I’m writing this article because I’ve found the transition to the Compass Card really confusing.
Here’s my interview with MVT Consumer Canadian Bus Advocate Linda McGowan.
Hopefully this will also help you, too.
How do you get a card?
A Compass Card can be purchased at any Skytrain station; at a select number of London Drugs that are located not near a Skytrain station; at the Compass Card office at Stadium Station; at FareDealers e.g. Safeway.
How does the card connect to the HandyCard?
The benefits of a HandyCard remain unchanged. Holders of a HandyCard can travel on Skytrain, SeaBus, Bus with an attendant who travels free of charge.
The first person going through should go slow to make sure you both get through.
There are lasers that measure how fast you go. Fare gates will remain open long enough for 2 people to pass through.
In addition to your Compass Card, you must have your HandyCard in your possession when travelling with an attendant.
HandyCard holders are entitled to purchase Taxi Savers.
What are the fares?
Concession fares are not accepted on HandyDART. The fare on HandyDART is $2.75 cash for all zones.
Tickets can be purchased from the HandyDART driver. They cost $21 for 10 tickets.
For those travelling on Skytrain or SeaBus with a Compass Card, concession fares will be charged from your stored value ($1.75 for 1 zone; an additional $1 for 2 zones; additional $1 for 3 or more zones).
How does a person accompany you on the Skytrain?
For those who have a HandyCard, your attendant on Skytrain, SeaBus, Bus is free. You must have your HandyCard in your possession.
What if you need help on the Skytrain or at a station?
There is a red phone in every station. When it is picked up, you will be immediately connected to Skytrain assistance.
If you are on the Skytrain and you need assistance, there is a yellow strip below the window. Push on the yellow strip.
An attendant will enter your car at the next station (the car will flash a light for the attendant who will then know which car to enter).
How does the Compass Card transfer from Skytrain to Bus to SeaBus to HandyDART?
As you transfer from Skytrain to Bus to SeaBus, you must tap your card (once as you enter a bus; twice on a train- as you enter and exit; twice on a SeaBus- as you enter and exit).
Compass Cards are Smart Cards!
Compass Cards are not accepted on HandyDART. FareSaver tickets, $21 for 10 tickets can be purchased from the HandyDART driver.
If your trip begins on HandyDART and includes a transfer to SeaBus or SkyTrain, the HandyDART driver will exchange your FareSaver for a Compass ticket.
If your trip begins on SkyTrain or SeaBus and includes a transfer to HandyDART, the HandyDART portion of your trip is free.
What is tapping?
As you enter a Skytrain, Bus, SeaBus there is a flat place to place your card that registers that you have paid your fare. This is called “tapping” your card.
How do I buy one ticket?
A Compass ticket can be purchased at any Skytrain Station (for 1 trip). It is valid until 4:00 am on the day of purchase.
If a Compass ticket is purchased at London Drugs, it is valid for 30 days but expires at 4:00 am on the day of your first tap.
Do Day Passes still exist?
Yes, Day Passes can be purchased at London Drugs, FareDealers or at Skytrain Stations ($7.50 concession fare; $9.75 full fare). A Day Pass can be purchased at any Skytrain Station.
It is valid until 4:00 am on the day of purchase. If a Day Pass is purchased at London Drugs, it is valid for 30 days but expires at 4:00 am on the day of your first tap.
What if I have FareSaver tickets left over?
FareSaver tickets can be returned at the Compass Card office at Stadium Station. Their value will be credited to your Compass Card.
Linda McGowan is the Consumer Advocate for MVT Canadian Bus Inc. She helps everyone who takes Translink and Skytrain to have safe trips.
She works in the Lower Mainland of BC. She is also an amazing safeguard helping and watching out for people.
No transit challenge is too great for Linda! She can be reached at linda.McGowan@mvtcanada.com or 778 772-4431.