U-Pass and Compass Card

To access your U-Pass, students will need to purchase their own Compass Card. Visit  to find out where you can get it.

When travelling with U-Pass BC, you still need to carry your student ID and be ready to present it to transit personnel if prompted.

  • Once you get your card, visit  and follow the easy steps to sign into your U-Pass BC account, link your Compass Card, and request your U-Pass BC.
  • It can take up to 24 hours for your U-Pass BC to load onto your Compass Card, so make sure to request it before the end of the month.
  • When your request has been processed, you will be able to use your card to tap in and tap out on transit.

Remember – your Compass Card can be used for years to come so make sure you hold onto it.

Changes to U-Pass BC Program Effective September 2023

In Fall 2022, 73.7% of VCC student respondents voted in favour of making online students eligible to join the U-Pass BC program making access to on-campus services and resources more accessible and affordable.  This recommendation was ratified by the SUVCC Board of Directors and the change will take effect for September 1, 2023. 

The U-Pass BC program is structured as a universal and mandatory program for students participating in public post-secondary institutions. This universal model makes the affordability of the U-Pass BC program possible, saving those who rely on it up to $560 per semester.

Effective September 2023, students registered in online programs who meet the additional eligiblity criteria listed below will be participating in the .

More information on the program and the is available online.

For any questions regarding the implementation of this change please contact the VCC Student Union at info@suvcc.ca

What is the U-Pass BC program?

U-Pass BC is a student transit program offered in partnership by the SUVCC, Translink, the Province of British Columbia and VCC. U-Pass BC enables eligible students to receive a three-zone pass valid for all TransLink Bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus services throughout Metro Vancouver without paying additional fares including the YVR airport surcharge seven days per week for the entire month. U-Pass BC holders receive a discount when using West Coast Express and the pass is also valid for use with HandyDART services.

Information on transit services, routes and schedules can be found at  and .

Who is eligible?

Eligible students are SUVCC members, those who pay Student Union fees, and fit within the following categories:

  1. Students in programs and courses for which a T2202 (tax form) is issued (subject to a minimum number of course credits/tuition)
  2. Students in Adult Basic Education and English as an Additional Language (includes LINC and ESL Pathways), subject to a minimum number of course credits/hours.
  3. Continuing Studies full-time students taking the following programs:  Fashion Design, Early Childhood Care & Education or Network Technology Administration & Security.

Who is NOT eligible?

The following students are NOT eligible to participate in the U-Pass program:

  1. Continuing Studies students who are NOT enrolled in eligible Continuing Studies programs.

Who is exempt?

The following students can apply for an exemption from U-Pass:

  1. Students who already have a U-Pass from another institution.
    • Supporting documentation: printout of student account details indicating U-Pass fees paid at your other institution.
  2. Students who have a transit pass as a result of a disability (e.g. students with a Canadian National Institute for the Blind card).
    • Supporting documentation: front and back of your transit pass.
  3. Students who hold another non-transferable transit pass which is valid for each month of the duration of the U-Pass term (e.g. transit employee subsidiary pass).
    • Supporting documentation: front and back of your transit pass.
  4. Students who live outside of Metro Vancouver and cannot be serviced by Translink.
    • Supporting documentation: Driver’s license, BCID, BC Services Card, or recent (within 30 days) bill showing your full name and residential address.

If you fit the exemption requirements above, please contact the Student Accounts Office (sao@vcc.ca), with supporting documentation, to request your opt out for the term. Opt outs can only be approved for months which have not started, and which have not been activated.

Eligible students need to follow these four important steps:

  1. Obtain a student ID card from the Registrar's Office at any of the 69 campuses. 
  2. U-Pass fees will be charged to your student account and all fees associated with registration for the current term must be paid in full before you can get your U-Pass. Your account update will be sent to Translink by 9 p.m. You will not be able to activate your U-Pass until the next day. 
  3.  a Compass Card. 
  4. Log onto  to activate your U-Pass. You will need to enable your browser cookies to access the U-Pass BC website. It can take up to 24 hours for your account to update, so be sure to request your U-Pass BC at least one day prior to the last day of the month. Without a valid U-Pass BC, you are responsible for paying your fare.

 Important notes:

  • You must produce both your student ID and U-Pass upon request when riding public transit. If you do not have either piece, your Compass Card may be confiscated and you may receive a fine.
  • U-Pass eligibility may be revoked if services are abused.
  • Starting the 16th of every month, you can request and load your next month's U-Pass BC to your Compass Card.
  • Your U-Pass BC is valid for the entire calendar month even if your program begins mid-month or on the last day of the month.

