Important update: Starting in 2022, the GSS is moving to fixed opt-in/out deadlines. The deadline for UPASS Opt-ins/Outs will be:
September-December Semester: September 22.
January-April Semester: January 22.
May-August Semester: May 22.
Your UVIC OneCard, which also serves as your UVic graduate student identification, is your Universal Bus Pass (UPass). The UPass provides our members with unlimited bus rides when using Victoria Regional Transit.
The Fall 2022 UPass is valid from September 1st – December 30th, 2022.
Please note that if you are enrolled in one or more “on-campus” courses (or thesis/dissertation sections), you will be automatically charged for the U-Pass with your tuition. Please check your tuition account summary to see if you have been charged before opting in to the UPass.
If you have paid for the UPass (whether it was included in your tuition or you have opted in), you must validate your OneCard at a self-serve kiosk (found in the Jamie Cassels Centre atrium or outside of the Info Booth in the SUB) at the beginning of every term before you can use the bus pass.
If you are on a co-op work term, an off-campus student or visiting graduate student on special arrangement, you may opt into the U-Pass. (Please note: we are not able to prorate the UPass so you have to pay full price even if you opt-in later in the term.)
If you would like to opt in, you may do so either online or in-person at the GSS Front Office (located in the Halpern Centre for Graduate Students).
All opt ins must pay the U-Pass fee and the Athletics and Recreation fee (unless waived by the Centre for Accessible Learning) and the GSS fee. (Please note: the Athletics and Recreation fee is an UVic controlled fee that is included with UPass opt-ins due to our contract with UVic and BC Transit. We are not able to waive this fee. More information on the Athletics and Recreation fee and what it provides can be found here.)
The GSS UPass opt-in form is available here.
Opting in to the U-Pass in person
If you are coming into our office in person to opt-in, we will ask you to fill out the opt-in form and provide us with the proof of registration status (the proof of registration status can be found on your UVic MyPage). If you are on a special arrangement, you will need to obtain proof of this arrangement as a formal letter from your supervisor here at UVic, and this letter must be brought into the office. We will then ask you to pay the U-Pass opt-in fee by debit, cheque or cash.
Opting in to the U-Pass online
Please email 1) your opt-in form and 2) proof of registration status to our front desk, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are emailing in your opt-in form as a co-op or distance student, you must provide proof of registration status as an attachment to the opt-in form (the proof of registration status can be printed directly from your UVic MyPage). If you are on a special arrangement, you will need to obtain proof of this arrangement as a formal letter from your supervisor here at UVic.
Once your opt-in has been received and processed by us, you will receive an email notifying you of the opt-in and providing E-transfer directions. Once we receive payment, we will add you to the UPass and contact you to let you know that you can activate your card at one of the kiosks on campus.
Opt-in Pricing (September 2022)
GSS Fee top up
In Person (with your forms)
- Cheque (payable to “UVIC Graduate Students’ Society”)
- Interac e-transfer — send completed opt in form and proof of registration to email@example.com; subject: “e-transfer” to recieve detailed instructions.
You may opt-out through the GSS office by emailing the U-Pass opt out form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students with disabilities can be exempted from the U-Pass fee with approval from the Centre for Accessible Learning.
Our opt-out form is available here.
The deadline for the U-Pass opt-out is the 22nd of the first month of each term (i.e. September 22 for Fall term, January 22 for Spring term, and May 22 for the Summer term).
With the exception of opt-outs authorised by the Centre for Accessible Learning, U-Pass opt outs must be submitted each term.
Students who are eligible to opt out
- They have a disability that prevents use of transit;
- They live outside the Victoria Regional Transit service area (including outside of BC or Canada);
- They are assessed for the pass twice (through concurrent registration at UVIC and Camosun, or concurrent registration as an undergraduate and graduate student at UVIC, for example);
- They are in receipt of the annual BC Bus Pass issued by the BC Ministry of Finance; or
- They are in a distance program, and enrolled in an intensive course that has a short on campus component lasting less than three consecutive weeks.
How to opt out
You may opt-out through the GSS office in person or by email to email@example.com using the U-Pass opt-out form.
Proof of eligibility to opt-out can include:
- A ministry or employer-provided bus pass
- A letter from the Centre for Accessible Learning
- For students living outside of the service region, BC, or Canada: a recent utility bill or lease
- For students enrolled in a class that lasts only two weeks: a copy of course registration or letter from department on letterhead
Please note: submission of a Driver’s License is not acceptable proof.
Students with disabilities can be exempted from the U-pass fee with approval from the Centre for Accessible Learning.
Please note: UVic administers the Athletics fee and we cannot opt students out of it.
Graduate students that miss the opt-out deadline may file an appeal. Graduate students that are in a situation that does not match criteria may also request an appeal.
The Appeals Committee assesses the validity of appeals on the basis of two criteria:
- Administrative unfairness; and/or
- Extenuating personal circumstances.
The Appeal Form in the Forms section of the website. This form must include an explanation of your case for appealing in detail. Please add supporting documents as necessary to explain extenuating circumstances and/or administrative unfairness that prevented your opt-in/out by the deadline.
Submit your Appeal form and supporting documents by email to the GSS General Office firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GSS encourages you to consult with the Office of the Ombudsperson for support in preparing your appeal. The Ombudsperson is an impartial advocate for fairness at UVIC.