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A bit about the U-Pass BC program starting this fall

A bit about the U-Pass BC program starting this fall

I’m still on holiday! This is a scheduled post.

With the school year fast approaching, I thought I’d put up some more info about the new U-Pass BC program that comes into effect on September 1.

In June 2010, the Province of British Columbia announced its new U-Pass BC program, offering a universal bus pass to students at all publicly funded post-secondary institutions.

However, be aware that this doesn’t mean all students will be handed a U-Pass the minute they step on campus. It’s not mandatory for schools to take part, and schools without a U-Pass need to first follow their own process (usually a referendum) to get their student body to approve of joining the program.

Check out our U-Pass BC page for all the details — I’ve also copied up some of the key information here.

So where’s my U-Pass?

Students and schools now eligible to join the new U-Pass BC will need to do a few things before they get their transit passes:

  • Students have indicated they want to hold a referendum (or follow the proper process according to their student society’s constitution) to approve their entry into the U-Pass BC program at the monthly rate of $30, which will rise to $35 per month on April 1st, 2013.
  • If approved, Schools will need to set up their processes to administer the program
  • Students, their schools and TransLink will all sign a standard contract that includes each signatory’s rights and responsibilities for the program.

Student societies and schools that are ready to start this process now could have their new U-Pass BC programs up and running as early as this coming January. Students already participating in the current program will have their U-Pass as usual in time for the fall session.

Students at Langara College and Capilano University will see their monthly U-Pass rate drop to $30 per month effective September 1. Students at UBC and SFU will keep their current program and their U-Pass rates until this time next year.

By September 1, 2011, all participating students and schools will need to be on the new U-Pass BC program. This means UBC, SFU, Langara College and Capilano University students will need to hold a referendum and approve the new program so that their student societies can sign the standard contract along with their schools and TransLink.

For more, again check out the U-Pass BC page, where you can see the U-Pass BC brochure, FAQ, and read the official press release.

And if you have questions, please write to!