Student Bus Pass

The student bus pass:

  • Is a Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) bus pass, and provides unlimited rides on any WTA bus route.
  • Is encoded on the Western ID card, and must be re-encoded manually for each new Academic Year or Summer Qrtr.
  • Is paid for by the $26.25 Alternative Transportation Fee which is charged to the student's account each academic quarter (fall, winter,spring). The summer quarter fee is $21.

The bus pass remains valid as long as the transportation fee is on the student account. If the fee is removed due to withdrawal from classes or reduction in course load, the bus pass may become invalid (see below information under Eligibility)

How to get a bus pass

  • Visit the Western Card office for your bus pass:
    • Bring your Western ID card with you for encoding if you are not getting a new ID card.
    • If you lose your Western Card you can replace it at the Western Card office.



The following student groups are eligible for a bus pass:

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


The transportation fee is placed on a student account automatically when the 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.



  • The Academic Year bus pass is available and valid for use the week before the first day of fall quarter classes, through the week following final exams in June.
  • The Summer bus pass is available and valid for use the first week of summer classes until the new academic year pass becomes available in September.


Parking Privileges

The Western Card cannot be used as a parking permit. However, Parking Services will provide an after hours parking permit for limited lots on campus, to 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 the AS Alternative Transportation Coordinator at


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Page Updated 10.11.2013