The Walla Walla community and Whitman's small campus allows for ease of bicycle and pedestrian commuting. Faculty and staff are always encouraged to carpool and ride bikes into work. While two thirds of students live on campus and the majority of off-campus housing is within one mile of campus, students drive over 2,000 miles getting to and from school each year, not to mention trips home over breaks. Our campus takes into consideration multiuse transportation through our main campus providing bicycle storage and wide paths. To learn more about sustainable transportation on College campuses check out Spenser Havlick's, Transportation and Sustainable Campus Communities.
How to Get Around Walla Walla:
- Walla Walla Valley Transit: Provides regional Bus Services. There are two routes that service Whitman College. Route 1 services the Isaacs Ave Corridor (near Olin Hall) Route 4 services a loop around the campus neighborhoods. The main station is located at N. 4th Ave. and Main St. The standard fare is a "Cash fare is 50 cents for fixed routes and 75 cents for Dial-A-Ride." (Fares are free until Sept 2) All buses also have a bike rack! You can get monthly passes! Check out more at: https://www.valleytransit.
- The Grape Line: The Grape Line is a shuttle service that can provide rides from Whitman College to the Tri-Cities Airport and to Walla Walla Regional Airport. More information and fare information for the Grape Line can be found at: http://www.grapeline.us
- Campus Ride-Share: Need help getting somewhere, or are you looking for a carpool check out the campus rides listserve firstname.lastname@example.org
- Whitman Express: Provides student bus services to and from Seattle and Portland during breaks.
- Whitman College Bike Share: The Bike Share allows campus community members to check out a bike to do errands, get some exercise, or take a leisurely ride in the wheat fields. Students check out the bikes from the Penrose Library circulation desk 24 hours a day. It works a lot like a book, except with gears! Helmets and lights are also available for checkout; we want people to be safe while they're having a blast. The Bike Share is currently open for the summer at the Physical Plant from 7:00am-3:30pm Monday-Friday. The Bike Share bikes will be available for checkout from the library starting the week of August 21.
- Whitman College Bike Shop: The Outdoor Program operates the Campus Bike Shop. At the shop students and campus community members are welcome to come and work on their bikes with bike shop equipment free of charge if they desire. The bike shop mechanics are available during the Bike Shop business hours. They can assist with repairs, fix flat tires, and answer questions. The Bike Shop also carries a small selection of bike merchandise including: bike tubes, locks, horns, lights, gloves, and bike bags at very reasonable prices. Local area bike maps are available for free.
- City of Walla Walla Bike Map: *Walla Walla does require a bike license to operate a bike within the City limits: "it is the City Ordinance to license your bike in the city limits. Contact the Records staff at the lobby of the Walla Walla Police Department. The license cost is $5 each and are good for as long as you own the bike. New owners should license their bike immediately. You will need your model number, serial number, make, color and speed of your bike to license it."
About Multi-Modal Transportation at Whitman College:
Whitman's Bike Share
Whitman's Bike Share Program: allows students to check out a bike to do errands, get some exercise, or take a leisurely ride in the wheat fields. Students check out the bikes from the Penrose Library circulation desk 24 hours a day. It works a lot like a book, except with gears! Helmets and lights are also available for checkout; we want people to be safe while they're having a blast.
Outdoor Program Bike Shop: The Outdoor Program operates the campus campus Bike Shop. At the shop students and community members are welcome to come and work on their bikes with bike shop equipment free of charge if they desire. The bike shop mechanics are available during the Bike Shop business hours. They can assist with repairs, fix flat tires, and answer questions. The Bike Shop also carries a small selection of bike merchandise including: bike tubes, locks, horns, lights, gloves, and bike bags at very reasonable prices. Local area bike maps are available for free.
Walla Walla Valley Transit Bus System
"If you go shopping in Walla Walla and spend $10 on clothes, 3 cents of the tax you pay will go towards the Valley
Transit System. That may not sound like much, but sales tax makes up 65% of the transit system's budget-and due to the recession, those tax revenues have decreased dramatically" (Rachel Alexander, Editor-in-Chief, The Pioneer, 2012-2013).
The local Valley Transit bus service was founded in 1979, when the Walla Walla County Commissioners created the Walla Walla County Public Transportation Benefit Area. The system began route service on January 5, 1981. Fixed-route service is provided throughout the Walla Walla and College Place urban area, with the fare costing 50 cents per trip. Seven routes meet at a centrally located transfer center in downtown Walla Walla. Eighty percent of the homes within the Walla Walla and College Place city limits are within three blocks of a Valley Transit bus route. Whitman College is served by Route 4, with stops located conveniently just off campus. This is another eco-friendly option to help you get around town, especially in inclement weather or to destinations further away. Voters residing within the Transit District approved Proposition 1 on February 9, 2010 to increase the sales tax dedicated to public transportation by an additional 3/10ths of one percent with over 76 percent voting in favor of the measure. Valley Transit avoided a 50 percent cut in services over the next year that would have eliminated at least two bus lines and reduced frequencies on others. A 0.03 percent sales tax increase has kept the system running. Many Whitman students were involved with the Campaign for Valley Transit. Whitman graduate Pedro Galvao '10 used the campaign continue outreach efforts to Latino voters. He recruited other Whitman students, most of whom are members of Club Latino, to ring doorbells in primarily Latino neighborhoods. Additional information can be found here:
Walla Walla Valley Transit
September 17, 2009 article
February 9, 2010 article
Whitman College Commuting Climate Impacts
Options for getting to and from Walla Walla include Grape Line service to Pasco for connections to Amtrak and Greyhound, and the Whitman Express shuttle service on college breaks. Walla Walla Airport is served by Alaska Airlines, with flights three times a day, but flying is the environmentally least preferable travel choice, especially given that the only destination from Walla Walla is Seattle, meaning any other destination requires at least one layover. Takeoff is the most energy intensive part of flying, so the most direct trip is best. We urge you to evaluate your need for a car objectively. It may be convenient, but it is also an expense to you or your family and our environment. With bike sharing and a cheap transit system in town, Walla Walla does not necessitate a car.