Frequently Asked Questions about the U-Pass

What is the U-Pass?

The U-Pass is a universal transit pass, which provides unlimited access to public transit services in exchange for a mandatory fee. The U-Pass is Term-based, so there is a Fall U-Pass and a Winter U-Pass, and each costs $130. This is applied directly to the accounts of students enrolled in a minimum of nine credit hours in a term, and is payable along with tuition. To see whether you are eligible for the U-Pass, check your Aurora fee statement and look at the detailed cost breakdown for the Term to see the U-Pass fee; if it is there, you can pick up your U-Pass for whichever term you are being charged the U-Pass fee. 

When did the U-Pass begin? 

UMSU members voted in a referendum in Fall 2014 to approve a $260 U-Pass. City Council officially approved the implementation of the U-Pass in March 2015. The U-Pass program officially launched in Winnipeg in September 2016. 

What are the benefits of the U-Pass?

You can use your U-Pass to ride Winnipeg Transit buses for the entirety of the Term without additional fare. There is no limit, and you can use it to travel to places in Winnipeg other than campus – work, shopping, events, & more! The total cost of $260 for the Academic Year works out to $32.50/month – compare that with $70.85/month for a Post-Secondary Pass, and you save $306.80 per Academic year! The U-Pass is also tax-deductible; you must retain the U-Pass and your detailed Aurora fee statement as a receipt in order to claim the U-Pass as a Transit expense on your tax returns.

Who is eligible for the U-Pass?

All Full-Time Undergraduate and Full-Time Graduate Students that are members of UMSU or GSA will be assessed the U-Pass fee. If you are assessed the fee in Aurora Student, you are eligible to pick up a U-Pass. If you are considered a Full-Time student by your program, but were not automatically assessed the U-Pass fee, you may be eligible to opt-in to the U-Pass program by completing a form and submitting the required proof of full-time student status to UMSU.

I wasn't charged for the U-Pass, but I am a Full-Time student! Can I still get a U-Pass?

You may be eligible to opt-in to the U-Pass if you can provide proof of full-time student status (enrolled in at least nine (9) credit hours in a term, or otherwise considered Full-Time by your program of studies). Stop by the UMSU Office at 101 University Centre for more details.

How do I get the U-Pass?

Students can pick up their U-Pass from Answers Information Booth on either the Fort Garry Campus, in University Centre, or the Bannatyne Campus, in the Brodie Centre, and must show their valid student ID in order to claim the U-Pass. The Winter U-Pass is available starting December 1, 2016 from Answers, and will be valid for use starting January 1, 2017, until April 30, 2017. 

How do I pay for the U-Pass?

Students who are eligible for the U-Pass will be assessed and must pay the U-Pass fee along with their tuition in each term for which they qualify.  Student fee assessments are available on Aurora.

How do I use the U-Pass?

Read the back of your U-Pass - put your name and phone number on the back in case you lose it. You must show both the U-Pass AND your student ID with a valid U-Pass sticker when boarding the bus. The Fall Term U-Pass is valid September 1 - December 31. The Winter Term U-Pass is valid January 1 - April 30. 

Note: the U-Pass is NOT transferable - it can only be used by the student to whom it is issued. It cannot be resold, loaned, given, or traded to others. Misuse of a U-Pass will result in confiscation of the U-Pass, and may be punishable by a fine.

What happens if I lose my U-Pass?

A lost, damaged, or stolen U-Pass can be replaced at the UMSU office with appropriate student identification and completion of a replacement request form. There is a fee to replace a lost U-Pass, so students are advised to check at Answers or call Transit at 311 first to see whether their pass has been turned in.

Can I opt-out of the U-Pass?

Only students who have been assessed the U-Pass fee can apply to opt-out of the U-Pass, and all applicants will need appropriate documentation. The following are valid criteria for opting out successfully:

  - Commute from outside City of Winnipeg boundaries (map is available here);

  - Registered with CNIB or Handi-Transit;

  - Co-op student for sixty (60) or more days in the Term;  

  - Studying outside Canada for sixty (60) or more days in the Term;

  - Participating in an internship or conducting research outside of Winnipeg for sixty (60) or more days in the Term as part of a program of studies according to the University's records;

  - Employee of Winnipeg Transit;

  - Hold a valid U-Pass from another Post-Secondary Institution within Winnipeg (e.g. University of Winnipeg)

The following are NOT valid reasons to opt-out of the U-Pass:

  - I walk / cycle / carpool to campus

  - I drive to campus / I purchased a U of M Parking Pass

  - I live in Residence

  - I don't take the bus

Please note that all opt-out applications and supporting documentation must be submitted during the opt-out period of January 18 - February 1, 2017.

How do I opt-out of the U-Pass?

Opt-out forms for the Winter Term will be available January 18*:

  - Online at umsu.ca

  - UMSU Services Desk (across from the UMSU Office at 101 University Centre)

  - Answers at Bannatyne Campus (Brodie Centre)

Forms will need to be submitted by the Winter Term Opt-Out Deadline (Wednesday, February 1, 2017*) with supporting documents. LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

*Dates have been adjusted as per the new Term outlined by the University due to the recent strike.

Where do I go if I have more questions about the U-Pass?

You can direct further questions about the U-Pass to u-pass@umsu.ca.