and Burrard Station on the Expo Line!

TransLink is expanding the reach of a program that taps into the generosity of its customers by turning unwanted Compass Cards into transit passes to help families and children in need.

Read more »

Universal Fare Gate Access Program launches


Transit customers who are not able to tap a Compass Card at fare gates due to a disability will now have greater access to the SkyTrain system with the launch of the Universal Fare Gate Access Program.

The program, the first of its kind to our knowledge globally, provides participants with radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards that will automatically send a signal to RFID readers located above designated accessible fare gates. The fare gate will open when the card comes within range and close once the customer passes through.

As of today, more than 40 per cent of SkyTrain stations have been outfitted with RFID technology. All SkyTrain and SeaBus stations will be equipped with this technology by the end of the year.

We’ve chosen a phased roll out so we can begin restoring access to the system as soon as possible. A phased approach also allows us to take customer feedback and make adjustments to the system as we go, which gives us the best opportunity to get this right.

It’s important to us that this customer group have the same travel experience as our other customers. This unique, locally-developed solution, allows those enrolled in this program to use the same fare gates as everyone else to independently travel the system as they please.

This technology, which was designed by TransLink and implemented in partnership with Vancouver-based Hyperlight Systems, is at the forefront of the industry. World-wide, no other transit authority (to our knowledge) offers fully-automated, touchless access to a gated transit system.

For information on the program and how it can best benefit you, please call 604.953.3698 or email opengates@translink.ca. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

#ThanksABillion for one billion Compass taps!

It’s time to celebrate!! We are quickly approaching ONE BILLION Compass taps across the system and we want to commemorate this special occasion and to thank YOU, the Compass user, we have an exciting contest where you could win one of ten, special edition #Canada150 Compass Cards loaded with $50 in Stored Value! 

Update: Around 8:30 a.m. on August 24, 2017, a customer who boarded a bus on the 100 22nd Station/Marpole Loop tapped in on the bus’s mobile validator to record the billionth tap since the Compass system was first switched on for testing in September 2013! Read more »

Contest: Show us your Canada for a chance to win a #Canada150 Commemorative Compass Card!

Happy 150th birthday Canada! ?????? Celebrate by getting a limited edition commemorative compass card ??

A post shared by Megan | Vanfoodventures (@vanfoodventures) on

Hey Metro Vancouver. We LOVE that you LOVE the new, limited edition #Canada150 Compass Cards! In fact, you love them so much that you’ve bought out SIX of 16 Compass Vending Machine locations around the region in just 24 hours! 

As of July 4, #Canada150 commemorative Compass Cards have sold out. 

Read more »

Celebrate Canada’s 150th with a commemorative #Canada150 Compass Card!

Canada 150

These limited edition Compass Cards are available starting June 22 until supplies last

On July 1, our fair land will be celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

That’s just a fancy way of saying Happy 150th Canada!

To mark this momentous occasion, TransLink is releasing 20,000 special, limited edition Canada 150 Adult Compass Cards.

These cards will be available on June 22 at Compass Vending Machines in select SkyTrain Stations. To find a location nearest you check our interactive map.

**Look for Canada 150 decals on CVMs**

#Canada150 Commemorative Compass Card

Commemorative Compass Cards will also be available at the Compass Customer Service Centre located at Stadium–Chinatown Station open on Canada Day from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. while supplies last. Limit one per person.

Get yours before they’re gone and celebrate Canada’s 150th by tap, tap, tapping in style!

Want to win your way into the celebration? Stay tuned for details on how you can win your very own #Canada150 Commemorative Compass Card!

Celebrate Canada Day in person and online!
Use the hashtag #Canada150 to share your celebration moments with people across the country!

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Donate your Compass Card to a great cause!

Compass Card Donation Bins

Moving people is what we do, and now through a new initiative with a long standing partner, the United Way Lower Mainland (UWLM), you can help!

Simply donate your new or semi-used, unregistered Compass Cards into one of our donation kiosks located around Vancouver. There are currently five donation kiosks for customers to donate their unregistered Compass Cards:

Canada Line kiosks

  1. Waterfront Station
  2. Vancouver City Centre
  3. Broadway–City Hall

Expo Line kiosks

  1. Granville Station (Dunsmuir exit)
  2. Compass Customer Service Centre (Stadium–Chinatown Station)

We hope to install more donation kiosks in the coming months at key locations around Metro Vancouver where customers are likely to tap in to their generosity and support this program and the United Way.

Transit plays an important role in helping people live full successful lives, whether it’s going to work,  job interviews, healthcare appointments or other activities that enrich their lives.

“Some of the region’s most vulnerable populations are reliant on both United Way funded programs and services – and on TransLink,” said Cathy McLay, CFO and EVP, Finance and Corporate Services, TransLink. “I am extremely proud of this new initiative and the ongoing commitment employees across the TransLink enterprise display to our United Way campaigns each year.”

To donate a Compass Card, simply deposit the unregistered Compass Card into your nearest donation kiosk. You can unregister your existing Compass Card by calling Compass Customer Service at 604-398-2042 or by visiting the Compass Customer Walk in Centre. Both the deposit and balance of unregistered Compass Cards will be converted to Compass Tickets for distribution by UWLM to selected agencies working directly with those in need.

Author: Sarah Kertcher

Compass Stored Value Minimum Load Drops to $5!

You’ve asked, and we’ve listened!

We’re happy to announce that we have lowered the minimum Stored Value load amount for Adult Compass Cards at Compass Vending Machines (CVM)! Customers can now load Adult Compass Cards at a CVM and select a minimum Stored Value of $5! This change was based on feedback received from you, our customers, requesting a lower minimum Stored Value than the original $10.

This change applies only to Stored Value at a Compass Vending Machine. When loading Stored Value online, customers can choose from a number of set options starting at $10, or can choose to “pay balance” to bring a negative balance back up to zero. Minimum Stored Value load amount for Concession Compass Cards remains at $5.

For customers wishing to load an amount outside of the set CVM, online or phone parameters, a Compass Customer Service staff member at our walk in centre located at Stadium–Chinatown Station can help. For added convenience, customers add AutoLoad to their Compass Card directly from their bank accounts to automatically renew monthly passes or to top-up Stored Value using this form.

Author: Sarah Kertcher