  1. Is the U-Pass mandatory even if I drive or walk to campus?
  2. How do I load my U-Pass?
  3. How long will it take to load my U-Pass?
  4. How much does a Compass Card card cost?
  5. What is the monthly U-Pass fee?
  6. I lost my Compass Card. What should I do?
  7. Do I need to tap in and tap out?
  8. Is my U-Pass transferable?
  9. Does my Compass Card expire?
  10. When can I load the next month's U-Pass?
  11. My program starts in the middle of the month. Can I still use my U-Pass for the whole month?
  12. How do I care for my Compass Card?
  13. Who determines my eligibility?
  14. How do I purchase Stored Value?
  15. When can I sign up for reminders to load my monthly U-Pass onto my Compass Cards?
  16. Why do I have to request my U-Pass every month?
  17. I'm a new student and I don't have a Compass Card yet. Where can I get my Compass Card?
  18. Do I need to carry my VCC student card with me when using my U-Pass?
  19. Will I get reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred from using my Compass Card for U-Pass (e.g. forgot to link my card and needed to pay my fare)?
  20. Can I lend my U-Pass to my friends or family? 
  21. As a U-Pass student, what fare media do I need to provide when travelling with an attendant?
  22. How does my Compass Card and U-Pass work on HandyDART?
  23. Do I need to enable cookies in my browser to access the U-Pass website?
  24. Do I tap on West Coast Express?

Is the U-Pass mandatory even if I drive or walk to campus?
Yes, the U-Pass BC program is mandatory. If you are eligible and have not secured and exemption, you will be charged the U-Pass BC fee whether or not you load your U-Pass.

How do I load my U-Pass?

  1. Purchase a 

  2. Activate your U-Pass BC benefit

How long will it take to load my U-Pass?
It can take up to 24 hours for your U-Pass BC to load onto your Compass Card, so make sure you request it at least one day before the end of the month. Without a valid U-Pass BC, you are responsible for paying your fare. As a discounted transit program, requesting your U-Pass BC each month is a safeguard that reduces the changes for misuse and helps ensure the continuation of the U-Pass BC program.

How much does a Compass Card card cost?
For a new Compass Card you’ll pay a $6 refundable deposit.

What is the monthly U-Pass fee?
The U-Pass BC fee is $45.10 per month from May 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024.  The fee will increase to $46.00 per month from May 1, 2024 to April 30, 2025.

I lost my Compass Card. What do I do?
If you lose your Compass Card, purchase a new card and contact Compass customer service at 604.398.2042 or  . You should unlink your Compass Card as soon as it is lost to prevent misuse. Once you have linked the new card to your account, the U-Pass BC benefit will be transferred to your new card.

Do I need to tap in and tap out?
You must tap in every time you enter a bus, train or SeaBus station including when you transfer. This is how the system validates your fare and how TransLink receives important tap out data to support sustainability for the U-Pass program and to support future system improvements. You do not have to tap out when you get off a bus. Tapping out is required for the SkyTrain and SeaBus only.  U-Pass BC students using their Compass Card as a flash pass on the HandyDart do not need to tap in and tap out on HandyDart.

Tapping in and out is a good habit to develop. When you are not travelling on your U-Pass and you tap in, but forget to tap out, the system will charge you the maximum fare (three zones).

Is my U-Pass transferable?
Your U-Pass is non-transferable, and you will need to carry valid student ID with you at all times when travelling.

Does my Compass Card expire?
There is no expiration date on your Compass Card. You can use and load your Compass Card with regular fare products when you are no longer eligible for U-Pass. Remember to hold onto your Compass Card because you can use it even when you are not a student.

When can I load the next month's U-Pass?
Starting the 16th of every month, you can request and load your next month's U-Pass BC. 

My program starts in the middle of the month. Can I still use my U-Pass for the whole month?
Yes, your U-Pass BC is valid for the entire calendar month even if your program begins mid-month or the last day of the month.

How do I care for my Compass Card?
Each Compass Card has an embedded chip and antenna inside. Be careful not to puncture or bend your card. Always remove your Compass Card from your wallet to tap, as other electronic cards (e.g. contactless credit cards) may cause interference.

Who determines my eligibility?
Your eligibility is determined by U-Pass BC contract between Translink and the Student Union (SUVCC). If you have questions about your status, please contact the Registrar's Office.

How do I purchase stored value?
Register your Compass Card online at  to purchase and load stored value on your card.

