Ski Bus Bypass Service


Working together with Sandy City, UDOT, and the Utah Transit Authority, the Central Wasatch Commission is providing a bypass service for the UTA ski bus along the route 994 for the 2023/2024 ski season to more efficiently serve Utahns and visitors as they take public transit to recreate in the Cottonwood Canyons.

On Cottonwood Canyon closure days, the UTA ski bus will be ferried from the UTA Park and Ride lot at 2000 East and 9400 South in Sandy to the Park and Ride lot at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon by a Sandy City police escort. In its pilot year (2021/2022 ski season), the ski bus bypass service reduced travel time by 50 minutes, or 34%. The CWC and partners hope to replicate that travel time reduction for the ski bus after another successful during the 2022/2023 season.

 

 

“The UTA bus bypass service helps to mitigate traffic congestion encountered by the Ski Bus on its way to the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon,” the Chair of the Central Wasatch Commission, Christopher F. Robinson remarked, “On behalf of the Central Wasatch Commission, I am proud to help facilitate fast, reliable, and safe public transit for canyon recreationalists. The Central Wasatch Commission appreciates working with our Commission members, UDOT and UTA to provide this exciting service for the second consecutive year.”

Since the 1970s, Utah Transit Authority has proudly connected skiers and slopes across the Wasatch Front. That tradition continues in 2024. UTA is maximizing its available resources to provide a high level of ski bus service this season.

“Although UTA faces staffing shortages like other business and transit agencies, we are operating our ski buses the same hours and days of the week as before, with some schedule changes,” said Carlton Christensen, Chair of the UTA Board of Trustees. “Many ski bus services are the same as ever, and they feature several improvements.”

Visit rideuta.com/ski for schedule details and changes. Below is a summary of UTA Ski Bus service this year.

 


 

What’s improving:

  • New 40-foot Gillig buses with 20% more space
  • Police escorts during heavy traffic days
  • Maintenance vehicles at ski resorts to fix bus mechanical issues immediately

 

What stays the same:

  • Available Monday to Sunday for most resorts
  • Service to Alta, Brighton, Powder Mountain, Solitude, Snowbird, Snowbasin, and Sundance Ski Resort
  • Free with Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird, Sundance, and IKON Season Passes
  • $10 round-trip bus fare without season passes
  • Safer and more reliable than cars during harsh winter weather
  • Reduces canyon traffic, parking, and pollution

 

What’s changing:

  • Buses arrive every 30 minutes
  • Route 972 will no longer service Albion Day Lodge or the Town of Alta, and will end at Goldminer’s Daughter
  • Route 953 will not operate for this season, so riders should use Route 994 as an alternative
  • Route 674, 675, and 677 offers more midday and less peak trips

 


 

Despite these reductions in ski bus service, the bus bypass program aims to increase efficiencies for the existing ski bus route 994, and incentive public transit for winter canyon users. This public service is the culmination of a months-long collaborative planning effort from the CWC, UTA, UDOT, and Sandy City with investment from all partners. Sandy City Police will be escorting the UTA ski buses along Route 994 between the Sandy City Park and Ride lot to the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Sandy City Mayor and Central Wasatch Commission Commissioner, Monica Zoltanski said, “A shared goal for the CWC and Sandy City is to facilitate and implement effective canyon transportation solutions, which we are helping to achieve through the UTA Ski Bus bypass service. I am proud that Sandy City has partnered with the Central Wasatch Commission for the second consecutive year to provide a police bypass service for the UTA Ski Bus which contributes to a more efficient and pleasant Ski Bus experience for riders.”

The ski bus bypass service is a direct result of funding from the Central Wasatch Commission, with investment from Sandy City and UTA, and will coincide with Canyon closure days. This is a reflection of the community taking creative steps to address traffic congestion to better serve winter canyon users.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE UTAH TRANSIT AUTHORITY

The Utah Transit Authority is a special service district responsible for providing public transportation throughout the Wasatch Front of Utah, in the United States, which includes the metropolitan areas of Box Elder, Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele and Utah counties. For detailed ski maps and schedules, visit rideuta.com/ski.