Dalhousie's Halifax campuses have two types of transit passes: Student U-Pass and Employee Transit Pass (XPass)
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?
Please visit the U-Pass website for the most accurate and up to date information on rates.
The UPass is available during the eight-month academic year and to Dalhousie students studying full time in the summer months (May-September) and is part of student fees.
Who is eligible?
For eligibility see the Dalhousie U-Pass website.
Employee Transit Pass
What is an XPass?
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, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
A primary goal of the SmartTrip XPass 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 2020 E-Pass program will change this year. HRM is doing away with the multi-card system (Linkpass/Xpass/Epass/Senior pass) in favour of one card the Xpass, which will allow riders to use all forms of metro transit services. You can learn more about the XPass Program on HRM's website
Who is eligible?
The Xpass program is offered to all permanent employees (full-time and part-time), full time grant paid, post-docs, and associated employees. No casual employees will be able to participate. All employees must be paid directly through Dalhousie payroll and be employed until the end of December 2020.
If you have questions about the XPass program, eligibility, rates, or program duration, please contact Scott MacPhee, Office of Sustainability, at firstname.lastname@example.org, (902) 494-2015 or visit the frequently asked questions section of the EPass website.
XPass Sign Up and Renewal
Thank you to the 300+ employees who participated last year.
The 2020 enrolment period will be open in the Spring/Summer time.
At the sign-up an administrator will check your availability in the system. You can either bring the printed form with you or send a filled out digital copy to email@example.com as a pdf file. The administrator can take your photograph for card production. You can also email your photo to us as long as it is taken against a white background and is saved as a jpg. file. For anyone renewing their XPass you will also be required to send in an updated photo or have a new photo taken.
XPass membership must be renewed each year. The Office of Sustainability has a spring and fall window for EPass renewal. Remember, you are now required to send in an updated photo or have a new photo taken.
Leaving the Program:
Current pass holders who no longer wish to participate in the XPass program for the 2020 calendar year will be able to opt-out. If you are planning on opting out, please check the Terms and Conditions below to ensure you are eligible for opt-out. A written notice is preferred over the lack of renewal. Your written notice can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terms and Conditions
In their terms of reference, Halifax requires participating employees to remain enrolled in the SmartTrip XPass 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, 2020.
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 XPass must be returned to the Office of Sustainability before payroll deducations can be stopped. An employee requesting to leave the SmartTrip XPass 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 XPass for each month in the program.
The cost of the XPass 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:
Commitment until the end of 2020 is required to register for the SmartTrip XPass. 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.
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 (FAQs)
Q. COVID-19 EPass Update
A. As of right now, HRM is suspending payment for public transit used. Unfortunately, we have yet to hear from HRM about how this will impact XPass payments at this time. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Why can’t I use my Dal ID card for the Employee Bus Pass Program?
A. The XPass 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 if I lose my XPass?
A. Any lost, stolen, or damaged SmartTrip XPass is subject to a replacement fee of $25, which will be deducted from payroll. If your card is lost or stolen, please contact email@example.com and we will work with HRM to replace your card.
Q. What is the cost for the transit passes for employees?
A. Eligible employees will pay $61.88 (monthly) for an XPass. 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. No, there is no discount for the XPass.
Q. Does the XPass include access to Metro Transit’s Park and Ride program?
A. Yes, the XPass 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. 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 XPass program. Due to the number of registered participants enrolled in the city-wide program, Halifax requires that employees remain enrolled in the SmartTrip XPass program for the duration of the calendar year in which they enroll in the program.
For more transit information, visit Halifax.ca/transit, 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.