Graduate Students' Association

The Graduate Students' Association (GSA) at the University of Lethbridge is a student body of graduate students, elected by our peers to represent graduate student issues at various levels of the university. Our mandate is to identify graduate student needs in order to ensure policies across the university advocate for students appropriately.

GSA/L.A. Transit U-Pass Program

As of Fall 2008, the U of L Graduate Students’ Association, in partnership with Lethbridge Transit, has been offering all graduate students reduced transit fares through a U-Pass program.

If you have questions regarding the U-Pass and it’s distribution, please see the FAQ below! 

What is a UPass?
The Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) programs give students enrolled in participating post-secondary institutions unlimited access to local transit. Programs are typically funded through mandatory fees that eligible students pay in each term in which they are registered. Fees are transferred to the local transit authority to fund the required transit service. Because fees are collected from a large participant base, U-Pass prices are lower than the amount students would otherwise pay for monthly passes or tickets over the course of a term.

In 1973, Queen’s University became the first university in Canada to implement a universal transit pass program. The “Bus-It” program was implemented with Kingston Transit. Nearby St. Lawrence College also participates in this program. Students are required to pay for the service as part of student activity fees. Currently, more than 60 Canadian universities have implemented a U-Pass program. - Wikipedia

Benefits of U-Pass Program
U-Pass programs offer students a way to lower their transportation costs while at school and also benefit the local community and the environment. U-Pass programs can facilitate: Increased affordable access to transit for U of L graduate students; Transit service improvements to the institution; Reduced traffic congestion around the campus and local community; Contribute to fewer emissions; and Reduce demand for parking facilities (less resources spent on building parking facilities)

Frequently Asked Questions
Q:  I didn’t agree to this, why am I forced to pay for this?
A:  Over 65% of the graduate student population (who voted) agreed to the U-Pass idea in the March 2007 referendum.  Not everybody uses the Gym or its facilities, but everyone is required to pay for it. It is only through collecting small amounts from many people are larger things possible, for example running an institution like the University of Lethbridge. That’s how cities are able to offer facilities (libraries, pools, skating rinks, etc.) and services (water treatment plants, trash collection, etc.) normally far out of reach of a small group of individuals.

Q: Is my U-Pass transferable?                                                                                                                                            A: According to the contract with the City of Lethbridge Section 7 item 7.1 " The parties agree the U-Pass stickers will NOT be transferable."

Q: How can I get my UPass? 
A: U-Passes will be distributed in office hours or by appointment from M2041. Email contact@ulgsa.ca to set up a time.

Q: When is my UPass valid?
A: The UPass is valid from January through to Sept 15th. (We realize that when you swipe the UPass it says valid until April 30th. However, the UPass is valid through to September. We have notified LA Transit of this issue).

Q: What if my UPass doesn’t work/scan?
A: Try your bus pass on multiple busses. If after a couple of days you still have no luck, contact contact@ulgsa.ca about this.

Q: Can I exchange my U-Pass for a parking permit?
A: No, unfortunately the UPass and University Parking are separate entities and this cannot be arranged.

Q: How can I get my reimbursement if I opted out of the U-Pass?
A: The cash office (not the GSA) distributes the reimbursements for the U-Pass program.

Any other questions or concerns regarding the UPass program should be directed to contact@ulgsa.ca.

Opting-out of the U-Pass Program:
The U of L graduate program includes students that are not on campus, and thus could not benefit from the U-Pass program.  For this reason, a set of criterion have been agreed upon to allow these students to voluntarily opt-out of the program. These criterion are:

  • A student doing practicum work or field work outside the City of Lethbridge for more than 3/4 of the Fall or Spring/Summer semester
  • A student who lives outside of the Lethbridge Transit Service area
  • A student who satisfies one of the above criterion can fill in an on-line form HERE.

If you are unable to login to the Opt-out form...
If you cannot log in to the Opt-out form for the U-pass, please reset your U of L password by clicking HERE. If you change your password and you still cannot log in to the Opt-out from, please complete ONE of the following actions:

  • Email the Cash Office (cash.office@uleth.ca) and CC the GSA (contact@ulgsa.ca) as well as your supervisor/program coordinator to advise you cannot log in and you wish to opt-out of the U-pass. Your supervisor/program coordinator MUST then "reply all" stating that they approve your opt-out in accordance with the 3 above points, therefore verifying your eligibility to opt-out
  • Have your supervisor/program coordinator email cash.office@uleth.ca and contact@ulgsa.ca (with you CCed) to advise why you wish to opt-out of the U-pass in accordance with the 3 above points.

Opt-out deadline for the Fall 2017 Semester is September 22nd and January 19th for the Spring 2018 Semester. Please note that refun cheque will be mailed out only upon student's request. Otherwise, students can get the credit directly at the cash office. Please contact the Cash Office after the deadline for any questions related to the refund.