What is the U-PASS?

U-PASS graphicThe U-PASS is a bus pass and more. It gives faculty, staff and students access to a complete package of low-cost transportation options — from buses and commuter train service to discounted vanpooling.

The U-PASS allows you to ride the bus anytime, anywhere without paying fare — it is even good on the Sounder Train! More than a dozen Pierce Transit routes serve the UW Tacoma campus.

With a U-PASS, it’s easy to save money and tread softly on the environment by choosing alternatives to driving alone. Or consider “mixing up your commute” — using an alternative when possible, driving when necessary.

Participation in the U-PASS program requires a valid Husky Card. Temporary, hourly employees are not eligible for a U-PASS.

U-PASS benefits

  • Full fare coverage on Metro Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit, Everett Transit and Sound Transit buses
  • Full fare coverage on Sounder commuter train service
  • Full fare coverage for paratransit services
  • Subsidized vanpool fares

Holders of the faculty/staff U-PASS additionally have access to:

Buying a U-PASS

Good for unlimited rides on the above bus agencies and Sounder train service, the U-PASS gives you lots of travel choices and costs just $45 per quarter for students and $60 per quarter for permanent faculty and staff. (Not sure if you are a permanent employee? Please check with your department's program administrator or Danelle Dauron, our payroll coordinator, at campus phone 2-5664.)

A current Husky Card (with the purple front and your photo) is required. If you do not have a current Husky Card, stop by the Office of the Registrar in Mattress Factory 253.

ORCA Smart Cards transition

The U-PASS is now enabled as an ORCA Smart Card for use on regional transit. More about this transition here.

Using your U-PASS

Once your U-PASS is ready to use, you simply hold your Husky ID card up to the bus reader, or show it to the driver. That's it! You might be asked to present identification when using your U-PASS. The pass is the property of the University of Washington Tacoma. A U-PASS cannot be used by anyone other than the person to whom it was issued and cannot be sold or transferred. Misuse will result in confiscation of the card.

Using your U-PASS on the Central Link light rail or the Sounder train? Be sure to tap on and tap off upon entering and exiting the station.

Emergency ride home for employees

Are you afraid that leaving your car at home means you won't get home quickly if an emergency arises? Smart commuters know that carpooling, vanpooling, riding the bus, biking or walking are smart ways to get to work. Now smart commuting is even smarter! UW Tacoma contracts with Pierce Transit for the Emergency Ride Home as part of our Commute Trip Reduction program. Any day you are a smart commuter and an emergency comes up, you are eligible for a taxi ride home. And best of all, it's absolutely free!