How To Ride The UTA Ski Bus - A Comprehensive Guide

How To Ride The UTA Ski Bus - A Comprehensive Guide

Local Lexi

By Local Lexi \ November 5 2019



Updated: November 2021

"The snow is the same.
The Ski Bus isn't.
Here's what you can do to stay safe."

 - Utah Transit Authority 


The priority of the Utah Transit Authority has always been to keep passengers safe.
Note that modifications and new rules have been implemented on public transit to protect riders and employees in the time of COVID-19. There will certainly be times during weekends and peak holiday periods when parking at ski areas may be a headache this winter and it's UTA's goal to help move people to and from resorts without compromising the safety and well-being of mountain communities and visitors. With many resorts moving to a reservation-based system for parking on busy days, the benefit of riding the ski bus continues to rise. 

PRO TIP
Before catching a ride, be sure to download the transit app. This helps riders plan their trip, check on crowds and canyon alerts, view road closures and more. 
Click Here to download the app. 




Measures UTA is taking to keep riders and employees safe on the Ski Bus:

  • Limiting ridership to 20 people. There are times when this target may be exceeded such as canyon closures or times of high avalanche danger when the bus must get riders down the canyon as quickly as possible. 
  • Contactless payment stations.
  • Masks available on board and mandatory for passengers.
  • Physical distancing markers at bus stop lines.
  • Daily sanitation and cleaning of vehicles.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers.



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Use this guide to learn how to utilize the Utah Transit Authority’s Ski Bus system

By hopping aboard the bus, you too can be a critical player in helping to reduce emissions, traffic, and parking struggles. There are plenty of opportunities to cut down on the number of single-driver vehicles traveling to our beloved resorts. I would bet we can all commit to devoting effort this season to keeping the air a little clearer and purging cars from the pavement. By ride-sharing responsibly with COVID in mind or bussing we can all do more to Protect Our Winters!

 

UTA SKI BUS SERVICE HISTORY UPDATES 


19–20 Season Updates
Back in the 19–20 winter season, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and several local non-profit organizations, ski resorts, and the Central Wasatch Commission forged a partnership and a plan to increase Ski Bus service and efficiency. Service was increased, congested stops were eliminated, and ski racks on select routes were removed to accommodate more riders.

For more info directly from UTA - visit their SKI SERVICE PAGE

20–21 Season Updates
For the 20–21 season, the Utah Transit Authority did not cut or reducing the Ski Bus service routes. Modifications and new rules to protect riders in the time of COVID-19 were implemented. 

21-22 Season Updates
Covid protocols will continue to remain in place until further notice. UTA cautions riders to expect greater delays due to the policy of reduced ridership and general increases in ski area traffic. UTA will actively monitor ridership and make changes daily while working with ski areas to manage public transit demand. UTA strongly recommends riders seek out lower-peak days, times and routes. 



2021-2022 Ski Bus Launch Dates

Start Date Coming Soon: Service to Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude Mountain Resort

Start Date Coming Soon: Service to Snowbasin Resort and Park City Mountain

Start Date Coming Soon: Service to Sundance Mountain Resort


COVID-19 UTA SKI BUS Protocols 

  • Ridership will be limited to 20 individuals per ski bus. 

  • Face masks will be required for all passengers. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available for all riders and operators. 

  • Skip down to our 'How to Pay' section below, as some Ski Utah resort season passes offer free fare on the busses and feature the ability to tap on/tap off with your season pass.

  • UTA recommends passengers sign up for text or email alerts for their preferred Ski Bus routes or the UTA GoRide Transit App, which features a crowdsourcing function where riders can report capacity. 
  • If full, busses will display “FULL” with an electronic message atop their front window. Additionally, some stations may also warn waiting passengers if the next bus is full with electronic signage.


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HOW TO RIDE THE UTA SKI BUS

Scroll through here to find the section you need.
For route information, see below.


HOW TO PAY - SEASON PASS PERKS


To incentivize responsible travel, a handful of Utah resorts actually incorporate UTA Ski Bus passes directly into their season pass pricing and the pass itself. This completely removes any hassle or excuse not to take advantage of public transit. The following season pass types include FREE use of the UTA Ski Bus and you'll simply scan your season pass to tap on and tap off when using the bus.

Employees of resorts are often provided with free transit access and their perks may differ from those associated with season passes. Season passholders should contact their resort rather than UTA for any transit-related questions.

