Is Vancouver lost without a Compass?

In Vancouver everything is about real estate.


Even that bus you take to get to your weed dispensary before yoga class.

Thats why it’s so disappointing that our world class fare gates are still not working.  This is the system that was supposed to be ready in 2008 but has been delayed over and over again. It’s a $194 million dollar solution that isn’t quite a solution yet.

Once in place this system should put a stop to fare evasion which is currently estimated to be a loss of at least $10 million per year. Well, hopefully it’s at least $10 mil per year, since we’ll be paying $12 million per year for operating costs once the system is working.

Fortunately this is all happening in Vancouver which means whether the transit system is losing money in fare evasion or through operating costs it can always make that money back in real estate.

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Lost? It’s becoming a fucking dystopia (unless of course, you bought a decade or two ago and it’s all paid already)!

The only ones having a blast are the boomers who bought decades ago (and at the top of their careers), and rich foreigners. For everyone else this city has become a goddamn third-world banana republic on its own.

I’m so done with this city the only thing that was keeping me were the pretty girls but that’s quickly becoming second-thought (especially considering the amount of gold-diggerism here).



Harpers version of income splitting is a joke and is only there for optics. It’s a direct tax break for the rich, I’m glad as a single parent I am now subsidizing 2parent households… this thing is about 50 years too late and 3 billion dollars short.


Someone pointed out that the $200 million spent on Compass Card would have better been spent on transit expansion like rapid transit to UBC. Patriotz then pointed out that $200 million is not nearly enough for a rapid transit line. Yes, Patriotz, $200 million is not enough for a rapid transit line. Canada Line cost something like $1.5 billion. I think Evergreen Line is close to a billion. A rapid transit line to UBC would cost at least a billion. $200 million would cover 20% of that–hey, that’s a good start! There are many, many things Translink could have spent $200 million on and got much more value out of it than the Compass Cards. They could have used it to install washrooms in some of the stations so those of us crossing multiple zone boundaries on long trips can… Read more »


The zone system is incredibly unfair. People who can afford to live close to their jobs only have to pay one zone. People with lower income who can’t afford rents close to their job, especially if working in Vancouver, live further out in places like Surrey and end up crossing zone boundaries more often. The zone system punishes the poor and places a disincentive to use transit for longer trips, when if we are concerned about green objectives, I would think we would want to do the opposite and incentivize people to use transit for long trips. Zone system is arbitrary and does not necessarily mean people pay more for longer trips. You can go from Joyce to Waterfront on one zone (several stops) or you can go from Joyce to Patterson, one stop and have to pay two zones.… Read more »


The Compass Card system at this point is an unmitigated boondoggle. $200 million for a system that doesn’t work–and even if we can get it to work we now know that the cost to operate the system is more than what was being lost through fare evasion. This BC Liberal boondoggle is now 4 times more expensive to taxpayers than the fast ferry boondoggle that happened under the NDP that they never let us forget about even though it happened almost 20 years ago. It is widely reported that the government selected Cubic for the Compass Cards because of connections to BC Liberal insiders. Compass Card is security theatre. There was never a major fare evasion problem to begin with. I remember some Richmond politician (maybe the mayor?) being on the news saying fare evasion is a big problem and… Read more »


@31: “Getting on the bus isn’t much different (in terms of speed) than putting a ticket in the farebox, but tapping out while getting off?”

Seriously? You’re supossed to tap the card when getting off?

A similar card has been introduced in Ontario (including Ottawa) called Presto and it’s had its share of problems, but you don’t have to tap out and it works pretty well now.


Sorry about this rambling post. I work in the TransLink family of companies, this hits close to home! When the rumblings about faregates and smart cards started, I can’t remember hearing any management employees in favour of it. We didn’t want a system like this in the first place. It was Victoria that forced it on us. There was this big impression among the public that fare evasion is a massive problem, but the best stats that we had pegged fare evasion at around 5% on SkyTrain and B-Line, and about 1-2% on the rest of the bus fleet. That’s why it took so long to get the Compass project off the ground– it was going to be a complete waste of money, sure to do no good other than make some politicians in Victoria happy. All that said, the… Read more »

No Money Down

First world problem: your house is only worth $3m when the one across the street is worth $3.5m, and it’s all Gregor Robertson’s fault.

