Utah commuters have a way to get anywhere they want downtown, and many places beyond, without having to rely on too much driving or even walking. The main source of public transportation is the Utah Transit Authority, known simply as UTA (RideUTA.com), which was founded in 1970 and runs hundreds of vehicles—including buses and light-rail trains—throughout the Wasatch Front, covering a 1,600-square-mile service area. Salt Lake City streets are also friendly to cyclists, so whatever emergency situation—or sudden craving for faraway food—you may encounter, Salt Lake City has a solution.
Problem: I ride UTA for free as a U student, but I don’t live on the Trax line—and sometimes if I trudge to a stop, there isn’t enough room for me on the train anyway.
Solution: The bus is typically much less crowded than the train. For downtown residents, the No. 2 bus (200 South), with stops just two blocks away from many Red Line Trax stations, drops its riders off at both the U’s Presidents Circle and near the student union. There’s even an express route (2X) that runs in the mornings.
If you’re located in the Avenues, the No. 3 (Third Avenue), No. 6 (Sixth Avenue) and No. 11 (11th Avenue) buses stop in those neighborhoods and go straight to the U.
Those living in the Sugar House or Liberty Heights areas can also take the 9, 17, 21 and 213 routes directly to the U, and, if you reside a little farther south, routes 220, 223 and 228 will get you there as well.
Problem: It’s really cold out and I’m tired of speculating when the bus is going to come.
Solution: Google Maps. The app, available on both iPhone and Android, gives you schedules of all buses and trains run by UTA, as well as real-time GPS tracking of certain vehicles, making it possible for you to wait until the last possible minute to leave your place.
Problem: I’ve heard a lot about the culture in Sugar House, but it seems a little out of my way. How can I explore it?
Solution: The recently opened Sugar House S-Line branches off of Trax at Central Pointe Station (2100 South), and takes its riders east through the central Sugar House area. A recently proposed S-Line expansion would take riders north along 1100 East to 1700 South.
Problem: I’m running errands downtown, and waiting and transferring to different buses is taking too long.
Solution: The GREENbike program allows commuters to rent bikes, using stations located in central Salt Lake City. After you’ve paid for a membership (24-hour, weekly or annual), you grab a bike and use it for 30 minutes at a time. Once you’ve paid for whichever usage you want, you can take out as many bikes as you’d like in that time period.
Problem: I have a flight to catch, but no one can drive me to the airport.
Solution: Trax’s Green Line goes to the Salt Lake International Airport, arriving weekdays at Terminal 1 every 15 minutes from 5:28 a.m. to 11:13 p.m. Unfortunately, for those ill-timed 6 a.m. flights, you might have to call that great aunt you never talk to.
Problem: My family and I want to ride the famous white roller coaster at Lagoon, but we don’t want to make the long drive to Farmington.
Solution: UTA’s FrontRunner, a high-speed train that spans from Ogden to Provo, makes a stop in Farmington. The trip takes only about 20 minutes when starting from Salt Lake Central Station, and a UTA shuttle will take you from the stop to Lagoon for free with your FrontRunner ticket.
Problem: I have a car, but just got a job downtown, and driving on Interstate 15 is horrific.
Solution: There are park & ride lots all over the valley next to FrontRunner stations, bus routes and Trax lines. Park & ride lots are everywhere from designated parking areas at Trax/FrontRunner stops to church and mall parking lots. UTA has an interactive map of park & ride areas on its website.
Problem: I work downtown and want to go shopping on my lunch break, but moving my car is a hassle and I don’t want to pay for a full Trax ticket.
Solution: Downtown’s free-fare zone extends between 500 South and North Temple, west of 200 East all the way to Salt Lake Central Station on buses and the Red and Blue lines, and the Arena Station on the Green Line.
Problem: I want to check out Utah’s legendary snow and go skiing, but I don’t have a car to drive to the resorts.
Solution: You can get to Park City—straight to Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley or Park City’s transit center—four times a day from Salt Lake Central Station, and once a day from the Meadowbrook Trax station. UTA also has 11 ski-bus routes, departing from downtown, the U, Sandy and more, which drop riders off at resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons including Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude. You can even get to Powder Mountain and Snowbasin. But be sure to set your alarm—the buses start leaving around 5 a.m.—and plan for a full day on the mountain.
• Welcome to the Neighborhood(s)!
• The 16 Utahns You Need to Meet
• Dive Into the Art Scene
• Browsing & Buying
• How to Get Here, There & Everywhere
• No Skis, No Problem
• Resort Report
• Local Live Music Spots
• SLC Bars & Clubs
• Meatless Meals
• Nosh Around the Clock