Salt Lake City was ahead of the game when it planned for transportation. Case in point: The founders wanted the streets to be wide enough for a team of horses to make a U-turn. Maybe because, “Hey Pa, Brigham Jr. forgot his satchel again.” Anyway, today it’s still easy to get around the valley — no reins required. The Utah Transit Authority has three forms of public transportation — trains, light rail and buses — all of which ultimately meet up at the Salt Lake Central Station.
At just $2.50 per ride, it’s a cheap way to get from one end of the valley to the other. You can plan your route and purchase tickets using the Transit Mobile Ticketing app, online or at the kiosks.
If you’ll be using public transit multiple times in a single day, save a few bucks more by opting for a Day Pass, which gives you unlimited travel. Tickets for seniors (65 and older), students and youth (ages 6 to 18) are half price.
An even better deal? The area from Salt Lake Central Station to South Temple to Library Station is considered a free fare zone. So you can buy some moon boots at City Creek Center, then pop over to the Clark Planetarium without cracking open your wallet. If you enter or exit the bus or Trax outside of the zone, you’ll need a regular ticket.
When you want to get from one end of the valley to the other — or any city in between — the FrontRunner is your ride. The diesel-powered commuter trains travel from Provo to Ogden with limited stops. Traveling up to 79 mph, it’s the quickest public transportation available through the 83-mile corridor.
There are designated FrontRunner stations across Salt Lake, Davis, Utah and Weber counties. The trains offer free WiFi, so you can sit back and scroll through your itinerary while someone else does the driving. There’s bike storage and a couple of restrooms (located in the first and last car) on each train, too. You can catch a connection to a bus or Trax from most stations.
If you're heading downtown, Salt Lake Central Station and North Temple Station put you within reach of hotels, concert venues and popular visitor sites such as the Utah State Capitol and the Salt Lake Temple.
FrontRunner trains are scheduled for every 30 minutes. Find specific route schedules here. The trains run six days a week.
Trax is the public light rail system that serves Salt Lake County — from the Salt Lake International Airport and around the valley. The trains run through downtown with three lines.
The light rail system runs daily.
To get further into the neighborhoods of the Wasatch Front, take a UTA bus. There are bus stops near many of the FrontRunner and Trax stations for easy connections, as well as along main roads. Bus routes go through the Salt Lake Valley, throughout Utah County and Ogden and on up to Brigham City.
UTA buses run seven days a week, although routes are limited on Sundays. Find specific route details here.
Every bus stop has a sign with the destination routes listed and a bus stop number. Use the Ride Time system to check your wait time for the next bus — simply text your stop number to UTA-UTA (882-882). Not sure the bus that pulled up is going where you want? Feel free to ask the driver.
If you’re headed to the slopes, you can avoid parking lot brawls over the limited spots by taking a bus. During ski season, UTA travels up both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons seven days a week. Park at the base of the mountains to catch a ride. Buses also go to Park City, where you can hop on the free local transit system.
You can take either a bus or Trax train to and from the Salt Lake International Airport. Public transportation is available:
Salt Lake City is walkable, but sites are spread across several miles. If you want to visit a museum, then do some shopping before heading out for the evening, you’ll be covering a lot of terrain. Give your feet a break by hopping on an electric scooter or bicycle as part of the city’s non-profit Shared Mobility program. Or you could lie down on the sidewalk.
You’ll find Lime and Spin scooters lined up in designated spots or parked randomly near curbs. Unlock one by downloading the respective app. Greenbike bicycles are available from a marked kiosk. Please note: Riding on sidewalks is prohibited for both types of e-vehicles. You don’t want to run over someone who picked that option.
If you want to go beyond the areas public transit allows, choose from one of several rental car companies, hire a shuttle service or take a tour. Salt Lake City also has the usual private car services such as taxis, Uber, Lyft and, fancy, limos.
Once you get here, there’s plenty to see and do in Salt Lake City. Create your list of stops with Utah.com.