Active Transportation Fee

The Alternative Transportation Fee was implemented in 2007 after a favorable vote of the student body and approval by the A.S. Board and the WWU Board of Trustees. Since then students have voted every five years to approve the Fee. The purpose of the Fee is to support a transportation program for the benefit of students. The proposed name of the Fee in the 2022 referendum language (see below) is the Active Transportation Fee.

The $28.50 Fee provides students with the following benefits:

  • A WTA student bus pass
  • Starlight Shuttle service
  • Help with trip planning
  • An Active Transportation Coordinator student position
  • The fee is reduced to $23 for summer quarter when the Starlight Shuttle is not operating.

Where does the money go?

Pie chart of Where does the money go?
  • 75% WTA Payments
  • 15% Starlight Shuttle
  • 10% Other

Note: "Other" expenses include salaries and administrative costs. 

Program Oversight

Program funds are overseen by the Active Transportation Fee Committee which is comprised of a majority of students (AS Officers, AS Active Transportation Coordinator, students-at-large) and WWU administrative staff.

Who is assessed the fee?

WWU students taking six or more credits are assessed a mandatory Active Transportation Fee. The fee is applied quarterly with other university fees and tuition. Students taking 1-5 credits, graduate students, and students who are employed on campus during the summer may opt-in to the fee and get a bus pass.

Refund Policy

Fees placed automatically with registration are not refundable. A transportation fee placed manually by the Transportation or Western Card office is refundable if requested within 1 week of the first day of class, or 1 week of the original request, whichever is later.

The Alternative Transportation Fee wording as most recently approved by vote of the students, April 2017:

Shall all Western Washington University students taking six or more credits on the Bellingham Campus be assessed an Alternative Transportation Fee of up to $26.25 per quarter with the following conditions:

  • A Whatcom Transportation Authority bus pass for every fee paying student.
  • A late night student transportation service that would run after WTA service ends. At a minimum this would serve the general campus area.
  • If late night service is not offered during summer quarter, students taking summer quarter classes will be charged a reduced fee (currently $21).
  • Fee increases will be limited to a maximum of 5% per year, upon authorization by the Associated Students Board of Directors, increases of more than 5% must be approved by the students through a vote.
  • The Fee will be for a maximum 5-year term, beginning in Fall 2017 and end by Fall 2022, subject to a student vote for renewal.

NOTE: The Alternative Transportation Fee was increased 5% for Fall 2019 with approval of the AS Board, and is $27.50 for academic quarters and $22 for summer quarter. The fee was increased 3.6% for Fall 2020 with approval of the AS Board and is now $28.50 for academic quarters and $23 for summer quarter.

2022 Active Transportation Fee Referendum Language

Students will vote on the Active Transportation Fee during AS elections which take place May 23-27. The referendum language is as follows:

Shall all Western Washington University students taking six or more credits on the Bellingham Campus be assessed an Active Transportation Fee (ATF) of $30.00 per quarter with the following minimum conditions?

  • The fee will fund:
    • A Whatcom Transportation Authority bus pass for every Active Transportation Fee-paying student. Bus passes for additional transit systems such as Skagit Transit may also be provided to increase access to and use of active transportation.
    • A late-night student transportation service for students that begins running when WTA service ends or before. At a minimum this would serve the general campus area.
    • Programming that supports and encourages students to not drive alone to Western. This can include transportation modes like transit, carpooling, car share, walking, and rolling (bicycles, skateboards, scooters, etc.).
    • Staff positions to coordinate and promote active transportation programming and services for students. At the very least, staff will include an Active Transportation Coordinator, which is a student position, and a full-time staff member.
  • If late night service is not offered during summer quarter, students taking summer quarter classes will be charged a reduced fee of $24.50 reflecting the costs of a WTA bus pass program, staff, and ongoing programs.
  • Fee increases will be limited to a maximum of 5% per year. Increases of more than 5% must be approved by the student body through a vote. The fee may only be increased by recommendation of the ATF committee after an assessment of predicted income and expenses determines that a fee increase is necessary for sustaining or improving service. The fee increase must also be approved by the Associated Students Executive Board.
  • On the recommendation of the ATF Committee, fee decreases of any amount may be approved by the Associated Students Executive Board to reflect decreased program costs or due to University, State, or Federal requirements preventing or reducing transit or late-night transportation services.
  • The fee will be implemented for a maximum 5-year term, beginning fall quarter 2022, and ending at the beginning of fall quarter 2027, and is subject to a student vote in spring 2027 for renewal.