In cooperation with the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), UW–Milwaukee developed the UPASS transit program to serve both commuting students and students living on or near campus. There are 8 local bus routes and 3 express bus routes in Milwaukee County that take passengers directly to the University.
What is a UPASS or M-Card?
UPASS is a card device that is scanned in order to gain access to any MCTS bus at no charge. It will look identical to the M-Card, but the bus card readers will identify it as different. UPASS is accepted as full fare on every MCTS-operated bus route, whether it’s a local, freeway flyer, or special route. Your UPASS must be presented with a valid student ID in order to ride the bus. Students issued a UPASS will only require that single UPASS for their entire career at UWM, as no replacement card will be needed unless it is lost.
The M-Card is a card device which can be loaded with a dollar value that is then deducted every time it is used to ride an MCTS bus. Money must be put on this card to make it valid to use. The M–Card can also carry 1–day, 7–day, and 31–day passes.
CAUTION: DO NOT ADD MONEY TO YOUR UPASS, THIS WILL INVALIDATE IT AS A UPASS. A replacement UPASS will need to be purchased if money is added to a card.
Elgible students may collect a UPASS and anyone can purchase an M–Card at the Transportation Services office during regular office hours. Students issued a UPASS will only require that issued card for their entire career at UWM, as no replacement card will be needed. Students are eligible to pick up their UPASS 48 hours after registering for classes, and up to two weeks before classes begin for the Fall and Spring semester. UPASSes will not be activated until one week before classes start. (See eligibility requirements below)
If a student loses the UPASS issued to them, there is a $25.00 replacement fee, and Transportation Services can only issue one replacement UPASS to each student per semester. Students must come to the Transportation Services office with their student ID in order to get a replacement.
Any student that loses their replacement UPASS will not be eligible for another one in the same semester.
To be eligible, you must be a student taking at least one class for credit on the Kenwood campus (not online). The cost of the UPASS is included in your tuition as part of the student segregated fees*.
*Segregated fees are an additional fee outside of tuition that is used for various activities on campus. Students taking a course on campus traditionally pay segregated fees. Students auditing courses or are taking only online courses do not pay segregated fees and will not be eligible for a UPASS.
NOTE: Students will have their UPASS shut off during any semester in which they are not paying segregated fees, however it will reactivate once fees are paid. Instances in which this would occur include electing to take a semester off, taking online-only courses, or studying abroad for a semester.
Wheelchair–accessible buses are available. For detailed Milwaukee County Bus timetable information visit MCTS on the web at www.ridemcts.com/Transit Plus call the MCTS BusLine at (414) 344-6711. Consult our uwm.edu/transportation/wheelchairaccessiblebusing page for additional information regarding accessibility.
During the summer period, the UPASS will remain active for the day after Spring finals until one week prior to Fall courses begin, traditionally.
Students not paying segregated fees for the summer are not eligible for the UPASS to remain active automatically*. If interested in activating a UPASS during the summer, students will need to pay the associated portion of segregated fees for Summer use. Also, students seeking to pay the associated portion of segregated fees for Summer use of the UPASS will need to have paid segregated fees or will pay segregated fees for the Spring and Fall semester in the same year of the Summer UPASS session in question.
The associated charge for purchasing the UPASS, as long as a student meets the previously described criteria, is $22.55. This purchase may be made at the UWM Transportation Services office in the UWM Student Union WG25. No refund available after the charge is processed.
*Students interested in information regarding segregated fees may learn more at the UWM Student Association website, studentorgs.uwm.edu/org/sa/SegFees. Traditionally students taking courses on campus are assessed segregated fees, while students taking on-line only courses (or auditing only) are not assessed segregated fees and therefore not eligible for the UPASS.
UPASS users can find many resources through the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) website at ridemcts.com. Information available on the MCTS website includes areas serviced, route schedules, and route delays or reroutes.
MCTS riders may also benefit from utilizing a MCTS smart phone app. MCTS approved applications are discussed online at ridemcts.com/rider-information/real-time-information/apps. Google Maps smart phone app also provides information regarding MCTS routes.
MCTS riders who experience issues may also contact MCTS M-Card Services at (414) 937-0470.