Since the lovely transit authority here has decided to roll out RFID smart cards, which they call the Compass Cards, they’ve decided that now everybody leaving Sea Island with just only Stored Value on their cards are now subject to the $5 YVR AddFare.
This surcharge has been widely known for years and the most common way to get around it was to just simply purchase a book of 10 1-Zone FareSavers and use them instead. However, since TransLink will discontinue the old paper based fare media and close the fare gates on all SkyTrain stations, trying to purchase or use FareSavers will be impossible.
Keep in mind this work around only works for people commuting to YVR for work or to the newly built outlet stores by Templeton Station; this won’t work if you are not returning from YVR the same day you go there. The way you get around this pesky $5 YVR AddFare is you purchase your return ticket at any Compass Vending machine outside of Sea Island. When you leave YVR, use that Compass Ticket you purchased from the Vending Machine instead of your Compass Card. The reason why this workaround works is tickets sold from the newer vending machines expire on 0400 hours the day you purchase it. The 90 minute transfer window begins when you initially tap in with the Compass Ticket.
Of course, you won’t be enjoying the discount that their Stored Value offers over the full cash fare prices, however saving between $0.60 to $1.30 still beats the $5 YVR AddFare surcharge that TransLink levies on all tickets purchased in Sea Island. However look at the bright side, travel within Sea Island will remain free. As a matter of fact, you can go to any of the newer Ticket Vending Machines that sell the Compass Cards/Tickets and get a free Sea Island only Compass Ticket.