How to use compasscard.ca

Some of the most commonly asked questions on how to use compasscard.ca are detailed here.

For account, billing, or transaction information, you can send us a message or give us a call toll free at 1-888-207-4055.

U-Pass BC Students

Are you enrolled in a post-secondary program and have a U-Pass BC? If so, you’ll need to link your Compass Card to your U-Pass BC web account and request your U-Pass BC each month. Go to the U-Pass BC website to learn more and get started.

Fares and Passes

Not sure what Compass Card is right for you? Or need to know what fares or passes are best for you? Visit translink.ca for information on fare types and pricing.

Where to Buy

Find a Compass Retailer or Compass Vending machine.

CVMs are located at all SkyTrain, SeaBus and WCE stations, Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen Ferry terminals.

Find a Retailer.

Contact Us

Need to get in touch with us? Contact Compass Customer Service at 1-888-207-4055 or send us a message.

General

How do I change my Compass Card from Concession to Adult, or Adult to Concession?

If you’re no longer eligible for a concession card, or you’ve just turned 65, please visit our Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown Station or the West Coast Express Office. We’ll be happy to provide you with a new card and transfer any remaining balance. Or you can call Compass Customer Service at 604.398.2042 and arrange to mail us your old card. We’ll send you a new one as soon as possible.

How do I get receipts and usage history for my Compass Card?

If your card is registered, you can access up to 15 months of history for online and phone purchases by clicking on “view card usage” under the My Cards tab.

Learn more on how to obtain receipts for purchases made at a Compass Vending Machine or Compass Customer Service Centre.

Your Compass Card may be eligible for the public transit credit (line 364 of your tax return). 

For detailed information on how to claim the public transit tax credit, please refer to CRA's website.

What's Balance protection?

Balance protection is exactly what it sounds like – a way to safeguard the value on your Compass Card in the event it's lost or stolen. When you report your card to Customer Service, it will be “frozen” and the balance transferred to a new Compass Card or refunded by cheque. All registered Compass Cards receive the benefit of Balance protection. It’s one more reason (hint, hint) you should consider registering your card today.

How do I request a refund?

To inquire about a refund please call Compass Customer Service at 604.398.2042. Or visit us in-person at Stadium-Chinatown Station or the West Coast Express Office. You'll need to fill out a refund request form.

I don't need my card anymore – how do I get my refundable deposit back?

Moving? Just here for a visit? Whatever the reason, you can return your Compass Card to us and receive your $6 deposit back, along with any remaining Stored Value. Cards can be returned to the Compass Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown Station or the West Coast Express Office.

My card is showing that it has been blocked. What does that mean?

We’re sorry to hear this happened. Blocked means that your Compass Card has been “frozen” and cannot be used. Please remember that when you report your card as lost or stolen it will be blocked. If your card has been blocked without your knowledge, please contact Compass Customer Service at 604.398.2042.

My card doesn't seem to be working. What should I do?

Please start by trying to tap again – it sometimes takes a few tries to get the hang of Compass. Make sure you’re holding your card flat against the reader and wait until you hear a beep. If you’re at a station, try a different fare gate or validator.

If the problem persists, please contact Compass Customer Service at 604.398.2042. If you’re able, write down the bus number and/or location of the card reader and the error message. This can help us determine the issue and fix the problem.

My card has been lost, stolen or damaged. How do I report it?

We're sorry to hear this. If your Compass Card was registered, then good news: your balance is protected. Please call Compass Customer Service to report your card as lost or stolen. Your balance will be “frozen” and we’ll transfer it to a new Compass Card or issue a refund via cheque.

View the Compass Card Terms & Conditions that apply to balance protection.

Can more than one person travel on one card?

You can’t use your Compass Card to pay for more than one person’s travel at the same time. (That means you can’t tap in and then pass your card to the person behind you.) You can, however, use the Stored Value on your card to purchase a ticket from a Compass Vending Machine and give it to another passenger.

Can I lend my Compass Card to others?

Short answer: it depends. Adult and Concession cards are fully transferable and can be shared with anyone you like. Program cards are non-transferrable because they designate special travel privileges.

Please remember: Adult Compass Cards loaded with a U-Pass BC are non-transferrable and cannot be shared.

Can I grant access to my Compass account to a family member or care provider to manage my account on my behalf?

Yes, you can grant permission to an authorized user to access your account and load products on your behalf. To set up, change or remove an authorized user, please complete the Account Information Access form and submit it to Compass Customer Service.

Why do I have to tap?

Tapping in and out means you’ll avoid paying the maximum fare when you travel less than three zones. Buses are tap in only. 

Tap data helps us determine transit travel patterns, so we can increase network efficiency by moving services to where they’re needed most.

I forget to tap out. Can I get a fare adjustment?

