Winter 2023 Student Bus Pass - Tap Program

Using your Universal Bus Pass in Winter 2023 will be as easy as tap and go!

The GSA and CSA ran a joint referendum on the Universal Bus Pass (UPASS) in Fall 2021. The joint referendum passed and therefore the Universal Bus Pass fee will be charged to all University of Guelph main campus students every semester for a minimum of five years, starting Winter 2023. Therefore, effective January 1, 2023, all eligible students will have access to the Guelph Transit UPASS services which provides unlimited transportation on Guelph Transit buses.

→ Are you a Grad Student? Click here to visit the GSA's website!

Using the Bus Pass in Winter 2023

→ Jump To: Opt-Ins

1. How do I use the Universal Bus Pass?

Effective January 1, 2023, eligible students will simply tap their student ID cards on the HID card reader upon boarding a Guelph Transit bus.

2. Who is an eligible student?

Every University of Guelph main campus student who has been charged the Bus Pass fee on their student account is an eligible student.

3. What if I don’t need the bus pass, can I opt-out?

No, the bus pass was voted on by students as a mandatory universal fee and does not offer an opt-out.

4. Will I still need a bus pass sticker on my student ID to access a Guelph Transit bus?

No you will not. The new validation system is tap and go!

5. How does the tap work?

To access Guelph Transit, you will use your University of Guelph student ID card to tap the HID card reader on the right-hand side of the farebox when boarding the bus. If your tap is successful, you will hear a ding, and the farebox screen will show a valid fare message highlighted in green.

6. Why is my card not working / tapping if I am an eligible student and who should I contact?

If you registered for courses after the add period for the semester, please keep in mind that it could take up to 24 hours for your UPass to start working. If you just received a replacement card or are a first-year student who just received their card, it will take about an hour for your UPass to become active. For all other cases, please visit the Campus Card Office on level 0 of the University Centre if your UPass is not working.

If you are getting on Guelph Transit and the UPass does not work, your card will not be confiscated but you are expected to contact the Campus Card Office as soon as possible.

7. If I am a co-op student on a work term or are registered in all DE defined courses, can I opt-in to the bus pass?

Yes! Undergraduate students enrolled in all DE defined courses or on a co-op work term are not billed for the bus pass as part of their semester fees but can opt in for a bus pass directly through the Central Student Association (CSA). Your student ID card and a cash payment of $154 are required at the time of purchase.

  • December 12th - December 16th : Opt-in at the CSA Front Office (UC 274) from Monday - Wednesday and Friday from 10AM - 4PM. Thursday from 10AM - 2PM.
  • January 9th - January 13th: Opt-in at the CSA Front Office (UC 274) from 10AM to 4PM
  • After January 13th: Walk-ins during CSA Front Office hours Monday to Thursday 10AM - 4PM

For outside of office hours please contact

8. What happens if I lose my card? How much does it cost to replace my bus pass?

If your student ID card has been lost or stolen, visit the Campus Card website for information about deactivating your old card and receiving a replacement. All cards reported lost or stolen will be immediately deactivated for access to Guelph Transit.

There is a replacement fee of $25 for your student ID card. Within one hour, your replacement card will become active, allowing you to access transit.

→ Click here to read more about University of Guelph Campus Cards.

9. How frequently is the UPass student list updated?

Changes to all students' registration status (i.e., withdrawal or late add) will be reflected in the UPass user list within 18 hours.

Students receiving a replacement card or first-year students receiving their new card will have access to the bus within the hour, if within the eligibility period for the Fall 2022 semester (September 1 – December 31). Those in receipt of a new student ID card may experience a longer "tap" wait time for the first 24 hours.

10. What information is being shared and displayed every time I tap?

No personal student information is being shared when you tap; only technical ID card information is required for validation.

11. What happens if I drop all my courses and withdraw from the semester?

Please visit the UofG Student Financial Services Refunds webpage for detailed information on withdrawals and refunds. Please note, if you receive a 100% bus fee refund, you will not be eligible to use the UPASS.


If you have any additional questions or concerns not answered above, please reach out to your CSA VP External:

Posted on Monday, November 29th, 2021