Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a U-Pass?

The Memorial Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) is a discounted bus pass that gives eligible students unlimited access to all bus routes, with expanded and enhanced service (i.e. more runs on current routes and new routes). Learn more about the proposed U-Pass program here. Eligible students voted on the proposed program from February 26-28, 2019.Bus

2. When can I vote on the U-Pass?

Eligible students voted on the proposed U-Pass program from 7:00 a.m. (NST), February 26, 2019 to 7:00 p.m. (NST), February 28, 2019. Full details on the vote can be found here.

3. How much does the U-Pass cost?

If a U-Pass program is implemented at Memorial, the cost would be:

  • Fall/winter: $139.00 per semester
  • Spring/intersession/summer session/Marine Institute technical session*: $110.00

*Note: if you are registered for more than one semester during the May to August time period, you only have to pay the U-Pass fee once.

If implemented, the U-Pass fee would be adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on September 1 of each year.

The fee would be assessed on student accounts for all full-time Memorial University undergraduate and graduate students registered in a given semester at the St. John’s campus, Centre for Nursing Studies and Marine Institute. Students who meet the opt-out criteria would be eligible to opt-out of the program. Check out the finalized U-Pass proposal for details on the program and opt-outs.

4. Do I have to pay the U-Pass fee if I’m not registered in the spring semester?

No, the U-Pass fee would only be assessed during the semesters you are registered as a full-time student. For example, if you are a full-time student only during the fall and winter semesters, you will not pay the U-Pass fee during the spring semester.

5. What would the U-Pass fee pay for?

All revenue collected from the U-Pass fee would go directly toward supporting the U-Pass program and service improvements.

6. Who is eligible for the U-Pass?

All full-time Memorial University undergraduate and graduate students registered in a given semester at the St. John’s campus, Centre for Nursing Studies and Marine Institute would be included in the U-Pass program. Students who meet the opt-out criteria would be eligible to opt-out of the program.

Some examples of groups who would not be eligible for the U-Pass program include part-time students, exclusively online students, post-graduate doctoral students (meaning post-doctoral students/fellows), students at other institutions, English as a Second Language (ESL) students, faculty and staff.

While only eligible students would receive the discounted bus pass, any individual would be able to avail of the enhanced service at regular Metrobus rates. If a program is implemented, opt-ins for groups who are currently ineligible could be considered in the future.

7. Can I opt-out of the U-Pass program?

If implemented, students who meet the opt-out criteria could opt-out of the U-Pass program. Supporting documentation would be required to opt-out. View the opt-out criteria and supporting documentation requirements here.

Some examples of those who do not qualify for opt-outs include:

  • You choose to drive, bike or walk to campus
  • You live on or near campus

8. What is the U-Pass service area?

The U-Pass service area includes any area within 1 kilometer of a bus stop or within direct route of a proposed U-Pass park and ride lot. Students outside of the service area would be eligible to opt-out of the program.

Students living in areas including, but not limited to, Conception Bay South, Portugal Cove-St. Phillips, Holyrood, Bell Island and Southern Shore would be considered outside of the service area and would be eligible to opt-out of the U-Pass program.

The proposed U-Pass park and ride lots are identified as the Jack Byrne Arena (Torbay), the Mount Pearl Glacier and the Paradise Double Ice Complex. Being in “direct route of a proposed U-Pass park and ride lot” means that it is reasonable for you to drive to a park and ride lot to get to Memorial University.

For example, students living in Southlands, Torbay, Pouch Cove, Bauline, Flat Rock, Middle Cove, etc. would be in the U-Pass service area.

Southlands Example:

Southlands

Torbay/Pouch Cove/Bauline/Flat Rock/Middle Cove Example:

Jack Byrne

If you are unsure if you are considered within the U-Pass service area, please contact us at u-pass@mun.ca.

9. Will there be service in Torbay?

The proposed U-Pass program includes a proposed express park and ride route from the Jack Byrne Arena to St. John’s campus and Marine Institute. Discussions are currently in progress with the Town of Torbay to confirm logistics of the park and ride, as well as a complementary service to be implemented alongside the U-Pass.

If the town is not able to provide service to complement the U-Pass, the Jack Byrne Arena park and ride express would not be included in the U-Pass program. If this occurs, students living in Torbay (and surrounding communities such as Pouch Cove, Bauline, Flat Rock and Middle Cove) would not be in the service area and would be eligible to opt-out of the U-Pass program.

Any change to the Torbay service would not impact the U-Pass price.

