Expanded ski bus services from UTA offer riders more options

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS – Some people began using ski bus services for the first time over the weekend, but Tuesday UTA officially kicked things off.

With ski resorts opening their season, traffic in the Cottonwood Canyons can be challenging.

Skier Bruno Bicelli parks at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon and catches a bus up to Brighton Ski Resort.

“Parking has been OK so far, but really busy," Bicelli said.

UTA celebrated the official start to their new ski bus service. They hope to make more room at Park and Rides and on the road.

“With only about 10 percent more resources, we're adding 35 percent more service,” said Jerry Benson, UTA President and CEO.

For the first time, UTA will offer ski bus service every 15 minutes during peak hours, and every 30 minutes during regular hours.

“It gives people a lot more options throughout the day to decide when they want to come and go,” Benson said.

Snowbird Ski Resort says their partnership with UTA will benefit customers.

“A lot of times when the bus did run, people couldn't get a seat on the bus or had to stand up all the way up and down Little Cottonwood Canyon,” said Bob Bonar, General Manager at Snowbird Ski Resort.

UTA has also mapped out what they see as better connections for people to take existing TRAX or FrontRunner service to catch ski buses in Midvale, Murray and Sandy. This will give people more parking options in the valley.

“Everything we can do to reduce the auto traffic up the canyon helps the wear and tear on the roads, the pollution into the waterways, but also really helps with air quality issues,” Benson said.

Bicelli is a season pass holder, so the bus service is free. For others, it costs $4.50 each way.

The service makes financial sense.

“If you can seat about 30 people in the bus, 30 less cars going up, so if you think of it that way it is actually a good thing,” Bicelli said.

For a look at schedules and fares, click here.