U-Pass malfunctions as students go back to school

Due to U-Pass errors, UBC students might have trouble commuting to their first classes of the year.

Starting September 1, many students found that they were unable to use their Compass Cards despite loading their U-Passes days before. Some students were charged as if their passes were never loaded, while others reported that their cards were rejected altogether due to “insufficient fare.”

“Is your September U-Pass not working?” asked reddit user NotWoods in a post titled ‘U-Pass PSA.’ “I called TransLink and they said it's happening to many people at UBC.”

The U-Pass, or Universal Transit Pass, is offered to students studying at public post-secondary institutions in Metro Vancouver. It grants access to all bus, SkyTrain and SeaBus services managed by TransLink for $41 per month in student fees. An equivalent pass costs $177 for non-students.

TransLink says the problem is only affecting UBC.

“Over the weekend, we noticed an error with U-Passes loading on to Compass cards for some UBC students. We are working to resolve the issue,” wrote TransLink spokesperson Jill Drews in a written statement to The Ubyssey.

The company did not specify the source of the glitch or how many students were affected.

“Since this is the first time this mess ever happened, I guess I won’t be too harsh about it. But I do wonder whose fault it is: UBC or Translink?” wrote reddit user freedom_yb.

To fix the error, TranLink advises students unlink their card from their U-Pass and then relink it on the Compass Website or contact the Compass Call Centre at 604.398.2042 for step-by-step assistance. Once relinked, it will take two hours before the Compass Card can be used.

So far, the solution appears to be working.

“Super confusing moment, glad to know how to fix it thanks!!” wrote carolinaheat.

If requested, TransLink will also reimburse students for undue fares that were charged in the malfunction.