Ski bus and on-demand west-side service fired up for UTA’s ‘Change Day’

TRAX from the airport will also begin running later on Sundays.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) UTA and Central Wasatch Commission members gather at the Big Cottonwood Canyon park and ride lot on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. Ski bus service to the Cottonwood canyons and to Snowbasin and Powder Mountain began Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.

Taking public transportation around the Salt Lake Valley got a little easier Sunday.

UTA fired up its ski bus fleet for the first time this season and extended its Sunday hours for TRAX service from the airport and elsewhere. On Monday, it will begin on-demand services for west-side locations.

The UTA has dubbed the annual switch-over “December Change Day.”

The ski bus is now offering daily service to and from Brighton, Solitude, Alta and Snowbird in the Cottonwood canyons through April 17. The fare is free for season-pass holders, including those with the Ikon pass. The ski bus is also offering daily routes to Snowbasin and Powder Mountain (which has not yet opened for the season) in Weber County through March 27. Those fares cost $5-$10 per person round trip.

Buses are scheduled to begin running to Sundance Resort in Utah County on Dec. 18. Buses to the Park City area run daily throughout the year.

Meanwhile, those looking to get around the Rose Park, Poplar Grove, Fairpark and Glendale neighborhoods will have a new option. The UTA’s on-demand service offers daily, one-way corner-to-corner service for $2.50 per person — though everyone will get 10 free rides through March 1. Similar to Uber, it uses mostly cars and vans, though transportation is limited to within those neighborhoods.

Rides are available from 4 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. They can be booked via the UTA On Demand app or by calling 385-217-8191.

That service will replace the 454 route from Stansbury Park to downtown and the F522 route along a section of 2200 West. Both have been discontinued by the UTA.

The final element of the switch-over is extending evening hours for TRAX and the S-Line. Now, the last Green Line train will leave the airport at 11:37 p.m. and arrive at its final destination, West Valley Central, at 12:25 a.m. The Blue Line and Red Line trains will also run close to midnight on Sundays, as will the S-Line streetcar.