Loyola University Chicago

CTA U-Pass


Frequently Asked Questions

The following students 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)

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Quinlan School of Business
  • School of Communication
  • Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
  • St. Joseph Seminary
  • School of Education
  • School of Social Work
  • Arrupe College

Graduate students enrolled in 8 or more graduate credit hours at the Loyola Campuses  

  • School of Law
  • School of Social Work
  • Institute of Pastoral Studies
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Quinlan School of Business students enrolled in 6 or more Graduate Business hours at Loyola Chicago Campuses. This is for all quarters: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.

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 following programs are ineligible for the CTA U-Pass:

  • Any student enrolled in Loyola's Rome Center Campus or in any other programs located in foreign countries. 
  • Students enrolled in the Loyola University Medical Center, Educational Cohorts, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and Social Work Carthage programs will not participate in the CTA U-Pass program.
  • Quinlan School of Business Graduate Programs based in Vernon Hills, Executive MBA, MBA in Health Care Management, as well as selected cohort programs.
  • Graduate Students taking undergraduate courses, even if required for their Graduate program,  do not count toward U-Pass eligibility. 


U-Pass is newly available for undergraduate students for the summer 2016 session, please see Summer FAQ  for more information. The  Quinlan School of Business Graduate Program and Arrupe College students continue to have the U-Pass for the summer session. Quinlan School of Business graduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours (400 level or higher). All Loyola students looking for summer transit options can visit CTA.

No, all students in an eligible program are charged for this benefit and are unable to opt out. The decision is made at the school or program level to be part of the program. Individual students cannot opt out.

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 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. If a student enrolls as full-time status during our U-Pass distribution week (first week of classes), they will be able to have a pass made while CTA is on-site. We encourage all students who change their academic status to visit us during one of our distribution sessions.

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, $168 for Law School students, $112.00 for Quinlan Graduate Business Program 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-Passes are distributed at the beginning of each semester or quarter.  If you register and have your student ID picture taken early enough, normally three weeks before the start of the semester/quarter, then we will be able to have a pre-printed U-Pass available for you during distribution.

If you register or switch your schedule around after that internal deadline, please make sure to go to one of the U-Pass distribution sessions during the first week of the semester/quarter. If we show that you are eligible but a permanent card is not yet available, you may be provided with a 7-day pass to use until your permanent card is available. You will be notified when your permanent card is ready for pick-up.

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.

No, the U-Pass is limited to exclusive use by the full-time student whose name and photo appear on the card. Any U-Pass presented by a person other than the student whose name and photo appears on it will be confiscated by CTA . Furthermore, the U-Pass will be deactivated and repeat offenders can be referred to Loyola University Chicago's Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.

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

Replacement pass processing occurs at Loyola University Chicago at one of our customer service locations. Students need to bring valid identification, including their school ID, to the Damen Student Center (LSC) or Terry Student Center (WTC) Information Desk.

  • Only the person listed as the cardholder may order a replacement.
  • Must have $50.00 on your Campus Card/ Rambler Bucks account (cash not accepted)
  • Processed at the Damen Student Center Information Desk (Lake Shore Campus) or the Terry Student Center Information Desk (Water Tower Campus)
  • Staff verifies eligibility and deducts $50.00 from your Rambler Bucks account
  • Receive an email that your replacement has arrived, usually in 3-5 business days. Pick up your pass at the campus in which the replacement was ordered. 
  • For more information, see our detailed information about replacement passes.
  • $50.00 fee cannot be waived under any circumstances.


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(located at most major El stops, including the Loyola stop) 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 Terry Student Center or Damen Student Center Information Desk so they can order a replacement U-Pass free of charge.

b) To pay for a replacement: Go to the Terry Student Center or Damen Student Center Information Desk and order a replacement U-Pass for $50.00. Without the Ventra Defective Card Replacement form it is treated as just a lost or damaged card and the full replacement cost applies. Loyola does not have the authority to issue a free replacement U-Pass without the replacement form and does not have 7-day transit passes available.

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