Complete Guide to Riding the Utah Ski Bus

By Snow Travelista \ December 7 2017

Opening day has arrived! This means it's time to give you the beta on Ski Bus schedules for 2017-18 season, an app that will find the bus schedule and route for you in four clicks, plus rider tips so you can help reduce the impact on our beautiful canyons. Post updated December 4, 2017.

Did you know that riders with a ski resort season pass can ride UTA's ski bus for free? Contact your resort for details.

 
 

Cash fare for ski bus is only  $4.50 each way (remember to bring exact change, a pass, or contactless credit card). The cost of any TRAX, bus or UTA FrontRunner ticket counts toward your ski bus fare so you don’t need to spend twice.

 

Even better, you don’t have to worry about parking and they drop you off right at the front, so no hauling your gear from a parking spot in the “back forty.

Why Ride the Ski Bus?

 

Because it Protects Our Winters – Okay that's a plug for POW, a solid organization I believe in. Riding mass transit to ski reduces private vehicles on the roads, thus lowering carbon emissions. The truth is, we aren't going to have much luck telling people to stop traveling, but riding public transportation can make a positive difference.

 

Not only does public transportation get vehicles off roads, new technology has made it more efficient than ever. Since 2013 UTA has invested heavily in new equipment, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by a projected 79% by this year.

 

Save Money – At most, riding the Ski Bus will cost $4.50 each way, making it an affordable alternative to driving your own vehicle or renting a car if you're visiting from out of town. However, you might be able to ride free explains the Utah Transit Authority,

 

Comfort and Convenience – Yes, driving yourself is convenient, until you have to put on chains, or can't find a parking spot and have to hike to the lifts. Ski Buses have dedicated ski/snowboard organizers, can be accessed from most major hotels, and many locations have covered shelters. Some shelters are even heated such as Snowbird's Cliff Lodge stop.

The Ski Bus - It's How the Locals Roll

As a local, I can tell you that we CARE about our mountains. That means looking for ways to protect them, including riding the Ski Bus. Riding the bus also means we can kick back and get our heads in powder space - by listening to kicking tunes or chilling with a good read. No stress, just a ride to front door of the lodge! But don't just take my word for it...here's what a few of my colleges have to say about riding the bus:

"The ski bus is my jam. I usually take a book but always end up talking to the person next to me. And did you know these buses can put on their chains with the press of a button?"—Brandon Ott, Ski Utah’s Content Director, aka, chief storyteller.

 

"Never been a fan of driving up the canyons, especially in snowstorms. That's why the bus is perfect for people like me. You just hop on and leave the driving to the pros! Local tip: Sit closest to the door. Last one on, but first to the powder!"—Dillon Green, Ski Utah Athlete (And seriously, you must check out his Instagram feed! - @dillongreen)

Winter Bus Picture

 

How to Ride the Ski Bus

 

Now that I've (hopefully) got you thinking about the bus, how do you ride it? Here are some basic tips:

  • Ski Buses have dedicated ski/snowboard organizers and many stops have covered shelters. Some are even heated such as Snowbird's Cliff Lodge stop.
  • Ski buses run from the canyon bases, so you will ride either FrontRunner, TRAX, or another bus to that stop then transfer for the ride up canyon. Because the canyon routes run more often, this new system is equally fast as the old system.
  • Because the UTA system includes multiple routes, buses, and trains (TRAX), there are multiple ways to ride depending on your location. Look at the overview map to get a general idea of the routes, and then visit the UTA website for the most up to date information.
  • If you have a season pass, ask your resort about getting a free Ski Bus Pass. The canyon resorts have signed on to support the service by offering Ski Bus passes.
  • If you don’t have a pass and need to pay cash, bring exact change or purchase a UTA FAREPAY card. The drivers do not provide change, which means your ride could be more expensive if you only have bills.  You can pay with exact change, a pass, contactless credit card, or your UTA FAREPAY card.
  • Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes early. All bus stops are marked by a sign that lists all routes that stop at that location, plus a Stop ID number. The Stop ID number can be used for the Ride Time system, which can help you find out when the next bus is coming. Just look for the number to the right of the word “LOCATION,” then text the Stop ID number to UTA-UTA (882-882) and hit send. Ride Time will reply with the next three bus stop departure times from that location.
  • Make sure you’re getting on the right bus by checking the number displayed in the front window to make sure it’s the route you want. 
  • If you need to transfer to another bus or TRAX, get a transfer slip from the driver. This is your only proof of fare when you make your transfer. Transfer slips are only good for two hours after your initial ride. This should be automatic if you use a FAREPAY card, but I’d ask just to be sure.
  • As you exit, remember to tap off, if you paid with FAREPAY or another electronic form of payment. This means you tap the same spot on the card reader you used when you boarded. This automatically gives you the transfer credit and a few other things. More details can be found HERE.

 

The Ski Utah app is fully loaded with every ski bus route in the state!

Below I've played out all of the UTA Ski Bus route maps, details, and links to schedules, but did you know the Ski Utah mobile app can do all the work for you? Here's how you can find your way to powder on the Ski Bus in four clicks!

