Loyola University Chicago

CTA U-Pass


Frequently Asked Questions

The following students are eligible to participate in the CTA U-Pass program:

All undergraduate students enrolled in 12 or more credit hours at both Loyola campuses (Lake Shore and Water Tower) in:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Quinlan School of Business
  • School of Communication
  • Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
  • School of Education
  • School of Social Work
  • School of Continuing and Professional Studies (excluding programs structured as 8 week terms)
  • Institute of Environmental Sustainability
  • Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health

All undergraduate students enrolled in 3 or more credit hours at both Lake Shore and Water Tower campuses in Arrupe College of Loyola University of Chicago.

Graduate students enrolled in 8 or more graduate credit hours (or 6 credit hours or more per quarter) at the Lake Shore or Water Tower Campus in:

  • School of Law
  • School of Social Work
  • Institute of Pastoral Studies
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate School
  • Institute of Environmental Sustainability
  • School of Communication
  • Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health
  • Quinlan School of Business

All qualifying credit hours must appear in LOCUS as graded classes; departmental hours, pass/fail, or audited classes are NOT counted toward U-Pass qualification

The winter J-Term does not have the U-Pass benefit. The J-term does not count toward qualification in other terms.

Students who are part-time in one college and part-time in another cannot receive the U-Pass entitlement even if the combined hours make them full-time. For example, a Graduate School of Business and Law student with 3 credit hours in business and 3 in law would not be eligible for a U-Pass.

The following programs are INELIGIBLE to participate in the CTA U-Pass program:

  • Any student enrolled in Loyola's Rome Center Campus or in any other programs located abroad. 
  • Students enrolled in the Loyola University Medical Center, Educational Cohorts, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the EMBA program, and Social Work Carthage programs will not participate in the CTA U-Pass program.
  • Any graduate or professional studies students of Loyola who, regardless of number of credit hours, are enrolled exclusively in an online-only program and/or weekend only program of the School of Law, School of Education, School of Social Work, Graduate School, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, School of Communication, Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, or Quinlan School of Business.
  • Graduate and professional students enrolled in programs located at the Loyola University Medical Center Health Sciences Campuses. Social Work programs at Carthage College will also not participate in the U-Pass program.

* Please note that changes in enrollment that drop a student to ineligible status may cause the U-Pass to be deactivated, depending on when the changes are made. Also note that if a student makes late changes that fall after the time that U-Pass eligibility can be updated, their U-Pass will not be active that semester.

A decision has not been made yet on the status of the U-Pass program for Summer 2021. Please check back closer to the end of Spring 2021 for more information.

Due to our limited on-campus student experience this year, the CTA has granted Loyola University Chicago the ability to offer an opt-out option for students who wish to waive their U-Pass fee. This option will be evaluated each term by the CTA and updated below as soon as information becomes available. Any student may opt-out of the U-Pass fee during the time frame listed below for their respective program's semester/quarter. For any questions on the opt-out process, please visit our page.

Fall 2020

The waiver request form is now closed for Fall 2020 and no other waiver requests can be honored.

Winter Quarter 2020 (Graduate School of Business)

The waiver request form is now closed for Winter Quarter 2020 and no other waiver requests can be honored.

Spring 2021

The waiver request form is now closed for Spring 2021 and no other waiver requests can be honored.

Military or Paratransit Pass

If you have a military service or paratransit pass through the CTA, you may be eligible to have your U-Pass fee waived. If you have either pass, email upass@luc.edu to find out about a waiver. 

Unfortunately no. We encourage you to visit the Dean of your school/academic program for guidance. Since the U-Pass is not an optional program, ALL students in a qualifying academic program/school must pay for the pass. Individual schools/programs can choose, based on the need of their students, to participate in the program if they feel it would benefit the vast majority of their students. 

You must be part of an eligible group or school to receive the U-Pass. All part-time students (under 12 credit hours as an undergraduate or under 8 as a graduate student) do not qualify for the U-Pass and will not be charged.

If a student drops to part-time status within or after the 10 day add/drop date (10 days from the start of the semester), their U-Pass will be turned off and the student will be credited the U-Pass fee.

If a student adds credit hours making them full-time within the add/drop date (10 days), they will be charged for the U-Pass and one will be made for them after the U-Pass team runs a report on that 10th day. Your eligibility for U-Pass is based on when you are full-time or part-time; If you enroll by the drop / add date for a “W”, then you get the pass. If you add or drop courses after this date, then no U-pass will be issued.

The U-Pass fee is $155 per semester for Loyola Undergraduate and Graduate students, $176 for Law School students, $112 for Quinlan Graduate Business students, and $149 for Arrupe College students. It is included in student tuition fees valid from the beginning of the semester until the last day of final exams each semester.  This fee is non-refundable.

The fee covers the charge by CTA for the pass and a small administrative fee.

Arrupe Collge students will not see a separate U-Pass fee. The cost of their U-Pass is included as part of their Student Development/ Student Activities fee. 

No, CTA requires us to assess all students in programs that accept the program and are eligible. The eligibility is decided by the school or program. We encourage students to pick up the U-Pass.

The CTA requires the university to assess all eligible students in order for us to participate in this program. For a waiver due to disability, the disability must be documented and the CTA must be unable to accommodate the disability for a waiver to be granted. Please contact the U-Pass office directly at upass@luc.edu.

U-Pass allows for unlimited use on all CTA trains and bus lines.  A student cannot reuse their pass for 10-15 minutes on the same bus or train.

