OGDEN -- Top of Utah ski bums, rejoice -- ski bus service appears to be headed to Ogden for a second straight year.
The Utah Transit Authority's Finance and Operations Committee voted Wednesday to approve an interlocal agreement with Ogden city and Weber County to provide seasonal bus shuttle service to Snowbasin and Powder Mountain resorts.
The service would originate from the Ogden Intermodal Transit Center, 2393 Wall Ave., and head east on 25th Street to Washington Boulevard, then north on 12th Street through the Ogden Canyon to the two resorts.
There are two different routes for the service -- one for Powder Mountain, and one for Snowbasin -- and several stops will be made along the way.
When the service is finalized, riders should consult the official schedule at www.rideuta.com for specific weekday, weekend and holiday schedules.
Bruce Cardon, UTA regional general manager, said the agreement will now go before the Ogden City Council and the Weber County Commission before its final approval by the UTA board.
The service will cost about $225,000, with Ogden city paying $65,000, Weber County paying $70,000, the Ogden/Weber Convention & Visitors Bureau paying $9,650, Powder Mountain chipping in $60,000, and Snowbasin paying $20,000.
UTA will provide the buses for the service and will pay for overhead costs.
"This is a great deal for us and for all of the stakeholders involved," Cardon said.
"We didn't have the funding to add a new service, but because of the partnership with Ogden city, Weber County and the resorts, we're able to provide this."
The transit agency will start the service by using retired Salt Lake City ski buses, but Cardon said UTA is seeking Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grants to purchase newer buses.
Cardon said the buses are specialized, with automatic chain deployment, to handle harsh winter conditions on steep mountain hills.
UTA will also run the route in coordination with Utah Department of Transportation's snow-removal schedule in an attempt to avoid heavy snow, if possible.
The ski bus service operated last winter as a UTA pilot program, but with no guarantee it would run again when the snow fell in winter 2013-14.
According to UTA, the service had a total of 23,485 riders during its four-month operating period last winter.
Of those riders, 15,560 made trips to Powder Mountain, while 7,925 went to Snowbasin.
"It was very successful last year," Cardon said. "And now, we have more time to prepare and market it, so we think the response will be even better this year."