What is the U-Pass program?
The U-Pass is a mandatory bus pass program for all graduate and undergraduate students who are registered full-time at the University of Ottawa. The U-Pass has come into effect through SFUO (now UOSU) and GSAED referendums and through collaboration with OC Transpo and STO.
History of the U-Pass
2019 – Distribution and Management by the uOttawa Card Service
With the SFUO being voted out, the distribution and management of the U-Pass were transferred to the uOttawa Card Service. Both student associations, GSAED and the new UOSU, remain involved in the U-Pass program.
2016 – Smart card and Summer U-Pass
In 2016, a referendum passed to put into effect a summer U-Pass for all full-time graduate and undergraduate students attending the University of Ottawa. Students voted “Yes” on the referendum question:
"Do you agree that each student registered full-time in a summer session contribute $192.70 with a maximum increase of 2.5% per year for a summer U-Pass, which will be valid from May 1st to August 31st, beginning on May 1st, 2016?"
The U-Pass smart card started off as a pilot project during the summer 2016 term. Due to its success, the U-Pass will now officially be a smart card for upcoming terms.
2015 – Agreement with STO
After many requests to make the U-Pass program more inclusive for all students of the University of Ottawa, in the summer of 2015, OC Transpo entered an agreement with the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) to include students residing in Gatineau STO service area to the U-Pass program.
As of fall 2015, all full-time students residing in the STO and OC Transpo’s areas of service are eligible for a U-Pass.
2010 – The Pilot Program
For several years, student unions (SFUO and GSAED) and the University administration worked together to obtain affordable transit service for uOttawa full-time students.
In 2010, a referendum passed to run a pilot U-Pass program at the University of Ottawa and at Carleton University. The University, the SFUO, the GSAED and the City of Ottawa entered into an agreement to provide a one-year pilot program to determine a fair revenue-neutral price for the U-Pass. Students voted “Yes” on the referendum question:
“Are you in favour of contributing $145.00 per semester per full-time student for the creation of a mandatory U-Pass program?”
This lead to a three-year agreement between the University of Ottawa, the SFUO, the GSAED and the City of Ottawa.