Thousands trapped on first day of implementation
By Chandler Walter, Humour Editor
TransLink has decided to put into action the barrier gates that have been installed at SkyTrain stations across Vancouver, to the demise of many.
Vancouverites have spent months walking past the curious little gates marked “Compass Card” without giving them much thought, though the very day those gates slammed shut, many were taken unaware.
“I just couldn’t figure out what to do,” said Sharon Nexton. “There was just no open space to go through.”
Nexton is one of the many SkyTrain passengers who had no idea how the Compass Card worked, and decided to just ride for free on the trains.
Now, in the eleventh hour of what news outlets and social media worldwide are calling SkyTrain Gate-Gate, it is clear just who these riders were, as every one of them is stuck behind the Compass Card barrier, with no hope in sight.
“It’s terrible,” said Nexton. “There’s nothing left to do but travel. I’ve gone to Waterfront and back about 15 times.”
Each and every SkyTrain station from Vancouver to Surrey has the same horrific scene: thousands of commuters eager to get to their homes lined up at the SkyTrain gates, waiting.
The Salvation Army arrived shortly after what is being called The Great Closing, offering granola bars and juice boxes to those who have gone more than an hour or two without sustenance.
“It’s truly heartbreaking to see. All those people lined up, hoping for someone to help them,” said volunteer Chanel Mills. “I just don’t know what more we can do for them.”
Translink has turned a blind eye on the situation, issuing a short press release stating: “Really? Guys, we’ve spent months and millions of dollars trying to educate people on these cards… it’s really not all that difficult.”
Protesters have gathered outside SkyTrain stations, urging TransLink to put an end to the Compass Card system and let the people go home. This dire situation hit hard for protester Jake Tharns, as he says his sister is trapped behind the barriers. “It’s an impossible system. We aren’t all rocket scientists, TransLink!” He shouted, which prompted a chant from the angry crowd, “To Compass Cards, we say no! Let these poor people go!” They continued chanting long into the night.
A few of the stranded commuters were asked why they didn’t just go through the gate after someone with a Compass Card had opened it, and every one of them said: “That would be wrong.”