UPASS Package: Bus Pass and Athletics

All graduate students registered in on-campus courses are automatically assessed U-Pass fees with their tuition. Those registered in co-op or distance courses wishing to opt-in may do so through the GSS office.

Universal Bus Pass (U-pass)

The Universal Bus Pass is your UVIC OneCard. This card serves as your UVic graduate student identification. The U-Pass provides our members with unlimited bus rides on Victoria Regional Transit.

For more information on the U-Pass fee (and other ancillary fees), please see the UVIC graduate calendar.

For more information on activating your U-Pass, see the UVic One Card website. 

All GSS members who have paid for the U-Pass must validate their OneCard at a self-serve kiosk (University Centre atrium or outside of Zap in the SUB) at the beginning of every term. 

Participation in U-Pass has assisted students to successfully lobby for:

  • More trips to and from the campus at night
  • More frequent morning service on routes 4, 14 and 21
  • Direct bus routes from UVic to Swartz Bay on Friday afternoon in Fall and Winter terms
  • Direct bus routes from Swartz Bay to UVic on Sunday evening in Fall and Winter terms
  • Additional trips on Route 39 UVIC/Royal Roads
  • Additional capacity where required to meet demands

When a graduate student enrols in an on-campus course, they are automatically charged for on campus ancillary fees, including U-Pass, the Regular (on campus) GSS fee, and UVIC’s Athletics fee. 

Graduate students registered in distance courses and co-op students may opt in to the on campus services, including the U-Pass, through the GSS (see below). 

Base UVic Athletics and Recreation Benefits:

Please note: Due to the current pandemic, some Athletics services are not being offered (or are being offered differently) at this time. Please see the Vikes COVID-19: FACILITIES & PROGRAMS UPDATES for more information.

  • CARSA Squash Courts

  • Informal drop-in times and programs

  • Member-only rates on registered programs and leagues

  • Regular season home varsity games (subject to availability)

  • McKinnon Pool and Fitness Weight Centre

  • Ian Stewart Complex Informal skate drop-in and shinny

  • Equipment rentals through Vikes Outdoor

  • Wide variety of recreational or sport clubs

For more information on Athletics and Recreation benefits, see our snazzy video by clicking the link below! Please note that prices in the video are outdated – see the updated fees below under “Opting In”!

Opting in

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 before September 30, January 31, and May 31 of each respective term.

Our office is closed at the moment, so students wishing to opt in should do so online (see below for instructions).

Due to the current pandemic and the reduction of services from UVic Athletics, students may choose whether they wish to opt in to the UPass alone or both the UPass and Athletics as a package.

(Please note – This is a significant change from previous years, in which students were required to opt-in to both the UPass and Athletics. We cannot guarantee that this choice will continue into future terms as Athletics is a UVic controlled fee and has traditionally been automatically attached to the UPass.)

Opt-in Form

Our opt-in form is available here.

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 gssoffice@uvic.ca

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. You must then send an E-transfer to the GSS following the directions provided to you. 

Opt-in Pricing

Reminder – This term students can opt in to the UPass alone. The cost for this is $81*.

*Please note: Visiting graduate students will need to pay the GSS fee ($82.31) in addition to the UPass fee for a combined cost of $163.31.

Payment Options

By Mail

  • Mail a cheque payable to “UVIC Graduate Students’ Society” cheque with your completed opt-in form and proof of registration to GSS, Box 1700, STN CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2.


  • Interac e-transfer  — send completed opt-in form and proof of registration to gssoffice@uvic.ca; subject: “e-transfer” to recieve detailed instructions.

Opting Out

You may opt-out through the GSS office by emailing the U-Pass opt out form to gssoffice@uvic.ca.

Students with disabilities can be exempted from the U-Pass fee with approval from the Centre for Accessible Learning. 

Opt-out deadlines

The deadline for the U-Pass opt-out is the last day of the first month of each term (i.e. September 30 for Fall term, January 31 for Spring term, and May 31 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.

Opt-out Form

Our opt-out form is available here.

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 gssoffice@uvic.ca 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-in and/or 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 gssoffice@uvic.ca.

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.