Parents often ask if their son or daughter needs a car freshman year, and the short answer is no. WSU and the City of Pullman offer many alternative modes of transportation. Many students who bring cars to campus discover that it is easier to get around without their car, which ends up spending most of its time parked.
Pullman is bike friendly and walkable. WSU’s Green Bike program includes 140 bikes distributed at nine locations around campus, which are free for WSU students to use. Since the program launched, Green Bikes have been checked out more than 75,000 times! A bicycle and pedestrian trail connects Pullman to the nearby city of Moscow, ID and is popular with WSU faculty, staff, and students year round. If your son or daughter would prefer to walk, most residence halls are within a five-minute walk from the academic center of campus, and it takes less than 20 minutes to cross the entire campus. Most of the WSU campus is also open to skateboarders, with the exception of building interiors, stairways, plazas, and the pedestrian malls. For more information on campus trails, check out the Campus Trails and Paths map.
When going shopping, or to destinations that are too far to bike or walk, many students ride Pullman Transit which offers extensive service coverage throughout the WSU campus and within the City of Pullman. Pullman Transit provides more than 1.4 million rides per year, and it is free for WSU students with their Cougar Card. There is also a convenient online bus tracker to help your student plan their rides.
WSU students can also join Zipcar for only $25 a year and have access to fuel-efficient cars parked on campus 24/7. In addition to the annual fee, students are charged roughly $8 per hour or $77 per day to use Zipcar. Many students use Zipcar for things like going shopping and share the cost with other students.
Wheatland Express, a local charter bus company, offers the Spokane Airport Express, the Vacation Express, and the Weekend Express. The Airport Express offers daily trips to the Spokane Airport for $38 each way, per person. The Vacation Express provides a charter service from Pullman to Seattle during Spring Break, Thanksgiving Break, and Winter Holiday Break. Their Weekend Express provides a charter service to/from Seattle, which leaves Pullman Friday afternoons and returns Sunday evenings. If your son or daughter is heading to a different destination, Zimride is a fun and easy way to catch a ride with a fellow WSU student. Your student simply creates a free account, posts their date and destination on the Zimride website, and finds a ride with another Cougar making the same trip.
If you feel your son or daughter still will need a car while on campus, the Transportation Services website has parking rates, as well as other important information you’ll need.