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Paying Your Fare

Your fare is determined by your mode of travel, time of day, and how many zones you travel in. Below are tips for how to pay for your transit trip by mode. Visit our Fares page to learn about the different fare products and prices.

  • Buses are a one-zone fare, all day, every day, while SkyTrain and SeaBus require a one-, two-, or three-zone fare, depending on the time of day and number of geographical zone boundaries you cross during your trip.
  • After 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays, travel across the entire Metro Vancouver region only requires a one-zone fare.
  • Compass Cards, Compass Tickets, and contactless credit card payments (Tap-to-Pay) provide seamless transfers across bus, SkyTrain, and SeaBus (within the applicable transfer and in-system time).
  • A single fare is valid for 90 minutes on bus, SkyTrain, and SeaBus.
  • Your fare is calculated from the time you tap at a card reader. Note the time you tap your card when starting your journey.


Paying on the Bus

Using a Compass Card, Compass Ticket, or Contactless Credit Card

  • When you board, tap your card, ticket, or mobile wallet on the card reader located near the bus doors. You don't need to tap out when exiting.

Using Cash

  • Place the coins (exact change required) into the farebox. You'll get a bus transfer that can be used to transfer between buses (but not on SkyTrain or SeaBus) and is your proof of payment.
  • When paying with cash on a Community Shuttle (small bus), you'll be given a paper bus transfer. These paper bus transfers can't be tapped and need to be presented to the operator when transferring to a different bus.

Paying on SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express

Using a Compass Card, Compass Ticket, or Contactless Credit Card

  • To travel on SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express, you'll need a Compass Card, ticket, or your contactless credit card or mobile wallet (Tap-to-Pay). Paper bus transfers are only valid for transfer between buses.
  • Tap your card, wearable, ticket, or mobile wallet to the card reader at the fare gates (or validator for West Coast Express) as you enter and exit a station to validate your fare. Tapping reserves the fare for a three-zone trip, or a full-distance trip in the case of West Coast Express.
  • When you tap out, the system calculates the fare zones you've travelled and charges you the correct fare. This applies to all products, including Monthly Passes.

Purchasing a ticket from a Compass Vending Machine

  • If you need to purchase a Compass Card, single-use ticket or load your card, use one of the Compass Vending Machines (CVMs) located at the entrance of each station. CVMs accept coins and bills (up to $20), debit, and credit cards.
  • Note: Concession Compass Cards are not sold at CVMs. Check out our Where to Buy page to learn where to buy Concession Compass Cards.
  • Compass Tickets purchased at a CVM expire at the end of service on the day they're purchased, even if you haven't used it. If you want to buy a Compass DayPass Ticket to use another time, visit one of our Compass Retailers.

Proof of Payment

Transit vehicles and all areas within fare gates are Fare Paid Zones.

All customers must pay the fare required by the TransLink Transit Tariff and carry proof of payment whenever they’re aboard a transit vehicle, within fare gates, or within any station area that is designated as a Fare Paid Zone.

Valid proof of payment:

  • Compass Cards, Compass Wearables, and Compass Tickets with a valid fare that has been successfully tapped in are accepted as proof of payment on all modes.
  • Validated FareSavers (no longer sold) and bus transfers are accepted as proof of payment on buses only.

Transit Police and Transit Security regularly conduct fare checks. Ensure you’ve tapped your Compass Card, wearable, or ticket to validate your fare, and have them, along with any required valid identification, available for inspection. On buses, keep your validated bus transfer for inspection.

Anyone who fails to produce proof of payment with valid identification (as required) upon request will be asked to leave the vehicle and risks facing a fare infraction ticket with a fine of $173.

Visit our Fare Infraction page for more information on paying or disputing a fare evasion ticket.

    Travelling as a group?

    Save time and avoid paying for fares individually. Visit our Group Travel page for all the details.