If your public transit trip starts with a bus ride and you forget your Compass Card in your other coat pocket at home, it’s going to cost you if you need to transfer on to a SkyTrain.
That’s because those paper transfers issued on a bus are no longer valid to get on to the Skytrain system.
And there’s no way to trade them in for a Compass Day pass.
Instead, riders are expected to cough up another fare.
This despite the fact that the Conditions of Use on bus transfers till read they’re valid for SkyTrains.
TransLink’s new CEO Kevin Desmond says its a common approach for transit systems throughout the world once they go to automated fare systems.
“The decision was made some time ago that once TransLink would move to a fully automated system, that the only way to get the free transfer between bus and rail was to use the Compass Card.”
Desmond says they’ve been communicating that throughout the transition.
But some recent Facebook posts would indicate the message isn’t getting through to everyone.
When the Drex Live show posted a story yesterday about TransLink’s disability access plan, one commenter vented their frustration about the incompatibility between the two systems.
Not everyone was sympathetic to the complaint though.
When asked if the new rules have been properly communicated, Desmond they’ll have to look at it, but so far he thinks most transit users are aware of the new rules.
“The fact that so many of our transactions, 94%, are already accomplished by Compass Card in a very quick period of time in ramping up the Compass system, definitely suggests to me that a very good communication about what Compass is about, and how to get Compass Cards, has been achieved here.”
Desmond also said that continuous reinforcement of how the system works is still important so people continue to understand how the Compass system works.
As far as the Conditions of Use on the back of the transfer?
“If it says it’s valid for transfer to the rail, then we need to change that.”
What won’t change is that bus transfers are no longer valid for SkyTrains.
How other transit systems work
Bus ticket works as proof of purchase for transferring between buses and trains:
Fare gates, but bus transfers work on trains if shown to subway attendant:
- San Francisco
No transfers between buses and trains without buying a second ticket:
- New Yok