How to Use Your Compass
Taking transit has never been this easy. You'll simply "tap in" with your Compass Card or ticket when entering a station or bus, and "tap out" when you leave. Card readers will be installed on all SkyTrain and SeaBus faregates; units will be mounted at bus doors; and card validators will be placed at West Coast Express stations.
Where to Tap In/Tap Out
Located at the entry and exit points on all buses.
Located at the entry and exit points at SkyTrain and SeaBus stations.
Located at the entry and exit points at the West Coast Express stations, and at Main Street and Metrotown SkyTrain stations (temporary).
When you tap in – by tapping your card directly on the card reader – the system will automatically reserve the fare for a three-zone trip, or a full distance trip in the case of West Coast Express. In less than a second, the system will read the card and ensure it has adequate value for the trip.
When you've reached your destination, or when transferring between vehicles / modes, you're required to tap your card on the card reader to exit. When you tap out, the system calculates the fare zones you've traveled and instantly credits your card for the fare difference - charging you the correct fare.
Registering Your Compass Card
Registration has many benefits, including "Balance Protection", which protects the value of your card in the event it's lost or stolen, and "AutoLoad'– a convenience feature for pass renewals or top-ups when the card's stored value drops below a certain amount, plus an annual receipt for your federal transit tax deduction.
Paying Direct with Cash
Customers will still be able to pay by cash for all transit trips. For bus trips, people paying by cash will be issued a paper "proof of payment" ticket. These "proof of payment" receipts are good for transfers between buses; however, they will not provide access through faregates. Because of this, we strongly promote the use of Compass Cards containing a minimal stored value as a more flexible alternative for anyone making even occasional multi-modal trips.
The Transition Period
When Compass Cards first arrive in late 2013, people will still be able to buy and use our current passes and tickets. There will be an extended time for everyone to make the switch to Compass smoothly and seamlessly, with lots of information and customer service help.