Online sales only. Purchase here. Print payment confirmation page and bring in to the office to secure your pass.

USC GSG’s U-Pass Transit Program

Please read ALL of the information below before purchasing or contacting GSG. If you need help or have questions, DO NOT contact USC Transportation regarding this program. Instead, contact the Graduate Student Government through the “Contact” button in the menu on the top of this page, or reach out to the administrator of the program, the GSG Director of Campus Affairs, directly at gsgcamp@usc.edu. Thanks!

SPRING 2018 TAP 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.

The U-Pass will no longer be issued as a smart-chip sticker. Beginning Spring 2018, passes will be TAP cards. To use the card, simply hold it up to the validator each time you board a bus or train.

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 students who pay the Graduate Student Programming Fee are eligible.

The U-Pass 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.


Spring passes are $107, and go on sale starting on January 8. Sales close on February 1. Spring passes are valid for use from January 8, 2017 to June 3, 2018. Passes must be purchased online and picked up in person.

To Purchase a U-Pass:

  1. Take Metro’s survey: https://lametro.formstack.com/forms/upass_usc
  2. Purchase the U-Pass: https://sait.usc.edu/ca/store/index.asp?CategoryID=617
  3. Gather up the following items:
    • Survey confirmation page (if you have previously taken the survey, you do not need to take it again)
    • Payment confirmation page
    • Proof of payment of the Graduate Student Programming Fee (found on your December 2, 2017 or January 6, 2018 bill on ePay)
    • USC student ID card
  4. Pick up your U-Pass:
    • UPC pick-up: SKS 410, Mon – Thur, 10 AM – 4 PM
    • HSC pick-up: 1969 Zonal Ave (next to Starbucks), Mon – Fri, 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 sticker on your behalf. Provide your proxy with a note stating your name, your proxy’s name, and your 10-digit student number. If you are unable to designate a proxy, contact the GSG Director of Campus Affairs to arrange a separate pick up time at UPC: gsgcamp@usc.edu, or the GSG HSC Director to arrange pick up at HSC: gsghsc@usc.edu.


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 reload the pass and ensure that it works. 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 only 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 non-Metro transit services, such as Metrolink or LADOT transit (which includes DASH and Commuter Express). It currently does not cover transit run by some L.A. County municipalities, such as Santa Monica or Culver City.

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?

  1. Contact the GSG Director of Campus Affairs at gsgcamp@usc.edu with your USC ID.
  2. Wait for a confirmation email.
  3. Purchase a replacement sticker online, 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. Report the lost/stolen U-Pass to gsgcamp@usc.edu
  2. A new U-Pass sticker will be issued, and the lost/stolen sticker will be deactivated
  3. Call 866.TAPTOGO (866.827.8646) to request a transfer balance to the new U-Pass sticker
    • Lost/stolen U-Pass sticker number is required to process the balance transfer
    • Obtain your lost/stolen sticker number from gsgcamp@usc.edu