Halloween season is a fun time for college students, but a night out can’t be complete without a safe ride home.
Western Washington University’s Transportation Services is centered around helping students find rides home, or anywhere around the city.
Transportation Services ensures that the Whatcom Transportation Authority buses are free to students with a Western I.D., but the hours are limited. On weekdays, buses are generally available from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and on weekends buses are available until 10 p.m. Some areas stop services before others.
“Our goal is that students can live in Bellingham car-free, which means they need access to transportation to and from campus, recreation, entertainment, jobs, internships and regional transportation to get home for holidays/weekends,” said Amanda Reiter, the commute operations program manager for transportation services, via email.
Late-night options become limited once the WTA buses stop running. The Starlight Shuttles can be another free option for students to use when buses are unavailable.
“On weekdays we see about 40 rides per night and weekends that jumps up to 100 rides,” Reiter said in an email. “They continue to operate until the queue is cleared at the end of the night. Most nights they are wrapped up at 2:30 a.m. but on holidays like Halloween they might continue to shuttle people until 3 a.m.”
Jacob Stout is a driver for the Starlight Shuttle. Driving since the beginning of fall 2023, Stout said the job is fulfilling as he likes to help people get home safely.
“I think the coolest thing about our service is that it allows people to get to parties and be able to get home safe,” Stout said. “So if you're trying to get home and you've been drinking or something, the Starlight Shuttle's always going to be there, 10:30 to 2:30 – just don’t drive.”
Shuttles can be called from the Transloc app or by calling the dispatcher at (206) 638-7124. The bus schedules can be found here.
Logan Schreiber (he/him) is a fourth-year student going into the PR Journalism program. He enjoys writing and music, hoping to do both for his career. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.