New bus pass program starts rolling

By Gabirel Sofie

Whatcom will be transitioning to a new system for its bus pass program starting winter quarter.
All currently enrolled students at Whatcom Community College will have the opportunity to obtain the integrated bus pass. A $20 charge will be added as part of regular tuition and the Whatcom Transportation Authority passes will be integrated into student Orca cards starting in 2017.

The program will ensure that students will have a dependable means of transportation from school along with throughout the whole community, said Jarrett Martin, president of the Associated Students of Whatcom. Promoting alternative ways of transportation, decreasing student parking, and promoting eco-friendly awareness is the goal of the program, he added.
The service is estimated to save Whatcom students 50 percent of what they would normally be spending on the bus pass without the program.
The only location to obtain these passes is on campus at Syre Student Center in the bookstore. Financial assistance may be available if students need help paying their fees.
The Associated Students of Whatcom proposed the new bus pass program in spring 2016. The WCC Board of trustees approved the new bus pass in June.
Martin said the program benefits all students and provides a backup if their usual transportation was to fail. Martin explained how the program is a positive step furthering Whatcom’s tools for students to help in their everyday lives.
“It’s sustainability for public transportation,” he said.
International student and ambassador Farrel Komra said, “this is (a) life line.”
Komra said he has never taken the bus before coming to America to study.
“The option of having access to busses is my only means of commuting,” he said. “Without it I would have extreme difficulty traveling around the community”
Running Start student Karylline Vincent said, “This program is going to be pretty awesome. Not having a car, my only option is taking the bus. For college kids this will reduce financial stress, overall there is so much good coming out of a program like this.”
For more information about the pass, visit the Office of Student Life on the second floor in Syre.

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