British Columbia·Timeline

Compass Cards and fare gates: how budgets and deadlines have grown and changed since 2005

Remember when the fare gate and Compass Card programs were supposed to cost as little as $80M and be up and running by 2008? Well, it didn't happen, and as this timeline shows, costs, deadlines and even the rationale for the programs have proven flexible over time.

Budget for project envisioned to be running by 2008 has grown from $80M to $194M

A man walks through open fare gates in 2013 at a SkyTrain station. Full operation for the gates and the accompanying Compass Card system have been pushed back numerous times over almost a decade.

Fare gates have been in the works at SkyTrain stations for almost 10 years, and in that time, the project's budget and deadlines have both proven as flexible as their rationale.

On March 1, TransLink seemed to signal the final step in integrating the fare gates into the regional transit network by announcing all gates at all stations would be closed by April 8, instead of leaving one gate open.

However, On March 2, Peter Fassbender, the minister responsible for TransLink, seemed to nix that commitment, saying one would remain open until accessibility issues for the disabled were resolved.

Here is a timeline of developments in the project that show how the beleaguered fare gate and Compass Card systems have developed over the years.