St. Mary’s University College
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u-pass faqs

What is the U-Pass?
The Calgary Transit Universal Pass (U-Pass) program was a concept developed to provide an inexpensive transit option for most post-secondary students. The U-Pass sticker is applied to your St. Mary's University College student ID card, allowing you full access to Calgary Transit service during the applicable term(s). Your ID card now becomes your transit fare medium. Simply show your card with valid sticker to the bus driver or the Protective Services Officers on the C-Train.

Is the U-Pass valid only to travel to the University College?
No. The U-pass is valid anytime, anywhere the Calgary Transit system (buses or C-Train) operates. One of the many benefits of the pass is that it can be used for all your activities – not just travelling to and from St. Mary's.

Who is eligible to receive the U-Pass?
All full-time credit students (9 or more StMU credits per term) are eligible for the U-Pass. This is a mandatory program, so all full-time students will be assessed this fee each semester. Full-time students who are part of the Handibus program are exempt from participation and should contact Enrolment Services.

What if I’m taking six credits at St. Mary’s and three credits somewhere else?
You are not eligible for the U-Pass program. Only students registered in nine or more credits at St. Mary's University College are eligible.

How do I get my U-Pass validation sticker?
Stickers will be available at the Enrolment Services Office, Administration Building, just prior to and during each term. Students must be registered as a full-time student in order to receive their sticker and must present their student ID card.

How long is the U-Pass sticker valid?
• The fall semester U-Pass is effective from September 1 to December 31.
• The winter semester U-Pass is effective from January 1 to April 30.
• The U-Pass does not cover the spring term or summer months.

How much does the U-Pass cost?
Each full-time student attending St. Mary’s will be assessed a compulsory $117 fee per term for Fall 2013 and Winter 2014. This fee is payable with tuition and other fees.

How was the U-Pass fee determined?
Calgary Transit determined the U-Pass rate based on ridership level as determined by a number of surveys. This ridership is multiplied by the cost of a current monthly bus pass rate and then divided by the total number of participants in the program.

Will the U-Pass fee remain at $117?
The price of the universal bus pass may increase from year to year, based on the number of full-time students attending the University College, changes in ridership levels and the cost associated with regular adult bus passes.

Why are we participating in the U-Pass program?
The Students’ Association led the push for a U-Pass and discussions with Calgary Transit. In April 2006, they held a referendum asking whether their members supported introducing a compulsory U-Pass program for all full-time students. Students voted strongly in favour of implementation of the U-Pass program. Thirty-two per cent of eligible students voted, with 80 per cent voting in favour of the program. St. Mary's University College agreed to administer the program on behalf of the Students’ Association.

I do not intend to ever use my Transit pass. I don’t see any benefit to this program.
Regardless of whether you intend to use the pass or not, we strongly encourage you to get the validation sticker, just in case. There may be instances over the course of the term where you can benefit from the program – e.g. taking transit downtown instead of paying for parking, after a social event where you don’t want to drive, during bad weather, if you have car problems, etc.

Here are some of the overall benefits of participating in the universal transit pass system:
• Creates a cheaper travel option.
• Makes it easier for occasional users to run errands
• Offers a safe and reliable travel option for those who consume alcohol
• Reduces pressures on parking facilities
• Enables use of land for buildings or greenspace, rather than parking
• Supports overall objective to reduce auto travel and air pollution
• Lowers traffic volumes and air emissions
• The cost of the UPass can be claimed under the "Public Transportation" tax credit on line 364 of the federal income tax return form.

Can I transfer my U-Pass to another person?
No. The pass is strictly non-transferable. Transit security and drivers will be checking ID cards closely to ensure the pictures and stickers are correct. Any and all cards believed to be fraudulently used or altered would be immediately confiscated by Transit authorities and fines may be issued.

What if my validated ID card is lost, stolen or damaged?
Damaged ID cardscan be exchanged for the $5 cost of a replacement ID Card. Lost or stolen U-Pass stickers cost $117 to replace. There is also the $5 ID card replacement fee. You need to visit the Enrolment Services Office to receive your replacement card and sticker.

Do I need to carry my validated ID card at all times?
Your ID card with valid U-Pass sticker MUST be carried at all times when riding Calgary Transit and must be presented to the bus operator when boarding the bus or to Protective Services Officers on request while riding the C-Train. Anyone riding the train or a bus without valid proof of payment is subject to at least a $250 fine.

What if a driver doesn’t accept my validated ID card?
If a driver refuses to accept your sticker, you will need to pay by another method. However, you should contact Calgary Transit at (403) 262-1000 and inform them of the situation.

What if I’m unhappy with Calgary Transit service or routes?
St. Mary's University College has no control over transit service. Please contact Calgary Transit at (403) 262-1000 with your concerns.

What bus route do I take to get to X?
We recommend you check the Calgary Transit web site at or call their call centre at (403) 262-1000.

St. Mary's University College   |  14500 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2X 1Z4   |   Phone: 403.531.9130