CDOT’s Snowstang Bus Service To Loveland, A-Basin And Steamboat Starts Next Weekend

Nathaniel Minor/CPR News
CDOT’s Snowstang buses will run from Denver to Loveland, Arapahoe Basin and Steamboat this season.

The Colorado Department of Transportation's bus service to a handful of ski areas launches Dec. 14.

It's the second try for CDOT. The agency's initial foray in 2017 only ran a few weekends out of the winter. But this season's iteration will last until April 20, 2020.

Buses will pick up passengers at Union Station in Denver and the Federal Center in Lakewood and carry them to stops in Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, Steamboat Resort, and Howelson Hill in Steamboat Springs.

For Denver-area skiers, it's one of the only options for getting to those areas without a car. Existing private services mostly cater to out-of-state travelers arriving at Denver International Airport.

Ski areas are kicking in a subsidy to bring prices down, CDOT says. Round-trip tickets will cost $25 to Loveland and Arapahoe Basin, and $40 to Steamboat.

"That can save money compared to the cost of using a car and parking and all the other inconveniences," said Gov. Jared Polis at a press conference at Union Station Wednesday. "You don't have to worry about driving in the mountains."

Buses to Loveland and A-Basin will leave the Denver area around 6 a.m. and return around 6 p.m. the same day. The Steamboat service will leave Saturday mornings and return Sunday evenings. Service will also run on Martin Luther King, Jr. and President's Day weekends.

The buses are equipped with Wi-Fi and power outlets, and have restrooms as well. Tickets are on sale now on CDOT's website.

Snowstang is a spinoff from CDOT's popular Bustang service that launched in 2015. The agency has plans to expand the size and scope of that service -- and, Polis said, Snowstang, too.

"If it catches on, we can expand the timing of the offerings," Polis said. "We can even look at going to more ski locations."

While the state is currently exploring passenger rail up and down the Front Range, there are no active plans to build a passenger train of any sort along the congested I-70 mountain corridor. One previous study of different types of trains from Denver to Eagle County estimated a train system could cost $10 billion to $32 billion.

If you are deadset on taking a train to the slopes, your only option is Amtrak's popular Winter Park Express.