Transit riders will be able to reload or buy Compass cards at vending machines in 18 London Drugs stores starting early next year.
TransLink’s partnership with the B.C.-based retailer will give transit users access to the machines at more locations besides rapid transit stations as the new smart card payment system rolls out.
“We wanted to extend our reach beyond the stations to locations that touch a broader part of the community,” said Mike Madill, TransLink vice-president of enterprise initiatives.
Existing retailers who now sell TransLink passes and tickets will be able to sell preloaded Compass cards, but those outlets won’t be able to reload them or host vending machines.
London Drugs was selected to host the in-store machines after a competitive bidding process.
Madill said no money is changing hands but declined to provide details on the deal with the retailer.
Passengers will also be able to reload cards by phone or online – it’s expected many will use a feature to set their Compass card to automatically reload from a connected credit card or bank account whenever the card value drops below a set level.
Vending machines will be more important to Compass users who want to reload the card using cash because they don’t have a credit card or bank account, or choose not to connect them.
The machines in London Drugs stores in South Delta, South Surrey, Cloverdale, Langley, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam and the North Shore will be the only physical places to reload cards in those areas, which are far from SkyTrain stations.
Map of London Drugs stores that will host Compass card vending machines.