U-Pass Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the U-Pass?
- Where can I find U-Pass information in other languages?
- What are the benefits of the program?
- Why is the U-Pass mandatory?
- Who is eligible?
- Who is NOT eligible?
- Who is exempt?
- Which Continuing Studies courses are eligible for the U-Pass?
- How do I get my U-Pass?
- What can I ride with my pass?
- How much will the U-Pass cost?
- How will I pay for my U-Pass?
- What if I have not paid for my U-Pass, yet?
- How do I opt out of the U-Pass?
- How do I get my new U-Pass?
- When can I get my U-Pass for next month?
- What happens if I lose my U-Pass?
- Why doesn't my new student ID card have an expiry date?
- Where can I get more information about the U-Pass?
What is the U-Pass?
The U-Pass is a universal transit pass program for students offered in partnership by Vancouver Community College, the SUVCC, TransLink, and the Province of British Columbia.
Where can I find U-Pass information in other languages?
For U-Pass information in Español, Farsi, Chinese and Punjabi and American Sign Language (ASL), please visit the SUVCC website.
What are the benefits of the program?
Some of the benefits of the U-Pass program are:
- Provides low-cost travel for students
- Encourages students to make transit part of their lifestyle
- Reduces the number of cars on the road and the emission of greenhouse gases
- Creates a sustainable transit program
Why is the U-Pass mandatory?
The U-Pass referendum, conducted by the SUVCC, showed VCC students voted in favour of accepting the U-Pass. The referendum was based on having a mandatory U-Pass for all eligible students.
The Students' Union of Vancouver Community College (SUVCC) held a referendum Dec. 1, 2010 on the acceptance of the U-Pass BC Program (U-Pass). VCC students voted 97.2% in favour of the U-Pass.
Who is eligible? Who is NOT eligible? Who is exempt?
Eligible students are SUVCC members, those who pay Student Union fees, and fit within the following categories:
The following students are NOT eligible to participate in the U-Pass program:
The following students can apply for exemption from U-Pass:
Who is NOT eligible?
Who is exempt?
Which Continuing Studies courses are eligible for the U-Pass?
For a list of Continuing Studies courses that may be eligible for the UPASS, click here. Please note that CS course eligibility depends on the tuition and length of the course section, and this may vary from term to term.
What can I ride with my pass?
The three-zone pass will allow you to use all TransLink bus, SkyTrain, Canada Line and SeaBus services throughout Metro Vancouver. As a U-Pass holder you will also receive reduced or special fares on West Coast Express services.
How much will the U-Pass cost?
You will pay $30 per month for your U-Pass. Depending on the program length, U-Pass fees must be paid for the length of the program at the time of registration (i.e., one-month program is $30, nine-month program is $270).
How will I pay for my U-Pass?
The fees for the U-Pass will be assessed for each period that you are registered and eligible for the program. Fees will be charged to your student account and all fees associated with registration for the current term must be paid in full before you can get your U-Pass. You can either pay online by logging onto myVCC or in person at a cashier.
What if I have not paid for my U-Pass, yet?
If you are eligible for the U-Pass, a charge will be applied to your account. Payment of the U-Pass is mandatory. If you miss payment for a month and do not receive a pass, you will still have to pay for the pass. Penalties for non-payment may apply and transcripts will be with held.
How do I opt out of the U-Pass?
If you already have a U-Pass from another institution or a transit pass as a result of a disability (e.g., students with a Canadian National Institute for the Blind card) you can opt out of the $30 a month U-Pass payment. Please go to the Registrar's Office with your other pass or proof of exemption and they will be able to opt you out by making a note on your account.
How do I get my new U-Pass?
New and returning students who are eligible need to follow these three important steps:
- Obtain a new magnetized student ID card at Photo ID Services. Your student ID card is readable by special U-Pass machines. Please note: Even if you have a previous student ID card, it will need to be replaced with this new magnetized card.
- Pay for your U-Pass now online at myVCC or in person at a cashier. Fees will be charged to your student account and all fees associated with registration for the current term must be paid in full before you can get your U-Pass. Please note: You must wait overnight before swiping your new student ID card at a U-Pass machine. VCC needs time to upload the financial information to the U-Pass machines.
- Take your new magnetized student ID card to one of the U-Pass machines. The U-Pass machines can be found:
- Downtown and Broadway: In the Registrar's Office
- Broadway: At the Student Union office
- Downtown: Outside the Continuing Studies office
- You must write your name on the back of the U-Pass and it must match your student ID card in order to be valid
- You must produce both your student ID and U-Pass upon request when riding public transit. If you do not have either piece, you must pay the required transit fare.
- Do not laminate your U-Pass
- Passes can be confiscated if abused
When can I get my U-Pass for next month?
The U-Pass machine dispenses passes until the 16th of that month. For instance, U-Passes for the month of October are available from the dispensing machines from Sept. 17 to Oct. 16. On the 17th of every month, the machines will be loaded with next month's U-Passes (ie. November) and you will not be able to receive a U-Pass for the previous month (in this case, October) after the changeover, but you will still have to pay for it. This is in line with all transit passes sold in stores. After the 17th of each month, sales for that current month are not conducted.
What happens if I lose my U-Pass?
VCC and Translink do not replace monthly U-Pass cards, so be careful not to misplace it. Fortunately, since it is a monthly pass, you don't have to wait too long to get your next month's pass.
Why doesn't my new student ID card have an expiry date?
VCC stopped issuing expiry dates on student ID cards recently because of the huge variations between program lengths. If you find stores that offer student discounts insist on proof of registration, please take your registration receipt with you.
Where can I get more information about the U-Pass?
If you have any more questions regarding the U-Pass program, please visit Translink's website.