Colorado’s transportation department is keeping up its effort to provide alternative travel across the state with its latest rollout, the “Snowstang,” a round-trip bus service that transports travelers from Denver to three ski areas, along with all their gear.
The new service is the “sister” of Bustang, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s interregional express bus system. Snowstang takes off Dec. 14 and will provide 40 days of service every weekend through April 20. It aims to provide an affordable and convenient way to move people to the mountains while decongesting Colorado’s most crowded corridors, including stretches of Interstate Highway 70.
“By providing more alternatives for people to go in buses … we can also have an impact of reducing traffic during peak times on a corridor that is not only important economically for our communities in the high country, but is also a really important contributor to our Colorado way of life and why we choose to live here,” Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said during a Wednesday press conference at Union Station.
Snowstang is an addition to the Amtrak Winter Park Express, which serves Winter Park from Denver Union Station. Passengers can board at Union Station or the Denver Federal Center and make their way by bus to Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, Steamboat Resort and Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs.
Roundtrip tickets begin at $25 and max out at $40. Discounted fares are available for children and seniors.
Polis said adding another means of “convenient and cost-effective” transportation is only a step.
“We know that another bus can also help cut down on congestion and traffic,” the governor said, “but it’s obviously not the complete solution.”
He pointed to other efforts of his administration, including the groundbreaking of the new westbound tollway earlier this year. He also highlighted the budget he submitted to the state legislature, which allocated more than $600 million dollars toward investments in transportation infrastructure and capacity to free up highways and fix Colorado’s “crumbling" roads.
Snowstang will also “take cars … out of ski areas’ parking lots and help the state, ski areas, and bus riders meet carbon reduction and sustainability goals," said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA.
The program is part of the governor’s broader goal to reduce emissions by half come 2030, and 90% by 2050.
Snowstang is operated by Ace Express Coaches, LLC of Golden, and carries 51 passengers. Buses are climate controlled and offer Wi-Fi, public restrooms, and power outlets.
“Although it’s a pilot program at this point, we’re confident that the convenience and amenities of using this easy way to get to the mountains will provide the beginning of what we hope to be a long and fruitful service,” CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said.