04 November, 2014
Canada’s Compass Card – a smart card used for accessing public transit – is slated to serve a much larger user base in 2015, as the card program be expanded serve students studying at ten universities participating in the U-Pass BC program.
The expansion will do away with students’ previous method of reloading transit cards, which saw them line up each month at dispensing machines on campus to receive a paper pass. The introduction of the RFID smart cards will instead enable students to reload their their fare balances online via a secure website.
As reported by VanCity Buzz, participating universities will need to acquire the requisite software and infrastructure to support and manage students’ usage of the new fare payment system. This will include TransLink’s – Vancouver’s transit authority – Compass Point Gateway. This secure private network will be used to administer the system and aid in the transition from paper passes to RFID smart cards.
According to TransLink officials, the issuance of Compass Cards to university students will be conducted in three waves beginning with the smaller institutions. An estimated 2,000 students will receive the smart card over the first two waves in January and March of 2015.
The third wave is scheduled to begin in April, continuing through the summer of 2015 until all 145,000 students across ten universities have received their Compass Cards. In total, the expansion is expected to raise the number of citizens using the Compass Card to 230,000 by the end of August, up from the current 85,000 citizens.