Employee U-PASS


The U-PASS is a bus pass plus more. The U-PASS provides faculty and staff with a variety of low-cost transportation options - from buses, commuter train service and light rail, to vanpooling and discounted impromptu carpooling.

With a U-PASS, it’s easy to save money and tread softly on the environment by choosing alternatives to driving alone. Or consider “mixing up your commute” - using an alternative when possible, driving when necessary.

Participation in the U-PASS program requires a valid Husky Card with a photo. Temporary and hourly employees are not eligible for a U-PASS issued on a Husky Card, but if eligibility criteria are met, may purchase the U-PASS equivalent called the TEMP Pass.

**Important note:**

The program described below is available to UW Seattle faculty, staff and students only. Harborview, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma have fiscally-separate U-PASS programs with similar, but not identical benefits. Please contact the applicable program if you are a Harborview or other campus employee: Harborview 206-744-3254; UW Bothell 425-352-3369; UW Tacoma 253-692-4669.

Purchasing and canceling an employee U-PASS

Permanent employees

Permanent employees include those in permanent positions working at least 50% time.

Purchase U-PASS online

UW employees who want to purchase an annual U-PASS membership and pay for it through payroll deduction can now apply online. The cost is $25 per pay period. The online application can also be used to renew or reinstate an expired or cancelled U-PASS on payroll deduction.

Please note that annual U-PASS members who pay through payroll deduction will continue to be billed for the U-PASS until it expires or is cancelled with Transportation Services. Members are financially responsible for the U-PASS and all associated charges, even if they separate from the university or are not receiving a paycheck. To cancel payroll deductions, contact Transportation Services to sign a stop-deduction form.

Or purchase your U-PASS membership in person

  • Bring your Husky Card to Transportation Services
  • Pay for the quarterly U-PASS by cash, check, Husky Card account, or Visa/MasterCard or pay for the annual U-PASS with payroll deduction.
  • Wait 24 to 48 hours for your membership to be active on buses and transit.

Faculty and staff who purchase a quarterly or annual Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) parking permit or Carpool permit are eligible to receive a gratis U-PASS.

Canceling your U-PASS

The Annual U-PASS is paid via payroll deduction and can be cancelled at any time - you do not need to complete a full year and there is no cancellation fee.

The quarterly U-PASS and TEMP Pass are prepaid each quarter and are non-refundable. If you leave the university, your unexpired pass must be returned to Transportation Services.

A benefit of the Annual U-PASS is that it allows you to save money during those times you won’t be using it. Go on vacation, and you can email us 2-4 days before leaving to request discontinuation of your U-PASS. To reapply for your U-PASS on your return fill out the online application. Just remember to submit the application 1-2 days before use, as activation will take 24-48 hours.

To cancel your Annual U-PASS, email ucommute@uw.edu with the subject line: Cancel employee U-PASS on XX/XX/20XX 2-4 business days prior to your preferred cancelation date. Include your name, employee ID number, and a statement requesting cancellation of the U-PASS and payroll deductions. Your U-PASS will remain active and you will remain financially responsible for payments until you receive confirmation via email. We will do our best to cancel your U-PASS on the preferred date. If you require cancelation on a specific date, please visit our office in person.

U-PASS benefits

The U-PASS membership, includes the following benefits:

Emergency Ride Home for faculty and staff U-PASS members

Unfortunately, emergencies - a personal illness, a family emergency or an unexpected need to work late, sometimes happen. With the Emergency Ride Home program, there’s no need to purchase a parking permit “just in case.” We will reimburse you for 90 percent of the meter fare for your taxi ride (not including tip) up to 50 miles per quarter.

Examples of emergencies:

  • personal illness
  • illness of your child or dependent
  • family emergency
  • unanticipated need to work late when transit is unavailable or runs infrequently

Situations not considered emergencies:

  • travel from work to a scheduled appointment.
  • destination is not your home, park and ride or daycare.
  • use of the program on a routine basis for commuting to a location with regular bus service when you have to work late.
  • travel from a non-worksite location to your home or day care because of an emergency situation (trip must be from worksite to home or day care).

How to use the Emergency Ride Home Program

  • 1. Call any taxi company (town car and limousine services are not eligible).
  • 2. Request a taxi receipt that indicates the pick-up, drop-off point and the fare paid, not including tip.
  • 3. Submit the receipt, along with reason for the ride, to Transportation Services, Box 355360, Attn: Emergency Ride Home. Include your name, phone number and the box number to which you would like the reimbursement sent. Please submit receipts within the current quarter. We are unable to reimburse receipts that are more than three months old. We cannot reimburse for limousine or luxury car service.

**Important note:**

The Emergency Ride Home program is available only to faculty and staff with a U-PASS membership. Harborview, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma have fiscally-separate U-PASS programs with a Guaranteed Ride Home benefit that is similar, but not identical to UW Seattle’s Emergency Ride Home program. You can find contact information for those campuses listed above.

Terms of use

U-PASS members are required to acknowledge that they have read and accepted the U-PASS terms of use.

All U-PASS members are bound by the U-PASS Program Terms of Use as stated in Administrative Policy Statement 53.4. Misuse of the U-PASS is subject to sanctions and may subject the parties to possible action under the General Conduct Code (Chapter 478–124 WAC).

Faculty and Staff U-PASS members who purchase a U-PASS online are asked to accept the terms of use online. Faculty and staff who purchase the U-PASS in-person at Transportation Services are asked to agree to the terms of use at time of purchase.


To finalize the activation of your U-PASS for use on transit, you must tap your card on an ORCA card reader within 60 days of U-PASS issuance. Tapping your card on the ORCA reader updates your chip and finalizes activation of your U-PASS for transit. Employees who do not finalize activation within 60 days must submit a Reactivation Request. Your U-PASS will be available for transit 24 to 48 hours after you submit your reactivation request.

Report a problem

Do you have questions or are you having issues with your new U-PASS powered by ORCA? Report a problem.

U-PASS fees

A faculty or staff U-PASS costs $150.00 per calendar quarter.

U-PASS replacement

If your Husky Card with U-PASS powered by ORCA is lost, stolen or damaged, go to the Husky Card Account and ID Center located on the lower level of Odegaard Undergraduate Library, and obtain a replacement Husky Card. A replacement fee may apply and your U-PASS will be electronically transferred to your new Husky Card. Your U-PASS will be available for use 24 to 48 hours after issuance.


Temporary or hourly employees commuting regularly at least three days per week throughout the quarter.

  • Visit Transportation Services to purchase your TEMP Pass. Please bring your 9-digit employee ID number (available from your supervisor).
  • Pay for the quarterly TEMP Pass by cash, check or Visa/Mastercard.
  • As the cost of the TEMP Pass is partially subsidized by the UW, employees must have a UW EID and active employee status. If an employee does not have a valid UW EID or active status, please email ucommute@uw.edu

TEMP Pass fees

A TEMP Pass costs $150.00 per calendar quarter.

Replacing a TEMP Pass

Visit the Transportation Services office to certify that your quarterly TEMP Pass has been lost or stolen. Pay the cash or check fee to obtain a replacement.

Returning a TEMP Pass

A quarterly U-PASS or TEMP Pass is prepaid each quarter and therefore non-refundable. If you leave university employment, your unexpired U-PASS or TEMP Pass must be returned to Transportation Services.