Frequently Asked Questions

General information

U-Pass eligibility and exemption

U-Pass fees

Loading U-Pass BC

Using your Compass Card

General information

What is the U-Pass BC program?

U-Pass BC is a student transit program offered in partnership by the BCIT Student Association, Translink, the Province of British Columbia and BCIT. U-Pass BC enables eligible students to receive a three-zone pass valid for all TransLink Bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus services throughout Metro Vancouver.

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What is a Compass Card?

Compass is a reloadable fare card that works everywhere on transit in Metro Vancouver. Compass cards are available at TransLink locations and The Stand at the Burnaby Campus, Building SE-2, 2nd floor. Top

What are the benefits of U-Pass BC?

Students can use the U-Pass BC for all TransLink bus, SkyTrain, and Seabus service in Metro Vancouver without paying additional fares including the YVR airport surcharge. U-Pass BC holders receive a discount when using West Coast Express and the pass is also valid for use with HandyDART services.

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Where can I find more information on using transit in Metro Vancouver?

Information on transit routes and schedules can be found at TransLink.

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Who do I contact if I have general comments or concerns about the U-Pass BC program at BCIT?

Please contact the BCIT Student Association.

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U-Pass eligibility and exemption

How do I confirm if I'm eligible for U-Pass BC?

You can check your U-Pass BC eligibility at myBCIT. Once you have logged into your account, select U-Pass BC in the Online Self Service menu (right sidebar) and follow the prompts.  Please note that eligibility will not display until 24 hours following registration.

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Why aren't part-time studies students eligible for U-Pass BC?

The U-Pass BC program is available only to students in full-time programs, whether they are students carrying a full or reduced course load. Part-time Studies at BCIT represents a diverse student population and a wide range of programming and delivery. The U-Pass BC contract does not allow for the flexibility required by BCIT to be able to extend the program to Part-time Studies students. As a result, the U-Pass BC program is only available to students in full-time programs.

Students with concerns about their eligibility or ineligibility for the U-Pass BC program should contact the BCIT Student Association. The Student Association will collect this information for discussions with BCIT, TransLink and the Province.

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How do I know which months of U-Pass BC I'm eligible for?

You can check which months of U-Pass BC you qualify for at myBCIT. Once you have logged into your account, select U-Pass BC in the Online Self Service menu (right sidebar) and follow the prompts.  Please note that eligibility will not display until 24 hours following registration.

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What happens if my program starts in the middle of the month?

If your program starts in the middle of the month - or even on the last day of the month - you are still eligible for the U-Pass BC for the whole month. For example, if your program starts September 26th, you will be able to request your pass starting August 16th and start using it on September 1st.

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Who do I contact if I've checked my U-Pass BC eligibility on myBCIT and still have questions?

Call Student Information & Enrolment Services at 604-434-1610. Have your BCIT student ID number ready and staff will be able to assist you.

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I'm returning to my full-time studies program in September but will be on a modified program. Do I still qualify for U-Pass BC?

As long as you remain declared in an eligible, full-time program and are registered in a minimum of 3.0 credits each term, you will be eligible.  Students with an undeclared major are not eligible for the U-Pass program.  Eligibility is only confirmed the day following your registration date.

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Why is the U-Pass mandatory for eligible students?

U-Pass BC is a discounted transit program and is financially possible only when participation numbers are significant. From February 18, 2013 to February 26, 2013 the BCIT Student Association conducted a student referendum to measure the level of student support. Of the 2,561 students that voted, 91% voted yes to participation in the U-Pass program.

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Can I opt out of the U-Pass BC program?

Students who do not want to participate in the U-Pass BC program cannot opt out.

Under certain circumstances, students may request an exemption from the U-Pass BC program. Exemptions may only be approved for the following:

To request an exemption, please submit the following form(s) to the U-Pass BC Administrator at upassadmin@bcit.ca

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U-Pass fees

How much does U-Pass BC cost?

$41.00 per month from May 1, 2017 - April 30, 2018.

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If I don’t load my U-Pass BC, am I still charged?

Yes, the U-Pass BC program is mandatory. If you are eligible and have not secured an exemption, you will be charged the U-Pass BC fee whether or not you load your U-Pass. Top

Can I claim my U-Pass BC cost in my income tax return?

To support your income tax claim, it is recommended you keep any receipts, credit card statements or canceled cheques along with your Account Balance and Summary found on your myBCIT under Student Self Service.

Check the Canada Revenue Agency website for current information.

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Are the U-Pass BC fees refundable if I withdraw from my program?

