Compass Card glitch may lead TransLink to implement 1-zone fare system for buses

TransLink Compass Card

The current three-zone fare system on Metro Vancouver’s bus network could be abolished and replaced with a single zone fare system following TransLink’s continuing troubles with the “tap-out” component of the Compass Card on mobile card readers in buses.

According to CTV, it is an option that the transportation authority is considering following major delays with the full implementation of the smart card payment infrastructure and fare gate operations.

A single-zone fare would be an interim measure to allow for the rollout of the Compass Card while TransLink and Cubic Transportation Systems, the smart card infrastructure contractor and operator, works out the glitches with distance-base zone travel fare payment.

At this time, it is not known what the single zone fare price will be. However, TransLink’s Compass Card will not be the only transit fare payment system to utilize a single-zone fare for its bus network. Smart card distance-traveled fare pricing is rarely used for buses due to the complexity of such systems.

Mobile card readers installed on all the doorways of the bus vehicles were meant to allow passengers to “tap-in” upon entry and “tap-out” when they exit. This allows the smart card system to calculate the distance and zone payment.

Latency issues and a high error rate with the “tap-out” function are preventing TransLink from rolling out this element to allow for three-zone pricing.

TransLink will continue to work with the contractor on fixing the glitches in order to implement multi-zone distance-traveled fare pricing.


Feature Image: TransLink

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