TransLink Considers Apple Pay for SkyTrain Gates, Bus Fares


TransLink is considering tap credit cards and debit cards, along with Apple Pay, for bus and SkyTrain riders in Metro Vancouver, according to a spokesperson speaking to News1130.


Chris Bryan said “You just walk up to the fare gates, tap your credit card, debit card or perhaps your Apple pay on your phone and then you can go on your way.” The benefit of accepting an open payment means those who use TransLink services casually would not need require a Compass Card.

Bryan continued to say “Frequent users’ Compass Cards will always be the best option because you’ll always get the best rate but for somebody who just is using transit occasionally or for someone who is visiting the city for a brief time this is just another convenience.”

As for implementing open payment, Bryan said it could be implemented easily, as buses and trains already have NFC support.

TransLink is conducting surveys with the public to gather information on whether this is something Vancouverites would want.


  • Chzplz

    This is one area I really would like Apple to open up the NFC chip. I would love to tap my phone for transit passes, not just Apple Pay transactions.

  • Kael

    That would be very convenient! I also wish they supported more debit cards. Sometimes you don’t want to bring a wallet. Just your phone.

  • That would be cool, they’d have to incorporate discounted fairs though.
    I only pay $2.10 instead of $2.75 because I use the compass card. If they factor in the savings to Apple Pay, I’d probably use it every day.

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  • joeyconnick

    In a move of monumental stupidity (or maybe greed) of the type one has unfortunately come to expect from TransLink, they are only going to offer the cash fare rate. At least, that’s how they talked about it in the survey I took.

    My “optional comment” at the end of that survey was basically, “What the !@#$ is wrong with you people?”

  • Haha yeah. Sticking with Compass card then.

  • chikaraginger

    Well, duh. Compass rewards only come after putting at least $20 on the card. What’s the point of making NFCs discounted. It’s just like a cash-fare. What Translink should do is provide a way to add a Compass Card app to tap. Problem with that… iOS doesn’t allow access to the NFC reader unless it’s using Apple Pay. They could probably do it with Android, though.

    There MAY be a way to do it like Starbucks do it through an app… but they’d have to install a different kind of reader…

    In short, it’s a little rich saying that it’s Translink GREED or stupidity. Perhaps you should research a bit more before commenting. Or at least look in the mirror before saying things are stupid.

  • chikaraginger

    Absolutely. I love Apple, but in this case, they really need to provide an open API. I understand that they don’t open it up because then banks would have a reason to bypass their system, but perhaps just allowing things like credits or fares to pass through to the NFC reader would work. Even modifying their ToS to allow partnerships with transit agencies. They’ve already shown willingness to install a completely different NFC chip in Japan as they use a more established FeLiCa tech there.

  • joeyconnick

    That’s incorrect. Previously, you had to put a minimum of $10 at a time on a Compass card. Which you would nearly reach if you were paying for two 3-zone fares, even at the discounted rate.

    You can now add just $5 to a card at a time (although if I recall correctly, that’s only via cash at a CVM; online it’s still $10).

    So sorry… who needs to do more research?

  • Bruce Cairnie

    This is the logical step – a mobile Compass Card. So sensible.

  • elevtechlift

    It can happen to allow Compass cards linked to Apple Pay through negotiations and collaborations like JR East in Japan able to integrate Suica into Apple Pay. Setting up Suica in Apple Pay: App: Apple Pay developer page:
    Having Compass cards linked into Android Pay can work too so all cards are in one place and could open the possibility of Compass cards accepted as method of payment in select apps and on websites ( ).