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New UPass changes aim to discourage students from selling passes

By Tina Shaygan, September 15 2017 —

University of Calgary students might notice the UPass has a new look this fall. Starting this semester, the UPass will change texture if removed or peeled off, making the pass void.

Full-time students must pay the $140 for the UPass each semester as part of their mandatory non-instructional fees. Some students who receive a UPass but do not use it sell their pass — a practice that violates the U of C’s agreement with Calgary Transit.

Parking and Transportation Services associate director Susan Austen said the change is the result of discussions between Calgary Transit and the city’s post-secondary institutions participating in the UPass program. It intends to discourage students from selling their UPasses.

“This is a means to try and keep everybody working within the agreement restrictions,” Austen said.

Austen added that the consequences for students that are caught removing or selling their UPass vary on how it comes to the U of C’s attention.

“If Calgary Transit catches it they will verify it with us as far as what the sticker was and when it was issued. They will issue a fine and you have to pay the fine through them,” Austen said. “If we catch you it just depends on the circumstances. We will have a discussion with the person and it may be a lack of knowledge, but it may also be them trying to make the money back.”

The price of the UPass rose by $10 semester from $130 in the previous years as a result of negotiations between Calgary Transit and participating post-secondary institutions. This new cost is less expensive than Calgary Transit’s regular passes, which cost $110 per month. However, Calgary Transit’s new sliding scale low-income passes cost $5.05 for those who make less than $12,474 — the lowest bracket available. Students who fall within this bracket will pay $29.95 more a month for transit through the UPass than they would otherwise. The cost of the UPass is estimated to rise to $151 by 2019.


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