Message from the President

UCalgary graduate students, 

As many students will be participating in online learning for the Fall 2020 semester, the UPass program has been put on hold for this term. This decision has significantly impacted graduate students. The GSA recognizes the importance of students having affordable access to city transit this upcoming fall semester, especially as many of you will have an in-person component to your academic program or work. My team and I advocated to both the University administration and the City of Calgary to find short and long-term solutions. Read all about our advocacy efforts for a UPass alternative here

At this time, the agreed solution is for the University of Calgary to purchase Calgary Transit Adult Ticket books at a discounted price. A book of 10 transit tickets can be purchased for $21.00, which represents a 40% saving over retail pricing. Starting August 4, up to 5 books of 10 tickets may be purchased per month and can be purchased from these select locations: 

  • Parking & Transportation Services between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday
  • Residence Services (Dining Centre) between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday
  • Foothills Medical Bookstore between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (will need to call phone number on the door entrance)  
  • Main Campus Bookstore between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (south exterior doors, opens Aug 17)

In order to be eligible, you must show your UCalgary ID Card or proof of active student status at these locations when purchasing the tickets.  

I hope that the flexibility in purchasing as many or as few tickets required for you to come to campus will be beneficial to you. I also understand that this will be an additional cost for some students who rely on public transit to commute to campus. I encourage you to look into the City’s low income pass, an affordable alternative solution for eligible graduate students. Eligibility is based on income, find out if you qualify here. If you are in urgent, temporary and emergent need, you can apply for the GSA Emergency Bursary. Find out more about the GSA Emergency Bursary and other supports available to you here

I recognize that this is not a long-term fix. My team and I will continue to advocate for a long-term solution for affordable and accessible transit. Please keep up to date with the most recent information via the GSA News and Views, website, and social media channels.  For questions regarding this ticket book program, please contact 


Tanille Shandro 
Graduate Students’ Association, University of Calgary
ES 1030, 844 Campus Place NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4


  1. Hi Tanille,

    Just wanted to thank you for your advocacy in this issue. I am disappointed that we will not get a Upass as I have field study September through April. I was wondering if it would be possible to advocate to get the subsidized tickets from other kiosks through out the city. I live in the NE and it would mean coming to the university (loss of two tickets) to purchase the booklets.

    Many thanks
    Rani Murji
    MSW student

    1. Author

      Hi Rani,
      Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, this is not possible with the current ticket book program as it is a program the City is letting UCalgary run in-house. We are continuing to advocate for a more cost effective option such as enabling more students to qualify for the low income pass, which can then be purchased anywhere transit tickets/passes are sold. Any updates on progress on this advocacy file will be shared through our various media channels. Stay tuned.
      Thao from the GSA

    1. Author

      Hi Jia,
      There is no expiration date, one of the major benefits to the ticket book program because a student can buy multiple books (there is a limit of 5 books) but there is no time frame of when they need to use them by.
      Thao from the GSA

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