About the U-Pass
Fall 2020 U-Pass Program Update
Since most courses are delivered virtually for the fall 2020 term, only full-time students taking at least one in-person course will automatically be charged for the mandatory U-Pass program.
Exemption criteria have not been modified.
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.
The U-Pass is a compulsory fee for all eligible students.
Benefits of your U-Pass
- Reduced price for uOttawa eligible students
- Provides unlimited travel on all OC Transpo (Ottawa) and STO (Gatineau) transit routes; including the O-Train and future light rail (LRT).
- Significant savings compared to regular monthly transit services.
- No age restriction.
- Helps support a sustainable community.
- Access to OC Transpo’s Park and Rides and ParaTranspo.
How do I pay for my U-Pass?
When you register for full-time courses at uOttawa, the cost of the U-Pass is linked to your student account and it will automatically be charged. Please refer to the Payment of fees for information on how to pay your fees.
For the 2020-2021 academic year, only students enrolled in in-person courses are eligible for the U-Pass and will automatically be charged the compulsory fee.
- Some sponsored students may opt-in the U-Pass program. In these cases, the U-Pass fee will be added onto your statement of account and it is your responsibility to verify when the charges are applied to your account so you can come pick up your U-Pass.
- If you drop down to part-time, withdraw from the University or finish your studies (including if you submitted your theses), you must complete an exemption form and return your U-Pass card in order to receive a pro-rated credit/adjustment on your statement of account.
How to use your U-Pass?
Your U-Pass is a smart card and will work on all STO and OC Transpo buses. Students will need to tap their U-Pass on the card readers upon boarding the bus or at the O-Train station.
How much is the cost of the U-Pass and when is it valid?
Fall 2020/Winter 2021 term
Sept. 1 to April 30
Winter 2021 term
Jan. 1 to April 30
Spring/Summer 2020 term
May 1 to Aug. 31
No charge as the program was suspended
Due to the validity of the U-Pass in the Fall (September 1 – April 30), eligible full-time students are charged the full amount in the Fall term.
This means that even if you are only registered for full-time courses in the Fall term, you will still be charged the full amount. If you aren’t full-time during the Winter term, you must submit an opt-out form and return your U-Pass before the refund deadline in order to obtain your Winter fee adjustment.
If you will be full-time only during the Winter term, then you will be charged the Winter term only.
ONCE YOU PICK UP YOUR CARD, NO REFUNDS CAN BE ADMINISTERED UNTIL THE U-PASS IS RETURNED TO THE UOTTAWA CARD SERVICE.
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
"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.