The U-Pass portion is only eligible on CTA buses and trains. Students may add their own funds to use the card as a normal transit card on PACE. The Ventra U-Pass does not work on Metra.

At times, students do lose or have their U-Pass stolen during their Loyola University Chicago experience. While this experience can be troubling and frustrating, we are here to help.

We recommend that any student who has their U-Pass lost or stolen immediately file a police report if the pass was stolen. We also recommend that the student contact the CTA (1-877-669-8368. When calling, dial 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, and then 0 for customer service) and request that the pass be turned off, so that fraudulent charges are not incurred. Then, we recommend that the student go through the replacement process as soon as possible, so that they can continue to utilize the CTA.

Replacement U-Passes can be ordered online at http://www.luc.edu/upass/replace. Please note the following information about replacement cards:

  • U-Pass replacement passes are required to continue to utilize the U-Pass.
  • Students should handle their card carefully. There is a replacement fee if the card stops working as a result of abuse.
  • U-Pass replacement passes are $50. Your card will be ordered the day after you place your order and refunds are only available before your card has been ordered. The $50 replacement fee is required for all lost/stolen cards (regardless of police report) Please note that this is a Ventra fee, not a Loyola fee, and cannot be waived. $50 is what Ventra charges Loyola for replacement cards.
  • Once a new U-Pass is ordered, the previous card is deactivated and cannot be used
  • Please note that our contract with the CTA currently does not allow us to give out 7-day passes for use while a student awaits their replacement pass, even in cases of stolen passes. Unfortunately the 7-day passes provided to us by the CTA are ONLY for new students awaiting a first-time U-Pass.

For Spring 2021, replacement U-Passes can ONLY be picked up at the Damen Student Center information desk, located at the Lake Shore Campus. Passes cannot be delivered to or picked up at the Water Tower Campus.

Passes take between 5-7 business days to arrive to the campus that your program is based at.  Once passes arrive, an email will be sent notifying any student that their U-Pass replacement pass has arrived.

Students MUST activate any new replacement card before use:

  • Activate by calling 1-877-450-5328. Students MUST call to activate the card or it will not work properly. Students will need their U-Pass and your student ID to complete this procedure.  The card activates approximately 15 -20 minutes after calling. Your U-Pass will not work until activated.
  • If  you need assistance with activation or your U-Pass does not work after the activation process, please call Ventra Customer Service at 1-877-669-8368. Press "1" for English or "2" for Spanish. Press "0" to speak to a Ventra Chicago representative.

It is recommended that you take your Ventra U-Pass out of your wallet or holder when touching the Ventra reader.

If you leave it in your wallet/purse and you have a debit or credit card with a Wi-Fi symbol , then the Ventra reader may charge your debit/credit card for a fare instead of reading your U-Pass.

If you receive incorrect charges when you have an active U-Pass, please contact your bank or credit card company for their procedures on reversing incorrect CTA fares.

  • Check at a Ventra machine, on the Ventra website or app, or at https://www.ventrachicago.com/balance/ for a negative balance. If there is a negative balance, add money to bring the card to a $0.00 balance and the card should work.
  • If the card will not read at all at the Ventra machine there are two options:

a ) For a no cost replacement (damaged card): Go to Ventra Customer Service at 165 N. Jefferson Ave, Mon -Fri 8:00am-4:30pm. If Ventra determines the card is not reading, they will issue a 7-day transit pass and a Ventra Defective Card Replacement Form. Bring the form to the Damen Student Center Information Desk so they can order a replacement U-Pass free of charge.

b) To pay for a replacement: Check here for detailed information on ordering a replacement U-Pass: https://www.luc.edu/upass/u-passtroubleshooting/loststolencard

As per Loyola University Chicago U-Pass policy, a U-Pass must be used by the person named and pictured on the pass; it cannot be transferred or sold at any time.

Violations of CTA policies (especially this one) are considered a form of fraud.  CTA and its representatives reserve the right to verify any assumed fraudulent activity. CTA will confiscate any improperly used cards and suspend that student from the U-Pass program for up to one year. Additionally, CTA does have the ability to press criminal charges.

CTA will contact students directly on any confiscations and their procedures. For more information regarding confiscations when/if they occur, please follow the instructions listed in the official confiscation letter issued by CTA. 


Please email upass@luc.edu with any questions or concerns about U-Pass.

You may also contact CTA at 1-888-Your CTA (1-888-968-7282) or email them at cta-upass@transitchicago.com

Keep your U-Pass for the entirety of your college career! The U-Pass portion of the card will be automatically reactivated at the beginning of any semester you are eligible and deactivated at the end of the semester: you can check dates here - https://www.luc.edu/upass/activation/dates/

The card can always be used as a regular full-fare Ventra card during any semester you are not eligible for a U-Pass.

When your card is close to expiration per the date on the back, Ventra will automatically send the U-Pass department a replacement and we'll email you when it's ready to be picked up.

Don't worry! The U-Pass card will expire at the END of the month specified: so if the expiration date is 2/2020, it will expire 2/29/2020, for example. Closer to when the pass expires, Ventra will automatically send our department a replacement for you at no cost to you. You will receive an email when it arrives and is ready to be picked up.

Please note: If you have opted out, a replacement card will not be ordered for you until the next term you are eligible and active. In the meantime, you can purchase a temporary card at any CTA kiosk.