Student Bus Pass

The Alternative Transportation Fee was waived for summer quarter. To learn more about how this changes the student bus pass program check out this information page.


At Western, 85% of students ride Whatcom Transit Authority (WTA) buses to get where they need to go. 

  • For WTA route maps, schedules, and other transit information go to
  • Google Maps is also a great resource for planning bus trips.
  • For personalized trip planning assistance or other transportation questions contact the Transportation Office at 360-650-7960 or

How does the Student Bus Pass work?

  • The Western ID card works as a WTA bus pass and provides unlimited rides on all WTA bus routes.
  • To ride swipe your ID card at the fare box when boarding the bus.
  • Students pay for their bus pass with the Alternative Transportation Fee (ATF).
  • The ATF is automatically assessed if a student registers for 6 or more credits.
  • Students have a bus pass every quarter the ATF is on their Western account.  
  • Bus passes work during the intersession following any quarter in which the ATF was assessed.
  • For most full-time students, the bus pass works seamlessly from quarter to quarter.

Who is eligible for a Bus Pass?

  • Undergraduate students registered for at least 1 credit.
  • Graduate Students (class registration not required)
  • Summer Quarter student employees, employed by WWU departments.

How does class registration affect the Bus Pass?

  • Students taking 6 or more credits have a mandatory Alternative Transportation Fee placed on their student account with registration, along with other university fees and tuition.
  • Credits from the Outreach and Continuing Education program, Online courses, Independent Study and Study Abroad are not used to assess university fees. Students who are registered for these credits may have more than 6 credits overall, but may not have been charged the university fees (including the ATF).
  • University fees placed automatically with registration for any quarter are also removed automatically if a student drops below 6 credits.

What if the Transportation Fee isn't placed on my account with registration?

  • If you are eligible for a bus pass, we can manually place the ATF on your account. 
  • Email at the beginning of the quarter to request the ATF. Be sure to include your W#.   
  • The Western Card Office can also provide over-the-counter assistance to students who wish to add the Transportation Fee to their account.

What if my Western ID card (bus pass) isn't working in the fare box on the bus?

What if I don't register for classes for a quarter?

  • Students may purchase a bus pass directly from WTA. Do this online at or in person at the Downtown Bellingham Station on Railroad Ave.