TransLink is exploring long-term solutions to the problem of Compass gates locking out some people with disabilities – but it could take years and cost millions of dollars.

Right now, the fate gates are staffed by workers who open them for those who can't tap in or out.

It's an ad-hoc system put in by TransLink to let those riders in, but it's expensive, with costs estimated to run from $12 million to $30 million a year, depending on the level of staffing in place.

That system could be replaced by July by hiring more people to monitor the gates by video link and open disability gates remotely, at a cost of $500,000.

But in the longer term, TransLink is considering a custom system that could give people a device that could open those gates with a proximity sensor.

Exactly what that would look like isn't yet clear; TransLink said it will consult with the 15-50 people who need it.

The process is expected to take two years and cost around $5 million.

The Compass system has improved revenue, up some 7 per cent in April, about $2.9 million, which TransLink said is because fewer people are skipping fares.

The cost of the Compass system is about $190 million.