FREE UTA Services included with the following season passes:
  • Alta: Bus, Ski Bus, TRAX, FrontRunner, VIA
  • Brighton: Bus, Ski Bus, TRAX, FrontRunner, VIA
  • Solitude: Ski Bus only
  • Snowbird: Ski Bus only
  • IKON: Ski Bus only
  • Powder Mountain: Bus, Ski Bus
  • Snowbasin: Bus, Ski Bus
  • Sundance: Ski Bus, UVX


HOW TO PAY - UTA goRIDE APP

Skip the entire process of purchasing a ticket or using cash or credit to pay by downloading the UTA GoRide app to your mobile phone. A credit or debit card can be added to pay for purchases and multiple fares can be purchased at once. You can purchase tickets directly through the app on your phone to store for future use. When you wish to redeem your fare, simply show the GQ code in the app to the bus driver. Tickets for the Ski Bus can be purchased at any time and used within the current ski season. For more information or to download the app, CLICK HERE


HOW TO PAY - CASH OR CREDIT

Should you not possess a resort season pass or your pass does not include a Ski Bus benefit, a one-way fare on the Ski Bus costs $5. UTA requests that riders have exact change when paying with cash as drivers are not able to provide change. Riders should have their money ready prior to boarding and should board at the front of the bus.A contactless credit card may also be used to purchase the fare when boarding the bus. Fares purchased for TRAX, FrontRunner, or other bus routes will also count toward your $5 fare on the Ski Bus. Be sure to get a transfer slip from the driver to cover your fare when moving from a train to the bus. 


HOW TO PAY - FAREPAY CARD

Purchase a prepaid, reloadable FAREPAY Card to remove the need to carry exact change or purchase tickets beforehand. As an added bonus FAREPAY cardholders earn 20% off local bus, TRAX, S-Line, Front Runner and Express Bus Fares (but not the Ski Bus). FAREPAY cards can be loaded with money and tapped on the Ski Bus’s card reader when boarding. Don’t forget to tap off when unloading the bus so the correct fare is charged. Click here to learn more or purchase a FAREPAY Card.



HOW TO CATCH A RIDE ON THE UTA SKI BUS


Skip ahead to the section of your choice to learn about routes and updates for each service. For complete details and the most up-to-date schedule, please visit the UTA Ski Bus webpage - here.

Another great tip: the Ski Utah Snow Report app is fully loaded with every ski bus route in the state! Download the app and find your way to powder on the UTA Ski Bus in just four clicks. Otherwise, keep scrollin' for Ski Bus info organized by region.

Use the Transit App
UTA is affiliated with the Transit app. This app provides current ride times, service updates and relevant information like planned road closures, service interruptions and more. Downloading this app before you ride will ensure a smooth experience. Click here to download. 

Arrive at the bus stop early.
Due to the current limitations on bus capacity, UTA does expect delays for passengers this season. All bus stops are marked by a blue sign with a Stop ID Number and a list of all the routes that use this location. The Stop ID Number can also 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 STOP ID Number.


 


BIG AND LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON SKI BUS SERVICE 

BRIGHTON, SOLITUDE, ALTA & SNOWBIRD

Best Days of the Week to Avoid Crowds:
Tuesday-Thursday

Best Times of Day to Avoid Crowds:
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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There are three UTA Ski Bus routes that service Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons and Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, and Solitude resorts. During peak times in the AM and PM the 994 and 972 Routes will deploy busses in 15-minute intervals. There will be 15 busses in total on the 953 Route. The 994 Route will feature 26 bus laps and much better coverage during the midday hours than in years past. The 972 Route will feature a robust 37 daily laps to keep people moving up and down Big Cottonwood Canyon efficiently. 
 
Route 953 - Midvale Ft. Union Station to Snowbird/Alta

Route 972 - Bingham Junction Station to Solitude/Brighton

Route 994 - Historic Sandy Station to Snowbird/Alta





UTAH COUNTY SKI BUS SERVICE 

SUNDANCE

Best Days of the Week to Avoid Crowds:
Monday-Thursday (January–February)
Avoid holidays and weekends

Best Times of Day to Avoid Crowds:
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Route 880 Orem to Sundance Resort. On weekdays, there will be three daily routes to Sundance. On weekends and holidays, UTA will run a total of 7 buses from the Orem Palisades Park and Ride lot.



WEBER AND DAVIS COUNTY SKI BUS SERVICE
 
SNOWBASIN AND POWDER MOUNTAIN

Best Days of the Week to Avoid Crowds:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Avoid holidays and weekends

Best Times of Day to Avoid Crowds:
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Routes 674
- Ogden to Powder Mountain via the Ogden Transit Center. The Ski Bus will link up with many routes via the Ogden Station stop.

