Student Bus Pass

How does the student bus pass work?

  • Your Western Card works as a WTA regional bus pass and provides unlimited rides on all Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) and Skagit Transit bus routes.
  • To ride swipe your Western card at the fare box when boarding the bus.
  • Students pay for their bus pass with the Active Transportation Fee (ATF).
  • The ATF is automatically assessed to all campus-based students taking one or more credits. To view student fees based on credits visit the WWU Tuition and Fees page.
  • Students have a bus pass every quarter the ATF is on their Western account.
  • Fall quarter bus passes are active beginning on the first Saturday after the 9-week summer session ends in August.
  • 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?

Student Status

Bus Pass Status

Undergraduate students registered for 1 or more credits on campus Automatic
Graduate Students Automatic
Undergraduate students with 0 credits on campus and 1 or more credits off campus Opt-in for Active Transportation Fee here

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

If your Western Card does not work on the bus and you think it should, email (include your W#), or contact the Western Card Office for assistance.

For Skagit Transit riders - you must have a Western Card that is compatible with the Umo fare box. If your Western Card was issued prior to August 2022, please visit the Western card Office to be re-issued a tap card to ride Skagit Transit.

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

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

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

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

Where can I travel with my bus pass?

Your Western student bus pass is good on all WTA buses including the 80X to Mt Vernon and on all the Skagit Transit buses including the 90X to Everett.

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, Mt Vernon, Anacortes, and Everett.

From Everett using public transportation to get to Seattle or Tacoma costs only a few dollars.