Translink Compass card rollout facing lengthy delays

Translink says it still has no firm date for when the $194 million Compass card system will be available to the general public.

The system is already millions over its $194.2 million budget and almost one year behind schedule. That’s already up from the original budget of $171.3 million. Now, Translink is asking for an additional $5.5 million from the federal gas tax fund.

One of the biggest problems still being sorted out is the transaction time for transit users when they “tap on” and “tap off” from buses.

The company that provides the Compass card system, Cubic Transportation Systems, is the target of several lawsuits in the U.S. alleging that users were charged multiple times for a single trip. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Translink says cards will be made available for customers in phases, and the system will only launch fully when they feel it’s ready for the general public.

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“For the West Coast Express customers, our current target is for the end of the summer,” says Mike Madill, vice-president of Translink Enterprise Initiatives. “We will be doing another readiness assessment next month, and should have an update at that time in terms of timeframes.”

Translink’s Compass card system was originally supposed to launch in Spring 2013.

WATCH:  TransLink VP Mike Madill talks to Global News about the Compass card delays