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Skytrain won't take bus transfers..


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Lower Mainland bus drivers are “shaking their heads” at why TransLink decided bus transfer tickets for cash fares would no longer be accepted for other transit services when the Compass Card rolls out this fall.

TransLink spokesman Derek Zabel said that at $25 million, it was too expensive to upgrade all bus fare boxes so they would dish out Compass-compatible tickets.

If a passenger carries a bus-transfer pass to the SkyTrain, they will be told to get a Compass single-trip pass from a machine. There will be no trade-ins, nor will there be a discount for cash-only bus fares, Zabel said.

“If the customer comes on the bus with cash, and they get that ticket, that would no longer work on the rail side,” Zabel said Tuesday, adding bus tickets in the new system will only be viable for bus-to-bus transfers.

He said there will be a transitional period in which both options will be accepted while TransLink teaches the public about its new system. During this time, retailers such as 7-11 will carry all available types of fare, including monthly and pre-loadable Compass Cards.

“It’s estimated only 6,000 customers (pay cash and transfer) a day, which represents a small percentage of our daily rides,” Zabel said.

But Gavin Davies, vice-president of the union representing TransLink bus drivers, is worried his members will take the brunt of customer complaints when frustrated passengers find out they’d need to pay twice if they wish to use bus with cash then transfer to SkyTrain.

“They’re going to take their frustration out on the (bus) operator,” Davies said.

“You either go all the way or no way, they’re not two separate things. We have one system in place and it should be compatible.”

Zabel said TransLink expects most customers to use the Compass Card instead, as monthly and pre-loadable options offer a discount of up to 14% as a further incentive to buy. He said the transport authority would make sure its staff fully understand the system and can answer any questions.

“I don’t know if we’ve figured out a date when we’ll stop selling regular fare media we currently have,” Zabel said.

“We’re not going to close the date until we’re confident people understand how to use the system.”

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Someone on reddit put it quite well in saying that...

Well, anyone who looked at the future plans for Compass knew this whole thing was a target at a fare hike anyway. In fact, it's a direct response to the provincial government that keeps telling them they can't raise fares all the time.

The initial rollout will keep fares at the same rate (with the exception of cash fares paid on buses, which now require a separate train fare). After 1 year of that, they are switching to a metered rate, where your fare is calculated by how long (not how far) you are on transit for. Because of this metering, they'll be able to dynamically adjust the prices as needed, and will no longer be subject to provincial oversight, allowing them to maximize profits.

The biggest issue I have with Translink is that the way their funding is set up, they actually stand to make more money from convincing people that driving is a better option than taking public transit (due to the fact that they get a fairly hefty chunk of your fuel tax). This strikes me as a horrible conflict of interest (especially considering they are a publicly funded for-profit corporation).

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well that's BS, might as well pay for parking, and get there more comfortably, in less time, and in way more style.... for a major city, Vancouver's transit system is a joke (How we managed the Olympics is beyond me)

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