Updated: November 2019
Use this guide to learn how to utilize the Utah Transit Authority’s Ski Bus system or download a ride-sharing mobile app to begin coordinating carpools and earning cool prizes, like half-price day tickets!
With the Cottonwood Canyon resorts all adopting the ride-sharing mobile phone applications for coordinating carpools and the expansion of UTA's Ski Bus service to many of Utah’s major resorts for the 2019-20 season, it'll be far easier to catch a ride this winter. By hopping aboard the bus or committing to carpool, you can be a critical player in helping to reduce emissions, traffic, and parking struggles. There is plenty of opportunity 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 keep the air a little clearer and purge cars from the pavement. Be it carpooling, ride-sharing, or bussing, we can all do more to Protect Our Winters
2019-20 UTA SKI BUS SERVICE & CARPOOLING UPDATES
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and several local non-profit organizations, ski resorts, and the Central Wasatch Commission have recently come together to achieve an increase in bus service and efficiency improvements for the 2019-20 season for travelers to Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude Mountain Resort and Sundance Mountain Resort. Additional buses will increase service, congested stops have been eliminated, and ski racks on select routes have been removed to accommodate more riders.
One of the most exciting developments is the adoption of ride-sharing apps by all Cottonwood Canyon resorts. It's now possible to find carpoolers, coordinate rides, and earn great perks and rewards at your favorite resort for carpooling or riding the Ski Bus.
HOW TO RIDE THE UTA SKI BUS
Scroll through here to find the section you need.
For route information, see below.
HOW TO PAY - LEARN THE ROPES
Paying for the bus doesn’t have to be a headache. Season pass holders have it fairly easy, as a free UTA Ski Bus pass is included with many types of resort season passes. You can also pay in cash or use a credit card or you can purchase a hassle-free FAREPAY card to prepay for rides. Tech savvy folks may prefer to use UTA’s free phone app to tap on and off and streamline the whole process. Choose the method that works best for you!
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.
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 just $4.50. UTA requests that riders have exact change or a contactless credit card to purchase the fare when boarding the bus. Fares purchased for TRAX, FrontRunner, or other bus routes will also count toward your $4.50 fare on the Ski Bus.
HOW TO PAY - FAREPAY CARD
Purchase a prepaid, reloadable FAREPAY Card to remove the need to carry exact change or purchase tickets beforehand. 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 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 through the app on your phone to store for future use. When you wish to redeem your fare, simply show the QR 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 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 - click 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.
Arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes early. 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 & LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON SKI BUS SERVICE
BRIGHTON, SOLITUDE, ALTA & SNOWBIRD
- Route service kicks off fully on December 1, 2019. Partial service will kick off on November 29, 2019.
- For 2019-20, the UTA service up Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons will speed up service and add more trips. High traffic stops have been eliminated to increase the efficiency of bus transit.
- The TRAX Bingham Junction Station stop on Route 972 and the Little Cottonwood Canyon Park & Ride stop on Route 994 have been eliminated to decrease transit time. (Riders should use the Midvale Fort Union TRAX Station or the 9400 South Park & Ride as alternative stops.)
- Rider capacity has been increased on Routes 953, 972, and 994 by removing ski racks and expanding seating.
There are three UTA Ski Bus routes that service Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons and Alta
, 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.
- Midvale Ft. Union Station to Snowbird/Alta
- Bingham Junction Station to Solitude/Brighton
- Historic Sandy Station to Snowbird/Alta
UTAH COUNTY SKI BUS SERVICE
- Route service in Utah County will kick off on December 21, 2019.
- Take advantage of the new Orem Palisade Park & Ride Lot, located at approx. 1350 E. and 850 N, in Orem.
- More bus trips have been added on Saturdays and holidays.
- Note: When returning from Sundance on the extended Saturday or holiday service routes, the customers riding to Provo Central Station, University Place, or the Harmon's stops should review the schedule and bus header. Do take a moment to confirm with the operator when boarding at Sundance which stops the route will service, since some trips will only stop at the new Orem Palisade Park & Ride lot
In Utah County, UTA runs the 880 Route
to provide transit 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 & Ride lot.
WEBER & DAVIS COUNTY SKI BUS SERVICE
SNOWBASIN & POWDER MOUNTAIN
- Bus service in Weber & Davis County will begin on December 14, 2019.
- A 12:15 PM trip on Route 667 from Snowbasin to Layton has been added on Saturdays and holidays from December 14 - March 29.
