Human Resources

Employee U-PASS benefit policy

Last updated: May 28, 2024

The University provides a fully-subsidized U-PASS as a benefit to eligible employees to encourage the use of public transportation. The U-PASS benefit is loaded onto eligible employees’ Husky Cards. It has no cash value if it is not used.

The U-PASS benefit is administered for all three campuses by UW Transportation Services. What the U-PASS covers, how to use the U-PASS, and the U-PASS Terms of Use are outlined on the Transportation Services website.

Employees eligibility

All personnel who are paid by the University are eligible for a fully subsidized U-PASS.

The U-PASS benefit does not apply to:

  • student hourly employees,
  • academic student employees,
  • unpaid academics,
  • affiliates or other appointees who are not paid by the University of Washington, and
  • UW retirees (unless they are in a retiree rehire position).

Employees who do not qualify for the fully subsidized pass may be eligible to purchase a quarterly or annual U-PASS through their campus transportation office: Seattle, Bothell or Tacoma. The benefit also doesn’t apply to UW retirees unless they are in a retiree rehire position.

Contact HR Help for questions about U-PASS eligibility.

Employees with multiple positions

If an employee holds more than one position at the University and at least one position is eligible for a fully-subsidized U-PASS, the employee receives the U-PASS benefit.

Leave of absence

Employees who are on a paid or unpaid leave of absence, including summer hiatus or cyclic yearly leave, continue to receive the U-PASS throughout the duration of their leave of absence.

Job changes

An employee that moves into a position that is not eligible for a fully-subsidized U-PASS will have their U-PASS deactivated on the pay date associated with their job change.

  • For a pay period ending on the 15th day of the month, the deactivation date would be the 25th day of that month.
  • For the pay period ending on the last day of a month, the deactivation date would be the 10th day of the following month.

An employee who moves from a position ineligible for the U-PASS to a position that is eligible will have their fully subsidized U-PASS activated within 12 to 24 hours of the first day in their new role.

Activating your U-PASS

Your U-PASS membership status can be viewed by logging into MyUW > Accounts. Your U-PASS membership status will be set to “current” if you are eligible and your U-PASS benefit is activated.

Trouble-shooting your status

If you do not have a Husky Card with a smart chip:

Your U-PASS membership will default to “not current” in MyUW when you do not have a Husky Card with a smart chip. Visit the Employee Husky Card website for information on how to get a new or replacement card.

It can take 24 to 48 hours for systems to update your U-PASS membership status after you have your Husky Card.

If you have a current Husky Card with a smart chip:

The U-PASS membership status will be set to “not current” if you are in an ineligible position; however, if you are a new hire, the “not current” status may be due to a delay in receiving your information or your information may be entered inaccurately in Workday. Contact your department’s HR representative (medical center employees contact hrwms@uw.edu) to confirm your appointment is accurate in Workday.

If your HR representative confirms that your information in Workday needs to be updated, please allow 48 hours after the transaction is complete before rechecking your U-PASS membership status in MyUW.

Other U-PASS benefit terms

Benefit loss due to fraudulent use

If an employee with a fully-subsidized U-PASS violates Transportation Services U-PASS Terms of Use, and the UW becomes aware of the violation, the employee will lose the U-PASS benefit. The employee would be responsible for paying both a replacement fee and the ongoing cost of the U-PASS.

Refunds for missed eligibility

If an individual who change from was eligible for the U-PASS benefit pays for the U-PASS when they were otherwise eligible and the eligibility determination error is the fault of the UW, the UW will refund any U-PASS deductions taken in error as determined by the UW.

Canceling payroll deductions

Individuals who change from an ineligible position to an eligible position and have been paying for their U-PASS via payroll deduction are responsible for canceling their U-PASS payroll deduction. To cancel payroll deductions, email Transportation Services to submit a written request of cancellation.

Husky Card Replacement

The U-PASS benefit is loaded onto employees’ Husky Cards. When employees use their U-PASS, a smart chip inside the Husky Card interacts with the transit system to provide access. There is no charge for activating or deactivating the U-PASS, but employees may be charged for replacing their Husky Card if it is lost, damaged or needs replacement for any other reason.
Please visit Husky Card Services for more information.

Please visit Husky Card Services office for more information.

Ending employment

The fully subsidized U-PASS will deactivate on an individual’s last day of UW employment regardless of the reason for ending employment. This includes voluntary and involuntary terminations, layoffs, and retirement.