Ryan Leveck is airborne as he makes his way down the slopes during the opening day of Stevens Pass on Dec. 18. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Ryan Leveck is airborne as he makes his way down the slopes during the opening day of Stevens Pass on Dec. 18. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

A new $20 shuttle begins runs from Monroe to Stevens Pass

Overcrowded parking in the ski area and heavy traffic on U.S. 2 prompted the new weekend service.

MONROE — It’s not uncommon for bumper-to-bumper traffic to plague U.S. 2 on the two-lane to stretch from east of Gold Bar to the western edge of Sultan during ski season.

Many of those vehicles make their way to Stevens Pass to hit the slopes, and on peak days, the main parking lot fills up, spilling into lots 1½ miles away or more from the ski area.

To help alleviate traffic woes, Stevens Pass this week added a new express shuttle with front-door service from Monroe.

Rides cost $20.

“This is a great way for us to provide another way for our guests to experience Stevens,” Stevens Pass General Manager Tom Pettigrew said.

For now, it’s just a weekend service, and will last through the rest of February.

The Starline Luxury Coaches charter bus will leave from Monroe Plaza Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 a.m. It will depart from the ski area at 4 p.m.

The shuttle has a restroom and Wi-Fi aboard.

Right now, there’s just one bus that holds 56 people. Pettigrew said they can add more if there’s demand.

“It’s a bit of a test and learn,” he said.

The Stevens Pass Express Shuttle will be the only group transit option to the mountain from Monroe, Pettigrew said. There are other shuttle services, but they leave from Seattle, Bellevue and Gold Bar.

There’s MTRWestern, which leaves downtown Seattle or Bellevue and arrives at Stevens around 9 a.m. It departs from the ski area at 4 p.m. and costs $42.

Jake’s Highway Two Sports also offers a bus ride from Gold Bar Friday through Sunday, costing $26.

The National Weather Service is predicting another round of heavy mountain snow this weekend, especially Saturday afternoon through early Sunday morning.

Conditions at Stevens Pass are looking prime for a holiday weekend, with January’s snowfall peaking at well over 200 inches.

Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; jgsanders@heraldnet.com.

Getting to the slopes

Book the Stevens Pass Express Shuttle and find other options at stevenspass.com.

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