Transit Police now have a faster way to catch Compass Card "free-loaders"

Feb 2 2023, 10:19 pm

It’s going to get much harder to just hop over the Skytrain gates as Transit Police update a new fare enforcement app.

Officers now have a more convenient way to scan a Compass Card to confirm whether or not someone paid the fare.

Transit Police used to use handheld units but about 157 officers transitioned to the apps near the end of 2022. The remaining officers will be upgraded to the new model this year, and the handheld units are being taken out of service.

The difference between the app and the handheld unit is convenience.

“Officers open the app on their phone and scan the Compass Card. The information pops up on the screen indicating what type of Compass media they have, whether it’s a monthly pass, day pass or single-use ticket and how many zones they have,” an email from Transit Police reads.

“It will also show trip history information. This will help officers determine if the passenger is in possession of a valid fare, making the process more streamlined and efficient.”

It’s unclear how many people this will be impacted since you still have to tap in to pay to get through the gates at SkyTrains or ride on a bus.

However, if someone is caught without paying the fare, TransLink says they could be fined $173.

That fine goes up the longer it goes unpaid and could even be sent to a collection agency.

If that happens, it could prevent the person from getting a driver’s licence or renewing an existing licence.

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

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