Student Bus Pass

WTA buses are currently running fare free, so a bus pass is not needed to ride.

When WTA is charging a fare if you have the Alternative Transportation Fee on your Western account, then your Western ID card also serves as a WTA bus pass and provides unlimited rides on all WTA bus routes.

Ride WTA

How does the Student Bus Pass work?

  • Your 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 who are employed by WWU departments.

How does class registration affect the Bus Pass?

  • Students taking 6 or more credits have a mandatory Alternative Transportation Fee (ATF) 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.
  • Students with less than 6 credits can opt-in to the student bus pass program.

How do I opt-in to the WWU Student Bus Pass program?

  • If you are a WWU student who is taking less than 6 credits and wants to opt-in to the WWU student bus pass, Transportation Services can manually place the Alternative Transportation Fee on your account. 
  • Email transportation@wwu.edu to request that the ATF be added to your Western account. Be sure to include your W#.   
  • The Western Card Office can also activate your bus pass by adding the ATF to your Western account.

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

If your Western ID card does not work on the bus and you think it should, email transportation@wwu.edu (include your Western ID number), or contact the Western Card Office for assistance.

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

You may purchase a bus pass directly from WTA. Do this online at www.ridewta.com or in person at the Downtown Bellingham Station on Railroad Ave.

What if my Western ID card was lost, stolen or damaged?

Get a replacement Western ID from the Western Card Office. There is a charge for a replacement ID card. Your student bus pass will continue to work on your replacement Western ID.

Where can I travel with my bus pass?

Your WWU student bus pass is good on all WTA buses including the 80X to Mt Vernon.

Major destinations in the area include historic Fairhaven, Downtown Bellingham, Lakewood, Bellis Fair Mall area, Sunset Square, Lakeway Center, Lake Padden, Whatcom Falls Park, Lynden, Blaine, Ferndale and Mt Vernon.

Using other public transportation to get from Mount Vernon to Everett, Seattle, or Tacoma costs only a few dollars.