U•Pass® Student Transit Program for Metro & Metrobus 

The George Washington University has joined the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) U•Pass program, providing full-time students with unlimited use of Metrorail and Metrobus for a discounted, flat fee.

The U•Pass® will launch with a free trial by GW for all full-time undergraduate, graduate and professional (law and medical) students from December 1 through December 22. In January 2022, GW’s U•Pass® program will officially launch. 

“Our students made a compelling case about the importance of providing access to an affordable transportation option, whether to travel to and from campus and internships or to explore more of the nation’s capital and greater region,” GW President Thomas LeBlanc said. “Joining U•Pass® is an important opportunity to enhance the student experience.”

Students have advocated for the U•Pass® program in recent years, noting it can help provide affordable transportation options in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

“We have heard from many students across our campuses that U•Pass would help them take advantage of all the District has to offer,” said 2021-22 Student Association President Brandon Hill. “We hope students will have more opportunities to volunteer, see new neighborhoods or enjoy D.C. without worrying about transportation cost.”

“We are pleased that the productive collaboration with students and leadership has led to this successful outcome,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Diaz and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Cissy Petty, who worked on the U•Pass® initiative with their teams and student leaders.

U•Pass® Distribution Week: Fall 2021 

Location: Continental Ballroom, 3rd Floor, University Student Center

800 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052


Dates & Times:

Monday, Nov. 29: 10am–7pm

Tuesday, Nov. 30: 9am–6pm

Wednesday, Dec. 1: 9am–3pm

Thursday, Dec. 2: 9am–noon

Friday, Dec. 3: 9am–noon

University Student Center, Room 309

Tuesday, Dec. 7: 2–6pm

Wednesday, Dec. 8: 10am–2pm


U•Pass® Distribution: January 2022

Location: TBD

Dates/Times: TBD


Frequently Asked Questions  

U•Pass® is a partnership between the George Washington University and Metro that enables enrolled, full-time GW students at any level to obtain a U•Pass® personal SmarTrip® card for unlimited trips on Metrorail and Metrobus during the academic year. 

Utilizing U•Pass® helps save you money when you ride Metrorail or Metrobus, can save you time with your commute by not having to drive, and helps take more cars off the road as we focus on sustainability and better air quality. Students can use their U•Pass® card for unlimited Metrobus and Metrorail trips only. 

Metro seeks to expand service throughout the region, however, at this time U•Pass cannot be used on regional partner services including, but not limited to ART, CUE, DASH, D.C. Circulator, Fairfax Connector, Loudoun Commuter Bus, PRTC, Ride On, Ride on Express, The Bus and/or MTA.

Also, U•Pass® cannot be used on MetroAccess paratransit services, to pay for parking at any of the commuter lots or for stored value.  

All full-time students enrolled at GW at any level during the semester can participate. This includes all undergraduate and graduate and professional (medicine and law) students. If you are a full-time student who is also an employee of the university (faculty or staff), you are eligible to participate based on your full-time student enrollment status. 

Full-time students who are enrolled in a traditional fully online program are not eligible to participate in U•Pass.

Also, high school dual enrollment students, continuing education students, consortium students and alumni audit students are not eligible to participate in the U•Pass® program.

No. U•Pass® is only available to eligible full-time students at accredited degree-granting colleges and universities within Metro’s service area. Metro will provide GW updates if there are any changes in the future. 

Metro provides several money savings transit pass options, including 1- 3-, and 7-day unlimited passes that any individual can purchase regardless of their student status.      

No. U•Pass® is only available to eligible full-time students.  

U•Pass® is not available to MetroAccess paratransit-eligible students.

MetroAccess paratransit-eligible students with conditional eligibility may already be issued a MetroAccess SmarTrip® ID card, which enables free rides on Metrobus and Metrorail. Additional information is available at wmata.com/MetroAccess.

The GW U•Pass® is a subsidized mandatory student fee. Metro charges GW $1 per day during the semester per enrolled student. Starting spring 2022, all eligible full-time students will pay a $100 mandatory student transportation fee for each fall and spring enrolled and GW will pay for the remainder of the program’s cost.

