Snowstang skier bus set to make first trip to Summit County next week | SummitDaily.com

Snowstang skier bus set to make first trip to Summit County next week

The Snowstang bus line to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
Courtesy CDOT

FRISCO — Snowstang has arrived.

Officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation and Gov. Jared Polis gathered Wednesday morning outside of Denver Union Station to officially drop the curtain on Snowstang, the state’s newest bus service ushering Front Range passengers to ski areas around the Western Slope.

“We’re excited to launch Snowstang, which will help move more people to the mountains quicker and ease the journey for hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who enjoy our fantastic winter resorts every year,” Polis said at the event. “Thank you to (CDOT Executive Director) Shoshana Lew and our tremendous team at CDOT for helping to get this bus service on the road. CDOT partnered with each resort so that residents and visitors alike could have another convenient and cost-effective way to access all the amazing experiences our world-class destinations have to offer.”

The service comes as part of an extension of the existing Bustang program, CDOT’s interregional express bus service that carries passengers around the state from Grand Junction to Lamar and Durango to Fort Collins. Snowstang will represent CDOT’s second attempt to take passengers directly to ski areas.

Bob Wilson, CDOT’s statewide communications manager, said the department tried a similar program in 2017 that failed due to prohibitive ticket prices. This year, CDOT was able to team up with ski areas that will help to subsidize ticket costs in return for a direct route to their resorts and a wrap around the Snowstang buses that will help to advertise the areas during the week — something Wilson called rolling billboards.

“We tried it for just about two weekends,” Wilson said. “We were never able to subsidize the routes at that time. People had to pay a significant fare, and it was quite pricey. We felt it was a good idea, and it would help alleviate some of the traffic on the corridor while still getting people up to the ski areas. But we had very low ridership.

“We still thought it was a good option if we could make it work. So we went back to the drawing board, and the new Polis administration asked us to take another look and see if this was something doable. We thought if we were able to work out an agreement with ski areas willing to come to the table, we could brand these buses with Snowstang and their individual logos. Sure enough, they were interested.”

Snowstang services will kick off Saturday, Dec. 14, taking passengers on luxury coaches from Denver Union Station downtown or the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Loveland Ski Area and Steamboat Resort and Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs.

For the A-Basin and Loveland ski area lines, the service will run back and forth Saturdays and Sundays from Dec. 14 through April 19, in addition to Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day. The Steamboat Springs line — which includes routes to Steamboat Resort and Howelsen Hill — also will run on the weekends and holidays but will head to the mountains on Saturdays and return to Denver on Sundays.

The service — operated by Ace Express Coaches out of Golden — carries 51 passengers and features the same amenities included on all Bustang buses, including a restroom, Wi-Fi access, USB and power outlets and more.

While the service is just starting up again, officials are hopeful it can put a small dent in the amount of weekend traffic heading to the mountains. If things go well, the service might even be able to expand to other areas in the future.

“We’re just really glad we were able to find these ski resorts willing to step up to the table and partner with us and see if we can make this an effective and convenient alternative system for skiers, snowboarders and other recreational users,” Wilson said. “We’re really hoping that it’s successful. We’ll never know until we give it another try, but anything we can do to try and enhance the travel experience for residents and visitors is definitely a win.”

Round trip tickets for the Loveland and A-Basin lines begin at $25, and round trip tickets for the Steamboat Springs line begin at $40. There are discounts available for seniors and children. To purchase tickets or learn more about the service, visit ridebustang.com or download the JustRide Bustang app for Apple and Android.

Snowstang schedule

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area line

Runs Saturdays and Sundays from Dec. 14 through April 19, along with Mondays Jan. 20 and Feb. 17.

Westbound:
• Departs Denver Union Station at 6:15 a.m.
• Departs Federal Center Station at 6:40 a.m.
• Arrives at A-Basin at 8:30 a.m.

Eastbound:
• Departs A-Basin at 4 p.m.
• Arrives at Federal Center Station at 5:40 p.m.
• Arrives at Denver Union Station at 6:05 p.m.

Loveland Ski Area line

Runs Saturdays and Sundays from Dec. 14 through April 19, along with Mondays Jan. 20 and Feb. 17.

Westbound:
• Departs Denver Union Station at 6:25 a.m.
• Departs Federal Center Station at 6:55 a.m.
• Arrives at Loveland at 8:30 a.m.

Eastbound:
• Departs Loveland at 4 p.m.
• Arrives at Federal Center Station at 5:35 p.m.
• Arrived at Denver Union Station at 5:55 p.m.

Steamboat Springs line

Westbound: Runs Saturdays from Dec. 14 through April 18, in addition to Sundays Jan. 19 and Feb. 16.
• Departs Denver Union Station at 5:25 a.m.
• Departs Federal Center Station at 5:55 a.m.
• Arrives at Steamboat Resort at 9:30 a.m.
• Arrives at Stockbridge Transit Center (west Steamboat) at 9:45 a.m.

Eastbound: Runs Sundays from Dec. 15 through April 19, in addition to Mondays Jan. 20 and Feb. 17.
• Departs Stockbridge Transit Center at 3:30 p.m.
• Departs Steamboat Resort at 4 p.m.
• Arrives at Federal Center Station at 7:30 p.m.
• Arrives at Denver Union Station at 7:55 p.m.

Schedules may vary depending on weather and road conditions.


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