About the U-Pass

Spring-Summer 2021 U-Pass Program Update

To know if you are eligible for the U-Pass, verify your statement of account. If you were charged the U-Pass fee for the Spring-Summer 2021 term, you are eligible.

If you have not been charged but still want to obtain a U-Pass for this term and you meet at least one eligibility criteria, you can submit an opt-in application in uoZone.

Exemption criteria have not been modified

Notice: As of June 21, 2021, STO routes in downtown Ottawa will be modified as part of a complete review of the STO system in the city. Four major routes will be affected. Please consult the detailed summary of changes on the STO website and plan your trip accordingly.

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, and are taking at least one in-person course, or completing a CO-OP work term, or going on an outgoing exchange. 

The U-Pass has come into effect through student 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?

The cost of the U-Pass is linked to your student account and is paid along with your tuition fees. Please refer to the Payment of fees for information on how to pay your fees.


  • 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?


Validity period

Cost (2020-2021)

Fall 2020/Winter 2021 term

Sept. 1 to April 30


Winter 2021 term

Jan. 1 to April 30


Spring/Summer 2021 term

May 1 to Aug. 31


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 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.

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.

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