Beginning June 29th, Regina Transit will resume charging fares for its bus services. As mentioned previously, the U-Pass program cannot operate during the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters this year due to the delivery method of courses at the University of Regina and how that relates to U-Pass fee assessment. Even with fewer students needing to travel to campus, we know that many of our members are struggling or will struggle without affordable access to transit. The U-Pass helped students get to not only campus but also to important appointments and essential services.
This means that students who regularly use the bus will now have to buy Post-Secondary passes at a rate of $78/month, 10 rides for $29, 20 rides for $55, or pay $3.25 per one way trip. We at URSU understand that this means more hardship added to the adversity students are already facing. There are the emotional hardships of pursuing an education without the use of classrooms and reduced access to support services. There are also the financial hardships of paying tuition while trying to earn a living in a severely limited job market. We want our members to know that we continue working to alleviate all of these hardships in any way we can.
Therefore, beginning June 29th, URSU will be subsidizing $28 per Post-Secondary Transit Pass for every student who loads a pass at our Member Services desk. This means that, out of the $78 that must be paid to Regina Transit per pass, you will pay $50 and URSU will pay $28. When visiting our Member Services desk, you will need to have your Student ID Card. If you are a nursing student, you will need to have your clinical card as well. Access to our office is available through the main Riddell Centre entrance only. Students can visit the desk during our regular office hours (Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Please expect to follow social distancing procedures upon arrival to the Riddell Centre and we would greatly appreciate it if you would wear a mask when visiting us.
We recognize that for many students, this new subsidy may not be enough and we continue to investigate all of our options for our members and hope to have more to announce in the near future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is it only $28?
URSU does not make money off of post-secondary passes; we take what you pay us and then pay that exact same amount to Regina Transit. This means that any subsidy we offer is coming out of the URSU budget. We are not sure exactly how many students will want a bus pass but if 1000 students buy a bus pass that means URSU will be losing $28,000 per month.
Q: Why only at the Member Services desk?
Because URSU is paying for a portion of the pass, you can only receive this discount at our Member Services desk. All other transit outlets in the city will charge you the standard $78.
Q: Will URSU subsidize a 10 or 20 ride purchase?
No, this subsidy is intended to assist students who take the bus on a daily or near-daily basis and use the bus as their main mode of transportation for school, work, groceries, etc.
Q: Do I need to get a pass?
No, there are no mandatory transit fees or products at this time.
Q: I’m a SIAST student who normally buys a post-secondary pass. Can I also receive a subsidized post-secondary pass?
No. We’re sorry, but the subsidy is available to URSU members only who would otherwise be using a U-Pass in normal circumstances.
We would like to clarify that the U-Pass program will actually be suspended for the Fall 2020 semester. This means that no one will be charged for a U-Pass and no one will be able to load a U-Pass transit product. The main reason for this is that the assessment criteria for the U-Pass fee depends upon a student taking at least one on-campus course whereas no students will be taking an on-campus course this fall.
The Universal Bus Pass, also known as the U–pass, is a program designed for University of Regina students that will allow them to use Regina Transit as much as they like for a once-per-semester fee. By paying the mandatory fee of $87.60 each semester, they will in turn get a city-wide transit pass valid for the whole semester (4 months) at a rate cheaper than current discounted student rates of $78 per month. Students who live out of town or within the designated opt-out zones are able to opt out of the program.
The U-Pass was approved by the student body in a referendum that took place in March of 2015. The question voted on during the referendum was as follows:
“Should the URSU negotiate a universal bus pass (U-Pass) that will:
- Cost every student $70-$90 per semester
- Provide unlimited access to Regina Transit and, when eligible, Para-Transit services for URSU members in the fall and winter semesters.
- Have exemptions for students who live within 1km of campus or who live outside of city limits.”
This referendum gave URSU a mandate to negotiate a U-Pass deal with the City of Regina which would cost between $70-$90 per student per semester. After several months of negotiation with the City of Regina, URSU and Regina Transit came to an agreement, which was approved by the Regina City Council in September of 2015. The agreement spans 7 years and includes improvements to Regina Transit as well as an agreement to consult URSU on an annual basis about student ridership and how route or service changes would affect students.
U-Pass processing in URSU Boardroom
- Monday, January 6 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, January 7 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 8 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Member Services open until 7 p.m.)
- Thursday, January 9 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Friday, January 10 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Monday, January 13 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, January 14 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 15 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Member Services open until 7 p.m.)
- Thursday, January 16 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Friday, January 17 – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What will the U-Pass cost
- Q: Which semesters are covered?
- Q: When is the spring/summer U-Pass starting?
- Q: Who is eligible?
- Q: Who is automatically assessed the U-Pass fee?
- Q: I was automatically assessed the U-Pass fee. Can I opt-out?
