Government is taking action to ensure that everyone who holds a BC Bus Pass will continue to have access to public transit systems across the province now that TransLink is closing its fare gates.
There are about 100,000 people who have a subsidized BC Bus Pass and almost 80% of them live within the TransLink service area and are using the Compass card. The Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation is providing Compass Cards to an additional 18,000 low-income seniors and people receiving disability assistance who live outside Metro Vancouver so everyone will have the same access to the SkyTrain, SeaBus, and TransLink buses.
Those who live outside of Metro Vancouver currently hold BC Transit BC Bus Passes and many travel to the area to visit family or go to medical appointments. With the new Compass Card, they can continue to access TransLink services when needed.
The ministry has worked closely with its partners at BC Transit and TransLink to make this change and to ensure that BC Bus Pass holders continue to have equal access to transit systems across the province.
The Compass Cards are being mailed to BC Bus Pass recipients and will replace BC Transit Bus Passes. BC Transit BC Bus Passes will not be accepted by TransLink’s new fare gates, which will be closed the week of April 4.
There is no change to the standard renewal process for the BC Bus Pass. Clients will receive their renewal packages in late summer.
The Compass Card is a secure transit card that allows access to TransLink buses, SkyTrain and the SeaBus. It will be accepted by BC Transit operators outside of the TransLink area.
When clients travel to Metro Vancouver, they will use their new card by tapping on a Compass Card reader throughout the TransLink area.
This builds on the ministry’s recent changes that provide transportation supports to all people receiving disability assistance. Updating the BC Bus Pass to a Compass Card will ensure that BC Bus Pass recipients will continue to have access to the TransLink system.
B.C. is the only province that provides a discounted bus pass for low-income seniors and people receiving disability assistance.
Government invests about $50 million each year in the program.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell –
“I understand how important accessible, affordable transportation is for people with disabilities and low-income seniors. We took this step so that people outside of Metro Vancouver can continue to use their bus passes to access the TransLink system, whether to attend medical appointments or to visit family.”
The BC Bus Pass program continues to grow in popularity. There were 72,000 Bus Pass holders in 2009, growing to just under 100,000 this year.
The Compass Card is not transferrable, and must only be used by the recipient.
The BC Bus Pass is not accepted on HandyDart buses.
To learn more about the B.C. Bus Pass program, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/passenger-travel/buses-taxis-limos/bus-pass
To learn more about the Compass Card, visit: http://www.translink.ca/en/Fares-and-Passes/Compass-Card.aspx