U-Pass/Compass Card - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a Compass Card?
Compass is a durable, reloadable electronic fare card that will replace TransLink’s current paper passes and tickets. Initial Launch Compass Cards are being provided to NVIT students free of charge (no deposit) as part of the introduction of this new system.
What is U-Pass BC?
U-Pass BC is a universal transit pass for NVIT students which provides unlimited use of buses, Skytrain and SeaBus service across Metro Vancouver. Since September 2011, a partnership between the Provincial government and TransLink has made one common U-Pass program available to all public post-secondary schools across Metro Vancouver.
Is the U-Pass BC program changing?
No, the U-Pass BC program remains the same. U-Pass BC is going digital and will be integrated into Translink’s new Compass Card.
What are the benefits of U-Pass BC?
The U-Pass BC program provides all eligible students of NVIT with lower transit fares across all zones–including unlimited use of bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus services within Metro Vancouver. Most students at NVIT are eligible for the program. Discounted fares on the West Coast Express are also available.
Is U-Pass mandatory?
Yes, the program is mandatory. The success of the program relies on a bulk purchase so that NVIT students pay only $39.50 per month which is a significant discount in comparison to the retail price $180 for a three-zone pass.
Who is eligible for U-Pass BC?
Students enrolled in NVIT programs in the metro Vancouver area may be eligible for the UPASS BC multi-zone bus pass (at a current rate of $39.50 per month) if they are enrolled in (all points required to be eligible:
· a course of at least 21 days duration (section start and end dates); and
· they are assessed NVIT Student Society fees; and
· a course that is either a minimum of 3 credits OR if College Readiness is a minimum of 12 hours per week.
Can I get an exemption?
You can request an exemption if you:
· Hold a valid U-Pass BC from another post-secondary institution within Metro Vancouver.
· Hold another valid non-transferable transit pass which is valid for each month of the duration of the U-Pass Term (e.g. transit employee subsidiary pass). Please provide a photocopy of the front and back of the pass to our Enrolment Services Office.
How to I apply for an exemption?
Come speak with a member of our NVIT Vancouver Enrolment Services Team.
What if I withdraw from my courses or complete my program requirements early?
If you have requested your U-Pass BC benefit online for the current month, you will not be entitled to a refund and you can use your Compass Card until it expires at the end of the month. If you withdraw from your courses you will not be eligible for the U-Pass BC benefit for the remainder of the term.
What are the Conditions of Use?
The U-Pass BC benefit may only be used by the student registered to the online account, and who possesses valid student identification that matches the ID used to request the U-Pass BC benefit. If you are taking classes at two different institutions, you must carry and produce the ID for the institution whose U-Pass BC program you have linked to your Compass Card to.
Your U-Pass BC is only valid for travel - in the month requested - in and across all zones and at all times on South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink) service region buses, SeaBus and SkyTrain and for discounted fares on West Coast Express.
Use of this benefit is subject to the terms and conditions of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink) Transit Tariff. Contravention may result in confiscation of this Pass and/or prosecution.
Getting a Compass Card & Linking Your U-Pass BC
How do I get a Compass Card?
Your initial Compass Card are available for pick up from the Enrolment Services Team. Our staff at the Enrolment Services Office can assist you with any questions you may have.
How do I link my U-Pass BC to a Compass Card?
The first time you go online to request your monthly U-Pass BC benefit you will need to link it to a Compass Card by doing the following:
1. Visit upassbc.translink.ca
2. Select NVIT as your Post-Secondary Institution
3. Enter your NVIT login and password
4. Request your U-Pass BC benefit for the required month (and each month afterwards)
5. Allow up to 48 hours for activation
Always make sure to request your next month's benefit well in advance. It can take up to 48 hours to activate your U-Pass BC onto your Compass Card, and this request must be processed before you are eligible to ride transit.
When do I request my U-Pass BC benefit?
Students can request their U-Pass BC every month that they are eligible, on or after the 16th to ride transit in the following month (i.e. request on May 16th for travel in June).
How long is my U-Pass BC valid for?
Your benefit is valid on a monthly basis and expires on the last day of each month. In order to prevent fraudulent use of the U-Pass BC benefit, students must request their pass at upassbc.translink.ca on or after 16th of the month to ride transit in the following month.
Using the Compass Card Linked to Your U-Pass BC
When can I start using the Compass Card linked to my U-Pass BC?
Once your U-Pass BC benefit has been linked to a Compass Card, it is valid for a one-month period, from the first to last day of the month regardless of when you link it online.
You will need to request your U-Pass BC benefit each month from the 16th of the month onwards to ride transit in the following month. Students cannot use their benefit before the start of the month in which it is valid.
What if I forget my Compass Card or student ID?
You must always carry your student ID with you whenever you use your U-Pass BC. If you forget either then you are required to pay the appropriate transit fare. If you ride transit without proof of payment then you may be subject to fines and/or loss of U-Pass BC privileges.
What if I lose the Compass Card linked to my U-Pass BC?
To prevent misuse, you should unlink your compass card as soon as it is lost. This can be done easily through TransLink’s U-Pass BC Website: upassbc.translink.ca
Once the U-Pass BC benefit is loaded onto a Compass Card, the U-Pass benefit can be transferred onto a new Compass Card easily through TransLink's U-Pass BC Website: upassbc.translink.ca.
Where can I obtain a replacement card if I lose my Compass Card?
You can contact or visit the following locations to get your replacement card.
- Compass Vending Machines (CVMs)* located at
- SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express stations
- BC Ferries - Tsawwassen & Horseshoe Bay terminals
- London Drug Stores
- Online at compasscard.ca
- By calling 604-398-2042
- Compass Customer Service Centre at Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain Station
- West Coast Express Customer Service, 2nd floor, Waterfront Station
The cost of a replacement card is $6.00.
What if I lose my student ID?
Lost or Stolen NVIT must be reported immediately. The replacement card cost is $20.00 cash only in the Learning Commons, credit or debit at Main Reception. It is important to replace lost Student ID cards as these are required for valid use of your U-Pass BC.
What if I forget to Tap in or Tap out with my Compass Card?
You must always tap in and tap out with your Compass Card when starting or ending trips on Transit, or transferring onto new transit services as part of the same trip. This is how the system validates your fare, and how TransLink receives important data to support sustainability for the U-Pass BC program and future system improvements.
While there is no financial penalty for U-Pass BC students who do not tap out at the end of a trip, it is still important that students tap out. Tapping out provides important ridership data that supports the future of the program, and will help prevent students from getting charged for 3 zone trips when they leave the U-Pass BC program and purchase retail passes.
Can I loan my Compass Card to a friend?
Your U-Pass BC benefit is non-transferable so you may NOT loan your U-Pass BC-enabled Compass Card to anyone. If you have several Compass Cards in a household, consider using a permanent marker or a sticker to indicate which Compass Card has been loaded with a U-Pass BC.
If I’m not able to use my pass, can I sell it to another person?
The U-Pass BC benefit is not transferable. Lending or selling the Compass Card linked to your U-Pass BC account, or attempting to use another person’s U-Pass BC benefit, is an offence. Students must always carry linked student photo I.D.
Costs and Payment
How much does U-Pass BC cost me?
The cost of the U-Pass BC program is included in your student fees, and is $38 per month.
If I don’t request my pass, am I still charged?
Yes, the U-Pass BC program is mandatory. If you are eligible, and have not secured an exemption, you will be charged the U-Pass BC fee whether or not you request the U-Pass BC Benefit.
For additional information about the Compass Card, please refer to Translink's: