Submitted by Whatcom Transportation Authority
Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) will return to collecting fares on July 1, 2021. Also starting July 1, WTA will no longer charge fares for youth 17 and younger.
In the Spring of 2020, WTA temporarily suspended fare collection to increase physical distance between riders and Bus Drivers. With several safety measures now in place, WTA is ready to resume collecting fares. These measures include an ongoing federal mask-wearing requirement on public transportation, a high percentage of Bus Drivers being vaccinated, and rising levels of vaccination among community members.
WTA’s cash fares will remain the same, at $1 per ride. Pass prices have increased. For example, a 31-Day pass will now cost $30, up from $25. This is the first time WTA has increased fares since 2009. Since that time, WTA has expanded transit service throughout the county and has added passenger amenities including free passenger WiFi and real-time bus arrival information. The increase in pass prices were approved by WTA’s Board of Directors in 2019 and were originally slated to take effect in June 2020.
Also in 2019, WTA’s Board of Directors approved a Youth Ride Free program. Everyone 17 and younger (or those older than 17 who are currently enrolled in high school) now ride free on WTA.
Youth not yet in high school can just step on and ride. No bus pass is needed. Youth who are high school aged will need to board with a free Youth Card. Youth can obtain their Youth Cards in person at WTA’s Bellingham Station, located at 205 E Magnolia in Bellingham. Or they can request a Youth Card by sending an email firstname.lastname@example.org from their high school email address. WTA also hopes to distribute free Youth Cards through local high schools in the fall.
For a summary of changes to fares, including all updated pass prices, people can visit www.ridewta.com/fares.
WTA provides fixed route, paratransit, rural dial-a-ride, and vanpool service in Whatcom County, Washington. WTA’s mission is to enhance our community by delivering safe, reliable, efficient and friendly service. For route and schedule information, call (360) 676-7433 or visit www.ridewta.com.