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London Drugs to be only retailer with Compass Card kiosks

TransLink has announced an exclusive deal that will make London Drugs the only local retailer with full service Compass Card kiosks.

Full service kiosks will be installed in 18 locations throughout Metro Vancouver

The new Compass Card system is scheduled to be rolled out across the transit system next year, but transit riders will have to go to a London Drugs location to reload their cards. (CBC)

TransLink has announced an exclusive deal that will make London Drugs the only local retailer with full service Compass Card kiosks.

Transit riders will still be able buy pre-loaded Compass Cards from different chains and companies, but cardholders can only reload by going online, to a transit station or to London Drugs.

The kiosks will be in 18 London Drugs locations throughout Metro Vancouver.

The drug store chain is providing the space and electricity, while TransLink will run and maintain the kiosks.

London Drugs merchandising executive Rob Felix says the company will not make any direct profits from the deal.

"There's no rent, there's no money changing hands," he says.

"We think it provides a service for everybody in the Lower Mainland, but in terms of benefit from this, in terms of profitability, that wasn't worked into our process."

TransLink says the exclusive deal was about convenience for customers, and a tight budget.

"They are expensive machines and we wanted to make sure we had them in locations that are widely dispersed throughout the region," says Michael Madill, vice president of enterprise initiatives at TransLink.

"So we couldn't afford to put them in with a bunch of different retailers, it made sense to only do it with one."

The kiosks are expected to be ready for when the Compass Card system is rolled out early next year.

With files from the CBC's Rafferty Baker

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