UTM Students’ Union unveils new digital transit pass–and new fees–for students in Mississauga


Published January 31, 2023 at 1:02 pm

MiWay gets rid of blue buses in move to go all orange
(Photo: City of Mississauga)

University of Toronto–Mississauga (UTM) students who regularly use MiWay to get to and from class (or around the city in general) will no longer need a physical pass to board a bus in the not-too-distant future. 

Maëlis Barre, president of the UTM Students’ Union, recently told insauga.com that the university’s U-Pass program will be completely digitized soon.

The move to change the current pass to a digital one was announced at a small celebration last week to mark the U-Pass’s 15th anniversary. 

“We’re moving it from physical cards to a completely digital platform,” says Barre.

“Students will have a pass on their phone rather than a physical card. It makes things easier and makes things more accessible for a lot of students.”

The announcement came a few weeks after MiWay, Mississauga’s public transit provider, told city council that a renewed agreement with UTM students will allow them to travel the city more conveniently with the new digital bus pass.

U-Pass provides eligible full- and part-time UTM students with unlimited travel each semester on all MiWay routes.

The digital pass, which will be rolled out as a pilot program in May (just in time for the summer semester), will boast new price points. According to UTM, the new fees, which were recently approved by the student union’s board of directors, are:

  • U-Pass fall/winter undergraduate: $157.77 per session (currently $144.74)
  • U-Pass summer undergraduate: $192.29 (no change)
  • U-Pass summer/fall/winter MAM (medical students): $97.75 (currently $93.87)

Barre says the new fees will be sent to UofT’s governance for final approval. 

Another change students can expect is the removal of the hefty $125 replacement fee. 

“In the past, if you lost your U-Pass, you had to pay a pretty high replacement fee set by MiWay,” says Barre. 

“Now, if you lose your phone, we can find your ticket virtually and give you a new one for free.”

The pass, which students pay for through their ACORN (Accessible Campus Online Resource Network) fees, will be downloaded through Metrolinx and the app will be similar to PRESTO. Students can also look forward to the gradual rollout of equal semester fees, meaning fees will be uniform year-round.

“The equal semester fees will be gradually implemented over the next couple of years. That means students will not immediately see an equal fee on their ACORN invoices,’ Barre says. 

The new fees will come into effect this summer, and the new digital U-Pass will be rolled out for all students in fall 2023. 

The City (MiWay), UTM and the UTM Student Union have partnered in the U-Pass program since 2006.

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