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U-Pass BC Program
What if I am taking a course located outside Metro Vancouver and am still being charged for the U-Pass BC?
There may be two reasons why you are eligible for the U-Pass BC program when you are completing your course/co-op term outside Metro Vancouver: 1) Your mailing address including postal code is within Metro Vancouver (see list of communities below) or 2) You are enrolled in a course section that has been identified to be held on-campus or within Metro Vancouver. If one or both of these reasons apply to you and you meet all other eligibility requirements, then you are eligible for the U-Pass BC program and the U-Pass BC term fee will be applied to your student account.
To be correctly assessed as not eligible for the U-Pass BC program while you are living outside Metro Vancouver and completing your course/co-op term outside Metro Vancouver, you need to update your mailing address (including postal code) in your Student Centre at go.sfu.ca account to reflect your outside Metro Vancouver residence and you must be enrolled in the offsite/off-campus section of the course. By doing this, you will no longer be eligible for the U-Pass BC program for the term. The next business day following these changes, the U-Pass BC eligibility will reflect that you are not eligible for the U-Pass BC program and the U-Pass BC term fee will be refunded on your student account.
We suggest that you contact the U-Pass BC office at email@example.com or 778.782.6930 if changes are made after the term has commenced.
What happens if I change my address during the term?
If you change your mailing address, your eligibility may change. Students who are enrolled in off campus courses listed as off-campus/off-site, and reside outside of Metro Vancouver for the term should not adjust their mailing address until after the end of the term to avoid changing their U-Pass BC eligibility for the term and be charged the U-Pass BC term fee.
What communities are located within Metro Vancouver?
- Bowen Island
- Delta (includes Annacis Island, Boundary Bay, Deas Island, North Delta, Ladner and Tsawwassen)
- Langley (includes City & Township, and Aldergrove, Fort Langley, Milner, Walnut Grove)
- Lions Bay
- Maple Ridge (includes Albion, Haney, Iron Mountain, Kanaka Creek, Port Hammond, Ruskin, Silver Valley, Silvermere, Thornhill, Webster's Corners, Whonnock, Yennadon)
- New Westminster
- North Vancouver (includes city and district)
- Pitt Meadows
- Port Coquitlam
- Port Moody
- Richmond (includes Steveston, Sea Island, Thompson)
- Surrey (includes Anniedale, Cloverdale, Crescent Beach, Fleetwood, Kennedy, Newton, Ocean Park, Port Kells, South Surrey, Sullivan, Whalley)
- West Vancouver
- White Rock
Can I claim my U-Pass BC cost in my income tax return?
Check the Canada Revenue Agency website for the current regulation on claiming the Public Transit Tax Credit. Please note, effective June 2017, the CRA eliminated the non-refundable public transit credit for amounts paid for eligible transit passes (including eligible electronic payment cards).
If you need proof that you were charged and paid the U-Pass BC fee prior to June 2017, you can print an Account Summary from your Student Information System account (see Financial Information for the terms or years for which you are making a claim).
Does TransLink have access to my personal information?
To protect student privacy, SFU does not disclose personally identifiable information when uploading students' eligibility information to TransLink. No personally identifiable information is transferred when you link a Compass Card to your U-Pass BC account, or when you request your U-Pass BC for the current or next month.
SFU provides TransLink with anonymous data in the form of unique identifiers that indicate which student accounts are eligible for U-Pass BC each month. SFU also provides TransLink with a portion of your student number so that fare inspectors can match your student ID to the pass on a given Compass Card. All transmissions are encrypted.
For U-Pass BC users, TransLink only has access to your personal information if you provide it in the following situations:
- You sign up for reminders on the U-Pass BC website
- You produce your student ID when asked by Transit Police or Fare Inspectors
- You register your Compass Card (either on the Compass website or by phone)
- You request a refund
Signing up for optional reminders lets you know when your U-Pass BC has been loaded onto your Compass Card or when it's time to request your U-Pass BC for a new month. Students who sign up for optional reminders will need to provide an email address, which is stored with your account and enables TransLink to send reminders and system updates. This is necessary so that students can manage their details (i.e. disable reminders or update an email address). Signing up for reminders is entirely optional.
Do I tap on at West Coast Express stations?
Yes, U-Pass BC students need to tap in and tap out on West Coast Express (WCE). Make sure you purchase Stored Value or a WCE Add-On to ride on the WCE as WCE services are not included in the U-Pass BC program.
How do I purchase Stored Value?
How does my Compass Card and U-Pass BC work on HandyDART?
U-Pass BC students will use their Compass Card like 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, SkyTrain, or SeaBus), then you will need to tap in and tap out at the card readers.
As a U-Pass BC student, what fare media do I need to provide when travelling with an attendant?
Currently, if you travel with an attendant, please ensure that 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, SkyTrain, 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.
Why am I getting the message " Inaccessible User Role" when I try logging into upassbc.translink.ca ?
This error is typically resolved by clearing your browser cache, then attempting login with your SFU credentials again at http://upassbc.translink.ca/. You may also want to try using an alternative browser.
Why am I getting an "Insufficient Funds" error when I tap my Compass Card?
If the "Insufficient Funds" message occurs, this means your card has entered a negative balance. This negative balance must be paid off before it is used with the U-Pass. You can confirm if you have a balance owing on your compass card at www.compasscard.ca.
Please note that it can take 24 hours for activation of your monthly U-Pass which could result in entering a negative balance if you tap and the U-Pass has not yet been activated. To avoid incurring a negative balance be sure to plan ahead and load your monthly U-Pass ahead of your transit journeys.