British Columbia

Mini madness: Big lineups greet launch of little Compass card

These Compass cards have shrunk — and may soon disappear altogether.

Limited supply of keychain-sized 'Compass Minis' available to buy from Dec. 6

The lineup at Stadium-Chinatown Station on Friday morning as people waited to get their hands on TransLink's new Compass Mini card. (Karin Larsen/CBC)

If the lineups are any indication, TransLink's new Compass Mini cards are a big hit.

At this morning's launch at the Stadium-Chinatown Compass office, about 120 people lined up around the corner onto the Dunsmuir Viaduct in order to get their hands on the Mini — a limited-edition, keychain-sized transit pass.

Mini hopeful Oliver Stannus said he liked the convenience of the new card.

"It will make my life easier getting to work every day," he said.

The Compass Mini is meant to be a more convenient option to the Compass card. Five thousand were released this morning along with 2,500 orange concession fare Minis. (Karin Larsen/CBC)

The diminutive cards attach easily to keychains and backpacks and function in the same as the regular-size Compass cards. 

Five thousand blue Minis for standard fares and 2,500 orange concession Minis were available starting this morning at the Stadium-Chinatown Station and the West Coast Express Office in Waterfront Station.

The Compass Mini is the latest experiment by TransLink in offering alternatives to the Compass card. Last December, Compass wristbands sold out within hours of their launch.

Some were then offered for resale by scalpers for several times the original cost. 

"The launch of Compass Mini is a part of our commitment to enhance the customer experience," said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. 

"Compass wristbands have been a real hit and I'm sure customers will enjoy the convenience and practicality of the new Compass Mini," said Desmond.

The Compass Minis can easily attach to keychains or bags. (TransLink)

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