If you withdraw from your program, you will no longer be eligible for the U-Pass BC program. When your request to withdraw is processed, your U-Pass BC eligibility and financial account will be reviewed. A refund for future months which have been paid and the current month at the time of withdrawal (if pass not taken) will be processed.

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Do I need to enable cookies in my browser to access the U-Pass BC website?

If your cookies are disabled, you will need to enable them to access the U-Pass BC website. Please go to your browser’s preferences and enable cookies to proceed with using the U-Pass BC website. TransLink’s website privacy policy provides more information on cookies

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How long will it take to load my U-Pass BC?

It can take up to 24 hours for your U-Pass BC to load onto your Compass Card, so make sure you request it at least one day before the end of the month. Without a valid U-Pass BC, you are responsible for paying your fare.

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Why do I have to request my U-Pass BC every month?

As a discounted transit program, requesting your U-Pass BC each month is a safeguard that reduces the chances for fraudulent misuse and helps ensure the continuation of the U-Pass BC program.

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What if I forget my Compass Card/Student ID?

You must always carry your BCIT Student ID card with you whenever you use your U-Pass BC. If you forget your Compass Card or your student ID, then you are required to pay the appropriate transit fare, otherwise, you may be subject to fines and/or loss of U-Pass BC privileges.

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When can I sign up for reminders to load my monthly U-Pass BC onto my Compass Cards?

Once you're received your Compass Card, you can set up your account to receive email reminders by visiting upassbc.translink.ca

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What should I do if I lose my BCIT student ID card?

If you lose your BCIT student ID card, report it lost at BCIT Safety and Security, Building SW01-1000, and get a replacement card right away.

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Using the Compass Card

Do I need to tap in and tap out?

You must tap in and tap out every time you enter and exit a transit station and each time you enter a bus. Tapping off buses is no longer required. This is how the system validates your fare and how TransLink receives important tap out data to support sustainability for the U-Pass BC program and future system improvements.

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Why do I have to tap out?

That's how the system works. Tapping in and out with Compass Card provides important anonymous travel data that helps TransLink plan a better transit system. That means long-term sustainability, affordability for customers and better service routes for customers, including U-Pass BC students.

Tap out data supports the sustainability of the U-Pass BC program. It demonstrates how many students are using the U-Pass BC program, which helps build on the success of the program. The data also supports system improvements. Every time you tap out, it’s like a vote for improved transit along your route.

It’s also a good habit to develop. When you're not travelling on your U-Pass BC and you tap in, but forget to tap out, the system will charge you the maximum fare (three zones).

Remember, tapping out is not required on buses.

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As a U-Pass BC student, what fare media do I need to provide when travelling with an attendant?

Currently, if you travel with an attendant, please ensure you have your HandyCard with you. Your HandyCard provides free travel for your attendant. This applies to both Compass Card customers and people who use traditional fare media. In the future, Access Transit Compass Cards will replace HandyCards. On the conventional system (bus, train, or SeaBus) people who travel with an attendant must tap their Compass Card, or use their traditional fare media, and show their HandyCard to bus operators when boarding.

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How does my Compass Card and U-Pass BC work on HandyDART?

U-Pass BC students will use their Compass Card as a flash pass on HandyDART; you are not required to tap in and tap out on HandyDart. If you ride on the conventional system (bus, train, or SeaBus), you will need to tap in on all modes of transit. Tapping out is required on SkyTrain and SeaBus only

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What if I forget my Compass Card/Student ID?

You must always carry your BCIT Student ID card with you whenever you use your U-Pass BC. If you forget your Compass Card or your student ID, then you are required to pay the appropriate transit fare, otherwise, you may be subject to fines and/or loss of U-Pass BC privileges.

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What if I lose my Compass Card?

The U-Pass BC benefit can be transferred onto another Compass Card easily through TransLink's U-Pass BC website: upassbc.translink.ca.  To prevent misuse, you should unlink your Compass Card as soon as it is lost.  Your old card is unlinked and the U-Pass BC benefit transferred as soon as you link a new card to your account.  Students are responsible for purchasing a new Compass Card.

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What if I lose my Student ID?

If you lose your BCIT Student ID card, get a replacement card right away. Replacement cards are available at Safety and Security, Building SW01-1000 at the Burnaby Campus.

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Can I loan my Compass Card to a friend?

No.  Your U-Pass BC benefit is non-transferable so you may NOT loan your U-Pass BC-enabled Compass Card to anyone.

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If I’m not able to use my pass, can I sell it to another person?

No.  The U-Pass BC benefit is not transferable. Lending or selling your U-Pass BC-enabled Compass Card to another person, or attempting to use another person’s U-Pass BC benefit is an offence.

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