Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass)

Notice: The U-Pass Program has been suspended for Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020. The GSA continues to advocate for accessible transit alternatives for students in the Edmonton area.

 

GSA's Advocacy Efforts for U-Pass:

Since March of this year, the GSA has been advocating to ETS in collaboration with the Students' Union and student associations from NAIT, Norquest and MacEwan University for affordable solutions to transit access on three fronts: Spring and Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and a new U-Pass agreement for Fall 2021.

Spring and Summer 2020

Our initial lobby efforts were to ask ETS for an equitable fare option for our students in light of the suspension of the U-Pass for the Spring and Summer, and the reimplementation of fare collection by ETS in June. We were able to gain support to extend the Winter U-Pass from 15-30 June. Despite further efforts to engage in discussions regarding July and August transit options, ETS informed us that a Post-Secondary Pass was not an option for U of A students due to challenges with distribution during the summer. We continue to advocate for full accessibility of our students to the Ride Transit Program, and have been encouraged to direct students to the Youth Pass and Ride Transit options.

Fall 2020

The U-Pass has been suspended for Fall 2020 and the GSA and other student associations are in favour of an opt-in program or other Post-Secondart Pass alternative. We are currently waiting for a response from both ETS and Edmonton City Council in regards to a final decision on a Fall 2020 transit option, and will continue to press this issue in order to have something in place prior to the start of the Fall semester.  

2021 U-Pass Agreement

Each student association has put forth a representative to the Negotiating Team, and GSA Vice-President Student Services, Sridhar Parasharamatham, will be representing the GSA. We will keep you updated as discussions occur.

Negotiations commenced on 21 July. This introductory session allowed both the student association Negotiating Team and ETS to present their opening positions, and to ask questions and receive clarification on some issues presented. The next set of meetings will take place in mid-August with hopes of having a draft agreement by October.

We will be providing ongoing updates in the GSA Newsletter and update this page as information becomes available.

 

Visit the U of A U-Pass website for more information.


 History of the U-Pass

The U-Pass gives you unlimited access to public transit using the Edmonton Transit System, Fort Saskatchewan Transit, Leduc Transit, Spruce Grove Transit, City of St. Albert Transit, and Strathcona County Transit.

The current U-Pass agreement was approved through a referendum in 2017 (the program was originally established by referendum in 2007). The GSA negotiates for the U-Pass on behalf of GSA members, alongside the Students' Union and student associations from other Edmonton post-secondary institutions that have the program.


 

An overview of the U-Pass program provided by ETS is available here.