Impact of ‘Compass’ on People who are Vulnerable


By The Reverend Christine Wilson, Care Advocate, Kerrisdale/Marpole Community Pastoral Resource Centre at St. Faith’s Anglican Church

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-9-05-40-amMany non-profit organizations supporting people in our neighbourhoods who are vulnerable often used to keep FareSavers on hand to give to clients who needed to use public transit. BC TransLink is no longer issuing ‘FareSaver’ tickets and now that the fare gates are closed at all the SkyTrain stations, while a single use compass ticket may be purchased at SkyTrain stations, anyone paying cash on the bus or using up old ‘FareSaver’ tickets are not able to use the ticket to transfer to the SkyTrain.

Understanding the need for these organizations to continue to be able to provide public transportation support to their clients, TransLink has launched a program to replace the old FareSaver one which will allow for purchase of single use Compass tickets in bulk directly from TransLink.

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-9-07-18-amThough it is both more complicated and limited than FareSavers, the hope is that TransLink will be able to use the data collected to measure the scope of public transportation support being provided and come up with an alternative, particularly for people who are attempting to get to homeless shelters and advocacy centres.

Through TransLink’s ‘PRE-PAID BULK COMPASS TICKET ORDER FORM’ organizations may purchase Zone 1, 2, 3 or concession ‘single use’ Compass tickets in batches of 50 tickets and adult or concession day passes in batches of 25.

The tickets tap in and out like the compass card and the rider can transfer from bus to SkyTrain or vice versa as long as it is within the paid zone and a 90 minute travel window.

Expiry of tickets:

  • Compass tickets carry a 254-day expiry from the date that TransLink encodes the ticket.
  • The back of ticket says, “This ticket will expire within 30 days” as a means to encourage use. TransLink recommends that you keep your tickets in an envelope with the packing slip that it came with, which details the serial numbers and expiry date.
  • Use a first in first out method to distribute the tickets.
  • It is okay to write an expiry date on the tickets if it helps to manage them.
  • In the event that you have some expired tickets they can be exchanged for new Compass tickets, but TransLink asks that tickets be managed tickets so that this is an exception.

Payment types:

  • Prepayment can be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT) or cheque enclosed with the order form. Credit card payments are not accepted.
  • EFT information should be sent by  email to


To learn more about the program or to request an order from Call 604-453-4490

Published by Karen G

Laid back. Well nourished.

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