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With nearly half-full Snowstangs, CDOT says bus service to ski areas has been a success so far

About 40% of riders have been from out-of-town

Colorado Department of Transportation unveiled the Snowstang bus service at Union Station Dec. 03, 2019. Three buses will start 40 days of roundtrip service to the Loveland Ski area, Arapahoe Basin and the Steamboat Resort as well as Howelsen Hill starting Saturday December 14, 2019 and continues every weekend through Sunday April 20, 2020. The busses carry 51 passengers that are climate controlled that have Wi-Fi access, a restroom and USB and power outlets. Tickets are $25 for Loveland and Arapahoe Basin, $40 to Steamboat.
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As the Colorado Department of Transportation prepares to run additional “Snowstang” buses on Martin Luther King Day to augment its regular weekend service, officials say the program has been successful so far in its first season of operation.

CDOT says the service is meeting its goal to cover 40% of its costs through rider fares. The rest of the cost for the service is being subsidized by the ski areas involved: Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Steamboat. The 51-seat buses to Loveland and A-Basin have been running 49% full, according to CDOT. Steamboat buses are running 30% full, exceeding CDOT’s expectation of 25%. And it turns out 40% of the riders are out-of-state or international tourists.

“The cooperative funding by Arapahoe Basin, Loveland Ski Area, Steamboat Resort and the Town of Steamboat means the no-net-cost to taxpayer goal is also being met,” said David Krutsinger, CDOT director of transit and rail. “This is a remarkable achievement.”

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CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson said discussions will be held soon to decide whether a separate pilot program — which ran buses from Denver to Estes Park a few weeks last summer and fall — will be made permanent.

“We felt the Bustang to Estes was successful,” Wilson said, “but may need some more time to add passengers.”

As of mid-morning Friday, seats on Snowstang buses this weekend and on Monday were still available. The roundtrip cost for Arapahoe Basin and Loveland is $25, and it is $40 for Steamboat.

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