Student Bus Pass

How does it work?

  • The student bus pass Is a Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) bus pass, and provides unlimited rides on all WTA bus routes.
  • The bus pass is manually encoded onto the Western ID card, and must be re-encoded for each new Academic Year and Summer Qrtr.
  • The bus pass is paid for through the Alternative Transportation Fee. The fee is $26.25 per quarter for the academic year, and $21 for summer quarter.
  • Swipe your ID card through the fare box when you board the bus.


Where to get a bus pass

  • Visit the Western Card office for your bus pass:
  • If you have a Western ID card, bring it with you to have the bus pass encoded on the card.
  • If you lose your Western Card you can replace it at the Western Card office.


When to get a bus pass

  • The Academic Year bus pass is available and valid for use beginning the week before Fall quarter classes begin.
  • Incoming students Winter and Spring quarters can obtain a bus pass beginning the week before classes begin for that quarter.
  • The Summer bus pass is available the same week summer classes begin, until the new academic year pass becomes available in September.



The following student groups are eligible for a bus pass:

  • Students registered for at least 1 credit.
  • Graduate Students (within their 5yr window, regardless of registration).
  • Summer Qtr Student Employees.


The transportation fee is placed on a student account automatically (along with other unniversity fees) when a student registers for 6 or more credits.

Students registered for 1-5 credits can have the fee placed on their account manually by completing an "opt-in form" at the Western Card office. Graduate students not registered for classes, and summer student employees are also "opt in" eligible.

The bus pass only works while there is a transportation fee on the student's account. Fees that are placed automatically are also removed automatically when a student drops below 6 credits.

TIP: Students who register for 6 or more credits for any quarter and obtain a bus pass, then drop to 1-5 credits, must use the opt-in process to retain a valid bus pass. During the academic year, students in this group are sent an email warning the second week of the quarter. They can reply to the email or visit the Western Card office and complete an opt-in form to retain their bus pass.

If your bus pass reads as expired on the bus and you are enrolled in classes for the quarter, go to the Western Card office to find out the status of your bus pass.


Parking Privileges

Parking Services will provide an after hours parking permit for limited lots on campus, for students who have a valid bus pass. Please contact Parking Services for more information.


If you have questions about the bus pass, call Student Transportation at 360-650-7960, or e-mail us at


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Page Updated 12.30.2016