The Universal Pass (U-Pass) originally piloted in 2007, championed the goal of offering a lower cost transportation option to students, reducing traffic congestion and lowering vehicle emissions, increasing transit ridership, and improving the mobility and transit access of students within the Edmonton region. The current 2017-2021 U-Pass Agreements expire on August 31, 2021 and negotiations have been underway for the 2021-2025 U-Pass Agreements. These negotiations have resulted in a number of principles all the Parties to the U-Pass Agreements agree we should work towards.

On Feb 5th to 11th, we have asked our students to vote on this referendum on whether or not we continue the U-Pass program with the negotiated agreements. With an overwhelming 28.2% turnout of students voting, NAIT students have decided to extend the U-Pass program for another 4 years with 77.2% of those students voting YES. Thank you to everyone for participating in this referendum!

Overview
  • U-Pass 2021-2025 Fee
  • Opt-Out Proposal
  • Administrative Updates (Service Provision, Remittance, Discrepancy Notice Period, and Route 747)
  • Schedule A – U-Pass Opt-Out Pilot Program
U-Pass 2021-2025 Fee

Update the Agreements with new U-Pass fee amounts:

  • 2021-2022 – $180.00 per Participating Student per School Term;
  • 2022-2023 – $180.00 per Participating Student per School Term;
  • 2023-2024 – $180.00 per Participating Student per School Term; and
  • 2024-2025 – $180.00 per Participating Student per School Term.
Administrative Updates
Four areas are being updated in the 2021-2025 Agreement:
1. Service Provision
2. Remittance
3. Discrepancy Notice Period
4. Route 747

Service Provision
Update the Agreements to add in language indicating that the provision of “reasonable assistance” would be for a maximum of 120 days

Remittance
Update the Agreements to note that initial remittance will be 95%, with the further 5% being remitted after any reconciliations covered under the reconciliation provisions

Discrepancy Notice Period
Update the Agreements to change the discrepancy notice period from 2 business days to 5 business days

Route 747
Update the Agreements to include explicit reference to the U-Pass program providing entitlement for students to ride the Route 747

Opt-Out Proposal
Opt-Out Approach

  • Update the Agreements to create an opt-out pilot program, which would need to be reapproved by all the parties each year
  • See Schedule A for a detailed description of the opt-outs and the opt-out approach

Schedule A – U-Pass Opt-Out Pilot Program

Overview
  • In order to support a more fair and equitable U-Pass program, a number of additional opt-outs were suggested by the Students’ Associations during the 2021-2025 U-Pass Agreement negotiations
  • Including these opt-outs as a pilot program to “test out” the opt-outs before incorporating them into a future U-Pass agreement was agreed to during the negotiations
  • This pilot program would be in place for a maximum of 4 years, with the program needing yearly unanimous approval of all signatories by August 31st of each year
Governance
  • Updates/changes to the opt-outs need to be approved by all signatories
  • Decisions on student eligibility for opt-outs will be made by a U-Pass Opt-Out Committee
  • This Committee has membership from each of the participating post-secondary Students’ Associations, as well as ETS representing the municipalities
  • The Students’ Associations would be responsible for developing opt-outs
    policies/procedures, including eligibility, appeal processes, and reporting
  • This Committee would be responsible for reviewing and approving the pilot opt-outs and discuss issues and concerns with current U-Pass opt-outs and exemptions
  • Student eligibility decisions will be consensus based, with only the Students’ Associations having a vote. ETS sits on the Committee to provide advice and support
  • The Committee may be folded into the larger U-Pass Advisory Committee, subject to the approval of the the U-Pass Advisory Committee
Pilot Opt-Outs

Students who are Seniors

  • Eligibility – Students who turns 65 years or older before an Academic Term begins
  • Eligibility Determination – Students to provide a identification to a Students’ Association representative, demonstrating their age is over 65 at or before the beginning of the term

Students who are on AISH

  • Eligibility – Students who participate in the AISH program immediately before an Academic Term begins
  • Eligibility Determination – Students to provide AISH documentation to a Students’ Association representative, demonstrating participation in the AISH program

Students who must Commute Long Distances

  • Eligibility – Students whose principal residence is greater than 100km from their post-secondary institution
  • Eligibility Determination – Students to provide principal residence documentation to a Students’ Association representative

U-Pass Referendum FAQs

When does voting take place?

Voting takes place online from February 5-11.

How long is the new U-Pass contract?
4 years, starting September 2021.
What will the price be for U-Pass?
U-Pass will be $180 per semester for all 4 years of the contract, meaning that for 6 of 8 years U-Pass will have seen no price increase!
Is U-Pass a large discount?
Yes! U-Pass represents a 38% discount over the ETS youth pass (24 and under) and a 55% discount over the ETS adult pass!
Who is eligible for U-Pass?
All credit students at NAIT. Apprenticeship students and continuing education students are not eligible for U-Pass.
Who is exempt from U-Pass?
Students who take 100% of their classes on line are exempt from U-Pass.
Why should I vote for U-Pass if I can just qualify for Ride Transit?

Ride Transit is only being made available for Edmonton post-secondary students during the pandemic. Post-secondary students normally do not qualify for Ride Transit and will not when in-person classes resume.

Why bother with U-Pass if there is a risk of classes being online again in the fall?
While NAIT has to plan for classes to be online in the fall, that is subject to change. Regardless, we need to have a valid contract in place to have a U-Pass program, whether it is in September 2021 or January 2022.