U-Pass offered to students, BC Transit to resume fare collection June 1

Campus News
BC transit bus at bus loop at UVic
File photo by Janine Crockett

In light of BC Transit’s decision to resume charging fares on June 1, the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) announced that students will be able to purchase a U-Pass this summer. Anyone enrolled in summer classes or co-op can purchase an $81 pass. Students who completed the spring semester can purchase a $108 pass. 

The U-Pass covers students’ fares for June, July, and August.

Despite BC Transit waiving fares for May, the U-Pass is the same price, $108, as last year’s four-month pass. When asked why this summer’s shortened U-Pass costs the same, UVSS Director of Campaigns & Community Relations Emily Lowan said the UVSS tried to negotiate for a lower price. 

“The UVSS worked with UVic to lobby BC Transit to offer students a prorated bus pass since students lost a month of pass usage, but unfortunately BC Transit firmly declined,” Lowan said.

For students unsure if the U-Pass pass is worth it, the $108 pass costs the same as 22 day passes, and the $81 pass is the same as 16 day passes. A regular BC Transit monthly bus pass is $85 a month.

In an email to students on May 20, the UVSS detailed further instructions on how to purchase a pass. 

Students will have to provide proof of enrollment to apply for the U-Pass, which can be a screenshot of their tuition account summary. The opt-in period for the summer U-Pass is May 25 to June 30. 

The UVSS website asks that students interested in the pass contact the SUB Info Booth via phone or email to prove enrollment and pay for the pass. It will take a minimum of two hours for the system to be updated before students can validate their ONECard. After their payment has been processed, students will have to use one of the three terminals at the University Centre on campus. The UVSS recommends students wait one business day after paying before validating their ONECard. 

BC Transit waived fares for all riders on March 19 in order to protect both passengers and drivers amid COVID-19. At the time of writing, B.C. is in Phase 2 of reopening the province.

Buses will be resuming front door loading with a temporary vinyl panel between the operator and passengers. Physical distancing between passengers will continue to be encouraged. BC Transit will also be enhancing its cleaning measures.

Lowan could not provide an update at the time of writing on transit or any U-Pass for the fall term.

For further information about the summer U-Pass, click here.