Frequently Asked Student Questions

General Information

What is Student Transportation?

The Student Transportation program was developed after Western students approved an Alternative Transportation Fee in April 2007. The program is responsible for representing and coordinating student transportation needs, and provides services including the Student Bus Pass, the WWU Student Shuttle and trip planning assistance.

How much is the fee?

The Alternative Transportation Fee is $26.25 per quarter, and is added to the tuition of students taking six or more credits. The fee cannot increase by more than 5% each year without a student vote, and is re-approved by a vote of the students every 5 years.

Can I opt-out of the fee?

No. The fee is mandatory for students taking six or more credits. It is similar in nature to the Green Energy Fee, Rec Center Fee, and the Student Technology Fee.


Student Bus Pass

A new student bus pass is encoded on the Western ID Card for each Academic Year and Summer Quarter.

Who can get a student bus pass?

Most students who have registered for one or more on-campus classes are eligible for a bus pass.  Students registered for 6 or more credits will automatically be charged the transportation fee when they register.  Students registered for 1-5 credits may authorize the transportation fee by completing an “opt- in” form at the Western Card office.

How do I get a student bus pass?

Bring your Western Card to the Western Card Office to have a bus pass encoded onto the card.

Will I need a new Western Card to get a bus pass?

Not if the Western Card and its mag strip are in good shape. If it is scratched, has a hole punched through it, has a sticker on it, or is bent or very worn out, it cannot be encoded, and you may need a new Western Card.

Please take care of your Western Card. If you lose your card you lose your bus pass.  If your card becomes too damaged to be encoded with the bus pass, you will need a new card, cost $8.

When can I get a bus pass?

The bus pass is available beginning the Monday of the week before classes start in September, and is valid through the week following finals in June.

Can I use my Western Card to park?

No. The Western Card is not a valid parking permit. Parking services offers a free "after hours" parking permit for students who have paid the Transportation Fee. This permit is good for limited lots on campus at designated times. Please contact parking services for more information.

Where can I replace my Western Card?

A Western Card can be replaced at the Western Card Office. There is an $8 charge for a new Western Card.

Is my Academic Year bus pass good for Summer Quarter?

No. A new bus pass is re- encoded on ID cards each academic year and summer quarter. 

Where can I travel with my bus pass?

Your 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, Bellis Fair Mall, Sunset Square, Lakeway Center, Lake Padden, Whatcom Falls, Lynden, Ferndale and Mt Vernon. Using other public transportation to get from Mount Vernon to Everett, Seattle, or Tacoma costs only a few dollars. Click here for more information.


Western Student Shuttle

What is the Student Shuttle?

The Western Student Shuttle is a late night transportation service for Western students only, funded by the Alternative Transportation Fee. A valid Western ID Card is required to board the shuttle.

Where can I go on the Student Shuttle?

The shuttle system consists of two routes serving the WWU campus and following areas: Downtown Bellingham, Bill McDonald Parkway and Sehome Village, Lincoln Creek Park & Ride, Fred Meyer/Lakeway Center and Happy Valley.

Where can I board the Student Shuttle?

Board the Shuttle at any WTA bus stop on its route.

Can my friends who are not Western students ride the Western Student Shuttle with me?

One guest is allowed per student with a valid Western Card. Students are responsible for the conduct of their guest. 

What time does the shuttle begin service?

The Student Shuttle leaves the Viking Union or Haggard Hall at 11:00 PM, Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, the shuttle leaves the Viking Union at 9:00 PM.

When does the shuttle begin operating in the fall?

The Student Shuttle begins operating on the Sunday before classes begin for Fall Quarter and operates throughout Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters. The shuttle does not operate during Thanksgiving, Winter, or Spring breaks.

Does the shuttle operate during the summer?

No. The Student Shuttle does not operate during Summer Quarter.

How can I get to Seattle for $5.75?

We have pre made trip plans to a variety of regional locations located here.

What if I lose my Western Card?

Go to the Western Card office to replace your card and re-encode the bus pass.

Where can I get information about ridesharing?

WWU has a rideshare forum, and there are a variety of public rideshare websites. Find more information here.

I have never ridden the bus - how do I do that?

Click here for detailed tips about riding the bus.

Call, email or visit our office. We can assist you with trip-planning and answer any transportation questions you may have.

Contact Information

Western Student Transportation:

Page Updated 10.17.2016