Compass Card rolls out for Douglas College

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Wave three brings about largest increase in Compass Card usage

By Lauren Kelly, News Editor

Starting this month, students at Douglas College will be replacing their paper U-Pass BC passes with Compass Cards as part of wave three of the Compass Card U-Pass rollout.

The Compass Card system allows users to load any passes to the card or add stored value for individual fares. Users will tap in on card readers and fare gates. When they leave transit, they will tap out to show that their trip has ended. TransLink eventually intends to eliminate the old fare system entirely, and place turnstiles in the fare gates that will only allow Compass Card holders through.

There has been much criticism from the general public over the Compass Card system, which TransLink had promised to have operational by 2013. However, issues—such as the tap taking a few seconds each time as opposed to the 0.3 seconds they anticipated, and the tap-out not always registering—delayed the distribution.

Wave three is the largest step of the U-Pass BC Compass Card integration so far, adding 128,000 new Compass Card users to the 2,300 from waves one and two. There will be no changes to the U-Pass program other than the medium it is released in. Students who take the West Coast Express can still purchase discounted tickets from the WCE ticket vending machines in the same manner as with the paper U-Pass.

Students will no longer have to line up to receive their pass each month. Instead, they will go on the U-Pass BC TransLink website at Here, they can link their card to their student account and load their U-Pass from the website each month, which takes about 24 hours to process each time. New U-Passes are available to load starting on day 16 of the previous month, and students can also sign up for email notifications so they never forget when their U-Pass is available.

In the event that a Compass Card is lost, students will have to unlink their lost card on the TransLink website and then link it to a new card obtained at the Cashier’s Office. Students can still use their Compass Cards even if they have graduated and are no longer eligible for the U-Pass BC program by loading other passes and fares onto them.