Have to wonder why this is the lead story in today’s Business section.


10 MOI for condos in Richmond. Id throwed low ball offers at developers needing to sell. Parc Riviera could be one of them. Detached under 1 mil wont get u much of a slash


Fare gates could make B.C. transit police redundant

The force pays nearly 60 of it’s 167 officers more than $100,000 each a year to perform fairly routine police work, says Bateman, who has been a persistent critic of the cost of the force.

“Two-thirds of Transit Police files are fare checks, and a Vancouver Police Department audit showed the average transit cop works on less than ten serious or property crime files a year,” said Bateman earlier this week.


“obviously they aren’t going to lay off transit police since the lines still need security.”

You must be a decision maker at Translink. All the current transit police do is check fares. Then write tickets nobody pays for fare evaders. If there was no fares to check and tickets to write for fare evaders they would have nothing to do. On top of that with gates the scum bags committing 95% of the crime on skytrain wouldn’t be there because they sure wouldn’t pay a fare to get by the gates. There are city police nearby at every station and there is already transit security. We don’t put special police forces in malls, parks or other public places. We don’t need Transit police period.

Guy Smiley

@1 I don’t recall a vote on this. I never wanted it.

@2 I’d be willing to pay for quality service but that’s not what we have. Public transit here sucks. So does the road system. Infrastructure period sucks in this place.

@5 Why not ditch fares period. Make the whole system free use, taxpayer funded. It would be cheaper than paying for all of Translinks idiocies. And it would finally be a step towards green transit and car reduction.

@19 Not just cars – 5.7L dodge chargers worth $70k each. WTF?? Translink is a fucking travesty on the BC taxpayer.

@22 Space is Chinese. You guys are playing the same pipa.


New Listings 183
Price Changes 60
Sold Listings 117

Shut It Down Already

#23, they’ll also need to keep people in the stations to deal with ticketing problems and glitches. Like I said, I used to live in London during the Oyster rollout. Even now I think most London commuters shudder when the automated ticket barrier tells then to “Seek Assistance”. When the station isn’t manned they’ll probably leave the barriers open.

Bull! Bull! Bull!


obviously they aren’t going to lay off transit police since the lines still need security.


Wow it only took 11 posts before a someone took a cut at minorities on a topic that didn’t reference any. New record?



Translink will be making plenty of money developing land with private companies.



Left out… 17cents per litre tax on gas….


“The frustrating part here in Vancouver is that this new system will cost more than the fare evasion it’s meant to prevent.” Not if they lay off the fare checkers (transit police) who make $100K plus per year each and stand in pairs checking fares. They do the same job as the kid at a movie theater who they only need one to check tickets for minimum wage. About 10% of the cost to check tickets. Transit police which 95% of their job is checking fares cost over $30 million per year. That could pay off the compass pretty quick. They could also sell all the transit police cars which I see everywhere. I still can’t figure out why transit police drive around in cars. You’d think they could take skytrain and police it while traveling. Nope they drive to… Read more »


Translink says it’s a public company. Therefore is able to collect tax on a lot. Example: 17cents on gas in Translink areas. More in the article below. Yet it’s going to be buying up more land for revenue stream. Not just for stations and track. Seems they’re going the way of BC ferries with the perks of collecting public tax.




Thanks and welcome back Arit. As noted I didn’t buy in Vancouver and wouldn’t at anywhere near current prices.


@9: “The fact that this system is $200M in cost already and nowhere near ready means it is a huge waste of taxpayer money, that could have been much better used elsewhere – like say an elevated rapid transit line to UBC”

A good example of how out of touch people are on the cost of building rapid transit. Elevated rail would cost at least $50 mil/km, which means $200mil wouldn’t even get it to Granville St.

And elevated rail isn’t going to happen in the West Side anyway. The Canada Line could have been built far more cheaply elevated but it wasn’t.

Meanwhile Ottawa is doing just fine with its barrier free system and will use it for its new LRT.


Welcome back Arit, keep reading that property wasn’t in Vancouver it was in Ottawa.

midnite toker

Here’s an example of our world class cities transit system.

I had to from near the main bus station in port coquitlam to Lonsdale quay last weekend. Not exactly off the beaten path.

Google told me it would be a 33 minute drive, or an hour and 45 minute drive. Wow

I also had to remember to find exact change for the bus because compass