‘At least it works!’

transit link

TransitLink’s Compass card program abandoned for more reliable navigational instruments

By Sharon Miki, Humour Editor

Following years of delays on their much-touted automated fare card program, aptly named the “Compass Card”—in conjunction with numerous instances of total system failure in 2014—Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority, TransitLink, announced Monday that they basically just give up. Their solution? They’ll be handing out antique compasses to transit users and encouraging them to navigate themselves by foot to their destinations.

“Look, we know that we’ve sucked lately,” explained TransitLink spokesperson Eva Mendes. “We really did try, and all we get are complaints from you people—so fine! We’ve spent $10-million acquiring cool old compasses for you; see if you can do better without us.”

So far, users of the new compass system are praising its surprising reliability.

“My new compass pointed me in the right direction, and I arrived at work when I thought I would, which has literally never happened when I was counting on TransitLink,” said user Elliot Handsome. “And, if they only spent $10-million on the program, that’s like half of what they spent on the never-used Compass Cards. It sounds like they’ve finally gotten their act together after being truly awful for so long.”

Indeed, TransitLink has had a rough few years. Multiple unexplained and unplanned shutdowns of their automated rapid transit trains in 2014 have left public opinion of the authority somewhat damaged, with frustrated users noting that surprise, hours-long shutdowns left them unable to get home, to work, or to their cat-appreciation club meetings. This communal frustration is amplified by multi-year delays in the launch of the $200-million Compass Card system, which was supposed to reduce fare evasion and improve the ease of use of the transit system in general.

“Yes, we initially said that we’d have Compass up for 2008, and then 2010, and then 2012, and then 2013, and then 2014—but who’s counting?” exclaimed Mendes. “Just like the Compass Card, you can’t expect us to be accurate or without error most of the time.”

Not everyone is disappointed in TransitLink’s performance as of late, however.

“I mean, I never pay for the train,” said habitual fare evader Marcus Chasedown. “So it’s actually been nice to not have to deal with gates and stuff. Thanks, TransitLink! Take your time.”