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

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.

Just Posted

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

poster
Drop-in Covid vaccine clinic in Mission June 17-18

Neighbourhood clinics complement appointment-based clinics currently operating in Mission

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

A letter from a senior RCMP officer in Langley said Mounties who attended a mayor’s gala in January of 2020 used their own money. Controversy over the event has dogged mayor Val van den Broek (R) and resulted in the reassignment of Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power (L). (file)
Langley RCMP officers used ‘own money’ to attend mayor’s gala, senior officer says

‘I would not want there to be a belief that the police officers had done something untoward’

Squirrels are responsible for most of U.S. power outages. Black Press file photo
Dead squirrels in park lead Richmond RCMP to probe ‘toxic substance’ found in trees

Police aren’t sure if the chemical was dumped there or placed intentionally

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Most Read