Dear Editor: I'd like to clarify some details in response to the Aug. 18 North Shore News story, Compass Plan Will Penalize Bus Riders.
Currently, just 1.5 per cent (approximately 6,000) of our daily customers purchase fares on buses with cash and then transfer to SkyTrain and/or SeaBus. To be clear, there is a solution here - customers will be able to transfer from bus to rail and SeaBus with the Compass Card or a Compass ticket.
Of those bus riders who normally pay by cash, then choose to get onto SkyTrain or the SeaBus, it will be more convenient to use a Compass Card. Adding "stored value" on the Compass Card will be like adding cash to the card, but it will also have the benefit of giving
a customer a 14 per cent discount over the standard cash fare. It's perfect for single-use trips and also for transferring easily between all transit modes, including bus, rail and SeaBus. The tap in and tap out process is very simple and easy and takes place in less than a blink of an eye.
We take privacy of information very seriously - TransLink strictly adheres to the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Customers can choose not to register their card and, of those who do register, absolutely no personal information is encoded on their card. Personal identification and all trip data will be kept in separate secure and highly encrypted databases. In some cases, a name may be printed on cards used for special programs at their request, such as the provincial B.C. Bus pass program or CNIB, that provide discounts for which card-holders must qualify.
The data we collect through Compass will be used in aggregate form and not contain any specific customer information. This data will be used to help us improve customer experiences and make our transit system better by serving more people, more efficiently.
We understand the transition to a card will be a big change for all our customers. We're committed to ensuring that they are fully educated to ensure a successful transition to Compass. The changes will be introduced over a number of months and we have staff available to help customers adjust.
Mike Madill, vice-president enterprise initiatives
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