Good News For Colorado Skiers: CDOT Announces "SnowStang" Pilot Bus Program with Service to Front Range Ski Resorts
Snowriders International praises the announcement from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) last week of the pilot “SnowStang” bus program, a bus that will offer round-trip service from Denver to the Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, and Winter Park ski areas on February 11th and 25th. The bus will travel along the I-70 corridor, which is notorious among Denver-area mountain recreationists for its extreme traffic on winter weekends, and offers the appealing option to kick back and relax in a comfortable coach bus, rather than brave the traffic oneself. Although SnowStang is only operating for two days this winter, Snowriders hopes to see it funded as a regular CDOT route in years to come. “We believe there is a great need for smarter transportation options from the Denver metro area to the mountains,” says Lucie Coleman, an organizer with Snowriders International. “A public bus system, like the SnowStang program, is a big step in the right direction in providing the more efficient and environmentally friendly transportation solutions that skiers and snowboarders are demanding.”
As mountain recreation enthusiasts flood out of Denver and into the mountains on weekends and holidays, highway traffic usually spikes causing terrible traffic jams, adding hours onto commutes, costing mountain communities hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and having big impacts on the environment. Idling cars greatly increase air pollution, threatening public health and contributing to climate change. What’s more, between 2001 and 2009 – the most recent data available – the average number of miles driven by 16 to 34-year-olds dropped by 23 percent. This is the main demographic heading out of Denver each weekend to ski and board. Mountain travelers are demanding 21st century transportation options like rideshares, bus, and rail that allows them to save money, make new friends, reduce traffic, and reduce their impact on the environment. America should not just accommodate skiers’ and boarders’ desire to drive less, but actively encourage it. Cities across the nation are leading the way by expanding public transportation options, and building new public transportation infrastructure. We are happy to see the Colorado Department of Transportation is part of this trend.
As there are increasingly more of these options for Coloradans can take advantage of, Snowriders will continue to push for greater levels of public funding, to continue to make mountain access in Colorado, and throughout the country, more affordable, efficient and green. We believe that efficient public transportation systems like rail and clean buses will make mountain transportation’s future better for everyone, not just skiers.