The U-Pass BC program provides Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) members (Capilano University students) with unlimited access to transit in the Metro Vancouver region. Following the temporary suspension of the U-Pass BC program for the summer term, we continued to work with TransLink, public post-secondary institutions, and student associations across Metro Vancouver to find a solution for the fall term.
After careful consideration and extensive discussion, we can now share that the U-Pass BC program will resume at Capilano University starting on September 1, 2020.
How U-Pass BC works
The U-Pass BC program is structured as a universal and mandatory program for students at participating public post-secondary institutions; it is this universal model that makes the affordability of the U-Pass BC program possible. For students who rely on the U-Pass BC program, this means savings of up to $538 on transit passes every single term.
U-Pass BC fees for the fall term have already been assessed to all students enrolled in classes that would normally be delivered in-person at the main campus or at CapU Lonsdale — this includes classes that are being taught via mixed mode or remote, adapted learning due to COVID-19.
Exemptions and eligibility
Certain students are exempt from the U-Pass BC program, including students with disabilities that preclude the use of conventional transit or HandyDART services, students who hold another transit pass for the entire term, or students who have a valid U-Pass BC from another post-secondary institution.
Students are also exempt if they are both (a) studying entirely online without any on-campus instruction, and (b) are living outside of Metro Vancouver. If you are living outside of Metro Vancouver for the fall term due to the public health emergency, and your studies are online, then this exemption may apply to you.
More information on eligibility and exemptions, including application forms, can be found on the Capilano University website.
Please note that if you intend to apply for one of these exemption options, we recommend that you do not request or load your U-Pass BC onto your Compass Card through the U-Pass BC website, as this may result in one or more months of the U-Pass BC fee being non-refundable.
Eligible students not intending to apply for an exemption can visit TransLink’s U-Pass BC website to request their September pass.
We understand the financial barriers that students are facing, and the CSU will continue to support students who are struggling financially. Late last week, the CSU board of directors approved a new CSU U-Pass BC Hardship Fund, which provides a bursary equivalent to 50% of the value of U-Pass BC fees for one term for students with demonstrated financial need. The U-Pass BC Hardship Fund application process can be found on the CSU website.
The CSU U-Pass BC Hardship Fund follows a $75,000 donation to CapU’s Emergency Endowment Fund made earlier this year to help students experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Students with immediate need of financial resources are encouraged to reach out to the CapU financial aid & awards department to discuss options for emergency financial assistance.
We understand some students will have concerns respecting the resumption of the U-Pass BC program, given the unprecedented public health situation. We have carefully considered the concerns that have been raised in recent months, alongside the messages we received from students expressing that they wish to continue accessing the U-Pass BC program, and the significant transit savings that the program provides.
If you would like to share your thoughts about the U-Pass BC program, we encourage you to continue providing us with your perspective at [email protected].