OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Central Wasatch Commission: third year of ski bus priority was “successful”

Jun 11, 2024, 4:00 PM

A red and white ski bus labeled with the UTA logo...

A bus rider waits to enter the Utah Transit Authority TRAX line at the Alta Ski Resort on Sunday, March 5, 2023. (Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

(Ryan Sun/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Tuesday, the Central Wasatch Commission said the third year of its Ski Bus Priority Access Program was “successful.” 

The program began in 2021 according to a press release from the Central Wasatch Commission. The idea was to ease winter traffic congestion in and around Little Cottonwood Canyon.

In particular, the program eases congestion on days when the road is closed for avalanche mitigation. 

Additionally, the ski bus priority program has helped ease traffic congestion on Wasatch Boulevard according to the release.

Officials said the average ride time was considerably reduced during the 2023-2024 ski season. From the 9400 S. and Highland Park and Ride to the Little Cottonwood Canyon Park and Ride, it was 14 minutes. 

The report came from the Utah Transit Authority. However, no average ride times for travel up or down the canyon were provided. 

“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,” said Jeff Silvestrini, the chair of the Central Wasatch Commission.  

How does the Ski Bus Priority Access Program work? 

According to the press release, the program keeps traffic moving freely by providing priority access to ski buses. 

“[It] 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,” the Central Wasatch Commission said. 

When the buses reach the mouth of the canyon, they are granted priority access to SR-210. The buses provide access to Snowbird and Alta. 

“The Central Wasatch Commission appreciates working with our Commission members, UDOT, and UTA to provide this service for the third consecutive year,” said Silvestrini. 

Related: Meet Junior Bounous, the 98-year-old powder skiing pioneer

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Central Wasatch Commission: third year of ski bus priority was “successful”