2017 U-Pass Referendum

2017 U-Pass Referendum Results

Following the release of the provisional results in the 2017 U-Pass Referendum on March 2, 2017, please find below the official results of the 2017 U-Pass Referendum:

Yes 1352
No 131

Result: Continuation of the U-Pass was approved in the 2017 GSA U-Pass Referendum.

More information on U-Pass is available on the UofA website: www.upass.ualberta.ca.

Background information on U-Pass and the 2017 U-Pass Referendum question can be found below.

Background Information

  • U-Pass is the student group discount program that provides students with unlimited public transit offered by Edmonton, Strathcona County, and St Albert. Effective January 1, 2017, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, and Spruce Grove were added.
  • In 2006, the GSA, along with the UofA Students' Union and the MacEwan and NAIT student associations, negotiated to implement U-Pass. The first GSA U-Pass referendum was approved in 2007 to cover Fall/Winter 2007 to 2010. Again by a 2010 GSA referendum, U-Pass was extended to April 2013. A Spring/Summer U-Pass for graduate students was approved by another GSA referendum and began in May 2011.
  • The University subsidizes the U-Pass fee for its students in order to promote public transit use (the only post-secondary institution to do this).
  • The current U-Pass agreement is due to expire. After negotiation, an agreement was reached that, after factoring in the subsidy provided by the University, would see the current U-Pass fee of $141.67/term increase by $3.33 per term for 2017-2018, by another $3 in 2018-2019, another $5 in 2019-2020, and a further $5 in 2020-2021 (current cost of a regular monthly pass is $94.25, or $377.00/term). There are no other major changes to the agreement.
  • More information on U-Pass is available on the UofA website: www.upass.ualberta.ca.
  • In January 2017 GSA Council approved the wording for the 2017 U-Pass referendum.

U-Pass Referendum Question

Do you support the continuation of the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) subject to the following conditions?

  1. The U-Pass would provide unlimited usage of regular transit systems in Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Spruce Grove, St. Albert, and Strathcona County within the participating municipalities' service area during the Fall, Winter, and/or Spring/Summer (May-August) terms to all continuing graduate students enrolled in at least one course for credit in a term (includes thesis registrations).
  2. The cost of the U-Pass fee to each graduate student after the UofA's subsidy is factored in would be mandatory and follow the price structure per term, below:
    2. 2017-2018: $145.00/term
    3. 2018-2019: $148.00/term
    4. 2019-2020: $153.00/term
    5. 2020-2021: $158.00/term
  3. Under certain circumstances, some graduate students would continue to be exempt or eligible to opt-out of the U-Pass program. Below is an excerpt from the 2017-2021 U-Pass Agreement.

Excerpt from the 2017-2021 U-Pass Agreement

The following graduate students would be exempt from the U-Pass program:

"a) a Student who is not enrolled in any course for credit located on a University of Alberta campus within any of the Municipalities for that School Term;
b) a Student who is enrolled only in the Executive MBA program;
c) a graduate Student who is designated as an off-campus thesis student by the University; and
d) a Student who is enrolled only in a program of study offered by the University's Faculty of Extension, which program of study leads to a certificate."

The following graduate students would be eligible to opt-out of the U-Pass program:

"a) a Student who has a valid Disabled Adult Transit Service (DATS) registration, Strathcona County Mobility Bus registration, or St. Albert Handibus registration, Spruce Grove Specialized Transit Service (STS) registration, Fort Saskatchewan Special Transportation Services Society (STSS) registration, or Leduc Assisted Transportation Services (LATS) registration; and is able to prove their registration with a valid photo ID card;
b) a Student who has a valid CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) registration and is able to confirm such registration with a valid CNIB-issued photo ID card;
c) a Student who is currently an employee of a transit system owned and operated by any of the Municipalities and is able to provide written confirmation on official letterhead of their employment at the beginning of each School Term; and
d) a Student who, pursuant to official University regulations, policies or procedures (as may be amended from time to time) respecting registration and fees assessments, has the option of being assessed the athletics and recreation fee or the health services fee by the University, and who is in a cooperative work experience program or work internship and who is registered only in one or more courses designated as "Work Experience" for that School Term, and who is either:

  1. For Fall and Winter Terms - fulfilling their course requirements outside the boundaries of the Municipalities for the majority of the School Term; or
  2. For Spring/Summer Term - fulfilling the majority of their course requirements outside of the boundaries of the Municipalities; or

e) a Student who is enrolled at another post-secondary educational institution and is required to participate in a transportation program similar to the U-Pass Program (if any) being offered to students of this other post-secondary educational institution by said institution and the Municipalities."