The CWC, UTA, and Partners Increase Ski Bus Service for the 19/20 Ski Season

Working together with member jurisdictions, ski resorts, Save Our Canyons, and Wasatch Backcountry Alliance, the Central Wasatch Commission and the Utah Transit Authority are increasing ski bus service for the 2019/2020 ski season to more efficiently serve Utahns and visitors as they travel to recreate at Brighton Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, or Snowbird.


UTA’s Cottonwood Canyon ski bus will be speeding up service and adding more trips to Snowbird, Alta Ski Area, Solitude Mountain Resort, and Brighton Resort. The public can anticipate the following improvements:


  • A 26 percent increase in trips on Route 953 (to Snowbird and Alta Ski Area) thanks to funding provided by the Central Wasatch Commission.
  • A 28 percent increase in trips on Route 972 (to Solitude Mountain Resort and Brighton Resort) to 79 trips per day, up from between 61 and 65 on various days now.
  • Route 972 (to Solitude Mountain Resort and Brighton Resort) will no longer serve the Bingham Junction Station on the TRAX Red Line, due to high traffic congestion which causes delays for ski bus riders. Riders are encouraged to use the Midvale Fort Union Station on the TRAX Blue Line.
  • Route 953 and Route 994 (to Snowbird and Alta Ski Area) will no longer serve the park and ride lot at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon, due to traffic congestion which causes significant delays. Bus riders are encouraged to use the park and ride lot located at 9400 South 2000 East. The Little Cottonwood Canyon Park & Ride lot will now be reserved for people carpooling.
  • To increase efficiency and capacity for more riders, the ski racks will be removed on Routes 953, 972 & 994. Riders are advised to hold their ski gear while riding the bus.



“This increase to the ski bus service for the 2019/2020 season shows what can happen when governments and community leaders work together,” said CWC Chair Chris McCandless. “The Central Wasatch Commission hopes the improved service will be a step towards fast, reliable, and sustainable transportation while allowing skiers more time on the famous Utah snow. The Central Wasatch Commission appreciates working with our Commission members, UTA, and private parties to bring about this exciting change.”


Riders will now have more trips available and more space inside the bus, with fewer stops slowing down the ride. UTA estimates that by removing the ski racks from inside the ski buses, more people can ride the bus, and removing the highly congested bus stops at the Bingham Junction TRAX station and the Little Cottonwood Canyon Park & Ride will speed up the ski bus service for riders.


“UTA is excited to partner with the Central Wasatch Commission, county and city officials to help improve transit service and reduce traffic in the Cottonwood Canyons. We are excited to improve ski bus service to our riders this season with more bus trips, more seat space and faster travel times,” said UTA Board Chair Carlton Christensen. “We want to thank the CWC for providing the funding to allow us to get more skiers up the slopes quicker, and we appreciate all the partners for their diligent work in seeking solutions to improve transportation in the Cottonwood Canyons.”


These changes are a direct result of funding from local jurisdictions, non-profit organizations, and the ski resorts,. This is a reflection of the community addressing service gaps to better serve more skiers and reduce traffic congestion.


The 2019/2020 ski bus service increase will continue during subsequent ski seasons, with UTA absorbing the new changes into its regularly provided service, meaning that faster, more reliable, and convenient ski bus service for the Cottonwood Canyons is the new norm. UTA will begin limited service in the Cottonwood Canyons earlier than December 1 depending on weather. UTA will announce the start of early ski service about one week in advance.


In an additional effort to curb traffic congestion, all four Cottonwood Canyon ski resorts are participating in the R.I.D.E (Reducing Individual Driving for the Environment) app for the 2019/2020 ski season. The R.I.D.E. carpool program encourages skiers to take the UTA ski bus or carpool with 3 or more people to any of the four Cottonwood Canyon ski resorts and rewards users with points redeemed for prizes. Season pass holders to any of the ski resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons are able to ride the ski bus free of charge.

Learn more about the R.I.D.E. app here.




15 thoughts on “The CWC, UTA, and Partners Increase Ski Bus Service for the 19/20 Ski Season”

  1. Brian N says:

    Good for skiers, but won’t help us backcountry users. Is UTA still charging $4.50 per person per direction? That’s $18 for my wife and I to travel 6 or so miles up the canyon. Maybe the contribution could reduce the cost of travel? I suspect that would increase ridership more than adding busses.

