Transit users have launched a petition calling on TransLink to revisit a proposed “double transit fee” for cash paying bus riders that will come into effect with the introduction of the transit’s new Compass Card, according to The Vancouver Sun.
Under the new system, bus passengers who pay cash fares will no longer be able to use their transfers on the SkyTrain system because the transfers will not be compatible with the electronic fare gates. As a result, those passengers must buy another Compass single-trip ticket from a machine if they wish to transfer onto the SkyTrain system.
TransLink would have to spend approximately $25 million to retrofit the fare boxes on all Coast Mountain buses to provide Compass-compatible passes. Passengers can avoid the double fare by getting a Compass Card, which will also offer a discounted rate and can be used across the transit system.
TransLink spokesman Derek Zabel said the majority of transit users already use pre-paid media, and estimates about 6,000 passengers will likely be affected by the change. Those who buy cash fares for SkyTrain and transfer onto the bus system will not be affected.
Zabel said the bus fare boxes are nearing the end of their life in three to five years, and TransLink will likely review the decision at that time.