U•Pass is available to participating full-time students during the fall and spring semesters. Traditionally, the program begins on the first day of class and ends on the last day of finals, however the exact dates of the program each semester will be announced and posted on the GW U•Pass® website.

GW is offering a free trial in Dec. 2021 (from Dec. 1 – Dec 22, 2021) as a pre-launch to the official start to the program in spring 2022. 

The spring 2022 program dates will be announced by mid-December.

For the Dec. 2021 free trial eligible full-time students may visit the Continental Ballroom (3rd floor) in the University Student Center to pick-up a temporary GW U•Pass card on the following dates and times:  

Monday, Nov. 29: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

Tuesday, Nov. 30: 9 am – 6 p.m. 

Wednesday, Dec. 1: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

Thursday, Dec. 2: 9 a.m. – noon 

Friday, Dec. 3: 9 a.m. – noon

Tuesday, Dec. 7: 2–6pm

Wednesday, Dec. 8: 10am–2pm

Starting December 6th you can pick up your trial card:

Law Learning Center Garage
2028 G Street, NW
GW Parking Office P1-001 (P1 Level of Parking Garage)
Once off the elevators go left and the Parking Office is to the right of the exit gate.

Dates and times for the spring 2022 card distribution and pick up will be announced by mid-December. 

NOTE! A new permanent branded GW U•Pass® card will need to be picked-up at the start of the spring semester to use this transit program in spring 2022. 

The card you pick-up in spring 2022 will cover the remainder of the 2021-22 academic year as long as you remain enrolled as a full-time student. 

In fall 2022, a new GW branded U•Pass card will need to be picked-up for the 2022-2023 academic year.  Dates and times will be announced in Aug. 2022. 

Unfortunately, the U•Pass® program card is not compatible with Metro's new IOS and Android mobile pay system in Apple Wallet and Google Pay. To use the U•Pass® transit program, you will need to tap the physical card at stations and Metrobus kiosks. GW and metro will update GW students if mobile pay becomes available to U•Pass® users in the future.

Unfortunately, Metro’s technology for its transit system is not compatible with GWorld, a separate physical card is required to use U•Pass®.  

The GW U•Pass® card can only be used during the fall and spring semesters. If you want to ride Metro during winter break or during the summer months, you will need to use your own personal SmartTrip card. We encourage you to keep your personal SmarTrip card for use outside of the fall and spring semesters.

For the Free Trial in December 2021, if you lose your temporary card, GW will not  replace your card. 

If you have a non-functioning U•Pass® card, please ask for assistance from the Metrorail station manager or Metrobus driver. If Metro is not able to determine why your card does not work, please email [email protected].

Your cost savings will depend on how often you ride Metro during the academic year. As an example, a Metro trip three times a week to and from your fall semester internship on Capitol Hill would cost approximately $180 for the semester, netting you a cost savings just from trips related to your internship.

To compare normal fares to U•Pass® to see how much money you could save, check out Metro’s Trip Planner and fare schedule

Mandatory student fees are incorporated into a student’s total cost of attendance and will be factored in when calculating your financial aid package. When paying for tuition, room and board and fees, you will be able to use any financial aid you receive toward paying this student fee.

No, the temporary UPass card will not work after December 22. You will not be able to add funds to this card. 

Helpful Links

U•Pass Terms of Use & Student Disclaimer

“Doing Our Part” Metro’s measures in place related to Covid-19

Metro’s safety-related page for riders

Metro’s Trip Planner: Provides real-time train status, so it’s definitely the best place to plan your trip with actual service shown


GW to Join Metro U•Pass Program

November 5, 2021
New Program offers unlimited rides on Metrorail and Metrobus for a discounted, flat fee for full-time students.

Pick Up Your GW U•Pass Card 11/29–12/3

November 19, 2021
You advocated for the U•Pass program, noting that it can help provide affordable transportation options and we’ve partnered with Metro to make this happen!