FREE Ski Utah App for iOS Download from iTunes
FREE Ski Utah App for Android Download from Android Play Marketplace
 


2017-18 Ski Bus Schedules

New UTA Ski Bus details, rider tips, fares, and schedules updated for the 2017-18 Season.

Salt Lake Ski Bus Service - Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, Solitude

Cottonwood Canyons Map

 

Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon Early Ski Service Calendar - Routes 953, 972 and 994

Cottonwood Canyon Ski Bus service started December 2, 2017. The service runs all day, with 15-minute frequency during peak hours. They've also increased parking capacity at multiple lots serving the Ski Bus routes. 

The following hotels are on or near Ski Bus routes. Other downtown hotels require a connection. Please confirm with your hotel where the nearest stop is located. We do our best to create a comprehensive and accurate list. There might be gaps, but this should give you a head start. Unfortunately, UTA does not have a master list available for this area. 

Residence Inn Salt Lake City Cottonwood Hotel

Hyatt Place Cottonwood SLC

Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites Midvalley

Homewood Suites by Hilton - Draper

Fairfield Inn & Suites Midvale

Staybridge Suites Midvale

Residence Inn by Marriott - Sandy (short drive but may have a shuttle)

Hampton Inn Sandy (short drive but may have a shuttle)

Super 8 Midvale

Park Inn by Radisson Midvale

Quality Inn Midvale

Salt Lake City Bus Routes Map

UTA implemented a number of changes last season that improved efficiency and increased ridership - taking cars off canyon roads. This re-configured ski service in the Cottonwood Canyons:

  • Increases the number of canyon ski service trips by 35 percent
  • Starts service earlier (6 a.m. and earlier) so you can make first chair
  • Expands parking capacity
  • Provides ski service all day, with 15-minute frequency during peak times.
  • Improves connections with TRAX and FrontRunner, and Route 220, providing increased all-day ski service access to riders from downtown, the University of Utah and other areas of the valley.

Ski Bus routes were streamlined to three routes last season, routes 953, 972 and 994, with better connections to TRAX and FrontRunner. 

Route 953 - Midvale Ft Union Station/Snowbird/Alta
Route 972 - Bingham Junction/Solitude/Brighton
Route 994 - Historic Sandy/Snowbird/Alta

 

Park City Ski Bus Info/Routes - Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort

Park City Bus Route Maps


NEW this season, UTA has added trips, making even easier to travel between Park City and Salt Lake County. In Park City, note that the stops and schedules shift depending on the day of the week. This list of stops is for general planning, check the UTA website for the most current Park City - Salt Lake City Connect schedule.

Canyons Village, Park City, and Deer Valley Ski Routes

Route 901 - PC-SLC Connect
Route 902 - PC-SLC Connect

Route 901 and Route 902 PC-SLC Connect Servicing:

901 Only

Meadowbrook Station

3900 S 500 E

3900 S 2300 E

3900 S & Wasatch Park and Ride

902 Only

Salt Lake Central Station

200 S Main St

200 S State Street

100 S North Campus Drive

University Medical Center Station

700 S Foothill Dr

1954 S 2100 E Park and Ride

Maywood Dr & Parley's Way (weekends only)

Jeremy Ranch Park & Ride

901 and 902

Kimball Junction Transit Center

Park City Transit System

Once you get to Park City, a FREE transit system provides an easy and environmentally friendly way to get around town. It’s one more way to Protect Our Winters, and save money!

The system, which is fueled by biodiesel, serves Historic Main Street, Kimball Junction, North of Maon, Deer Valley Resort, Park City Mountain, and the Utah Olympic Park.

 

Park City Transit Routes, Schedules, and Maps

 

Ogden and Layton Ski Bus Info/Routes - Snowbasin Resort and Powder Mountain 

Ogden Route 674 to Powder Mountain and Route 675 to Snowbasin

Ogden Bus Route Map

UTA ski bus service Routes 674, 675, and 677 to Powder Mountain & Snowbasin resorts begins on December 16, 2017.

Downtown Ogden Stops: 

Route 674 - Powder Mountain
Route 675 - Snowbasin

Route 674 and Route 675 Servicing:

Marriott Hotel

26th and Grant

Ben Lomond Hotel

Hampton Inn

Hilton Garden Inn

 

Layton/Snowbasin Ski Bus Service

Layton Snowbasin Ski Bus Routes Map

Route 677 - Layton/Snowbasin Ski Service

Route 677 Servicing:

Layton Station

Layton Hills Mall (Hotel District)

Antelope Dr. Park & Ride

S Weber Dr. Park & Ride

Snowbasin Resort

 

Sundance/Provo Bus Info/Routes - Sundance Mountain Resort


Route 880 - Sundance Ski Service

Route 880 Servicing: (Begins December 16, 2017)

Provo Central Station

Mt. Timpanogos Transit Center

800 N 800 E (Harmon’s)

Sundance Mountain Resort

There you have it! Lots of info to get you started riding the Ski Bus. However, if you still have questions, visit rideuta.com or call UTA Customer Service at (801) RIDE-UTA (743-3882).

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