The U-Pass BC program will be extended for another five years at 10 public universities and colleges in Metro Vancouver, following the latest supportive results from student referendums held at each institution.
Student bodies are required to hold a referendum every few years on the continuation of their U-Pass BC program, which mandates students to agree to a schedule of rate increases.
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Currently, the discounted monthly U-Pass BC rate for unlimited transit use across all three fare zones in Metro Vancouver is $41, and this rate will remain through April 30, 2020. U-Pass BC holders will continue to receive discounts to use the West Coast Express.
The new agreement will have a term of five years, ending on April 30, 2025. As a result of the referendum results, the monthly rate will increase to $42.50 starting on May 1, 2020, with further annual increases through May 2024, when the rate will reach $46.
Currently, a regular three-zone adult monthly pass is $177.
“Students are an important part of our customer base. Transit plays a vital role in the day-to-day lives of students, and for many, it also resonates with their values and vision for a cleaner and more environmentally sustainable future,” said Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink, in a statement.
TransLink’s U-Pass began in 2003 for the students of the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University with the support of Vancity Credit Union. In 2010, the provincial government took over the program and expanded it to other post-secondary institutions in the region.
Approximately 140,000 post-secondary students receive the discounted transit passes, accounting for 13% of TransLink’s annual passenger journeys.
The list of post-secondary institutions participating in the U-Pass BC program is as follows:
- University of British Columbia (UBC)
- Simon Fraser University (SFU)
- Capilano University
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Langara College
- Douglas College
- Vancouver Community College (including the Native Education College)
- Emily Carr University of Art and Design
- Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (Burnaby campus)
- British Columbia Institute of Technology