What is the U-Pass?
The Universal Transportation Pass is a mandatory program from September-April for all students who are members of the UBCSUO (UBC Students’ Union Okanagan) and have been assessed the UBC O Student Union fee. The U-Pass entitles its holders to unlimited access to the Kelowna Regional Transit System and access to HandyDART.
What are the benefits of U-Pass?
The U-Pass provides cardholders with a low-cost sustainable transportation option that will:
- Reduce the use of automobiles to and from the UBC O campus, leading to reduced traffic and pollution,
- Increase transit ridership and access to affordable and sustainble transportation options,
- Ease traffic congestion and automobile parking demands at UBC O and surrounding areas.
Where do I get my U-Pass?
Your valid UBC O Student Card will also be used as your U-Pass. You will receive a U-Pass decal that will be placed on the back of your student card. Decals will be available at the Student Union Office in the Student Services Building (UNC 133).
When can I start using my U-Pass?
You may use your U-Pass starting September 01 through to December 31 (if you are only registered for the Fall Semester) or through to April 30 (if you are registered for both semesters). For students beginning courses in January, you can pick up your U-Pass decal starting December 01. Your U-Pass is valid from January 01-April 30.
How does my U-Pass work?
Simply show the bus operator the front and back of your validated student card each time you board the bus.
What if I can’t pick up my U-Pass decal in time?
Your student card without a U-Pass decal affixed to it will also be accepted for unlimited access to the Kelowna Regional Transit system during the following periods:
- September 1 – 30th (the Fall Semester)
- January 1 – 31st (the Winter Semester)
How much does the U-Pass cost?
The U-Pass is mandatory and costs $50 a semester. The University is subsidizing the cost of the U-Pass by 10%, which means you only pay $45 per semester.
How do I pay for the U-Pass?
The U-Pass fee is assessed with other student fees and your tuition. Go to the Student Services Centre website, log in, and click on Tuition and Student Fee Inquiries to view your fee assessments. You will be assessed the U-Pass fee on a per semester basis; the fee is due at the beginning of each semester.
If I only study for one semester, do I have to pay all semesters?
Students will only be assessed a U-Pass fee for the semester in which they are studying. The UPass decal has an expiry date of April 30th. If you are enrolled in courses for the fall semester only and have received a U-Pass decal, you must return your student card with the U-Pass decal affixed to it, to the Student Union office by January 31st. Your U-Pass decal will be removed from your student card and your student card will be returned to you.
Is the U-Pass available during the Summer Semester?
The U-Pass is optional during the summer semester (May-August) for any student who was a UBC O Student in the Winter Semester of the same calendar year and/or will be a UBC O Student during any months of the current Summer Semester. Students who meet the above criteria and have a valid student card may purchase a U-Pass decal at any time during the summer semester from the Student Union office located in the Student Services Centre (UNC 133). U-Pass decals for the summer semester cost $45.
What if I lose my U-Pass?
If you lose your U-Pass, you have also lost your Student Card. You must first replace your Student Card (available in the lower foyer of the Student Services Centre). Once you have replaced your student card, you can request a replacement U-Pass decal at your Student Union Office, located in the Student Services Centre (UNC 133). U-Pass decals will be replaced free of charge.
Can I opt in and out of the U-Pass program?
No. Only students that are assessed student fees are entitled to a U-Pass. Student may request an exemption if they meet the fee exemption criteria (see below).
Who is automatically exempt from the U-Pass program?
- Any UBC O student who is not assessed fees by UBC.
- Any UBC O Student who officially withdraws from taking any courses at UBC O before the withdrawal date established by UBC, which would allow a full reimbursement of tuition fees. In the event that the withdrawing student has received a U-Pass decal, a request for an exemption must be made and the U-Pass decal (still affixed to the student card) must be returned to the Student Union Office located in the Student Services Centre (UNC 133) before the withdrawal date.
Who can request an exemption?
Any UBC O student that meets one or more of the following criteria:
- Does not reside within the Regional District of Central Okanagan and does not attend nor is scheduled to attend classes offered by UBC O.
- Does not reside within the Regional District of Central Okanagan, but does attend classes offered by UBC O. This clause may be removed in the event that transit service extends to areas of residence outside the RDCO.
- Is enrolled exclusively in distance education/go global courses offered by UBC.
- Is taking a single course with scheduled classes, labs, or other attendance requirements of no more than one day per week throughout the semester. If your course does not have scheduled classes (e.g. graduate thesis, directed study), this exemption class will only apply if your course work is undertaken outside of the Regional District of Central Okanagan. In this case, you must provide a letter from your Faculty or direct supervisor.
- Is a registered user of HandyDart in the Kelowna region.
- Has a demonstrated disability which has been verified by the UBC O Disability Resource Office (UNC 215); and who cannot use public transit as a result of this disability.
- Holds a BC Bus Pass.
- Regularly attends another post-secondary educational institution while also enrolled at UBC O and holds a valid U-Pass from such other institution.
- Is an outbound UBC O exchange student and may not have been automatically exempt.
How do I apply for an exemption?
Click here to view the exemption application form. Please note that all applications for exemption must be filled out and submitted at the Students’ Union Office in the Student Services Centre (UNC 133).
When is the exemption application deadline?
The exemption application must be submitted no later than September 20th for students beginning class in September and no later than January 20th for students beginning classes in January.
If I’ve already paid for and received my U-Pass decal, can I still apply for and receive an exemption?
Yes. If you have already paid your U-Pass fee, have received a U-Pass decal, and are subsequently granted an exemption, you will receive a credit on your Financial Account equivalent to the U-Pass fee paid, provided you return your U-Pass decal (affixed to your student card) to the Student Union office (UNC 133) before the exemption application deadline.
What is the Transportation Hardship Fund (THF)?
The Transportation Hardship Fund (THF) is an annual fund of $3000 per year that will be used to provide subsidies off the cost of the U-Pass to UBC O students who are not eligible to apply for an exemption but who have other circumstances limiting their ability to benefit from the U-Pass program or who suffer financial hardship due to the mandatory nature of the U-Pass program.
The Fund is administered through the Associate Vice President Administration and Finance, Parking Office. Please carefully read the THF eligibility criteria before completing your application.
Download the THF Eligibility Criteria and Application Form here.
Is my U-Pass transferable?
The U-Pass is not transferable. The U-Pass sticker is self-destructing and cannot be re-used once pulled off your student card. Lending your validated student card or attempting to use another person’s validated student card is an offence.
What is the Federal Government Transit Tax Credit?
You can claim a non-refundable tax credit based on your annual U-Pass fee assessments. Students who have been assessed a U-pass fee can download and print a receipt of their U-Pass fee assessment through the Student Services Centre website. You do not need to submit your receipt with your tax submission; however we encourage you to keep a record of it for 5 years in the event of an audit.
Where can I get more information?