U-Pass BC/ Compass Card

Learn about the U-Pass BC Program at UBC.

U-Pass BC Program restarts on September 1, 2020

UBC and the AMS have been working with TransLink, as well as other Metro Vancouver public post-secondary institutions and student associations, on a plan to resume the U-Pass BC Program for September 1, with continuing support from the Province of BC.

If you are living outside of the Lower Mainland and are enrolled in classes for Term 1 (September – December)

  • DO NOT load your U-Pass BC on to your Compass card. There are additional exemptions available due to COVID-19.  If you fit this criterion, you must apply for an exemption through the Alma Mater Society by September 21, 2020.

For students who are living within the lower mainland and enrolled in classes (online or in-person) for Term 1 (September to December):

  • You can begin loading your September U-Pass BC benefit here
  • If you have been assessed the U-Pass BC fee, and are studying and living within Metro Vancouver, and experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for hardship subsidies through the AMS. Please contact the AMS for more information.

For all other program details, including eligibility and non COVID-related exemption criteria, see the Eligibility and Exemptions page.

The U-Pass BC Program is offered to UBC students through a partnership between the Province of BC and TransLink and under agreements in place between TransLink, UBC and the AMS.  UBC students pay for this pass through mandatory student fees collected by UBC.  Read more below and in the U-Pass FAQ.  

NOTE: U-Pass BC fee has increased from $41.00/month ($164/term) to $42.50/month ($170/term) effective May 1 2020.

What is the U-Pass Program?

Transportation graphic

The U-Pass BC program provides students with universal, accessible and affordable access to public transit across the Metro Vancouver Region. 

The U-Pass BC program costs $170 per academic term or $42.50 per month (subject to change) and is mandatory for all members of UBC's Alma Mater Society (AMS), excluding students who are enrolled in strictly distance education courses.  The cost is included as part of your AMS student fees.  Students voted in a referendum to keep the U-Pass program and in 2019, 95% of students elected to participate in the U-Pass program. 

Getting a Compass Card

Compass Cards can be purchased for $6 from TransLink’s FareDealers (including the Access Desk and cashiers at the UBC Bookstore). For a list of TransLink’s retailers, please refer to their website

If you’re already using an adult-class Compass Card as a retail customer, you can load the U-Pass onto your card.

Requesting Your Monthly U-Pass Benefit

For each month that you are eligible for a U-Pass you will need to make a request online to link your U-Pass and Compass Card.  You can make the request anytime on or after the 16th of each month to ensure you can ride transit the following month. Set yourself a reminder - on your phone, in your diary.  You can complete the request using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.

Steps to request your monthly pass:

  1. Visit upassbc.translink.ca
  2. Select UBC as your Post-Secondary Institution
  3. Enter your CWL login and password when redirected to UBC
  4. Link your Compass Card if prompted, request your U-Pass BC benefit
  5. Allow up to 24 hours for activation

It can take up to 24 hours for your U-Pass BC to load on to your Compass Card. Be sure to log in and request your benefit well in advance of the start to each month. Don’t get stuck without a transit pass.

Using Your Compass Card

Riding transit with your Compass Card is easy: tap in when entering a bus or tap in and tap out when you are entering and leaving a Skytrain station through a fare gate. Card readers are located at all SkyTrain, Canada Line, and SeaBus fare gates, near bus doors, and at the entry and exit points to West Coast Express stations.

Your Compass Card must be tapped in to be considered a valid proof of payment.

Important Information

  • Your Compass-U-Pass BC is not transferable. You must also carry a valid student ID (your UBC student ID card must be valid for the full term) with you at all times when riding transit.
  • The U-Pass BC program protects your privacy, more information is available online.
  • TransLink has created a videos and a guide on how to use your Compass Card. Visit the Compass Card website for more information.
  • You will not be eligible for a U-Pass BC benefit if your UBC student card is expired (check the expiry date on the back of your card). Expired cards can be replaced at ubccard.ubc.ca.

Other Questions?

Campus and Community Planning is not able to assist students with any technical difficulties related to U-Pass/Compass Card.

For questions related to subsidies and COVID-related exemptions, please visit https://www.ams.ubc.ca/student-services/u-pass/

For other questions regarding U-Pass fee assessments, please contact an Enrolment Service Advisor at 604-822-9836
(business hours are 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, except Tuesday 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)

Or email an Enrolment Service Advisor through the Ask Me form:

Email via the Ask Me form