Getting around town: Winter Park’s Bus Service – The Lift

For those with limited or no personal transportation, or for those who would rather leave the driving to someone else, Winter Park offers a rather extensive shuttle/bus service. Formerly offered through the Ski Resort, the service is now operated by the Town of Winter Park. The service is FREE and is called The Lift. Whether you come to town via car, train, or shuttle, once you’re here the Lift connects you to the Winter Park Resort, and to the town of Winter Park.

The routes extend up and down the valley from Iron Horse / Base Camp Townhomes south of the Resort to Meadows Ridge Condominiums north and east of the town of Fraser. In wintertime, The Lift has 8 different routes that service the following areas:

1.) King’s Crossing / Orange Line

2.) Hi Country Haus / Blue Line

3.) Rec Center / Red Line

4.) Fraser – Meadows Ridge / Purple Line

5.) Fraser – West Side / Black Line

6.) Vasquez – Creekside – Forest Trail / Brown Line

7.) Beaver Village / Yellow Line

8.) Old Town / Green Line

New this season is an on-demand shuttle service for Lakota. Guests staying in Lakota can call the Shuttle Dispatch Office (970-726-4163) between 7 am – 2 am to arrange for a shuttle pick-up.

More detailed descriptions of each line, including maps, route details, and schedules can be found at The Lift website: wpgov.com/264/Routes. Importantly, The Lift has an app called RideHop that tracks all their buses in a map view, in real-time. Meaning, you can tell where your particular shuttle bus of interest is, and be able to predict within about a minute or less, when it is going to be at your particular shuttle stop. This makes planning for your shuttle journey very predictable, comfortable, and low-stress. Depending on where your particular stop is, you may be able to watch your shuttle progress towards your stop, run out of your rental, and get to you stop in time. No standing around in the freezing cold wondering if, and when, your shuttle is going to show up. Nice! Go to the APP store and download RIDEHOP now!

A couple of items to note if you plan to use The Lift, particularly for the first time:

1.) Shuttle routes and times vary with the seasons, so be sure to use the correct schedule when planning your transport. There are Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter schedules. The Winter schedule is further broken into early/late season schedules that bracket the main winter schedule that extends from mid-December to beginning April.

2.) The Lift shuttle busses are well marked, cheerfully painted on the outside, nice on the inside, roomy with comfortable seating. They are not luxurious but are amazingly good at getting around on our sometimes snowy, slippery roadways.

3.) There are ski racks on the outside of most of the buses where you can stow your skis. These allow you to get on the bus without carrying skis, poles, etc and minimize the potential for tripping up/down the bus stairs. If you have very wide skis they may not fit the rack. In this case, bring the skis onto the bus with you. Be careful of the steps, and of your fellow passengers as you walk down the aisle.

4.) Because stuff happens, buses may be running late or early so its best to monitor your target bus with the app. It really is very handy.

5.) Don’t try to cut it too thin on getting to the stop “just in time”. Riders will only be picked up and dropped off at designated signed stops. If you need help finding the nearest designated stop to your property, please contact the Transit Manager directly at mkoch@wpgov.com or call the Shuttle Dispatch Office at 970-726-4163. Buses will pass anyone standing, or walking on the side of the road that is not at a designated signed stop. You may be close, walking to the stop while waving to the drive, but may still get passed by. Trust us on this one.

6.) When getting on the bus tell the driver where you are going. The driver will usually know the closest stop and get you there with a minimum of confusion. HINT: Depending on your destination, the weather, time of day, the bus-load, etc they may drop you right at your location instead of the nearest stop. Don’t expect this, but if you do get lucky make sure to show some love. Tips are always appreciated.

7.) There is an ADA para-transit bus service also available within The Lift service area (including the towns of Winter Park, Fraser, and Meadow Ridge). The service is free, door-to-door, and available to all eligible riders 7 am – 2 am, 7 days a week. The mobility service website can be found at www.wpgov.com/265/mobility. You will need to fill out an eligibility form that can be found through this website along with information pertaining to eligibility requirements.