Fare gates are finally to close at all stations and stay that way – at least most of the time – starting this week.

All B.C. Bus Pass users to get Compass cards

Fare gates close at all SkyTrain stations in Metro Vancouver this week

Low-income seniors and people with disabilities who have the provincially subsidized BC Bus Pass will also be issued a Compass card, giving them unlimited use of the Metro Vancouver transit system, even if they live outside the region.

About 80,000 pass holders who live within the TransLink area previously got Compass cards that give them continued unlimited transit access, but the provincial government says it is now mailing Compass cards to 18,000 other BC Bus Pass users who live elsewhere in B.C.

Most of the use is expected to be by pass holders in outlying regions like the Fraser Valley or Vancouver Island who come to Metro for medical appointments or to visit family.

Sunday’s announcement came as TransLink begins closing all fare gates this week, requiring Compass cards or tickets to board SkyTrain. Bus transfers and FareSavers no longer work.

By Friday, all gates at the 50 SkyTrain and Seabus stations are to generally be kept closed, ending the practice in recent weeks of keeping one gate open at each station to ensure access for people with disabilities.

TransLink has promised to instead staff most of the stations at peak times and keep a gate open when staff can’t be present to assist those in specialized wheelchairs who can’t tap in themselves.

Spokesperson Jennifer Morland said there may be larger numbers of stations with a gate left open at night when there are fewer staff on shift.

This week marks the final step in the Compass card rollout, which went over budget and was repeatedly delayed due to performance problems.

SkyTrain stations had been ungated since the original Expo Line opened in 1985, leading to recurring concerns over the years about fare evasion and security on the system.

Morland said the vast majority of passengers arriving at gated stations Monday morning already had Compass cards and staff only had to assist relatively small numbers with buying Compass tickets from vending machines.

The first stations to be gated Monday included Lougheed, as well as a few other stations in Burnaby, New Westminster and on the Canada Line.

“Each day we’ll be adding an additional 10 stations,” Morland said. “By Friday all of the stations will have closed gates.”

About 750,000 transit users now have Compass cards.

TransLink won’t lose fare revenue from extending more Compass access to holders of BC Bus Passes, which cost eligible seniors $45 a year. The provincial government is to absorb any increased costs.

The Compass card addition is separate from the change to the transit pass policy for people on provincial disability assistance that takes effect Sept. 1. The monthly disability payment, currently $906 for a single person, rises by $77 a month. A $52 per month charge takes effect for people who opt to continue to receive monthly passes for unlimited transit use.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ELECTION: Libertarian Alex Joehl to run in Langley East

Second provincial run by Murrayville resident

Langley Township’s Adastra Lab breaks local cannabis mold with extraction development

CEO Andrew Hale said changing market is leading to larger demand for distillate products

BC Green Party announces candidate for Abbotsford South

Former provincial and municipal candidate Aird Flavelle seeks election

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

LETTER: Langley City resident on bandwagon over 208th Street traffic problems

Another resident is voicing an opinion about traffic in the area of 208th Street and 48th Avenue

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Another death as COVID-19 outbreak at Delta Hospital climbs to 18 cases

Total of 12 patients and six staff in one unit have tested positive for COVID-19: Fraser Health

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Most Read