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University Pass (U-Pass) Program

Tim Sands at the Metro yard opening

Virginia Tech is excited to announce a partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) that will allow eligible students to participate in the University Pass (U-Pass) Program. U-Pass provides full-time Virginia Tech students unlimited access to Metrorail and Metrobus throughout the semester, for about $1 per day. The mandatory fee is included as part of the comprehensive fees package for students.

Benefits

  • Helps save students money on Metro.
  • Encourages students to use shared transportation, which helps reduce traffic congestion, parking demand and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • With Metrorail and Metrobus stops conveniently located near all VT locations in Northern Virginia, U-Pass allows for easier and more efficient commutes.

How it Works

Eligible students will be issued a U-Pass card. More info on how to pick up your card will be available during the week of August 14. Cards shall only be used by the student to whom the card is issued. 

For the fall 2023 semester, the U-Pass cards will be active from August 17 to December 18. 

FAQs

The U-Pass cannot be used by anyone other than the student to whom the card is issued, is non-transferable and may be confiscated by Metro if misused. Metro reserves the right to request a school ID to verify the card holder.

Students can purchase a replacement card for a $20 replacement fee. To get started, email gettingaround@vt.edu. Only one replacement card will be allowed per semester. If a card was stolen and a police report was filed, the $20 replacement fee may be waived after providing the report.

First, ask for assistance from a Metrorail station manager or Metrobus driver. If they’re not able to determine why your card does not work, please email gettingaround@vt.edu.

If you have an iPhone 8 (or newer) and/or an Apple Watch Series 5 (or newer) running on the latest version of iOS, you can transfer your U-Pass card to Apple Wallet. Metro has provided steps on how to do this. You will need the following information to complete the process:

  • Date of birth: 08/15/2023
  • Phone number: 540-231-2701

Traditionally, the program begins on the first day of class and ends on the last day of finals. However, the exact dates of the program each semester will be announced prior to the start of each semester.

Students with disabilities who receive free MetroAccess will not have to pay for this program.

The U-Pass card can only be used during the fall and spring semesters. If you want to ride Metro during winter break or during the summer months, you will need to use your own personal SmartTrip card.

At this time you may not combine SmartTrip® funds with your U-Pass.

The U-Pass gives you an opportunity to get out of your car and reduce transportation costs, increase eco-mobility options, reduce congestion and emissions, avoid traffic congestion, and save on parking, gas and upkeep. We hope the program will encourage students who drive to change to Metro. Also, we know that many students use Uber and they can choose the pass as a less costly alternative.

The summer session is not included as part of the U-Pass program at this time.

Only full-time students are eligible for U-Pass. If your enrollment status changes to/from full time, your eligibility for U-Pass will also change. Please expect 24-48 business hours for changes to take effect.

If you are a full-time student who is based in the D.C. Area, and you have not been assessed the NoVA Transportation Fee, please contact your program coordinator to make sure your classes are coded as Northern Virginia and not Blacksburg.

Metro has listed the steps for transferring a U-Pass card in iOS15 here.

You can also call 1-888-SmarTrip to have someone walk you through the virtual transfer.

If you restore your new device from a backup of your old device, you will be given the opportunity to restore your U-Pass to Apple Wallet on your new iPhone. You must remove U-Pass from Apple Wallet before erasing your old iPhone.

If you are setting up a new iPhone and removed U-Pass from Apple Wallet on your old iPhone prior to disposing of it, simply select "Add Card" in Apple Wallet and follow the steps to restore your transit card.

If you are setting up your new iPhone and did not take any action to remove your U-Pass card from your old iPhone, you can remove your U-Pass card from your old iPhone, as long as it is still able to be turned on and connected to a network and logged in with YOUR Apple ID, by logging into iCloud, selecting Account Settings, selecting your old device, and following the prompts to remove your U- Pass card from Apple Wallet. Once that is complete, select "Add Card" in Apple Wallet on your new iPhone and follow the steps to restore your U-Pass card.

At this time, U-Pass cannot be used for transit sytems outside of Metro. It can only be used for Metrorail, Metrobus, and Metroway.