3 Reasons to Ride the Utah Ski Bus

By Snow Travelista \ December 17 2015

I’m so excited to update this post because it means opening day is here! It’s also my chance to share the new Ski Bus schedules plus rider tips so you can help reduce the impact on our beautiful canyons.

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). 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.

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 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.


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).