Bus Pass Program FAQ


Spring 2019 ASM Bus Passes are now available


Campus bus routes (Routes 80, 81, 82 and 84) are always free to all students, staff and visitors and require no pass or ID.

Who do I talk to to comment or complain about this program, or about Metro service, or about the campus bus lines (Routes 80, 81, 82, 84 & 85)?
Madison Metro has an online customer service report form. We strongly encourage you to use it and identify yourself as a UW student. The form is available 24/7 and filing one means there is a record of your comments.

UW Transportation Services also has an online customer service form. This is the place to go for comments specific to the campus buses (Routes 80, 81, 82, 84 and 85) and Campus SafeWalk.

If you are inclined please send a copy of your comment to the ASM Bus Pass Committee at buspass@rso.wisc.edu. We track comments so we can to represent your interests more effectively.

Comments and complaints regarding the ASM Bus Pass Program itself can be e-mailed to buspass@rso.wisc.edu or call 263-3950.

How long is the bus pass valid?
Fall Passes are valid through the end of the first week of the Spring Semester; Spring/Summer Passes are valid through the first week of t he Fall Semester. Look on your pass for the exact dates.

I lost something on the bus…how do I get it back?
Call Madison Metro Lost and Found at 266-6524. It will help if you know what route you were riding, the direction the bus was heading, and the approximate time. If you’ve lost your WisCard or ASM Bus Pass, you might also want to check with WisCard at 262-3258. The WisCard office handles all lost IDs and passes as well. If you find a lost WisCard or pass, please send it to the WisCard office.

Am I eligible for a free bus pass?
The “acid test” of eligibility to get an ASM Bus Pass is whether or not you are charged the student segregated fee that pays for this program. All students who are currently enrolled for at least one credit (including dissertators, part time students and most special students) are eligible for an ASM Bus Pass. Examples of enrollees who are not eligible includes guest students, senior auditors and postdoctoral fellows and researchers who are not charged and do not pay student segregated fees here at UW Madison, including students in the following programs:

  • Senior Guest Students/Auditors
  • Students enrolled in a class which begins meeting in summer, but is listed as a Fall semester class.
  • Students enrolled at MATC or other campuses like UW-LaCrosse nursing students who are attending courses at Madison but registered via their home institutions.
  • Cytotechnology
  • Radiation Therapy Technology
  • Orthopedic Training
  • Sonography
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Nursing students enrolled through UW-LaCrosse
  • UW-Extension course participants
  • Any other student enrolled in classes through another UW Campus or MATC, including students in the Crossroads Program

Where can I use my ASM Bus Pass?
Your pass is valid any time, anywhere on the Madison Metro Transit Bus System. You just slide your pass through the card reader to board the bus. The driver has the right to ask to see your WisCard and may confiscate your pass and refuse you a ride if you cannot produce a WisCard.

Can anyone else use my ASM Bus Pass?
NO! Only you
can use your ASM Student Bus Pass to ride Metro, and you are only entitled to one regular pass and one replacement pass per semester. (See replacement passes below). Do NOT loan or give your pass to anyone else. ASM Student Bus Passes are personal and not transferable, nor are they redeemable for cash.You must show your WisCard to board the bus. Your pass is subject to confiscation if misused, and you may be subject to misconduct and other charges.

Can I pick up a bus pass for someone else?
No, you may only pick up your own bus pass.

I just registered for classes (or I just got a new WisCard)– why can’t I get my bus pass right now?
If you just got a new or replacement WisCard, or if you just registered for classes, you may have to wait anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to get your bus pass. Our database of students eligible for a pass is updated frequently during the first three weeks of pass distribution, but it is not a real time system. If you have just registered or just gotten a new or replacement WisCard, there will be a delay ranging from a few minutes to a few hours before your name appears on the list of those eligible for a pass, or until your new ID is listed as a valid ID. Later in the semester, updates may only be run overnight. Until the information contained in those systems is updated, you will not appear to be eligible for a bus pass. This is true for many other campus services. An instruction sheet detailing when you will be able to use your WisCard for various services is available at the WisCard office.