If you forget to tap out on rail or SeaBus, your card will be charged the maximum fare. Buses are a one-zone fare and require tap in only.  But you still need to tap out on rail and SeaBus. To request a refund, please call Compass Customer Service at 604.398.2042.

How does transferring work with Compass?

Compass gives you up to 90 minutes of travel across buses, SkyTrain service and the Seabus on a Stored Value fare. (On WCE fares you’ll receive 180 minutes). Simply tap in and out on each mode when you transfer. But unlike in the olden days, you won’t receive a paper transfer. That means you’ll need to remember when you first tap in and track your time accordingly.

How do I tap?

Tapping with Compass is a quick and easy five-second process that requires no special training. Simply tap in and tap out of any station or vehicle whenever you travel. Compass automatically calculates the correct fare for you.

Learn how to tap.

Do I need to tap my card even if I have a Monthly Pass?

Yes, everyone needs to tap – especially if you’re a One or Two Zone Monthly Pass holder. Please make sure you tap out on rail and SeaBus, to ensure you’re charged correctly for your journey. Buses are a one-zone fare and require tap in only. Tapping out on rail and SeaBus means you only pay for the zones you travel. Plus we’ll be able to use everyone’s travel data to improve transit planning.


Compass Card features

How do I load my card?

You can check your balance and load your card online, by phone, at a station Compass Vending Machine or at the West Coast Express Office and Compass Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown Station.  You'll also be able to load your card at 18 participating London Drugs location with CVMS. Visit our Where to Buy page to learn more.

Why is my card showing a negative balance when I have a monthly pass?

This usually happens when you travel additional zones on a One or Two Zone Monthly Pass and Compass subtracts the AddFare amount. To get your card working again, simply top up your Stored Value balance.

Can I transfer the balance from one card to another?

Yes, but both Compass Cards must be registered in your name. Please call Compass Customer Service at 604.398.2042 for further details. You may also use Stored Value to purchase tickets or put a pass product on your card at any Compass Vending Machine.

How long does it take for Stored Value or a pass to become active?

When purchased online or via the phone, it can take up to two hours your pass or Stored Value to be available for use on your Compass Card. Typically the transaction will be much faster, but give yourself a little extra time just in case. When purchased at a Compass Vending Machine, your pass or Stored Value will be available for use immediately.

What’s the minimum amount of Stored Value required to start a journey?

When you use Stored Value on buses, Skytrain service or the Seabus, Compass allows you to complete a single journey with as little as $0.01 on your card by giving you a negative card balance.

For West Coast Express customers, the minimum Stored Value amount is $4.50 due to fare structures and related considerations.

Why go negative? In situations where your balance is low, you’ll have the security of being able to make a single trip. Just remember to top up your card with Stored Value before you start your next trip.

My card is showing a negative balance, what does that mean?

Your Compass Card requires a positive balance at all times for entry. So if your card has a negative balance, it will not work until you top it up with Stored Value. Even with a pass product, your card must at least have a zero balance. To get your card up and running again, simply add Stored Value.

How do I unregister my card or close my account?

You can unlink (unregister) a Compass Card from your account at anytime. But please keep in mind that unregistered cards are not eligible for features like Balance Protection or AutoLoad. To unlink a card or close your account, please call Compass Customer Service at 604.398.2042.

How many cards can I register to one account?

You can register up to 25 Compass Cards to a single account. This makes it easy to manage your children’s Compass Cards and keep track of your whole family with one account.

How can I change my payment information?

Log into your account and select the My Account tab. You can also update your payment information by calling Compass Customer Service at 604.398.2042.

Who do I talk to about a transaction?

If you need help, please contact Compass Customer Service at 604.398.2042 or email us at customerservice@compasscard.ca

Can I register my card if I live outside Canada?

At this time, only Canadian residents can register their Compass Cards.

How do I view my transaction history?

If you have a registered Compass Card, start by logging into your account. Then click on “view card usage” under the My Cards tab. You can also view your last eight transactions at any Compass Vending Machine or by calling 604.398.2042.

How do I unregister my Compass Card?

If you’d like to remove a Compass Card from your account, please contact Compass Customer Service at 1-888-207-4055. When you unregister a card, it’s no longer covered by balance protection and future transactions will not be displayed in your account’s transaction history.

I’ve ordered a new Compass Card online. Do I need to register it?

If you created (or already have) a Compass account during your online purchase, then your new Compass Card will be automatically registered to your account when the order is fulfilled.
If you completed your card order as a guest (without creating an account), then your card will not be registered. To take advantage of balance protection we encourage you to register your Compass Card once it arrives.


Fare products

How do I setup AutoLoad?

Just log into your account and select the pass product or Stored Value amount you'd like to automatically reload. Then select the AutoLoad link. Monthly Passes will automatically reload when you tap your card (e.g. at the start of a new month). Stored Value is topped up whenever your balance drops below $5.

When do I get charged for an AutoLoad?

