People Are Buying Compass Card Wristbands? Seriously?

Show the city what a good little transit user you are.

December 5, 2018

By Nathan Caddell / Photo: TransLink

Six dollars might not be able to buy you style. But it sure can buy you whatever the opposite of that is.

Case in point: TransLink has made wearable Compass bracelets for those that wish to just tap in to access our city’s world-class (unless you’re not going downtown) transportation system.

compass card
Photo: TransLink

Sure, there’s something to be said for saving seconds by simply reaching your hand up to the sensor instead of reaching into your jacket or bag and then performing a second arm movement.

Apart from people with legitimate disabilities, I have no idea why anyone would want to wear something that just screams, “Hey, I took transit here!”

I’m all for safe commuting, but let’s be real: are you actually going to wear this thing wherever you’re going? You’re gonna show it off at work or school? Maybe bandy it about at parties like people did with those yellow Livestrong bracelets until, well, you know?

Yet, somehow, TransLink’s silicone wristbands sold like the modern version of hot cakes when they first dropped on the market last weekend. Apparently, these vibe killers even have re-sell value, with some reportedly going for six times the original price online.

Here’s a better idea: spend that money on something (anything) else and—if you can, of course—continue making the five-second movement that having your Compass card in your wallet, pocket or bag necessitates.

Is this a futile attempt to try and delay the inevitable Blade Runner–type future where transit passes are embedded into our skin as we mind-numbingly move through the city? Maybe.

I’m not exactly a champion of fashion over practicality here—earlier this week, I may or may not have worn a McDonald’s scarf while I biked to work—but come on.

As an esteemed member of the media who often has to wear unsightly lanyards constantly reminding everyone around me that I’m covering the event, I have no idea why anyone who doesn’t have to wear one of these things would want to. You have a choice, damn it.

Or, at the very least, wear a long-sleeve, you savage.

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