Dalhousie's Halifax campuses have two types of transit passes: Student U-Pass and Employee Transit Pass (Epass)
What is a U-Pass?
The student U-Pass allows students to use the HALIFAX Transit system every day, all year long. The program is convenient, reliable, and flexible. Even if you don't use your U-Pass regularly, it comes in handy for short trips to and from downtown or around HRM. If the weather turns and you don't feel like driving, why not catch a bus or ferry to your destination?
The U-Pass costs $151.40 for the eight-month academic year and is part of student fees paid in September. A regular student Pass costs, $70 a month / or $560.00 for eight months – Dal students see a savings of $408.60.
All Dalhousie students studying full time in the summer months (May - September) will pay for their U-Pass in student fees. The U-pass is $75.70 for the four-month period (compared to $280.00 for a regular Pass). For more information visit the U-Pass website.
Who is eligible?
For eligibility see the Dalhousie U-Pass website.
Employee Transit Pass
What is an Epass?
Dalhousie has partnered with HALIFAX SmartTrip to launch a reduced-cost HALIFAX Transit bus pass program available to all permanent full-time and part-time employees, as well as associate employees. The program was piloted in 2013 and was renewed in 2014, 2015, 2016.
A primary goal of the SmartTrip EPass program is to reduce rush hour traffic in HALIFAX by encouraging employees to use transit whenever possible. The program complements the SmartTrip initiatives to reduce the number of vehicles being driven to the workplace.
The EPass is for riders who use the conventional bus routes determined by Metro Transit. The LinkPass is for those riders who use the MetroLink Service, including the portion of the bus service provided by HALIFAX known as routes, 159 Portland Hills Link; 165 Woodside Link; and 185 Sackville Link. The MetroXPass if for riders who use the MetroX service, which is a limited-stop, commuter-based service linking the Airport/Aerotech Park and Fall River community, as well as the Tantallon/Sheldrake Lake area, to the downtown.
Who is eligible?
The Epass program is offered to all permanent employees (full-time and part-time), associated employees, post-docs, and contract employees. All employees must be paid directly through Dalhousie payroll and be employed until the end of December 2016.
If you are unsure of your employment status please contact your direct supervisor or Dalhousie Human Resources:
Phone: (902) 494-3700
Fax: (902) 494-1480
When/how do I sign-up for an Epass?
Thank you to the 300+ employees who participated last year.
Registration for the 2016 program will be held in November 2015.
Terms and conditions
In their Terms of reference, HALIFAX requires participating employees to remain enrolled in the SmartTrip EPass program for the duration of the calendar year in which they enroll in the program. That means there will be no additional registration or cancellation until December 31st, 2016.
However, opt outs can be accomodated if an employee has a change in shift, workplace location, or change in residence where new location is not within 1 kilometre of conventional transit service, MetroLink service, or conventional ferry. The SmartTrip Epass must be returned to the Office of Sustainability before payroll deducations can be stopped. An employee requesting to leave the SmartTrip Epass program prior to the end of the pilot period, for reasons other than those listed above, is required to repay SmartTrip the difference between the cost of the regular monthly pass and the cost of the SmartTrip EPass for each month in the program.
For more detail, see the SmartTrip EPass Brochure [PDF - 2.2MB]
The cost of the EPass is deducted from an employee's monthly payroll. The discounted rates represent a 25% savings. Dalhousie supplements part of the cost of each bus pass, in partnership with HALIFAX. The pass rates are as follows:
EPass - Senior (65+)
Based on current Federal legislation, the SmartTrip Epass qualifies for the transit tax credit of 15%. The Tax Credit for Public Transit Passes is a non-refundable tax credit for the cost of buying a monthly (or longer duration) pass for commuting on buses, streetcars, subways, commuter trains and local ferries. The credit applies to all passes purchased for travel after July 1, 2006 (CRA, 2006).
*** The portion of the discount provided by the employer is a taxable benefit. The matching discount from SmartTrip is not taxable. For more information about taxable benefits, please visit transitpass.ca or Canada Revenue Agency.
Dalhousie will be reporting the deductions for the Transit Passes directly on T4 slips.
Commitment until the end of 2016 is required to register for the SmartTrip EPass/LinkPass/MetroXPass. Cancellation is not permitted, except for the following reasons:
- A change in employment status where the employee is no longer an eligible employee (termination of position and retirement).
- The commencement of maternity leave or paternity leave.
- The commencement of leave due to illness where the participating employee is receiving benefits under a long-term disability plan or benefits from the Worker’s Compensation Board.
- Any other reason acceptable to HALIFAX in its sole discretion.
Cancellation or suspension of payments for holidays or seasonal use is not permitted. The SmartTrip program offers a minimum of three months of free transit, to cover holidays and other periods where you may not ride frequently.
How to cancel:
Dalhousie is responsible for collecting and returning any SmartTrip passes of departing employees. Prior to terminating payroll deductions for a pass, an employee must physically return their pass to the Office of Sustainability (e-mail email@example.com to coordinate) for purposes of cancellation and reporting.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Why can’t I use my Dal ID card for the employee bus pass program?
A. The epass cards are unique in that they are designed to be easily identifiable to HALIFAX Transit drivers. The passes are also personalized and cannot be transferable.
Q. Is the employee bus pass program offered to all Dalhousie employees?
A. The program is offered to all permanent employees (full-time and part-time) and associated employees.
Q. What is the difference between an EPass, a LinkPass and a MetroXPass ?
A. The EPass is for riders who use the conventional bus routes determined by HALIFAX Transit. The LinkPass is for those riders who use the MetroLink Service, including the portion of the bus service provided by HALIFAX known as routes, 159 Portland Hills Link; 165 Woodside Link; and 185 Sackville Link. The MetroXPass if for riders who use the MetroX service, which is a limited-stop, commuter-based service linking the Airport/Aerotech Park and Fall River community, as well as the Tantallon/Sheldrake Lake area, to the downtown.
Q. What is the cost for the transit passes for employees?
A. Eligible employees will pay $58.50 (monthly) for an Epass, $70.88 (monthly) for a Linkpass and $83.26 (monthly) for a MetroXPass. This employee discount represents a 25% savings. Dalhousie is supplementing part of the cost of each bus pass, in partnership with HALIFAX.
Q. Is there a discount for seniors?
A. Yes, the EPass is offered to seniors for $50.75.
Q. Do the EPass, LinkPass, and MetroXPass include access to Metro Transit’s Park and Ride program?
A. Yes, the Epass/LinkPass/MetroXPass entitles pass holders can participate in Metro Transit’s Park and Ride program. Parking at most HALIFAX lots is free except Dartmouth Sportsplex, Woodside Ferry Terminal and Alderney Gate, which have low monthly parking rates.
Q. What if I lose my EPass/LinkPass/MetroXPass?
A. Any lost, stolen or damaged SmartTrip EPass is subject to a replacement fee of $25, which will be deducted from payroll. If your card is lost or stolen, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with HRM to replace your card.
Q. Why can't I register or opt-out of the program mid-year?
A. Dalhousie University does not set the terms and conditions of the epass program. Due to the number of registered participants enrolled in the city-wide program, Halifax requires that employees remain enrolled in the SmartTrip EPass program for the duration of the calendar year in which they enroll in the program.
For more transit information, visit Halifax.ca/metrotransit, call the HALIFAX Call Centre at (902) 490-4000, pick up a Riders Guide or map at any one of the 50 transit retail outlets throughout Halifax, or follow HALIFAX Transit on Twitter at @hfxtransit.