AutoLoads are charged to your credit card or bank account when you tap your Compass Card at a reader and the product is loaded.

Monthly Pass AutoLoad commuters are able to validate their next pass during the last five days of the month. For example: if a Monthly Pass AutoLoad commuter taps in on May 28, their June pass is loaded and ready to be active for June 1.

What’s Stored Value?

Stored Value is just like having cash on your card, except when you pay with Stored Value you get a discount over most cash fares. It has similar benefits to FareSavers, but with more flexibility, since you no longer need to specify zones.

What fare products are used first if there are more than one on my card?

When you tap, Compass looks at the products on your card and prioritizes them in the following way:

  • Monthly Passes
  • DayPass or WCE Return Passes
  • Stored Value (if needed)

So, for example, if you have a Two Zone Monthly Pass, plus some Stored Value on your card, and you decide to travel across three zones, Compass reads the Monthly Pass first and then deducts the remaining AddFare from Stored Value.

How do I pay for AddFares with Compass?

Depending on the situation, Compass will deduct the appropriate fare based on your tap in and tap out locations. If you’re using Stored Value, Compass will deduct the additional fare accordingly. If you're travelling with a Monthly Pass and want to travel into another zone that your pass isn't valid for, simply load a small amount of Stored Value onto your card. Compass will deduct the correct amount for the AddFare.

Where do I find fare information?

Visit the fare information section of TransLink's website for fare prices, including peak/off-peak hours, and concession eligibility information.

Will my Stored Value ever expire?

Your Stored Value will not expire.


Purchasing

When can I buy a Monthly Pass for next month? When does it activate?

You can purchase a Monthly Pass at anytime online. By phone, in-person or from a Compass Vending Machine, Monthly Passes are available between the 20th of the previous month until the 15th of the current month.

Your credit card will be charged at time of purchase, and passes activate the first time you tap within that pass-period (typically on the first of the month).

Can I use the value on my Compass Card to buy anything else?

As a matter of fact, you can use the Stored Value on your card at any Compass Vending Machine to purchase tickets for your friends or family.

Can I buy a ticket online?

Single-use tickets are only available from Compass Vending Machines. See Find Retailer to find CVM locations.

How do I make bulk ticket purchases for my group?

If you have a group of 15 or more and want to preorder fare media, please email us at bulkorders@translink.ca or call the Compass Customer Service Centre at 604.453.4490.

Please allow 7-10 days for processing.

What type of payment(s) do you accept online?

Visa, Mastercard, Visa Debit, and Debit Mastercard are accepted for online payment and AutoLoad enrollment. If you would like to set-up AutoLoad directly from your bank account, please download and complete the Pre-Authorized Debit form

How do I prove I've paid?

Tapping in is the only way to ensure you've validated your Compass Card and ticket. Fare enforcement personnel will use handheld devices that can read the product on a card and determine whether you've validated your fare. So make sure you tap every time.

Where can I buy a card?

Compass Cards can be purchased online, by phone (604-398-2042), or in person at the following locations:

- Compass Card Vending Machines located at;

  • SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express stations 
  • Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen ferry terminals 
  • 18 London Drugs stores across Metro Vancouver 

- Compass Card Retailers (selling Compass Cards pre-loaded with $10 in Stored Value)
- Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown Station
- West Coast Express Office at Waterfront station

To find the sales location closest to you, visit our Find Retailer.


Bike Parkade

What is a Bike Parkade?

Bike Parkade are facilities at SkyTrain stations (Main Street-Science World and King George Stations ) that allow you to "Bike and Ride". Securely park your bike right at the station or exchange and then jump on to transit. The cost is just $1/day or $8/month for Bike Parkade.

Learn more about the Bike Parkade program and how it works here.

How do I enroll in Bike Parkade?

If you don’t already have one, get a Compass Card and register. Go to Programs under My Cards to enroll in Bike Parkade. When you enroll, your credit card will be charged $8, which will be added as Stored Value to your Compass Card. You can use it to pay for transit trips or Bike Parkade usage.

Can’t access the Bike Parkade?

You may have a negative balance on your Compass Card. If so, the Bike Parkade door won’t open and you won’t be able to drop off or retrieve your bike, even if you’ve already paid for your daily usage or you’ve reached your monthly-fee cap. Please load value to your Compass Card or call the Compass number on the back of your card for assistance.

Why is AutoLoad recommended for Bike Parkade customers?

If your Compass Card has a negative balance, the Bike Parkade door won’t open and you won’t be able to drop off or retrieve your bike, even if you’ve already paid for your daily usage or reached your monthly-fee cap. Set AutoLoad for automatic top-ups, so you never have to worry about reloading your card.

What is the $8 charge for?

When you enroll, your credit card will be charged $8, which will be added as Stored Value to your Compass Card. You can use it to pay for transit trips or Bike Parkade usage. Learn more