The Ski Bus Priority Access Program Recap

 The Central Wasatch Commission wrapped up the third successful year of the Ski Bus Priority Access Program, which it initiated in 2021 to creatively address the traffic congestion on State Road 190 and Wasatch Boulevard on days that Little Cottonwood Canyon is closed for avalanche mitigation work. This CWC-led program is a multi-jurisdiction effort in partnership with the Utah Transit Authority, the Utah Department of Transportation, Cottonwood Heights and Sandy City, and the CWC receives appropriated funding from the Utah State legislature to facilitate the service.


On Little Cottonwood Canyon closure days, Sandy City police direct vehicles waiting to enter the canyon to line up on northbound shoulder of Wasatch Boulevard south of Little Cottonwood Canyon Road. In addition to keeping commuter and local traffic moving as normal along Wasatch Boulevard, this service eliminates traffic congestion on Little Cottonwood Canyon Road and allows the 994 bus to travel freely along this road from the UTA Park and Ride lot at 2000 East and 9400 South to the mouth of the canyon, where they are granted priority access into the canyon by Sandy PD.



“On behalf of the Central Wasatch Commission, I am proud to help facilitate fast, reliable, and safe public transit for canyon recreationalists while working to offset traffic congestion for commuters along Wasatch Boulevard on canyon closure days.” Central Wasatch Commission Chair and Mayor of Millcreek, Jeff Silvestrini, said. “The Central Wasatch Commission appreciates working with our Commission members, UDOT, and UTA to provide this service for the third consecutive year.” 


This traffic control and Ski Bus Priority Access Program:

  • Facilitates orderly traffic
  • Frees up the roads for local commuters
  • Reduces frustration for residents, commuters, and resort-goers
  • Decreases travel time on the ski bus by an average of 50 minutes, or 34%
  • Incentivizes public transit by prioritizing bus access to the canyon
  • Reduces cars on the road
  • Provides for better safety for visitors and residents
  • More efficiently serves visitors and residents as they recreate in Little Cottonwood Canyon.


According to UTA, the average ride time between the 9400 South and Highland Park & Ride lot and the Little Cottonwood Park & Ride lot was 14 minutes during the 2023/2024 ski season. This is a considerable ride-time reduction between these Park & Ride lots, a direct result of the Ski Bus Priority Access Program. Not only has the program reduced travel time for the 994 ski bus, it has increased safety, and reduced traffic congestion for local and commuter traffic.


This public service is a reflection of the community taking creative steps to address traffic congestion to better serve winter canyon users. For the most up-to-date and more detailed ski maps and bus schedules, visit, and

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