Route 675 -  Ogden to Snowbasin Resort via the Ogden Transit Center. The Ski Bus will link up with many routes via the Ogden Station stop.

Route 677 - Layton to Snowbasin

PARK CITY - SALT LAKE CITY CONNECT
SERVICE BETWEEN SALT LAKE CITY AND PARK CITY - TO PARK CITY MOUNTAIN RESORT AND DEER VALLEY
  • UTA provides daily service from Salt Lake City to the Kimball Junction Transit Center on Routes 901 and 902.
  • Note that the service costs $5 and is not included in the purchase of Park City Mountain or Deer Valley season passes, click here for current information. 
  • The UTA Ski Bus Service provides transit to the Kimball Junction Transit Center which is also serviced by the Park City & Summit County Transit System, an entirely fare free bus system that provides routes to Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort
  • Note that the new Woodward Park City facility will be serviced by the Park City/Summit County Bus on the Pink Line.
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Routes 901 and 902 run from downtown Salt Lake City to the University of Utah and from midtown to the Kimball Junction Transit Center. Once there, you can transfer to the Park City Transit service, a FREE transit system fueled by biodiesel which services Kimball Junction, the Utah Olympic Park, Park City Mountain Resort, Park City's Historic Main Street, North of Main, and Deer Valley. Click here to access schedules and information for the Park City Transit system.

Route 901 - This route runs east and west on 3900 South to the Meadowbrook TRAX Station. There are two daily routes during weekdays and service is expanded on the weekends. 

Route 902 
- This route begins in downtown Salt Lake City, winding through the University of Utah campus, before heading on up to the Kimball Junction Transit Center. It offers a large number of routes during the weekdays and reduces to 2 trips on weekends. 

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HOW TO RIDE THE UTA SKI BUS - TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Many UTA Ski Bus stops have covered shelters. Some are even heated such as Snowbird's Cliff Lodge stop or the Alta's Goldminer's Daughter stop.
  • Ski Bus routes can be integrated with FrontRunner and TRAX or other UTA bus routes. Check the UTA website and utilize their Transit app to plot your day. 
  • Don't forget to pack a face covering or surgical mask. 
  • Ski Bus timetables shift every season. Always double check route information on the UTA website, the GoRide app, or the Ski Utah App to ensure your timetable is correct and that you have an updated schedule for the current season.
  • If you are paying cash, bring exact change or purchase a UTA FAREPAY card. Bus drivers do not provide change, which means your ride could be more expensive if you only have bills. In the time of COVID-19, we recommend using the FAREPAY or GoRide App payment systems. 
  • To ensure you're boarding the right bus, check the number displayed above the front windshield. 
  • If you need to transfer to another bus or a TRAX line, get a transfer slip from the driver. This is your only proof of fare when transferring. Transfer slips are valid for two hours after your initial ride. If using a FAREPAY card, your transfer will display in the app.
  • As you exit, remember to tap off, if you used your season pass, paid with FAREPAY, or another electronic form of payment. Tap the card reader you used when boarding.


ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING

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Along with riding the bus, it is helpful to use an electric car, if possible. To support these lower emission vehicles, Brighton, Snowbird, Alta, Deer Valley, Woodward Park City and Park City Mountain all offer electric vehicle charging stations! Take advantage of this free perk if you or a close friend or family member has an electric vehicle. 
  • Alta Ski Area: Find 2 EV stations, one at the east end of the Albion Day Lodge building from the Albion Base Area, and another (with prime parking) just north of the Buckhorn Lodge at the Wildcat base. These Level 2 chargers offer universal SAE J1722 adapters. 

  • Snowbird: Accessible via Entry 4 in the Snowbird Cliff Lodge Parking Structure are 4 Level 2 EV charging stations, available for year-round use. The stations, along with an additional 110-volt outlet are available to all electric car users. 
  • Brighton: A 240-volt public EV station  is located on the outer wall of the maintenance building (across the parking lot from the Brighton Center).

  • Deer Valley: EV charging stations are offered at the St. Regis Deer Valley, the Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley, and the Montage Deer Valley for guests.

  • Park City Mountain: In the underground parking garage located along Lowell Avenue, two EV stations are located on the second floor (green level) for the public to use near the elevators. Charging is free in the summer but there is a cost to use them in the winter months. 

  • Woodward Park City: supplements its MASSIVE solar energy installation with EV charging for guests. You'll find a number of charging stations at Woodward Park City on the northwest side of the lot near the Action Sports Hub building


Now quit reading and go experience the joys of ride-sharing for yourself!
If you still have questions, visit rideuta.com or call UTA Customer Service at (801) RIDE-UTA (743-3882).

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