07/30/2013 07:07 EDT | Updated 09/29/2013 05:12 EDT

TransLink Phases Out Programs For Compass Card Launch

TransLink has announced it is cutting some of its discount programs to coincide with the launch of the new Compass Card program.

When the Compass Card is introduced later this year, riders will be able to get discounted rates by preloading the smart cards.

Regular and monthly fare rates will not change, but the following programs will:

- The Employer Pass Program will end Jan. 1, 2014.

- FareSaver tickets will be replaced with a discount over cash fares when using Compass cards.

- Free travel for family members of monthly pass holders on Sundays and holidays will end in January.

- West Coast Express 7-day and 28-day passes will be replaced with monthly passes.

- The West Coast Express $1 fee for bikes is ending immediately and customers can now transport bicycles for free.

TransLink vice president Bob Paddon says the changes are designed to make the fares fairer.

"This is about equity and fairness in the system,” said Paddon in a statement released on Tuesday.

"We took a good, hard look at our programs to determine which ones still make sense. We found some programs benefitted a select few people and companies.”

Leftover FareSaver tickets will be valid for a limited time during transition to the Compass card system, although TransLink has not yet clarified how long this crossover period will be.

The reloadable Compass Card will work everywhere on public transit in Metro Vancouver and will replace all other passes and tickets.

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