- Q: I was not automatically assessed the U-Pass fee. Can I opt-in?
- Q: When will activations and opt-outs/ins be processed for the Winter semester?
- Q: How do I activate my coverage?
- Q: My pass is not working any more. Can I get a replacement?
- Q: Will URSU still sell other pass options?
- Q: Will paratransit be included?
- Q: Why should I take the bus instead of driving?
- Q: What if I already have a parking pass?
- Q: Can I claim my U-Pass cost on my income tax return?
A: $87.60 per semester. This charge is applied directly to your URegina account and can be paid just like your tuition and other fees at the University’s Financial Services desk or online.
A: The Fall semester and the Winter semester. The Fall 2019 semester coverage runs from September 3rd, 2019 to January 6th, 2020. The Winter semester coverage runs from January 2nd, 2020 to April 30th, 2020.
The spring and summer semesters are not yet included.
A: We are still working on this project. It will be implemented for spring/summer 2020.
A: All University of Regina students are eligible to get the U-Pass. Students are either automatically assessed the fee or may choose to opt-in. You can tell if you were automatically assessed (and thus need to activate a pass or opt-out) by checking your URegina Self Service account.
A: Students who take at least 1 on-campus course are automatically enrolled in the program and must pay for the pass unless they are eligible to opt-out.
Students who typically are not automatically assessed the fee include:
- Students taking only online courses.
- Students studying only at locations outside of Regina.
- Nursing students with only an off-campus practicum.
- Graduate students taking only “maintenance” courses.
- Students in a co-op program work term with no on-campus courses.
- Students taking only ESL classes.
If you were not automatically assessed, you are still eligible for a U-Pass but must opt-in.
A: Please visit our opt-out page for more details.
A: For all U of R students, yes. Visit us with your student ID card and we will load a semester of coverage for you. We will then notify the University to charge the U-Pass fee directly to your URegina account. ESL students and Campus For All students will be required to pay for their pass at the time of activation. There is no deadline to opt in.
At this time, University of Saskatchewan students cannot opt in to or receive the University of Regina U-Pass.
A: Activations will begin January 6th, 2020. The opt-out/in process will begin January 6th . The last day to opt-out is January 31st at 11:59 pm.
A: You must re-activate your pass every semester by visiting URSU. We then load the new semester’s dates onto the card. We cannot activate or re-activate a card if you do not bring it in person, and you must be present to activate the card; you cannot send a friend or parent to activate your card for you due to security risks and our agreement with the City of Regina.
Students with the new integrated URegina Student ID/Bus Pass card should bring this to the URSU Member Services Desk or Multipurpose Room and we will load a semester on the card.
Students with the old, single-sided URegina Student ID card should bring their URegina Student ID to the URSU Member Services Desk or Multipurpose Room and we will add a pre-activated sticker to the card. If you would prefer an integrated card instead, you can purchase this from the Registrar’s Office for $10.
If you do not have a URegina Student ID Card, please get one from the University’s Registrar’s Office.
A: If you have a U-Pass sticker, we will replace the sticker at no cost to you.
If you have a double-sided Student ID Card (one with the U-Pass on the back), you may need to get a new ID from the Registrar’s Office. If the card is damaged or lost, you will have to pay $10. If the card stopped working without any obvious sign of damage, you may be eligible for a free replacement. Please visit the Member Services desk to allow us to investigate and provide you a free replacement authorization form, if appropriate.
A: Yes, the URSU Member Services Desk will continue to sell 10 and 20 ride passes, as well as the standard types of monthly passes (i.e. Adult, Post-Secondary, Youth).
A: Yes! If you are a registered Paratransit user, you can use the pass for that service as well.
A: There are a number of side benefits for you and the city in general when more people are using public transit, e.g. less pollution, more parking, and less traffic congestion. Some students find that the bus ride is a good opportunity to finish that reading you didn’t quite finish the night before. When the first snowfall hits, the bus is usually a less worrisome trip to the university than dealing with the increased traffic and potential for accidents in a car. If you want to go out for a drink, there is nothing better than knowing that you can get home safely with a pass that you’ve already paid for.
Perhaps most importantly, you can save a lot of money if you take the bus instead of a car. With a car, you have to pay for gas, maintenance, plates, plus all the indirect infrastructure costs that come from having so many cars on the road. According to a report from CAA in 2013, the average annual cost of driving a compact car is about $9500. Larger cars, trucks, and SUVs cost even more. On the other hand, two semesters of the U-Pass costs only $175.20 ($87.60 per semester).
A: Your parking pass is not mandatory whereas the U-Pass is. If URSU allowed students to opt out when they purchase a parking pass, that would undermine a central goal of the program. On the positive side, parking passes can be cancelled and refunded, or you can sublet your parking pass.
A: Not anymore. The Federal government has removed this tax credit as of 2018.