Commuters in Metro Vancouver can now use their contactless debit cards to pay for a bus or SkyTrain trip, TransLink says.
The transit authority said in a statement that any debit cards with Interac capability can now be used to tap in and out at SkyTrain fare gates or buses.
It adds to the options that commuters already had to pay for a trip — including TransLink's own Compass fare cards and wristbands, contactless credit cards, smartphone wallets like Apple and Google Pay and cash.
TransLink first announced in late 2021 it would be integrating Interac debit into its payment systems, and the authority now says all 5,000 Compass readers across the region have been upgraded to receive debit cards.
"We're focused on making transit more convenient for customers, and this upgrade will particularly benefit those who may not have easy access to a credit card," said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn in a statement.
Quinn says that TransLink is the first transit system in Canada to implement contactless debit card payments and, in 2018, was the first system to implement contactless credit cards.
Interac is the financial authority that handles e-transfer and debit payments for all of Canada's major banks.
"When transit authorities add Interac debit to their networks, they are offering riders a form of payment that almost 30 million Canadians already use for day-to-day purchases," said William Keliehor, the chief commercial officer for Interac, in a statement.
TransLink saw 224 million boardings on all forms of transit in 2021 — the last full year data was available. The authority says ridership is rebounding across the region at a faster pace than other transit services across the continent.