    1. Jeffrey Parriott says:

      I’m with you Brian, although I don’t utilize the backcountry, I drive a Prius with studded tires and other then the notion I’m saving congestion up the canyon, the cost of riding the bus outweighs my choice to drive up when I visit from Idaho.

  2. Matthew Lazanich says:

    Where does it say there will be any increase in BCC? Route 972?

  3. Matt says:

    Glad to see a real attempt at reducing canyon congestion. This is a sound step forward. Good work.

  4. Ernie D says:

    Awesome sauce!!!!! Thanks!!!

  5. rong o bong says:


  6. Alta Skier says:

    You need dedicated buses for Alta only and Snowbird only. Too much time is wasted stopping at Snowbird 4 times before going up the bypass road and finally getting to Alta. It’s great they eliminated that stop at the mouth of LCC, on many days it was impossible for the bus to even cross Hwy 210 to get into the park and ride, then it’s a nightmare trying to get out of that parking lot on heavy snow days. Nobody wants to ride the bus when it takes hours to get up there. But the biggest issue is that they need a dedicated bus lane up the canyons for any of this to matter.

  7. former employee says:

    I agree with not using the mouth of LCC parking lot for the buses. It is almost impossible for the buses to pull out into heavy traffic and in addition pulling into the parking lot they get off schedule with all the traffic that is in the parking lot trying to get out or cars just sitting in the way waiting to pick people up. I think it is a good idea. There is plenty of parking at 2000 and 9400. Sorry for folks that live close to the mouth but it doesn’t work the old way anymore.
    The next best thing is to make waiting cars to pull to the side of the road while waiting for road to open and not block the road for those emergency vehicles and the essential personnel of the ski areas. Not allowing the employees up before public is a real problem. Last year employees got turned around to 9400/2000 while public sat on the road and got to ski areas before employees.

  8. Peter Anderson says:

    For people with disabilities, will there be help loading and unloading the adaptive ski gear and have it placed slope side? The equipment is approximately 50 pounds and cumbersome.

  9. Charles D Fillmore says:

    What is CWC’s projected time table for prohibiting day skiers from driving their personal vehicles up to the Cottonwood canyon ski resorts?

  10. Rosco says:

    No increase in routes for 994? If you’re shifting riders from the base of LCC to 9400 s park and ride you should reconsider that strategy and add a few more routes for 994. This will be particularly needed on afternoons when the morning buses get off schedule due to a morning back up and never get back on track. This creates an unpredictable and long wait for the bus, and in the afternoon you can then drive up vs trying to find out when the bus might really show up. I have tracked the bus using app before and it was clear it was so far off schedule that waiting would result in an hour of skiing lost. But with an extra route I would have lived with a small delay. Convincing my whole family to take the bus and lose an hour of skiing is hard since we’re carpooling anyway. But for a relatively short wait it is a win for everyone. Furthermore, imagine the backup to get down the canyon on a busy day on the 994 with the same number of routes and more people competing for a seat. You might shoot the plan in the foot out the gate. Kudos though on making a move in the right direction

  11. deb sussman says:

    holding on to my skies boots and poles will be lots of fun.

  12. Doug says:

    Will UTA buses drop off, pick up backcountry users at trailheads?

  13. John says:

    Trying to find day parking at the bottom of the canyons is *impossible* unless you are there by 7am or earlier. I’ve found it much easier to put a thumb out and “rideshare” my way up and down BCC. The hike from/to the car sucks but worth saving the emissions.

  14. Blake Quinton says:

    This “To increase efficiency and capacity for more riders, the ski racks will be removed on Routes 953, 972 & 994. Riders are advised to hold their ski gear while riding the bus” is a terrible idea. I take the bus up and down BCC once or twice almost every winter weekend. There is rarely proper seating space for my child. And now I have to hold them, plus their ski stuff, plus my ski stuff. How is that going to work? People are going to end up laying their stuff down in the seat next to them or down the aisle further restricting the number of people that can ride on the bus. Or small families just won’t use the ski bus.

    There have to be ski racks for the ski stuff of children and the disabled at a minimum. Stop removing them all immediately.

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