VANCOUVER -- Transit users eager to get their hands on a keychain-sized version of the Compass Card showed up bright and early Friday morning.

The cards went on sale at 6:45 a.m. at Waterfront Station and 7:30 a.m. at Stadium-Chinatown Station, but some people started lining up early. 

"It's smaller - fits on your key ring or your backpack. It's a practical and more convenient way to pay your fare," said TransLink spokesperson Lida Paslar.

People were in line shortly after 6 a.m. at Waterfront Station and at about 7:30 a.m., TransLink said the long lineup reached past the elevator.

Jazmine Khan was first in line and the first to make the purchase.

"I'm filled with enjoyment and happiness because I'm very tired right now and I'd love to go home and sleep, take a nap before work, but yeah, these are all going to be Christmas gifts for all my friends and family," said Khan.

Stadium-Chinatown Station was the only other place to get the minis. Long lines there stretched down the block, and many in the lineup said it's worth it for a little more convenience.

TransLink said it's initially only releasing 5,000 of the blue adult minis and 2,500 of the orange concession minis.

Just before 1 p.m., the mini cards were sold out at Waterfront Station. They were still available at Stadium-Chinatown Station and TransLink said lines had died down.

A sign posted at Waterfront said the Stadium-Chinatown Station would be restocked with the cards on Saturday and they would be available while supplies last between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.


The transit authority's waterproof Compass Wristbands sold out in a matter of hours after they were released last December, and TransLink didn't sell any more for months.

In that case the hype led to early purchasers scalping the bracelets on Craigslist for as much as $60 – 10 times the $6 deposit that was required to buy one.

An hour after they went on sale, the same thing was happening with the Compass Minis.

A post on Craigslist had one of the keychain cards on sale for $50, promising delivery to anywhere in the Lower Mainland.

"Please, no hate," the post put up shortly before 8 a.m. said. "I stood in line for hours at 6 a.m. to get this, you didn't, if you're mad about it, it's not my problem." 

People picking up the Compass Mini will also have to put down a $6 refundable deposit. 

Paslar says depending on the interest they may release more in the new year.

"We want to take today and the next little while to gauge the interest whether or not our customers really like them," Paslar said.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Andrew Weichel