A Salt Lake Express representative has unveiled the bus company’s schedule and prices for service north and south of Moab beginning April 1.
A one-way trip to downtown Salt Lake City from Moab will cost $38 with another $5 fee to continue to the Salt Lake International airport, Kathy Pope said Tuesday during a Moab City Council meeting. The company will charge $5 for one-way trips between Moab and Blanding, Monticello or Green River.
Those price proposals will be presented next week to the Utah Department of Transportation, which will give final approval, Pope said. The bus company wants to keep prices low in the beginning to acquaint southern Utah residents with the service and build a loyal clientele, she said.
A federal grant for $1.5 million over three years will help Salt Lake Express establish ridership on the new routes, Pope told council members.
“It takes three years to build a customer base,” she said. “Our goal is to make it successful in three years.”
Two trips north are scheduled daily in addition to two trips departing from Salt Lake City heading south. Northbound buses will leave Moab at 5 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., arriving in downtown Salt Lake City at 9:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Arrivals at Salt Lake City International Airport will be 30 minutes later for both.
Buses will leave the airport daily at 6:40 a.m. and 6:40 p.m. with downtown stops before leaving Salt Lake City 20 minutes later. The buses will reach Moab at 11:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m.
“We can get you there in almost the same time as it takes to drive,” Pope said.
The new Moab route also will have stops in Green River, Price, Provo and at the Salt Lake City Greyhound Bus terminal.
Salt Lake Express has been in business for 14 years and transported 156,000 passengers last year, Pope said. The company currently operates in northern Utah and southern Idaho, with additional routes to Jackson, Wyo., and Butte, Mont.
A 16-passenger van will serve Moab and southeastern Utah, although Pope said larger vehicles are available if more than 16 customers make reservations. The company’s larger buses hold up to 45 people. All are equipped to pull a trailer that can carry bicycles or other items.
Part of the company’s marketing plan calls for recruiting tourists from outside the U.S., Pope said.
“I’m going to push this heavily with our Chinese and Japanese market,” she said.
Additional daily buses going north and south from Moab may be added if ridership warrants it in coming years, she said. Passenger pickup sites in Moab, Blanding and Monticello have not yet been determined.