Universal Student U-PASS Advisory Board

The Universal Student U-PASS Advisory Board serves as a student-run oversight committee for the Universal Student U-PASS program. The Board 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 Board 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 Memorandum of Understanding 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.

2018-19 Board Members

  • Chair:

  • Steven Tuttle (ASUW)
  • Vice Chair:

  • Tyler Gordon (GPSS)
  • ASUW At-Large Members:

  • Vladimir Bejdo
  • Cameron Blecha
  • Spencer Lively
  • Andrew Tejero
  • Not yet appointed
  • GPSS At-Large Members:

  • Cal Dobrzynski
  • Sydney Pearce
  • U-PASS Liaison:

  • Evan Ulman (non-voting member)

Background information

For nearly 30 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
  • • $84/quarter for the 2017-18 Academic Year
  • • $84/quarter for the 2018-2019 Academic Year

No further increases are planned at this time.

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.


Upcoming Meeting Notice

The U-PASS Advisory Board is in recess until the beginning of Winter Quarter 2019.

Governing documents

Advisory Board Resolutions & Position Papers

Meeting Agendas