The same day Metro Vancouver voters rejected a new tax to pay for transit improvements, the interim CEO of TransLink, Doug Allen, is defending the region’s troubled Compass Card, making no apologies for the slow roll-out.
Metro Vancouver’s Compass Card, was supposed to be in place two years ago.
The nearly-200-million-dollar program is more than 20-million dollars over-budget.
“It takes time. You do it on a phased basis and you do it responsibly and that’s precisely what we’re doing.”
Doug Allen says by the end of the summer, 230-thousand people will be using the tap card.
“We’ve done this incrementally; we’ve done it in phases. We’ve looked at what happened in Chicago. We’ve followed what happened in Sydney. I just look at West Coast Express in the last month. I thought it rolled out exceptionally well.”
Allen admits mistakes have been made.
“There isn’t a transit system that I’m aware of anywhere in the world that’s put together a Compass Card equivalent in three years. Did we make a mistake in 2013 saying we could do it in three? Yes.”
A similar program in Calgary has now been cancelled three years after it was slated to start.