Getting In and Around Downtown SLC

June 08, 2021 Written by Melissa Fields

Summer is, gratefully, finally upon us. Restaurateurs have opened their patios and decks and the calendar is brimful of fun events including Open Streets, the Downtown Farmers Market and the Twilight Concert Series. In other words, it’s time to head downtown. When you go, consider making the most of your time by using one of the following affordable and convenient transit options. After all, getting there—and around downtown—can be half the fun.

Busses, Trains and TRAX—oh my!

Utah Transit Authority (UTA) has made it super easy to travel from just about anywhere along the Wasatch Front to downtown Salt Lake City, especially for a night out on the town. Buses and TRAX run until midnight on weekdays and Saturdays, and FrontRunner operates until midnight on weekdays and on Saturdays until 1 a.m. Want to bring your bike along for the ride? No problem. Bikes are allowed on most buses, TRAX and FrontRunner trains. Just be sure to look for a bicycle icon and/or bike rack on the bus or train you want to ride before boarding. Fares on UTA Buses, TRAX trains and FrontRunner are $2.50 for a one-way ticket or $5 for round trip. One-way TRAX tickets are also valid on bus transfers and vice versa for up to two hours from initial time the ticket was purchased. Purchase fares at, via UTA’s official transit app, UTA GoRide, or at the ticket machines and electronic fare readers located at TRAX and FrontRunner stations. You can pay fares with cash when boarding buses, just plan to have exact change. There’s no charge to ride buses or TRAX trains within UTA’s Free Fare Zone, spanning from 200 East to 400 West and North Temple to 500 South. If you begin your ride before entering the zone and/or exit after leaving the zone, you will be asked to provide proof of payment. When boarding a bus, simply tell the bus driver you intend to stay in the zone to ride without charge.

Seeing Green

Hands down, the biggest public transit success story of the last decade is the rise of bike share. Salt Lake City’s bike share, GREENbike, has 30 docking stations in the downtown area
alone, eight of which include e-bike docks. With the BCycle bike share app, you can get a GREENbike annual pass for just $75 (unlimited, 1-hour rides). Day passes, good for unlimited 30-minute rides within a 24-hour period are just $7. Great news for those who’ve kept the wheels turning through the pandemic: essential workers can buy an annual GREENbike pass until the end of 2021 for just $1. Before you hop into the saddle, be sure also to download the Salt Lake City & County Bikeways Map, a comfort-rated guide to cycling routes throughout the entire Salt Lake Valley that includes ideal commuting routes, recreational rides, TRAX stations, mountain biking trailheads and other downtown destinations.

Downtown’s Other Two-Wheeler

Electric scooters made a big splash in Utah back in 2018 when several startups released these two-wheelers in downtown Salt Lake City. Like shared bikes, e-scooters offer quick and fun travel for short distances, particularly that last mile or two from say, the TRAX or FrontRunner station to a restaurant or bar. And, because e-scooters are dockless, there’s no need to hunt for a charging station when you’re finished with your ride. In December 2020, Salt Lake City enacted a dockless shared mobility ordinance, prohibiting riders from leaving e-scooters in parking spaces, on UTA platforms, within 15 feet of building access points or driveways and within 15 feet of traffic lights or utility boxes. E-scooter riders are now required to follow the same traffic laws that apply to bicycles, including staying off downtown sidewalks. Companies currently offering e scooter-share services in Salt Lake City include Lime and Spin. Each requires downloading a respective app for use, $1 to unlock an e-scooter and between 25 and 40 cents per minute to ride thereafter.

Night Out Go-To

Though not as economical as FrontRunner or TRAX, ordering an Uber or Lyft to get downtown is an option particularly popular when people are heading out for a night on the town with their
posse. Just know that rates during high-demand periods, like weekend evenings, are higher than other times of the day.

Parking, Demystified

If you bring your car downtown, parking is $2.25 for a max of two hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (You can also pre-pay for parking 1 hour prior at 7 a.m.) Saturdays parking is free for two hours and on Sundays parking is free all day. Pay at the kiosks located throughout downtown or use the ParkSLC app, which also includes a real-time function to help
you suss out a spot among downtown’s 30,000-plus parking spaces.