- There are no changes to Routes 674 and 675.
run from Ogden and Layton to Powder Mountain
and Snowbasin Resort
. These routes will run December 14, 2019. The Ski Bus will link up with many routes via the Ogden Station stop.
PARK CITY - SALT LAKE CITY CONNECT
SERVICE BETWEEN SALT LAKE CITY & PARK CITY - TO PARK CITY MOUNTAIN RESORT & 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 $4.50 and is not included in the purchase of Park City Mountain or Deer Valley season passes.
- 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 PCMR 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 Trip Planner to plot your day.
- Ski Bus timetables shift every season. Always double check route information on the UTA website, the GoRide app, the R.I.D.E. 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.
- To ensure you're boarding the right bus, check the number displayed above 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.
HOW TO CARPOOL UP THE COTTONWOODS
With an eye to the future and combatting canyon traffic, Snowbird released a carpool incentive program in 2016 to help employees and guests coordinate carpooling efforts while incentivizing participation with cool and meaningful prizes. In February of 2019, the program evolved into the R.I.D.E. mobile phone application to make participation a cinch with tools to coordinate carpooling or catch a lift on the Ski Bus. If you'd like to learn more about the R.I.D.E. app - just click here
In an exciting development for the 2019-20 season, guests of Alta, Brighton, and Solitude can also coordinate carpools or access the UTA Ski Bus schedule with the Ride Space App (available for iOS or Android). These ride-sharing apps help resort guests dramatically reduce the number of cars traveling up Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Once downloaded to your phone, the applications will prompt you to select a time and Park & Ride location and you can then opt to carpool with just your phone contacts or expand the pool to anyone using the app. With over 7,100 downloads already completed, there's bound to be plenty of like-minded folks ready to share a ride up the canyon. For more information on the R.I.D.E app across the cottonwoods, click here
Hilary Arens, Snowbird's Director of Sustainability & Water Resources, explains why the R.I.D.E. mobile app offers a novel approach to solving transportation issues, "R.I.D.E. provides people with immediate ways to choose more sustainable transit options now, instead of having to wait until larger-scale, long-term transportation improvement projects are initiated and completed. The data we collect can also help inform long-term improvements or future projects working towards various transportation solutions.”
The R.I.D.E. and Ride Space apps will track carpools with three or more riders, allowing guests to earn points to be redeemed for prizes and giveaways at their designated resort. Rides on the UTA Ski Bus can also be tracked on the R.I.D.E. app to earn points and rewards. All four Cottonwood resorts are offering sweet perks, drawings, prizes, and swag for those who opt to carpool or ride the bus. For information on prizing or FAQs, here are links to each resort's ride-sharing pages.
BRIGHTON RIDE SPACE APP
SOLITUDE RIDE SPACE APP
ALTA RIDE SPACE APP
SNOWBIRD R.I.D.E. APP
To see more information or download the app, visit the links above.
For FAQs - click here.
Photo @ Lexi Dowdall
While prizing and incentives vary between resorts, all are offering exclusive discounts, drawings, swag, and more. Here are a couple reasons to use the ride-sharing apps!
- The Grand Prize winner at Alta will receive a free ski pass for the following season. The top Ride Space app user each month will be awarded with 2 free day tickets.
- At Snowbird, every R.I.D.E. user who participates in 10 carpooling trips or bus rides per month will be entered in a monthly drawing to win one of 10 spaces on a pre-public, early morning Tram ride. This amazing perk is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and truly a special experience!
- Logging 10 rides scores you a half-price, transferrable lift ticket at Solitude.
- Logging 10 rides scores you a half-price, transferrable lift ticket at Brighton.
Download the ride-sharing apps today and start helping combat canyon traffic and reducing emissions.
By eliminating a trip from the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird, based on average MPG for a mid-sized SUV, you can prevent the usage of about 1 gallon of gas. Tally that gallon up each time you travel to a resort this season, and just think of the gas money you can save!
Participating in ride-sharing initiatives and making the commitment to change your habits will cascade into many positive outcomes.
- Reduced degradation to water quality and the watershed
- Reduced traffic
- Reduced parking congestion
- Reduced carbon emissions
- Making new friends and ski/ride buddies
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING
Along with riding the bus or carpooling, of course it is helpful to use an electric car, if possible. To support these lower emission vehicles, Brighton, Snowbird, and Alta all offer electric vehicle charging stations! Take advantage of this free perk if you or a carpooling buddy 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.
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).