Oct 8, 2019 -- Posted by : goi70

In an effort to provide an additional layer of transportation to the mountains this winter, the I-70 Coalition is excited to support CDOT’s Snowstang program! Snowstang is an express bus service with direct routes from Denver to Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, and Steamboat Resorts. Buses are clean and comfortable, 51-seat motor coaches with reclining seats, restrooms, wifi, and electrical outlets. The service will be operating Saturdays and Sundays between December 14th and April 19th, and will include Monday service on MLK and Presidents’ Day.  Rates for Snowstang are extremely competitive at $25 for Arapahoe Basin and Loveland roundtrips, and $40 for Steamboat Springs. 

Snowstang is an off-shoot of CDOT’s successful and growing Bustang program. Bustang currently operates a North Line with 8 daily trips between Denver and Fort Collins, a South Line with 7 daily trips between Denver and Colorado Springs, and a West Line with 3 daily trips between Denver and Grand Junction (which includes stops at the Frisco Transfer Center, and others – enabling passengers to link with the Summit Stage and local transit). In hearing some confusion, we want to reiterate that while Snowstang and the Bustang West Line both operate on I-70, they are different services. The West Line operates daily and is geared towards a variety of travelers who need to get to a variety of places; Snowstang is more of a ‘ski bus’ for resort day-trippers. It will run only on weekends, and at times ideal for skiers – leaving Denver early in the morning and returning later in the afternoon. It will also run directly from Denver to each of the participating resorts listed above: for example, if a passenger boards the Loveland bus in Denver, that bus will only go directly to Loveland’s doorstep. 

While most Bustang service is supported by state and federal funding, we are extremely proud to say that Snowstang is funded not by public money but by participating ski resorts and their support of I-70 solutions! When planning this program, I-70 Coalition worked with CDOT to introduce Snowstang’s concept to all of Summit and Eagle County’s ski resorts. Each resort was asked to contribute funding for the operation of this service (and the remaining operating cost would be paid for by bus ticket sales). Of those asked – Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, and Steamboat jumped at the opportunity to have their own express bus services and they have been tremendous partners!

While bus service alone is not enough to fix the congestion problem, Snowstang is a great starting point and it has value for a number of reasons.

  1. Sitting in a comfy bus seat, reading a book or watching a movie is far better than white-knuckle battling for position on I-70 
  2. Successful ridership numbers is a proof of concept that justifies expansion and encourages more private sector funding participation 
  3. If scaled properly it can actually have a huge congestion reduction impact and air quality improvement 

The most important thing to remember is that Snowstang’s success relies on YOU. If you want to see more bus service and more I-70 solutions then ride it, celebrate its existence, and spread the word. If you want to encourage more towns and ski resorts to participate in this project and fund this service – please write to them and let them know! They care about making you happy, but they aren’t mind-readers and won’t know it’s important to you unless you tell them. Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, and Steamboat really do deserve an enormous shout-out. We hope we can celebrate these resorts, capitalize upon their success, and continue encouraging stakeholders to invest in great programs that will improve air quality, safety, and traffic on the I-70 Mountain Corridor. These stakeholders can even include you, and we do hope you can carpool more, book a shuttle, ride the bus, travel at off-peak hours, share our successes, and write to your ski resorts and legislators. Thanks for your continued support!


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