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Spring Quarter 2024 TGS U-Pass Access & Transit Card Fee

Dear TGS students,

As a reminder, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has made the TGS U-Pass program optional on a quarterly basis for the 2023–24 academic year. They have also expanded access to include part-time and online TGS students in addition to full-time TGS students. Please note the eligibility* exceptions below.
  • If you choose to opt in, your U-Pass will be activated (or issued) for the Spring Quarter and a quarterly $125 U-Pass Transit Card Fee will be applied to your student account.
  • If you do not plan to use a U-Pass for the Spring Quarter, no further action is needed. Your U-Pass will be inactive, and you will not be charged the $125 U-Pass Transit Card Fee this quarter.

Opt-in details for the Spring Quarter are outlined below. Depending on your anticipated usage of the U-Pass, it may be more cost effective to pay the $125 U-Pass Transit Card Fee each quarter for continuous service or to pay out of pocket. Please refer to this CTA fare chart to help make the decision that is best for you. 

Please email with any questions.

Lauren-Ashley Buchanan
Associate Director, Student Life
The Graduate School

Opting In for Spring Quarter
(Current U-Pass Users)

If you are an eligible* TGS student and already have a U-Pass, please complete the Spring Quarter opt-in form by Wednesday, March 20.

We will activate your U-Pass on Tuesday, March 26 (or on the next business day if you opt in after this date) and the U-Pass Transit Card Fee of $125 will be applied to your student account later in the quarter.

Spring Quarter 2024 begins on Tuesday, March 26 and ends on Sunday, June 16.

Opting In for Spring Quarter
(New U-Pass Users)

If you are an eligible* TGS student and do not have a U-Pass, please complete the following steps to receive your card before the start of the Spring Quarter:

  • New U-Pass cards can take up to 2 weeks to create.
  • To ensure you receive your U-Pass on time, please:

  1. Submit your photo (if you are starting this quarter) to the Wildcard Office by Friday, March 8.
  2. Make sure your current address is listed in CAESAR.
  3. Complete the Spring Quarter opt-in form by Friday, March 8.

You will choose to have your U-Pass card mailed to you or pick it up at The Graduate School's Evanston office in Rebecca Crown.

  • Pick-up times are Monday  Friday from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM and 2:00–5:00 PM. (The office is closed from 1:00–2:00 PM for lunch.)
  • TGS will mail U-Passes the week of Monday, March 18 via USPS. Typically, the U-Pass arrives a few business days after mailing, but any returns may take up to 3 weeks to reach TGS. TGS is not responsible for any lost transit benefits in the case of a mailing delay. 
  • Once you receive your U-Pass, you will need to activate the card by following the instructions on the accompanying card sleeve.
  • We will then activate your U-Pass for the Spring Quarter on Tuesday, March 26 and the U-Pass Transit Card Fee of $125 will be applied to your student account later in the quarter.
  • If you opt in and do not receive your U-Pass in a timely manner, please email to inquire about the status of your request.

Spring Quarter 2024 begins on Tuesday, March 26 and ends on Sunday, June 16.

Activation Deadlines 

  • To ensure your U-Pass is created and activated on Tuesday, March 26 (the start of the Spring Quarter), please complete the Spring Quarter opt-in form by Friday, March 8 (for new U-Pass holders) or by Wednesday, March 20 (for current U-Pass holders).
  • If you already have a U-Pass and are unsure of your Spring Quarter plans, you may opt in any time before Sunday, May 5 but your U-Pass will not be active until the next business day after you complete the form.
  • Once you choose to opt in and your U-Pass is activated, you will not be able to change your decision due to our contractual obligations with CTA/Ventra. In addition, per our contract, we will not be able to honor any new U-Pass activation requests for the Spring Quarter after Sunday, May 5.

U-Pass Eligibility

Students enrolled in the BS/MS program, TGS 512 (continuous registration), or TGS 514 are not eligible for a U-Pass. 


Please email with any questions.

Categories: Around Campus