10. Where can I go with a U-Pass?

A U-Pass will take you wherever the Metrobus and GoBus services travel. Get to class, grocery stores, downtown, movie theatres, shopping, and more. In addition to the existing Metrobus and GoBus routes, students availing of the U-Pass would benefit from expanded and enhanced routes*.

*Service enhancements are subject to modification based on final opt-out numbers and partnership agreements with municipalities being in place if the program proceeds. Additional service improvements may also be possible depending on final opt-outs.

11. What is an express U-Pass route?

An express U-Pass route is a route that goes directly from a park and ride lot to St. John’s campus and Marine Institute, or vice versa.

Express routes allow riders to travel to and from campus in comparable time as a single-occupant vehicle.

12. Will the U-Pass provide an accessible service?

Yes, GoBus service, where available, is part of the U-Pass program. In addition, Metrobus offers wheelchair accessible buses on some routes and will be adding more accessible buses to its fleet in the future.

Bus

13. When would the U-Pass program start?

If a U-Pass program proceeds for Memorial University, it would be available for the fall 2020 semester. Eligible students voted on the proposed program from February 26-28, 2019.

14. What are the benefits of a U-Pass?

A U-Pass program provides many benefits to students. Benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting a sustainable transit option
  • Reducing vehicle emissions
  • Enhancing and expanding the Metrobus services to benefit Memorial University students
  • Providing unlimited access to enhanced and expanded Metrobus and GoBus services
  • Reducing traffic congestion, especially on and around Memorial campuses
  • Saving money on transportation costs (see table below for examples)

Cost Table

15. Would the Metrobus semester bus pass still be available?

If implemented, the U-Pass would replace the Metrobus semester bus pass for full-time Memorial University students. The U-Pass would provide students with the same benefits as the semester bus pass, but for a discounted price.

The Metrobus semester bus pass would still be available for students who are not eligible for a U-Pass (for example, part-time students and College of the North Atlantic students).

16. Will the U-Pass fee change?

If implemented, the U-Pass fee would be adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on September 1 of each year.

If the U-Pass program proceeds, an advisory committee, with student representation, would be established to determine how changes to the program would be administered.

17. How will changes to the program be administered?

If the U-Pass program proceeds, an advisory committee, with student representation, would be established to determine how changes to the program would be administered.

18. Can the U-Pass fee be reversed?

The U-Pass fee would be reversed if a student meets one of the opt-out criteria and submits the necessary documentation prior to the U-Pass opt-out deadline.

The U-Pass fee would not be reversed after the U-Pass opt-out deadline. However, a U-Pass would not be revoked after the U-Pass opt-out deadline. For example, if a student changes their enrollment status from full-time after the U-Pass opt-out deadline, their U-Pass would still be valid until the end of the semester.

19. Would the cost of the U-Pass be included in the amount declared/shown on my T2202A (Tuition, Education and Textbook Amounts Certificate)?

The cost of transportation, including the U-Pass, and parking are not considered eligible tuition fees.

20. Am I eligible for a U-Pass if I am registered exclusively in online courses?

No, if you are registered exclusively in online courses, you are not eligible for the U-Pass program and you would not pay the U-Pass fee.

21. Can students completing placements in the Health Sciences Centre opt-out of the U-Pass program?

Yes, students in programs such as nursing, medical education, pharmacy, etc. can opt-out of the U-Pass program if they have placements for more than 60 days at the Health Sciences Centre, or any other location.

22. Why is there no universal opt-out option in the U-Pass program?

For Memorial’s proposed U-Pass program, a universal opt-out is not possible as it compromises the price discount and service enhancements of the program. In Canada, it is not common for U-Pass programs to have a universal opt-out option.

The opt-out criteria in Memorial’s proposed U-Pass program is based primarily on what the majority of students indicated they would like to see in a program during the fall consultation and is similar to U-Pass programs at comparable universities across Canada.

23. Are PhD students eligible for the U-Pass Program?

As graduate students, PhD students are eligible for the U-Pass program provided they are full-time students registered at one of St. John’s campus, Centre for Nursing Studies or Marine Institute. Post-graduate doctoral students (meaning post-doctoral students/fellows) are however ineligible for the program.

24. Are Grenfell campus students eligible for the U-Pass program?

Only full-time Memorial University undergraduate and graduate students registered at the St. John’s campus, Centre for Nursing Studies or Marine Institute are eligible for the U-Pass program, as such students registered at Grenfell campus are ineligible. However, if a Grenfell campus student is taking a full-time course load at St. John’s campus, Centre for Nursing Studies or Marine Institute in a given semester, they would be included in the U-Pass program.

Contact

U-Pass

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000