09/04/2013 01:37 EDT

Compass Card Delay Denied By TransLink


TransLink denies that it is delaying the roll out of its Compass Card system, despite a spokesperson saying that the system would not be operational until 2014, later than has been previously understood.

TransLink spokeswoman Jiana Ling told CNC News that the Compass Card would be operational sometime in 2014, despite the transit authority's own website stating that it would launch for the first group of customers in the fall of 2013.

TransLink spokesperson Derek Zabel told The Huffington Post B.C. that the transit authority has always said it won't roll out the system until they've tested it through a beta test, which is set to begin Sept. 9.

"What we've been saying all along is that in the fall we are going to start our transition into the Compass Card," he said.

"We're going to have an extended transition period and we're going to have a long customer education program. We don't have a drop dead date on when we're going to close the gates, I imagine that'll happen sometime in 2014."

The Compass Card will replace TransLink's monthly passes and transit tickets with a reloadable fare card that commuters can use to tap in and out of the transit system on buses, SeaBuses and train stations.

The system came under scrutiny in August when it emerged that tickets purchased by cash on buses would not be valid for travel on the SkyTrain system, and that commuters would have to buy a second fare.

University students are also wondering when they'll have to transition to the Compass Card from the U-Pass, which allows unlimited travel on TransLink's system.

According to The Ubyssey, UBC students will use the paper U-Passes until at least the second term of this school year, but no date has been set for the conversion.

TransLink has recruited 10,000 people for the Compass Card beta test, after initially putting out a call for 5,000 testers. The beta test runs until Oct. 1.

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