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UTA to add more ski buses this season

SALT LAKE CITY, UT  — There will be more ski buses hauling winter recreationists and their gear up Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons this winter.

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA), the Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) and ski resorts, along with Save ur Canyons and the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance say the goal is to serve users more efficiently as they travel to several of Utah’s renowned ski resorts.

“This increase to the ski bus service for the 2019/2020 season,” CWC Chair Chris McCandless said, “shows what can happen when governments and community leaders work together.”

In a statement, UTA announced that the 26% increase in trips up Little Cottonwood Canyon (Route 953) will begin on November 23, 2019.

Along with adding bus service up the canyons, UTA is also removing some services they’ve offered in past ski seasons.

For example, Route 972 which serves Solitude and Brighton resorts in Big Cottonwood Canyon will no longer stop at the Bingham Junction Station on the TRAX Red Line. A statement indicates that that stop leads to high traffic congestion and delays.

Instead, riders are encouraged to use the Midvale Fort Union Station on the TRAX Blue Line.

Another big change is coming to the park and ride lot at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Namely, neither route 953 or route 972 will stop at that park and ride beginning November 23rd.  The UTA says this change will help to alleviate traffic congestion and significant delays.

The UTA suggests using the park and ride lot at 9400 South and 2000 East, instead.

Along with the number of buses and changes to the existing routes, UTA is also making changes to the interior of the ski buses.  Namely, they’ve removed the interior ski racks. The UTA says this will allow for more riders to board ski buses. However, riders will now have to hold their skis instead of placing them in interior racks.

Finally, Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude resorts will all use the Reducing Individual Driving for the Environment app.  R.I.D.E. is a carpool program that encourages skiers to take the UTA ski bus or carpool with 3 or more people to any of the four ski resorts.