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How To Use Public Transport in Salt Lake

Thursday January 3, 2019
By Toni Isom


Whether you flew into Salt Lake for work or play—or maybe you live here and don’t own or want to drive a car—you can get almost everywhere you want to go on public transit. By taking a UTA bus or train, you can travel all the way from downtown to Sandy for a fraction of what it would cost to Uber or Lyft. You can even get to the ski resorts for just a few bucks without ever having to rely on a car. Here’s everything you need to know to use public transportation in Salt Lake.

How to Ride the Bus

If you’re unfamiliar with the Salt Lake bus system, start by using the UTA Trip Planner. This handy tool will help you figure out which bus stop to head to, which bus to board, and at which stop you’ll want to get off or transfer to another route.

Get to your stop at least five minutes early. You can check the next three bus arrival times for that station by texting the stop number printed on the sign to 882-882 (UTA-UTA). The reply text will also provide the route number and final destination of each of these three buses.

When your bus arrives, hop on and pay your fare. Here’s a link to current fares. You can pay with exact change (keep in mind that drivers can’t give change), or by tapping your bus pass, prepaid UTA FAREPAY card, or Ski City Super Pass (if you’re en route to the resorts) on the electronic reader.

If you need to connect to another bus or a TRAX train, ask your bus driver for a transfer when you board. You can use this transfer on a UTA bus or TRAX light rail train within two hours of your initial ride.

When you’re almost to your destination, let the driver know you’d like to hop off at the next stop by pulling the cord or pushing the call strip. If you paid with a bus pass, FAREPAY card, or Super Pass, tap it on the reader again as you exit the bus.

How to Ride TRAX Light Rail & Streetcar

There are 4 TRAX lines in the Salt Lake Valley: the Blue Line, the Red Line, the Green Line, and the S Line Streetcar. This map shows each line’s stops and final destinations. TRAX trains stop at every station on their respective lines—no need to request a stop. You can connect to the FrontRunner commuter rail from the North Temple, Salt Lake, and Murray Central Stations.

Trains generally arrive every 15 minutes. Schedules are posted at every platform, or you can view TRAX schedules here. Get to your station early enough to buy a ticket from the vending machine. Here’s a link to current fares. If you have a Ski City Super Pass (and are headed to the resorts), a FAREPAY card, or a transit pass, just tap it on the electronic reader before you board the train. Your ticket can be reused on any TRAX train or UTA bus within two hours of your initial ride. Also note that no ticket is required if you’re boarding and exiting the train within the Free Fare Zone, shown in light blue on this map.

Make sure you’re on the right side of the train platform (overhead signs will tell you), and when the train arrives, make sure it’s the line you want (the front of the train will say Blue, Red, or Green). Wait for other folks to get off, and then climb aboard.

When you reach your stop, push the button near the door to exit the train. If you “tapped on” when you boarded, don’t forget to “tap off” after you exit.

How to Ride FrontRunner

FrontRunner, UTA’s commuter rail line, runs 89 miles across the Wasatch Front, servicing 16 different stations, shown on the purple line on this map. FrontRunner stops at all of these stations—no need to request a stop—and you can catch a UTA bus from any of them. Connect to a TRAX line from the North Temple, Salt Lake, and Murray Central Stations.

As with TRAX stations, get to your FrontRunner station with plenty of time to buy a ticket. Here’s a link to the FrontRunner schedule, and you can view the current ticket price here. Your FrontRunner ticket can be reused on any UTA bus or TRAX line within two hours of purchasing it. You can also simply tap your FAREPAY card or transit pass on the reader before boarding. Before the train arrives, make sure you’re standing on the correct side of the platform.

A few things to note about FrontRunner: The first car(s), single-level cars called the Comet Cars, have steps and are not accessible to wheelchairs or bikes, but the bi-level cars behind the Comet Cars are all accessible. You can sit on the main, mezzanine, or upper levels of these cars. If you need help, just ask a UTA train host. They’ll be walking through the train during your ride.

When you reach your stop, push the button near the door to exit the train. If you “tapped on” when you boarded, don’t forget to “tap off” after you exit.

How to Ride the Ski Bus

Ski bus service usually runs from late November/early December through March or April. The Salt Lake County ski busses will take you to Solitude Mountain Resort, Brighton Resort, Snowbird, and Alta Ski Area. The Solitude/Brighton bus connects to TRAX at the Bingham Junction Station, and the Snowbird/Alta bus connects to TRAX at the Midvale/Ft. Union Station and the Historic Sandy Station. You can also catch a bus ride to the resorts at several Park ‘n’ Ride lots.

See all stops on bus route 953 to Snowbird and Alta.

See all stops on bus route 994 to Snowbird and Alta.

See all stops on bus route 972 to Solitude and Brighton.

Get to your stop early, and have exact fare ready. The 2018/19 fare is $4.50. You can also just tap your Ski City Super Pass or FAREPAY card upon boarding and exiting.

Also Learn About:

Summit, Weber, & Utah County Ski Bus Routes
Salt Lake to Park City Connect
Bikes on Public Transportation (Video)
Park & Ride Lots (Map)
UTA Holiday Service