U-Pass Tutorial

Why is the U-Pass mandatory?

The program is a student-led initiative that came into effect out of a need for affordable student transportation.

Students voted in favor of the U-Pass Program during a student referendum.

The U-Pass program is a reduced transit fare program, providing students with significantly discounted access to unlimited public transit in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. For this to be possible, it means that all students must participate in the program.

What is the exemption criteria?

The U-Pass is not a way for students to only commute to and from the University, but to provide s t u d e n t unlimited access to the entire transit network in the National Capital Region.

It enables students to access jobs, social activities, and a wide variety of museums and parks.

Because the program is mandatory for all full-time students, the exemptions that have been approved, are the only options for students who want to opt-out of the program.

We understand that some of you may think that your circumstances are different, but if you do not meet any of the exemptions, the program is mandatory.

Your student association stands for the collective benefits the program provides to all students. Here are the exemptions that have been approved by the program’s guidelines:

  1. Students who reside outside the transits service area
  2. Student who will be away from the transit service areas for a minimum of 60 days
  3. Part-time students
  4. Students who are no longer enrolled at the University
  5. Graduate students who have submitted their thesis
  6. Students who are completely studying online
  7. Students who have a documented disability and therefore, cannot use public transit and who are registered with academic accommodations
  8. Students who are registered with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind
  9. Students who have a U-Pass from another post-secondary institution in Ottawa
  10. Students who are registered with Para Transpo.

If you are going to submit an exemption, present all the documents before the deadline to receive a full refund.

For students who do not meet any of these criteria, and some of the more popular demands are students who drive to campus, who live close to campus, or who do not want to participate in the program unfortunately cannot be exempted as the program is mandatory.

What are the benefits and advantages of using the U-Pass?

The U-Pass program benefits a lot of students, but it may not benefit you and with most mandatory or all- inclusive programs, there are users that will benefit more from the service than others.

If you find yourself one of the unlucky students who don’t meet any exemption, or you do not agree with the program being mandatory or if you have been refused an exemption this is for you.

The U-Pass program offers students a discount of approximately 45-55% off a regular monthly adult transit pass. It also benefits the local community and the environment.

The U-Pass program can provide the additional following benefits:

  • Save you money, especially if you leave your car at home or partially use your car. There are many park and ride options available in the city.

  • The U-Pass provides unlimited access to the entire transit network in the National Capital Region, this enables students to access jobs, social activities, and a wide variety of museums and parks.

  • Reduce traffic congestion around the campus and within our local communities.

  • Contribute to fewer emissions and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Stimulate public transportation ridership.

If you don’t meet any of the exemptions, it’s important to be aware that this program was created out of a need from students. It was created by students for students.

Get your U-Pass card, you’ll have it if ever you do need to use it.

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