Canadian transportation authority TransLink’s Compass Card program has been further delayed as it is facing recurring problems with the speed and reliability of its card readers on buses.
TransLink hopes to roll out the program by this October, once all the technical issues are ironed out by the contractor Cubic Transportation Systems.
The program is already running behind schedule and is over budget, giving rise to speculations that the plan is in jeopardy.
But TransLink COO Doug Kelsey brushes off these doubts saying, "There’s always challenging times in any IT project. We’ll get there; it’ll be a success."
As part of the testing phase, the authorities have issued 85,000 cards till now to Trans-Link employees and those in the BC Bus Pass Program, which serves the disabled and low-income seniors.
Initial reports that have surfaced show comparatively longer time taken by the bus card readers or mobile validators to scan the Compass cards.
There were also problems related to tapping in and out of the cards on buses, with Translink estimating an eight per cent to 10 per cent error rate on the mobile validators, leading to overcharging of fares.
TransLink expects to issue 800,000 cards, which will allow commuters to load monthly passes, single fares or a prepaid balance.