Compass Implementation on HandyDART

Owner: Translink  |  New Westminster, BC


About the Project

Binnie was engaged by TransLink to manage the implementation of Compass, TransLink’s contactless fare collection system on HandyDART from project initiation to close-out. The project workstreams included equipment installation, driver training, software modifications, customer engagement and communications, and integration with operations procedures.

Equipment Installation: Compass electronic readers and supporting equipment was installed on the fleet of approximately 340 HandyDART vehicles.

Driver Training for 350 HandyDART drivers: A comprehensive training program with training slides, a training video, and interactive demo equipment was developed to ensure that drivers were familiar with the Compass equipment, became familiar with the Compass payment environment, and could assist with tapping Compass cards for customer unable to tap on their own.

Software Modifications: Since 10-15% of HandyDART trips are fulfilled by taxi that do not have Compass equipment onboard, a back-end solution was developed, tested, implemented to enable Compass cards to be charged for taxi-fulfilled trips.

Customer Engagement and Communications: TransLink engaged HandyDART customers and stakeholders for input on the implementation of HAndyDART in conjunction with the HandyDART Modernization engagement. A Customer Adoption plan was developed and executed to help ensure that this unique customer group were supported in their transition to Compass. Multiple postcard notifications were directly mailed to all HandyDART customers informing them of key dates. Welcome packages were also mailed directly to all HandyDART customers. An instructional video was produced and made available to customers online along with virtual training sessions prior to launch and continuing until two months after launch.

Operational Procedures: Operational procedures within TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company, and the contracted service provider for HandyDART were updated to incorporate Compass.


HandyDART customers were the main focus of this project, it was crucial that their unique needs were considered in all aspects of the project. A customer trial was conducted early on in the project, to gather feedback on the welcome package materials, the functionality and placement of the equipment, the process of obtaining and loading their Compass cards. The project team provided updates to and obtained feedback from TransLink’s HandyDART Users’ Advisory Committee throughout the feedback to help guide the project. Significant effort and resources were allocated to all the customer communications, including postcards, welcome packages, training videos, informational workshops, and advertisements. Binnie used a programmatic approach to managing this project due to the multiple workstreams that were distinct but interdependent. Leads for each workstream were identified from TransLink, CMBC or the Binnie team as appropriate. The Binnie project manager worked closely with all the workstream leads to ensure the work was progressing and coordinated, with weekly team meetings and regular communication.


Compass was officially launched on HandyDART on October 1, 2021. The launch was successful with more than 70% of HandyDART trips being paid for by Compass two months after launch. When paying with Compass, customer receive the same discount as FareSavers and now have the flexibility of loading their card online, over the phone, at a Compass vending machine, or at the Compass Customer Service Centre. Compass also allows HandyDART customers to seamlessly transfer to conventional transit options.

Service(s) Provided
Owner’s Representative Project Management

Project Team (Consultants)
Cubic Transportation Systems


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