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How to use U-PASS on Link light rail

U-PASS has been around for nearly 25 years, and the program is an integral part of the Husky experience. Now, thanks to the connection of Link light rail to the University of Washington campus, U-PASS can help you do more than ever. U-PASS is a transit pass plus more. Available only to UW students, faculty and staff, it provides unlimited rides through six regional transit agencies – and that includes Sound Transit’s Link light rail.

Using U-PASS on light rail

Never used U-PASS to ride on Link before? It’s easy. You’ll use U-PASS by tapping it on an ORCA card reader, just as you would when riding the bus. But there’s an important difference: You’ll tap your card on a reader at the light rail station before you board, and tap it again at the station where you get off the train. (You’ll do the same thing if you ever ride a Sounder train.) Just remember: tap on and tap off.

Getting a U-PASS

Interested in becoming a U-PASS member to take advantage of the UW’s new light-rail connection? Eligible students on the UW Seattle campus are already U-PASS members through the Universal U-PASS program, and UW employees can purchase an employee membership. Employees can purchase U-PASS online through payroll deduction – it couldn’t be easier, and the deduction is pretax.

UW SOV and carpool parking permit holders can get a gratis U-PASS. If you have a gratis U-PASS, this could be the perfect time to try it out. If you haven’t used your U-PASS in the last few months, give Transportation Services a calland we can reactivate it.

To use U-PASS on a bus or street car, just tap your U-PASS on the reader when you board. On King County Metro Transit RapidRide services, you tap your card at the station before you board (the same as for Link light rail or Sounder, per the instructions above).

Your U-PASS is more than just a transit pass, too: It makes you eligible for vanpool subsidies, deals and discounts on transportation products and services, and more.

U-PASS works seamlessly for most people most of the time, but in case you ever have a problem with your U-PASS, check out our guide on what to do if your U-PASS doesn’t work.

Your U-PASS is yours alone

U-PASS can get you unlimited regional transit access at half the price of a retail pass, or less. We keep that cost low by paying transit agencies only for the trips taken by U-PASS. That’s why it’s important that you use your U-PASS only for your travel – you are not permitted to share your U-PASS. This University program prohibits sharing U-PASS with other people. Lending out your card is a security risk, and it can result in fines, penalties and the confiscation of your Husky Card.

With light rail coming to campus, U-PASS will provide more value than ever before. Now, you’re ready to take advantage.

All information current as of time of publication.