Commuters trying to board the first train on the official first day of operations for the new $2 billion Canada Line Tuesday were greeted by a nasty surprise: Locked doors.

Travellers who arrived at Waterfront Station for the 4:50 a.m. departure were unable to get into the station, which doesn't open until 5:30 a.m.

"This is ridiculous," one hopeful rider told CTV News after being shut out.

Several people opted to jump into waiting taxis, while others lugged their bags to an alternate but hard to find -- and unmarked -- entrance a block away.

Paying fares also proved problematic. Some people reported the terminals would not accept debit or credit payments.

TransLink's Drew Snider told the machines were in working order, and do accept all cards, but some riders encountered difficulties because of the new technology.

"With the new system, the card must be inserted, then held until the amber light comes on beside the slot," he said.

"Because of the new technology some people weren't aware. It sounds a bit complicated but it won't be once people get rolling."

Once aboard the trains, people were much happier.

Claude Brunelle, a longtime Vancouver airport employee, said he's been waiting decades for his inaugural ride.

"I've been working at the airport since June 1980 and I've been taking the bus off and on since then so I've been waiting for this since then," he said.

CTV British Columbia's Stephen Smart put the new Canada Line to the test, comparing commute times between the new rapid transit line and the bus.

On Monday, Smart took the 98 B-line from Lansdowne in Richmond into Vancouver's Waterfront Station. It took 40 minutes.

On Friday, he did the same commute using the Canada Line, at a time total of 24 minutes -- 16 minutes quicker than the bus.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Stephen Smart