Alternative Transportation Fee

All WTA buses are temporarily fare free. 

Due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alternative Transportation Fee was waived for spring, summer, and fall quarters. Winter quarter a $3 fee was charged to students taking six or more credits. To learn more about the Alternative Transportation Fee for winter quarter check out this information page.

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. The purpose of the Fee is to support a transportation program for the benefit of students.

The Alternative Transportation Fee is voted on by the student body at least every 5 years. The next student vote will take place by April 2022.

The $28.50 Fee provides students with the following benefits:

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

Where does the money go?

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

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

Program Oversight

Program funds are overseen by the Alternative Transportation Fee Committee which is comprised of a majority of students (AS Officers, AS Alternative 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 Alternative Transportation Fee. The fee is applied quarterly with other university fees and tuition. Students taking 1-5 credits, graduate students, and summer student employees may request the fee and have 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.