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.
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.
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.
Information on transit routes and schedules can be found at TransLink.
Please contact the BCIT Student Association.
U-Pass BC eligibility and exemption
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.
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. Flexible Learning 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 Flexible Learning 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.
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.
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.
Call Student Information & Enrolment Services at 604-434-1610. Have your BCIT student ID number ready and staff will be able to assist you.
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.
U-Pass BC is a discounted transit program and is financially possible only when participation numbers are significant. By voting yes in the Student Association referendum, students are supporting a mandatory fee to all eligible students.
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:
- Students who hold a valid U-Pass BC from another post-secondary institution within Metro Vancouver
- Students who are permanently or temporarily disabled and whose physical or cognitive barriers cannot be accommodated by using the U-Pass BC
- Students who hold a valid TransLink Pass. (“Transit Pass” refers to a BC Transit Employee Pass, BC Transit Government Bus Pass, CNIB ID Card, Community Pass, Employee Pass, Government Bus Pass and War Amputee Pass). A Monthly Fare Card does not qualify as a TransLink Pass
To request an exemption, please submit the following form(s) to the U-Pass BC Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org
U-Pass BC fees
- $41.00 per month from May 1, 2017 – December 31, 2019
- $41.00 per month from January 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
- $42.50 per month from May 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021
- $43.35 per month from May 1, 2021 – April 30 2022
- $44.20 per month from May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023
- $45.10 per month from May 1, 2023 – April 30, 2024
- $46.00 per month from May 1, 2024 – April 30, 2025
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.
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.
Loading U-Pass BC
Starting the 16th of every month, you can request and load your next month’s U-Pass BC. For example, if you are eligible for U-Pass BC for the month of September, you can load your U-Pass BC to your Compass Card on or after August 16th.
Your U-Pass BC is valid for the entire calendar month, even if your program starts in the middle of the month or on the last day of the month. For example, if your program starts October 31st, you will be able to load your pass as of September 16th and start using it on October 1st.
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.
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.
Once you’ve received your Compass Card, visit the Translink website to set up your account and receive email reminders.
Using your Compass Card
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.
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.
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.
The ‘insufficient funds’ message can appear when your Compass Card balance has dipped below the $6 initial deposit amount (paid when you purchased your Compass Card). You will need to top up the balance of your Compass Card to a minimum of $6 in order to continue using your U-Pass BC.
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.
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.
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.
No. Your U-Pass BC benefit is non-transferable so you may NOT loan your U-Pass BC-enabled Compass Card to anyone.
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.