CTA U-PASS

The University of Chicago, in conjunction with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), will begin providing U-Pass cards to UChicago College students, beginning Autumn Quarter 2016. The U-Pass provides unlimited travel on CTA's bus and rail system during regular term time. 

Questions? Email upass@uchicago.edu

More Information:

 

2016-17 U-PASS Activation

QuarterStart DateEnd Date
Autumn QuarterSep 17Dec 11
Winter QuarterDec 31March 26
Spring QuarterMarch 27June 12

 

FAQ

What is the U-Pass program?
How much does it cost?
Will the fee be covered by financial aid?
What do I need to pick up my U-Pass?
My U-Pass has suddenly stopped working. What do I do?
Who is eligible for a U-Pass?
How will the U-Pass show up on my account?
I drive/do not have a need for a U-Pass. Can I opt out?
How often can I use my U-Pass?
Can I use my U-Pass on Metra or PACE?
What if my U-Pass is lost, stolen, or damaged?
Do I need to get a new U-Pass each year?
Do I need to get a Ventra card when my U-Pass is deactivated?
What happens to leftover Transit Value on my U-Pass between school sessions?
Can I sell or share my U-Pass?
What if I already have a Ventra card? Can I transfer those fares to my U-Pass?

What is the U-Pass program?

U-Pass is a program offered by the Chicago Transit Authority in which full-time students at participating institutions receive a card that grants them unlimited rides on CTA trains and buses for a flat, quarterly fee.

How much does it cost?

U-Pass operates under a per diem system, in which participating institutions are charged a fixed amount per cardholder per day that the card is active. Under UChicago's academic calendar, this comes out to approximately $95 per quarter. 

Will the fee be covered by financial aid?

For students in the College, U-Pass will be covered as a part of financial aid packages for students receiving aid, just like any other student fee. Students in the College not receiving aid will be charged the $95 per quarter as an additional fee, in the same manner as the student life fee. 

What do I need to pick up my U-Pass?

Incoming and returning students will be able to pick up their U-PASS during Orientation (for incoming students) and the first week of Autumn Quarter (for returning students). You must pick up your U-Pass in person at the College Advising Reception Desk (HM 280) and present a valid UChicago ID to receive your U-Pass. It cannot be mailed you. An email will go out at the beginning of Autumn Quarter regarding the times and location for U-Pass pickup. If you are on Study Abroad, you will be able to pick up your U-Pass when you return from Study Abroad.

My U-Pass has suddenly stopped working. What do I do?

First make sure your enrollment status meets the eligibility requirements. You must be enrolled full-time or on an approved reduced course load. If you are not eligible, your U-Pass has been deactivated. If you are eligible, and your U-Pass is still not working please email upass@uchicago.edu or contact the College Dean of Students reception desk at 773-702-8615. If the situation cannot be resolved, then contact Ventra at 877-669-8368.

Who is eligible for a U-Pass?

All full-time College students or students on an approved Reduced Course Load will receive U-Pass. (Please review the Reduced Course Load policy to determine if you meet the criteria.) Students not enrolled in courses (i.e. on a leave of absence or extended status) or students on Study Abroad will not be eligible.

How will the U-Pass show up on my account?

You will be charged an $95 fee for each quarter you are a full-time student. The fee will show up as any other charge on your account, for example: student life fee. 

I drive/do not have a need for a U-Pass. Can I opt out?

No.  If you are a full-time student you cannot opt out or be refunded the $95 per quarter fee. This is a CTA/U-Pass policy. If you do not pick up your U­Pass, you will still be accessed the fee on your student account.

How often can I use my U-Pass?

You have unlimited rides on CTA trains and buses. However you cannot use your pass at the same station or bus line within 15 minutes. Your U-Pass is active during the quarter (s) in which you are a full-time student.  The U-Pass is not active during summer quarter.

Can I use my U-pass on Metra or PACE?

The U-Pass can only be used on PACE buses if you have added your own fare to your card. U-Passes cannot be used on Metra at all.

What if my U-Pass is lost stolen or damaged?

Please visit the College Advising Reception Desk (HM 280) to report your U-Pass as lost or stolen and to request a new one. You will be required to pay a non-refundable $50 replacement fee; cash or check only. The College Dean of Students office will collect your fee and submit to CTA.

Do I need to get a new U-Pass each year?

No. Your U-Pass is valid as you are a full-time student. You don't need to renew each year. However, your U-Pass will be deactivated during the summer and reactivated at the start of each Autumn quarter as long as you will be enrolled in an eligible status.

Do I need to get a Ventra card when my U-Pass is deactivated?

You will not need to get a new Ventra card. You will be able to load money on your U-Pass in the same manner as the Ventra card.

What happens to leftover Transit Value on my U-Pass between school sessions?

Your transit value will roll over. It will not be affected regardless of your student status or quarter.

Can I sell or share my U-Pass?

The CTA Ventra U-Pass is non-transferable as it carries your photo and name. The CTA reserves the right to require a student to show a valid school identification card upon request. If this condition is violated, the U-Pass will be confiscated for the duration of the valid dates without reimbursement and the person may be subject to arrest and prosecution.

What if I already have a Ventra card? Can I transfer those fares to my U-Pass?

Students who already own a Ventra card will also be issued a U-Pass because U­ Pass is the only fare card that can have the student rate entitlement added to the card. Both cards will be active but will have separate accounts. The system currently does not allow balance transfers between cards. If the student wishes to de-activate the Ventra card he or she can do so, however, the $5 fee for the cost of the Ventra card is non-refundable. Also, the $5 fee applies to each card that is purchased, so the fee cannot be waived for students who have already purchased a Ventra card.