Six Summit Stage Bus Tips with Chelsey

Posted by: admin October 3rd, 2018

Written by Chelsey Garcia, our front desk employee at the Frisco Lodge.

So many times when I have told people that my husband and I do not have a vehicle, I have gotten wide-eyed, open-mouthed stares and the occasional “Why not?” To be completely honest, we just don’t really need a car here. Summit County has free public transportation in the form of their bus system named the Summit Stage. We have been here for almost a year now, and we have never had an issue with the Summit Stage, even when I was using their Mountain Mobility service because my fractured ankle wouldn’t allow me to get to the bus stop. That’s not to say that the Stage is perfect or luxurious, and it can get a little dicey sometimes. So here are a few tips and tricks on how to survive life in Summit County without a vehicle.

Summit Stage Bus Colorado

1. Know your times. I may complain about how it seems like the bus is never on time, but that doesn’t mean I’m not at the stop several minutes before the bus is scheduled to be there. If you aren’t at the stop on time, it is completely within the rights of the driver to leave you. The times are different for different seasons, and some routes only run at certain times. Also, the routes run every half hour from about 6 am until 5:30-ish in the afternoon. Then they start to run only once an hour.

2. Be polite. Not just to your fellow passengers, but your drivers as well. They are a wealth of information and will normally help you out if you find yourself lost or unsure of where you need to go. As for the other riders, just remember that they are in the same boat you are and are just trying to get to their destination. So keep your feet off the seats, watch the language, and show some common courtesy.

3. Grocery shopping can be an enormous pain when using public transportation. Trust me. But my husband and I have found that taking a backpack as well as another large bag (ours is a Costco cold bag) can help us manage how much space we are taking us on the bus as well as how much we’re spending on our groceries. It’s a win-win for us.

4. The Rules. Not to sound preachy, but there are rules for a reason. They are posted at the front of the bus and go something like this: All animals must be leashed and sit at their owner's feet. No bikes on the bus before daylight or after dark. No eating or drinking on the bus, either.

5. Give yourself extra time. Despite having a strict schedule and having experienced drivers, there is only so much that the Summit Stage can do in the face of difficult weather, traffic, accidents, or even its own passengers. In summer, there are groups of children and their caretakers that ride the bus and take a little bit longer to enter or exit the bus than your average being. Be patient with them. In winter, there are a lot of people who have either skiing or snowboarding equipment and will occasionally struggle with loading it. Again, just be patient. You’ll get there eventually.

6. Avoid early morning and late afternoon. Rush hour is no different on a bus than it is in a car. There will be traffic, both vehicular and passenger-wise, and it will not be pretty. If you can avoid these times, I would highly suggest it. Try to arrange to do your errands between these times or in a manner that allows you to avoid traveling by bus around these hours. For example, shopping from 10 am to 2 pm. Or, and this is something my husband and I try not to do, heading out for a late lunch around 2 pm and then running our errands. This usually puts us back on board between six and seven which, while not rush hour, can get a little crowded as well just not as bad.

I hope my little tips and tricks have helped you out a bit and have shown you that, while it is a little more difficult, it’s not impossible to live in this area without a vehicle. It saves money, though not as much time, and helps our environment. Just remember to be kind and be patient, and you’ll be good to go.