FALL 2018 Information

The USC Graduate Student Government (GSG) offers the U-Pass Pilot Program in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The reduced-fare transit pass offers graduate students unlimited rides on Metro’s rail and bus lines for a given semester.

Please read all of the information on this page before purchasing a pass. If you need help or cannot find the answer to your question on this page, contact the GSG Director of Campus Affairs at gsgcamp@usc.edu.


Only graduate students who are enrolled in classes and are paying the Graduate Student Programming Fee in Fall 2018 are eligible. Undergraduates, postdocs, faculty, and staff are not eligible.

The U-Pass card is non-transferable and will be deactivated if found to be used by someone other than the authorized purchaser. Eligible students who sell their U-Passes after activation are subject to penalties and disqualification from the program.


Fall 2018 passes are $105.50 and are valid for use from August 13, 2018 to January 20, 2019. Passes must be purchased online and picked up in person. Sales open on August 6. Sales close on September 14 (no passes will be sold after this date). Passes can be picked up starting August 13 at the locations listed below.

The following items must be presented (either screenshots or printed out) when picking up your Metro U-Pass:

  1. Metro Survey confirmation (only if you are purchasing U-Pass for the first time)
    • Go to https://lametro.formstack.com/forms/upass_usc and fill out the survey.
    • Screenshot the confirmation page with the 9-digit confirmation number.
    • Save the e-mail confirmation you receive–be sure not to delete it!
  2. U-Pass Purchase confirmation
    • Go to https://sait.usc.edu/ca/store/index.asp?CategoryID=617 and complete the purchase for the Fall 2018 U-Pass. If you have had a card in the past and lost it, you will also need to pay for the replacement fee.
    • Screenshot the confirmation page.
    • Save the e-mail confirmation you receive–be sure not to delete it!
  3. Proof of payment of the Fall 2018 “Graduate Student Programming Fee”
    • Go to https://my.usc.edu and log in.
    • Click on “Pay My Bill”. Underneath it will say “e.Pay”.
    • Find where it says “Your Bills” and click “View” from the 7/21/2018 bill.
    • Screenshot or save the PDF that pops up.
  4. Proof of Fall 2018 enrollment
    • Go to https://my.usc.edu and log in.
    • Click on “Courses”.
    • Click on Fall 2018.
    • Click the icon on the right to change the view to “List View”.
  5. USC student ID card
    • Be sure you have gone to USCard Services and picked up your USC ID Card.
    • Ensure that your USC ID Card says “Graduate Student” on it. If you attended USC as an undergraduate and have that USC ID Card, please note that you will need to replace it with a USC ID Card that says “Graduate Student”.
  6. Pick up your U-Pass at the following locations:
    • UPC pick-up: SKS 410, Mon – Thur, 10 AM – 4 PM
    • HSC pick-up: 1969 Zonal Ave (next to Starbucks), Mon – Thur, Noon – 1 PM

The items above can be shown to GSG staff from your smart phone or laptop.

If you are unable to make it to campus during the standard pick-up times, you may designate a proxy to pick up your pass on your behalf. Provide your proxy with a note stating your name, your proxy’s name, your 10-digit student number, and all the proof-of-purchase items listed above (screenshots or printed proof is acceptable).


No refunds will be granted at any time for any reason. If the pass does not work, please report to the GSG office (SKS 410) so that we can exchange it for a new one. We cannot issue refunds once cards have been purchased.


Why purchase a U-Pass?

This program offers students the opportunity to travel to campus and explore Los Angeles in a cheap and environmentally friendly fashion, without having to worry about gas, car maintenance or parking.

How much can I save with this program?

That depends on how often you ride and how you pay for your Metro fare. Compared to Metro’s reduced-fare student pass ($43/month), you can save at least $60 over a four-month period. Compared to purchasing individual one-way tickets, the U-Pass will save you money after 30 round trips. In other words, if you commute to USC twice per week, you will save money with a U-Pass.

Can I purchase more than one pass?

No. A student can only purchase one U-Pass.

Where can I use the U-Pass?

The U-Pass is valid on Metro buses and trains. This includes the Metro Rapid bus lines, the Red, Blue, Green, Gold and Expo rail lines, as well as regular Metro buses (including Zones 1 and 2).

The pass is not valid on any other non-Metro transit services, such as Metrolink. It currently does not cover transit run by some L.A. County municipalities, such as Santa Monica or Culver City.

Beginning November 1, 2018, U-Pass is also valid on LADOT – DASH buses! This does not include other LADOT transit services like Commuter Express.

What if my TAP Card stops working?
Please send an email to gsgcamp@usc.edu with the following information:

  • Name and USC ID #
  • Tap Card #
  • Date, approximate time, and location where the failed transaction occurred (i.e., bus or rail, station or intersection)

What if the TAP Machine on my bus doesn’t work?
Some buses still have old TAP machines that do not read the U-Pass. If this occurs, you may need to pay the fare before boarding. Write down the route number and the individual bus number and send it to gsgcamp@usc.edu so that we can forward the information to Metro to allow them to update the machine on that particular bus.

Is this program available to recent graduates?
No. The pass is available only for current, full-time, fee-paying USC graduate students.

What constitutes “full-time”?
USC’s pass is available for all students who qualify as full-time according to USC’s guidelines for their individual program.

Is this program available to online Virtual Academic Center (VAC) students?
VAC students are not eligible to purchase a U-Pass because they do not pay the Grad Student Programming Fee, which is used to subsidize the cost of the program.

What if I’m not eligible for the U-Pass?
You still may be eligible for a reduced-fare Metro TAP card through Metro. They have discounts for senior citizens, students, and people with disabilities. Check out the requirements and application instructions at: http://www.taptogo.net/Reduced_Fare

I lost my pass. What do I do?
Purchase a replacement pass online ($2), then pick up the replacement pass in person according to the pick-up times stated at the top of this page.

Can I add Stored Value onto the Metro U-Pass
Yes, adding Stored Value allows Metro U-Pass users to ride 23 other transit systems. Fare can be loaded at TAP vending machines (TVM), at TAP vendor locations, or by phone 888-TAPTOGO (1.866.827.8646).

What happens if I add Stored Value and my Metro U-Pass is lost/stolen?

  1. Purchase replacement pass online ($2)
  2. Pick up the replacement pass in person according to the pick-up times stated at the top of this page (the lost/stolen pass will be deactivated)
  3. Call 866.TAPTOGO (866.827.8646) to request a transfer balance to the new U-Pass
    • Lost/stolen U-Pass number is required to process the balance transfer. Obtain your lost/stolen U-Pass number when you pick up your replacement pass or email gsgcamp@usc.edu