At WWU we strongly encourage everybody to use alternatives to driving alone to campus. In Bellingham, most places that students go are a short walk, bike ride, or bus trip away. Transportation Services coordinates bus passes and late-night transportation services for students and provides bicycling support and education, commute trip reduction information, and trip planning assistance. Transportation Services also manages all operations and services related to parking on campus and participates in campus transportation planning. Contact Transportation Services at firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-650-2945, or visit transportation.wwu.edu.
Public Transit and WWU Bus Pass
All students and employees have access to a Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) bus pass on their Western ID cards. WTA buses serve Western with convenient bus routes that run every 15 minutes during peak travel times. Bus routes serving Western connect with other routes at the Downtown Bellingham Transit Station, including the 80X bus to Mount Vernon. WTA routes allow easy access to additional regional transportation options such as Amtrak, Greyhound, Bellingham Airport, Bellair Airporter Shuttle, Skagit County Transit, and local Washington ferry routes. Visit transportation.wwu.edu/bus or ridewta.com.
All WTA buses (except emergency backup vehicles) are wheelchair accessible. WTA’s Paratransit Service provides transportation to riders whose disability prevents them from riding WTA’s fixed route bus system. Visit ridewta.com/types-of-service/paratransit or call 360-733-1144 (TTY call 360-676-6844).
Bellingham has a growing network of bicycle routes that make it easy, safe, and pleasant to travel by bike. There is plentiful bike parking on campus and much of it is covered. Bike lockers are also available for rent from Transportation Services. All WTA buses have bike racks on them which extends the range of travel by bicycle. Our website has maps and helpful bicycling tips and we will gladly assist you with all your bicycling needs. Additionally, the Associated Students Outdoor Center provides inexpensive bike repair, parts, gear, and rentals. Visit transportation.wwu.edu/bicycling.
Western’s Bellingham campus and surrounding neighborhoods are very walkable. We invite you to explore Bellingham on foot. Most off-campus housing is within a 15-minute walk of campus. Combining walking with the bus can get you most places you need to go in Bellingham. Visit transportation.wwu.edu/walking.
The Starlight Shuttle
Late night transportation service is available after the WTA buses stop running for the evening. The Starlight Shuttle service runs from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Sunday. Shuttles provide door to door service to academic buildings, residence halls, Downtown Bellingham, and nearby shopping centers. Students must show a valid Western ID card to the driver when boarding the Starlight Shuttle. Visit transportation.wwu.edu/starlight-shuttle.
Active Transportation Fee
This quarterly fee funds student transportation programs such as the universal student WTA bus pass, the Starlight Shuttle late-night transportation service, bicycle classes, and car share. It also funds an Active Transportation Coordinator which is a student position. Visit transportation.wwu.edu/alternative-transportation-fee.
Parking on Campus
Parking on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods is extremely limited and parking regulations are strictly enforced. A valid WWU parking permit is required to park in all Western parking lots.
Student Parking Permits
It is recommended that students leave personal vehicles at home. There are 1,800 student parking spaces on campus for Western’s approximate 15,000 students, so most students will not receive a parking permit. Parking permits are awarded through a waitlist system that opens each year in August. In July, an email will be sent to students’ WWU email address with waitlist dates, deadlines, and instructions. Waitlist positions are ranked based on accumulated credit hours earned at Western. New students with low or no credit hours may not qualify for an on-campus parking permit. A parking permit provides permission to park in a specific lot and does not guarantee drivers a parking space. Visit transportation.wwu.edu/student-permits.
Parking for Persons with Disabilities
Accessible parking is available throughout the campus for those with state disability permits. A WWU parking permit is also required when parking in accessible spaces between 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The state disability placard must always be displayed when parking in an accessible space. For information on how to purchase disability permits. Visit transportation.wwu.edu/disability-access.
Parking for Visitors
Daily and hourly parking permits are available for visitors. Visit transportation.wwu.edu/visitors.
Most buildings on campus have at least one 20-minute temporary parking spot nearby for quick trips to campus. These spaces are enforced, so be sure to park in them for 20 minutes or less.