Is paratransit included in my ASM Student Bus Pass?
Yes, your ASM Bus Pass covers the passenger fare for Metro Paratransit rides. However, you must be prequalified to use Metro paratransit, and that entails an brief application form and an in-person assessment at Metro Transit Offices. Metro Transit will schedule an appropriate ride for you to and from that assessment appointment if you request it. To set up an appointment, call 266-4466 and tell them you need to be assessed for paratransit services.  Metro may take up to 21 days to determine your eligibility for these services, and you will not be able to schedule rides until the process is completed and you are found to be eligible for this service. For more information on paratransit, see our Metro’s paratransit page. 

Do I have to show my ID with the ASM Bus Pass?
Drivers may request to see your WisCard at any time and refuse you service and confiscate your pass if you do not produce a valid ID. Routes 80, 81, 82 and 84 are free to all and no one has to show passes or IDs. This is the only exception to the rule. Always carry your WisCard with your ASM Bus Pass.

I don’t have a WisCard. What do I do?
Go get one. The WisCard office is located at Union South. That office is usually open Monday – Friday from 8 am to 4:15 pm. At certain times of the year, it is open for extended hours. You must present some form of personal photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID. For more information or to confirm current office hours call WisCard at 262-3258 or see the WisCard website.

Is it a problem if I have a faculty/staff ID? What about if I have one of the old ID cards?
No,It does not matter if your WisCard says “faculty/staff” “student” or “affiliate”. Many people have been both. However id your ID has the incorrect issue code or is so old it still includes a social security number, it is no longer valid. Please take it to the WisCard office for a replacement if it is an old one; if the issue code is incorrect come back to us with the most recently issued card. Once you report an ID lost or stolen it is deactivated and is no longer valid. Update, May 2013: WisCards expire after five years. You will get a notice if your WisCard is about to expire. (The expiration date is also printed on the card.) You can replace your expiring WisCard for no fee if you do so in a timely fashion. Please see the Wiscard website for more information.

Why can’t we just show your ID and eliminate the bus pass?
Many people have attended or worked at the UW and still have a WisCard. You don´t want them riding on your dime–Metro charges us by the ride. We haven’t come up with a secure and inexpensive way to code IDs so they can be read and validated by the card readers on the bus and updated each semester. Hence a separate pass.

Where can I get information on Madison Metro routes and schedules?
Madison Metro route and schedule information is available by calling the Metro Info Line at 266-4466, or on the Web at http://www.mymetrobus.com. You can also use Google Transit or one of the many apps that have been developed for phones and the web, such as m.wisc.edu/buses

Do I have to fill out my name and address on the back of the pass?
Replacement passes cost $20. If there is no name or contact info like an email address, we have no way to return lost passes. Besides, we want to see you sign it so it won’t work for someone else.

What if my pass is lost or stolen?
Replacements can be obtained at ASM StudentPrint. ASM StudentPrint is on the 3rd floor of the Student Activity Center at 333 East Campus Mall.

StudentPrint is open 9:30AM until 6:30 PM Monday through Friday during the semester,and 10 AM to 4:30 PM during exam weeks and the summer session. It is closed during recess periods, on legal holidays, and on furlough days mandated by the State of Wisconsin.

If your pass has been damaged and you bring it with you, StudentPrint will exchange it for a new one. Otherwise, replacement passes cost $20.00 and you’re eligible for only one replacement pass per semester. StudentPrint accepts cash, checks, and WisCard payments.

What if my pass is damaged or won’t scan right?

If your pass is damaged you can get a free replacement at StudentPrint and it won’t count against the limit on replacement passes. However you MUST have your damaged pass in hand, or you will have to pay $20.00 and it will count against the limit.

Why do I have to pay a $20.00 replacement fee if my pass is lost of stolen when I already paid for the pass in my tuition?
These passes are very valuable–worth much more than $20.00–so we have to restrict access to replacements and dicourage fraud.

Are campus bus routes and SAFEBus included in the bus pass?
Routes 80,81, 82, and 84 are FREE for students and staff. You do not need to show a pass to ride any of these routes.

Is there any way I can get my money back if I don’t want a bus pass?
No, the money towards the bus pass is part of the segregated fee portion of your tuition that is not refundable.