The government of British Columbia is extending U-Pass BC to encourage students at public colleges and universities in Metro Vancouver to use transit.
Government has committed $34.5 million to help TransLink offset the cost of the U-Pass BC program over the next three years. U-Pass BC provides highly discounted transit passes to 140,000 students attending public post-secondary schools. The program is a partnership of the provincial government, TransLink, students and their schools.
The current U-Pass BC program will expire March 31, 2013. Following required referenda, students at 10 schools have voted "yes" to continuing the program for an additional three years.
Starting May 2013, the monthly U-Pass rate will be $35. Students also voted to allow the program price to increase to $36.75 per month beginning May 1, 2014, and $38 per month beginning May 1, 2015. The renewed U-Pass BC program can save students between $56 and $135 every month over the next three years.
U-Pass BC provides students in Metro Vancouver with unlimited access to the transit network and encourages the use of sustainable travel options.
B.C. is the only province in Canada that provides a universal transit program to students attending public post-secondary schools.
Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak -
"B.C. is the only province in the country to support this kind of program, and I am committed to providing funds for another three years to help students lower their cost of post-secondary education by encouraging them to take transit."
TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis -
"U-Pass BC provides tremendous value for our students. It provides access to our transit network which includes bus, SeaBus and SkyTrain services within Metro Vancouver, as well as discounts on West Coast Express. In doing so, we are encouraging students to adopt transit as an effective choice subsequent to graduation."
Douglas College vice-president of educational services Blaine Jensen -
"Students love their U-Pass BC and Post-Secondary Educational Institutions benefit by having a greener alternative to parking lots and more cars on campus. In the next year, U-Pass BC will be integrated with TransLink's Compass Card and provide even better value to students as well as administrative relief to institutions. Collaboration has been the key!"
University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society vice-president external affairs Tanner Bokor -
"The renewal of the U-Pass BC program marks a commitment by TransLink, the ministry, and students to provide all post-secondary institutions across Metro Vancouver with access to a high quality, sustainable public transit system. Through the continuation of the program, we are reducing our carbon footprint and encouraging a future generation of commuters to use public transit. At the same time, the regional transit network needs a sustainable funding formula as well as new transit infrastructure to handle future rider demand and to drive our economy forward."
Kwantlen Student Association external affairs coordinator Arzo Ansary -
"The Kwantlen Student Association is extremely pleased at the combined efforts of student unions during this negotiation process. We are proud to see the continuation of a program as beneficial to students as U-Pass BC has proved to be. The continuation of affordable and accessible transit services ensures increased ridership, which is a goal we as student leaders strive for."
Douglas College Students' Union external affairs coordinator Jillian Griffin -
"U-Pass BC has become an integral part of getting an education because it encourages students to make sustainable transit choices while saving them money. Students' overwhelming support of continuing the U-Pass BC program into 2016 is a clear sign of the importance of the program."
In 2010, B.C. became the first province in Canada to offer an affordable, universal transit program to students at all publicly funded post-secondary institutions. Prior to 2010, only four schools in Metro Vancouver had access to U-Pass and prices varied between the schools. In addition, the cost of the program was unsustainable to TransLink.
Students at these schools will have access to U-Pass BC cards and reduced transit fares:
- British Columbia Institute of Technology
- Capilano University
- Douglas College
- Emily Carr University of Art and Design
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Langara College
- Nicola Valley Institute of Technology - Burnaby Campus
- Simon Fraser University
- University of British Columbia
- Vancouver Community College
Outside of Metro Vancouver, BC Transit also offers U-Pass BC in partnership with local governments.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Students' Union of Vancouver Community College