Problems may have plagued TransLink’s Compass Card this past weekend, with people having difficulty reloading the fare card online or getting technical assistance on the help line.
But everything appears to be working well for the first weekday commute under the new system.
After months of hearing about it, and being reminded to tap in and tap out, the Compass card is now a reality for most transit users — with monthly passes now included. TransLink says about 100,000 people have now loaded up one of the cards with a monthly pass.
READ MORE: Compass Card roll out: What you need to know
Most of the fare gates are also now closed, except for one designated for people using FareSaver tickets, although many people were still popping through without those paper passes.
Vice-president in charge of the project Lloyd Baur says the big challenge now is getting commuters used to tapping in and out.
“It’s a habit-change for a lot of people as well. Our customers are not used to having a tap as they are walking through the gates, so there is a habit change and a behaviour change we’re trying to make sure people are aware of.”
Baur is also asking HandyDart users to be patient with the Compass roll out, which so far isn’t in place on the service. He says TransLink is working with working with Access Transit to keep them moving.
“In the mean time if they’re HandiDart customers they’ll continue to use their FareSavers, and their monthly fare products. And if they’re HandyCard customers, they’re using the concession cards.”
Card loading problems
Baur also responded to reports of customers having problems loading cash onto their monthly cards. This after people reported delays of several hours this weekend after activating their cards.
He says having 70,000 people activate their cards over the weekend likely added to the problem.
“That’s caused — and we know because we’ve seen it — frustration for our customers,”
“We’re working hard to respond to those questions or what people have, we’re also working with our contractor and looking at what we need to do to be able to reduce that down.”
Baur is recommending people wait 2 hours between loading the card and using it, but some of our listeners say they’ve waited longer than that before the balance is updated.
TransLink says almost 16 million Compass taps were registered in December.
You can get a Compass Card online, by phone, at London Drugs and at vending machines at Skytrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express stations.