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 paid for by the Alternative Transportation Fee. The fee is $26.25 per quarter for the academic year, and $21 for summer quarter.
  • The student ID card works as a bus pass when the Transportation Fee is on the student account - swipe the ID card through the fare box when boarding the bus.


Who can have a student bus pass?

The following student groups are eligible for a bus pass:

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


New Student Bus Pass System, June 28, 2017

The Student Transportation Program has been working with WTA to improve bus pass functionality on the Western ID card.

Important Information

  • If you are receiving a NEW ID card from the Western Card Office, your ID card will have new formatting, and work as a bus pass, you don't need to do anything.
  • If you have an EXISTING ID card (prior to June 28, 2017), bring it to the Western Card Office for a one-time encoding of the new format, so you can begin using it with the upgraded bus pass system.

What's New?

  • The Western ID will now work as a continuous bus pass, year to year, without a visit to the Western Card Office to encode a bus pass.
  • The bus pass becomes Active, and remains Active from quarter to quarter when a Transportation Fee is on the student account.
  • If a bus pass becomes Inactive for any quarter (student is not taking classes), the bus pass will become Active again any following quarter when the Fee is applied, without a visit to the Western Card Office.

What's the same?

  • Students must be Eligible for a bus pass, and have the Transportation Fee on their student account, to have their ID work as a bus pass. (see more below)
  • The ID card is swiped through the fare box on the bus, when a student boards.
  • The Western Card Office is available for students needing over-the-counter assistance with their bus pass.


About the Transportation Fee

  • Students taking 6 or more credits have a quarterly Transportation Fee placed on their student account with registration, along with other univesity fees and tuition.

Credits from Extended Ed, Online courses, Independent Study and Study Abroad are not used to assess university fees, so, if you are registered for these credits, you may have more than 6 credits overall, but may not have been assessed the university fees (including the Transportation Fee)

  • If you are registered for fewer than 6 credits, or the Transportation Fee has not been applied to your account with registration, contact the Transportation office at the beginning of the quarter, to request the Fee be placed on your account:
  • (include your Western ID number)
  • The Western Card Office can also provide over-the-counter assistance to students who wish to add the Transportation Fee to their account.


More about the Fee:

University Fees that are placed automatically for any quarter with registration, are also removed automatically if a student drops below 6 credits for that quarter.

TIP: Students who register for 6 or more credits for any quarter and have an Active bus pass, then drop below 6 credits, must request the Transportation Fee be added to their account to keep their bus pass Active. Students in this group are sent a warning email 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 keep their bus pass Active.


If your ID card does not work on the bus and you think it should,

Email Student Transportation, (include your Western ID number), or go to the Western Card Office for assistance.



Student Transportation



Quick Links

Page Updated 09.22.2017