Vancouver Transit Fares and Compass Card

Below you'll find crucial information about transit fares in Vancouver including the new Compass Card

Updated on May 29, 2023

A Day Pass, valid all day in all fare zones on all three transit modes, is the best value for most tourists. It’s only $11.00 for Adults and only $8.65 for Concession! That gives you total freedom to travel the system all day long with as many stops as you wish.

The Compass Card and Compass Tickets

Ticket Vending Machines located in SkyTrain and SeaBus stations sell both single use Compass Tickets and reloadable Compass Cards.

Where can I buy a Compass Card?

Besides the Compass Vending Machines in SkyTrain and SeaBus Stations, you may purchase Compass Cards online from the official Compass Card Website and have them mailed before your trip — a great option for visitors.

Compass Cards are also available for sale at fare dealers located throughout the city which include the following stores: Safeway, London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, Mac's Convenience, 7-Eleven and many other independent convenience stores. Cards purchased from fare dealers will not have any stored value, but you may add a pass or stored value to them at a Compass Ticket Vending Machine located at the stations. Vending machines are also being set up at numerous London Drugs Stores throughout the city where you may purchase a card preloaded with a pass or stored value. There's a $6.00 refundable deposit for the card when you purchase it.

You may load your Compass Card with a Day Pass or with stored value. If you load your card with a Day Pass, the Day Pass will activate the first time you tap-in, otherwise your stored value will be reduced according to the fare for your trip. Using stored value on a Compass Card provides about a 20%discount on regular adult fares compared to the cash fare for single trip Compass Tickets, however, there is no additional discount for concession fares.

Tap to Pay Contactless Payment

You also have the option to pay for your fare using a contactless, Interac Debit, Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay on your smartphone. This makes paying your fare very convenient but there are a couple of caveats.

This method of payment is limited to adult fares only. It can only be used to purchase a fare for a single trip, so no day passes and it does not offer the discount available when you purchase a Compass Card. You have 90 minutes to transfer to another bus, SeaBus or SkyTrain to complete your trip before you would be charged another fare.

It may be a good option if you're just making one or two trips during the day. Beyond that, we recommend buying a Day Pass as the best option for most visitors.

If you do use the tap-to-pay method, it is important to remove your credit card from your wallet or phone case before tapping it on the reader, otherwise you may end up charging your trip to the wrong card or even multiple cards.

A Tap-to-Pay fare is identical to paying a cash adult fare. On buses, you will not have to tap-out. Your fare is valid through all three zones. When riding the SkyTrain, you will have to tap your card again when exiting. When Zone fares are in effect, you will be charged for the number of zones travelled. Be sure to tap-out with the same card you tapped in with or you will be charged the 3-Zone fare even if you travelled a shorter distance.

Paying on Buses


Important - When purchasing your fare on a bus with cash, you must have the exact fare. You cannot purchase a day pass or multizone fare when boarding a bus. The bus operator will provide you with a bus transfer, which serves as your proof of payment and may be used to transfer to other buses for 90 minutes from starting your trip. It is not valid on the SkyTrain, SeaBus, or West Coast Express.

Compass Card, Compass Ticket, contactless payment cards, or mobile wallet:

Simply tap your card, ticket, or mobile wallet on the card reader located near the bus doors when you board. There's no need to tap out when exiting.

If you use a Compass Card or Ticket to board a bus, you may transfer between all transit modes as needed to complete your trip and tapping out is not required on buses.

Fares and Fare Zones

As part of the change over to the Compass Card and Tickets, buses are exempt from zone fares. If you purchase a ticket, also known as a transfer, on a bus (requires exact coin fare) you will not be able to use it on the SkyTrain or SeaBus. When that happens, you will have to pay a full fare again based on the number of zones, day and time. On the plus side, a bus only ticket permits unlimited transfers onto other buses in any direction for the full 90 minute validity.

The fare chart below shows the various cash fares for a single trip based on the number of zones you will be travelling in. Single fares are valid for 90 minutes from boarding on all three transit modes: Buses, SeaBus and SkyTrain. If you tap-out from the SkyTrain or SeaBus more than 90 minutes after tapping in, your card is debited for a second trip.

Zones fares apply to the SkyTrain and SeaBus on Weekdays until 6:30pm. Buses are now exempt from Zone fares all day, every day. The SkyTrain and SeaBus are exempt for trips starting after 6:30pm on weekday evenings and all day on Weekends and Holidays. These exemptions allow travel through any number of zones on a 1 Zone fare. Concession fares are for adults 65+.

Children age 12 and under may ride the SkyTrain, Bus or SeaBus for free.

*Note: a surcharge of $5.00 is added to single ticket fares only for trips originating on Sea Island which include Vancouver Airport, Templeton Station and Sea Island Centre and travelling to Bridgeport Station and beyond. To avoid the surcharge purchase a Compass Card and load it with a day pass or stored value at the start of your trip.

Single Tickets, Cash Fares, Contactless Payments Zone Adult Concession (65+) 12 and Under (Accompanied by an Adult)
SkyTrain and SeaBus - Weekdays from start of service to 6:30 p.m 1 Zone $3.10 $2.05 Free
2 Zone $4.45 $3.05 Free
3 Zone $6.05 $4.15 Free
SkyTrain and SeaBus - Weekdays after 6:30 p.m. and all day Saturday, Sunday and Holidays. Buses only - all day, everyday All Zones $3.05 $2.00 Free

Official Website:

More Info for Getting Around Vancouver on Public Transportation

An excellent guide to getting around Vancouver on public transit

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