Student Bus Pass

How does it work?

  • The student ID card works as a Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) bus pass, and provides unlimited rides on all WTA bus routes.
  • The ID card will work as a bus pass any quarter the Alternative Transportation Fee is on the student account.
  • Swipe the ID card through the fare box when boarding the bus.
  • The bus pass is paid for by the Alternative Transportation Fee. ($26.25 per quarter for the academic year, and $21 for summer quarter)


Who can have a student bus pass?

  • Undergraduates registered for at least 1 credit.
  • Graduate Students, regardless of class registration.
  • Summer Quarter Student Employees.


The ID becomes an Active bus pass when the Transportation Fee is applied to the student account, any time during the quarter, or during Intersession (the break between quarters).

During Intersession the fee from the last quarter, or the next quarter will keep the bus pass active.

A bus pass will continue working 2 weeks into the next quarter (a "grace" period), without a current quarter's fee, before being terminated.


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 a student is registered for these credits, they 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 walk-in assistance to students who wish to add the Transportation Fee to their account.
  • REFUND POLICY for an OPTIONAL FEE: "A refund of the optional Alternative Transportation Fee will be granted if requested within 1 week of the first day of class, or, 1 week of the original request, whichever is later."


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



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Page Updated 01.28.2019