August 15, 2013 12:03 pm

Translink defends decision about Compass Cards and bus tickets

Translink issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon, defending their decision to not allow bus transfers from cash to be used on the SkyTrain, once the new Compass Card comes into effect.

The announcement drew anger from transit users, saying it is unfair they will be forced to buy a Compass Card single-use fare for the SkyTrain if they first paid for their bus ticket with cash.

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Translink says it would have cost $25 million to upgrade the fare boxes on the buses, and it is just too expensive to do so. The fare machines would need to be converted to dispense Compass Card compatible tickets.

In a statement on Wednesday, they said the easiest way to travel across the system will be to use a Compass Card. “When you use a Compass Card, you will be able to transfer between all transit modes, including bus and rail, easily as well as enjoy the many other additional benefits of Compass, including a discount of up to 14 per cent over cash fares.”

Translink says bout 6,000 customers a day will be affected by this change once the card rolls out in the fall.

But many more have reacted with anger at this news.

A petition, asking CEO Ian Jarvis to ‘Stop The Double Tranist Fee’ has almost reached its 1,500 signature goal since it was started on Wednesday.

On Reddit Wednesday night, a user posted a spreadsheet looking at when it is and is not worth buying a monthly pass for transit.

People also took to social media:

Translink says their approach to the Compass Card is used in many major cities around the world – for example London and Paris systems also do not let users use cash bus to rail transfers.

“We determined that converting bus fareboxes to issue passes that would access the fare gates would cost about $25 million, is not a cost-effective solution, and would take a long time to implement. In focus groups, our customers told us they would prefer we not spend the money on replacing the fareboxes and instead focus on significant rider education in advance of the change being made in order to give customers plenty of time to get a Compass Card (that will facilitate the transfer to the rail system). In addition, there will be an extended transition period for our customers,” they said in a statement.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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