When can I sign up for notifications to load my monthly U-Pass onto my Compass Cards?
Once you have purchased your Compass Card, you can set up your account to receive email notifications (email reminders) by visiting .

Why do I have to request my U-Pass every month?
Students are required to confirm their eligibility each month in order to load their U-Pass onto a Compass Card. As a discounted transit program, this safeguard reduces the chances for fraudulent misuse and helps ensure the continuation of the U-Pass program.

I'm a new student and I don't have a Compass Card yet. Where can I get my Compass Card?
You can get a Compass Card from a variety of . 

Do I need to carry my VCC student card with me when using my U-Pass?
Yes. You must always carry your VCC student ID card with you whenever you use your U-Pass BC.  If you forget your Compass Card or your VCC ID, you may be required to pay the transit fare. Failure to pay the transit fare may result in fines or a loss of the U-Pass BC benefit.

Will I get reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred from using my Compass Card for U-Pass (e.g. forgot to link my card and needed to pay my fare)?
No. Schools and TransLink do not reimburse students for out-of-pocket expenses.

Can I lend my U-Pass to friends or family?
No. Your U-Pass BC benefit is non-transferable so you may not loan your U-Pass BC-enabled Compass Card to a third party.

As a U-Pass student, what fare media do I need to provide when travelling with an attendant?
Currently, if you travel with an attendant, please ensure you have your HandyCard with you. Your HandyCard provides free travel for your attendant. This applies to both Compass Card customers and people who use traditional fare media. In the future, Access Transit Compass Cards will replace HandyCards. On the conventional system (bus, train, or SeaBus) people who travel with an attendant must tap their Compass Card, or use their traditional fare media, and show their HandyCard to bus operators when boarding.

How does my Compass Card and U-Pass work on HandyDART?
U-Pass students will use their Compass Card as a flash pass on HandyDART; you are not required to tap in and tap out on HandyDart. If you ride on the conventional system (bus, train, or SeaBus), you will need to tap in and tap out.

Do I need to enable cookies in my browser to access the U-Pass website?
If your cookies are disabled, you will need to enable them to access the U-Pass BC website. Please go to your browser’s preferences and enable cookies to proceed with using the U-Pass BC website. provides more information on cookies.

Do I tap on West Coast Express?
Yes, students need to tap in and tap out on West Coast Express. Make sure you purchase Stored Value or a WCE Add-On to ride on West Coast Express.

  1. Always carry student ID with you.
    Your student ID and your new Compass Card go together like peanut butter and jelly! Make sure you have both with you when you go on transit as proof of payment in case you are stopped by transit personnel.

  2. Using your Compass Card is easy peasy!
    Hold your card flat against the centre of the card reader until you hear a "beep" and see a check mark. Remember – take your card out of your wallet or bag to tap (this will help avoid any interference). Check out this  to get you started.

  3. Don't bend, fold or puncture your card.
    It can damage the chip and antenna in your Compass Card and prevent it from working. Avoid putting the card in your back pocket.

  4. Allow 24 hours to load your U-Pass BC onto your Compass Card.
    Request your next month's U-Pass BC starting from the 16th of every month. Don't wait until the last day of the month as it can take up to 24 hours to process.

  5. Set up notifications so you never forget to request your next month's U-Pass BC.
    Need a friendly reminder? Go to the U-Pass BC website and set up to receive automatic notifications on when it's time to request your next month’s U-Pass BC.

  6. Don't forget to tap out.
    Tap! Tap! Don't forget to tap in AND tap out, including when you transfer. Tap out supports the sustainability of the U-Pass BC program and future system improvements. Also, it's a good habit to develop for when you’re no longer eligible for U-Pass BC and if you forget to tap out, the system will charge you the maximum fare (three zones).

  7. Your Compass Card doesn't expire.
    Your card isn't just for when you're a student. It doesn’t expire so when you're no longer eligible for U-Pass BC, simply load your Compass Card with regular fare products and away you go. It's the card that keeps on tapping!

  8. Your card is non-transferable.
    Once you've loaded your U-Pass BC onto your Compass Card, the card is yours and yours alone. Do not sell, lend, or give your card to anyone else, even if it's a friend or family member (it's an offence if you do so!).

  9. Your privacy is protected on your Compass Card.
    Although the Compass Card is electronic, no personal information – such as your name or student number – is stored on the card.

  10. Lost your card? No problem!
    Unlink your card right away on . Get a replacement card and link and load your new card the same way you did before – it's that easy!