In cooperation with the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), UW–Milwaukee developed the U-PASS transit program to serve both commuting students and students living on or near campus. There are 7 local bus routes and 3 express bus routes in Milwaukee County that take passengers directly to the University.
What is a U-PASS?
U-PASS 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. U-PASS is accepted as full fare on every MCTS-operated bus route, whether it’s a local, freeway flyer, or special route. Your U-PASS must be presented with a valid student ID in order to ride the bus. Students issued a U-PASS will only require that single U-PASS 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. You can purchase an M-Card at various locations near UWM, such as the Metro Market in Shorewood. Due to decreased staffing and hours, Transportation Services is not currently selling or adding money to M-Cards.
CAUTION: DO NOT ADD MONEY TO YOUR U-PASS, THIS WILL INVALIDATE IT AS A U-PASS. A replacement U-PASS will need to be purchased if money is added to a card.
Elgible students may collect a U-PASS and anyone can purchase an M–Card at the Transportation Services office during regular office hours. Students issued a U-PASS 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 U-PASS 48 hours after registering for classes. U-PASSes will activate one week before classes start. (See eligibility requirements below)
Please fill out the form below to request a U-PASS:
U-PASSes must be requested in-person. Please visit UWM Transportation Services' offices at NWQB-1427, 2025 E Newport Ave.
If a student loses the U-PASS issued to them, there is a $25.00 replacement fee, and Transportation Services can only issue one replacement U-PASS to each student per semester. Students must come to the Transportation Services office with their student ID in order to get a replacement.
To be eligible, you must be a student taking at least one class for credit on the main (Kenwood) campus (not online). The cost of the U-PASS 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 U-PASS.
NOTE: Students will have their U-PASS 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.
You can check to see if your U-PASS is active through your Transportation Services account. Information about your U-PASS is listed at the bottom of the page in the MCTS Information section. You will see both your the card number of your U-PASS and whether that card is active.
Both fields are for display purposes only. Changing any of the values will not affect whether your U-PASS is active. If you are having issues with your U-PASS, fill out the U-PASS Error Reporting form. Contact Transportation Services with any questions.
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 U-PASS 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 U-PASS to remain active automatically*. If interested in activating a U-PASS during the summer, students will need to pay the associated portion of segregated fees for Summer use. This option is only available to students who will be continuing their UWM studies in the Fall semester.
No refunds are available after the charge is processed.
*Students interested in information regarding segregated fees may learn more at the UWM Student Association website. 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 U-PASS.
You can purchase a replacement U-PASS online. If you would like to pay the segregated fee for the U-PASS, you can also do that through your account. Follow these instructions to do so:
- Go to Transportation Services portal (uwm.edu/transportation/portallogin).
- Click on “Affiliated Login” which is in the center of the page
- Click on “Get Permits & Bus Passes” which will be located in the permits section
- Click on “Next >>”
- Fill the required fields
- Click on the desired permit (e.g., REPLACEMENT U-PASS, SPRING 2021 U-PASS SEG FEE PORTION)
- Click on box to agree with”Transportation Rules & Regulations”
- Click on “Next >>”
- Click on “Next >>”
- Enter the email as needed
- Click on “Pay Now”
- Click on the box to agree
- Click on “Pay Now”
U-PASS 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. Their official app is available for iOS and Android devices. Google Maps smart phone app, available in iOS and Android devices, also provides information regarding MCTS routes.
MCTS riders who experience issues may also contact MCTS M-Card Services at (414) 937-0470.