Universal Student U-PASS Advisory Board

The Universal Student U-PASS Advisory Board (U-PASS AB) serves as a student-run oversight committee for the Universal Student U-PASS program. The U-PASS AB is comprised of six representatives appointed by the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) and three representatives appointed by the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS). Working in conjunction with advisers from UW Transportation Services and UW Student Life, the U-PASS AB represents the UW student population’s interests in the U-PASS program and works to ensure its long-term health and effectiveness.

It is the responsibility of the Advisory Board to report and make recommendations to the ASUW Board of Directors and GPSS Executive Committee regarding the program, including, but not limited to, fee changes and cancellation.

The Advisory Board is subject to the U-PASS’ MOU as well as the committee’s own bylaws. The bylaws govern the conduct of the committee, whereas the MOU acts as the authority by which the committee can operate. Each meeting of the Advisory Board begins with a public comment period, as required by the bylaws.

2016-17 Board Members

  • Chair:

  • Adam Khan
  • Vice Chair:

  • Anna Wittow
  • ASUW At-Large Members:

  • Daniele Meñez
  • Hakikat Bains
  • Alissa Mustre
  • Adam Khan
  • Naveen Sahi
  • GPSS At-Large Members:

  • Sarah Loeffler
  • Anna Wittow
  • Cooper Smith
  • U-PASS Liaison:

  • Lucas Simons (non-voting member)

Background information

For 25 years, the U-PASS has provided affordable mass transit choices to UW students and staff, including: bus service in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties, access to Sounder commuter rail; Link Light Rail, NightRide shuttle service and more. In large part due to U-PASS, 80% of commute trips to campus are made without a personal vehicle.

2015 U-PASS Rate Increase:

In March of 2015, King County Metro fares increased by $0.25. Even without costs from demand for increased bus service (55,000+ hours) and Light Rail service in the U-District, the Metro fare increase was projected to cost students over $3.6 million over the next two years, resulting in a 10.4% increase to total program costs. In light of these developments the Advisory Board considered and approved the first rate increase in the Universal U-PASS program’s history, staggered over a two year window:

  • • $80/quarter for the 2015-16 Academic Year
  • • $84/quarter for the 2016-17 Academic Year

No further increases are planned.

The Advisory Board maintains its oversight role and control of price increases. The Advisory Board continually works with its partners and UW administration to maximize the value and effectiveness of the U-PASS program in meeting student transportation needs.

Origins of Universal U-PASS:

A combination of factors led to drastic increases in U-PASS cost in 2009, including: rise in fare rates for mass transit; increase in trips taken by U-PASS holders; and higher local parking taxes. In response to this pressure, the U-PASS cost was increased from $49 a quarter to $99 a quarter.

In response to pressure on the U-PASS, the ASUW Board of Directors created the Student Transportation Taskforce (STT) to explore possible solutions. The taskforce created a survey to solicit feedback from UW students, staff and faculty on three proposed solutions: maintaining the current funding model; a Universal Transportation Fee; a Universal U-PASS. To gather campus opinion, STT conducted an extensive survey of UW students, employees, and faculty; resulting in 6,725 student responses (3,573 Undergraduates, 3,086 Graduate students, and 66 non-matriculated students).

Survey Results:

  • • 11% of students supported the existing funding model
  • • 55% of students supported the Universal Fee model
  • • 79% of students supported the Universal U-PASS

Click here for the full report of the Student Transportation Taskforce (STT) Report

During the 2010-11 academic year, both GPSS and ASUW passed resolutions in support of a Universal Student U-PASS. Subsequently, representatives of GPSS, ASUW, UW Student Life and UW Transportation Services signed an agreement to implement a Universal Student U-PASS. Terms of the agreement include:

  • • Price of $76/quarter locked in for two years
  • • Student control of price increases
  • • Creation of the Universal Student U-PASS Advisory Board

Contact Us!

If you have any comments about the policies and governance of the Universal U-PASS program please contact upassab@uw.edu. If you have any questions about the U-PASS service please contact UW Transportation Services at ucommute@uw.edu.


Documents


Upcoming meeting agendas

The next meeting of the U-PASS Advisory Board will take place at 10am, Thursday May 18th, 2017 in Transportation Services 218


Governing documents


Advisory Board Resolutions & Position Papers


Meeting Minutes


Other documents

View a comprehensive history of the U-PASS program's creation, 20+ year history, work of the Student Transportation Task Force (STT) and Universal Student U-PASS Advisory Board (AB) and the program's move to ORCA technology in our historical binders (PDF, 118MB).