As a Vail resident, I’ll be the first to admit that aren’t a lot of bargains in town. However, day 204 of the Nowhere To Be Project opened up a whole new world for me and my family in terms of transportation. You see, Vail is 100 miles from Denver. It can take between two and three hours, depending on weather and traffic, to reach Denver International Airport from our home. Despite the fact that we are constant travelers, we rarely drive ourselves to and from the airport (for various reasons) and have been relying on Colorado Mountain Express (now Epic Mountain Express) for transportation to and from DIA for years. The prices we’ve paid for the popular shuttle service per passenger for a one way fare range from $55 to $120 plus tip. The service is owned and operated by Vail Resorts, so the high prices are to be expected. Nevertheless, it really adds up with frequent trips and multiple riders. Thankfully, we’ve discovered a brand new option!
Bustang is a bus service that runs several Eastbound and Westbound routes each day between Denver and the mountains. My husband was brave enough to give it a try for the first time today. His ticket was less than $20 and the travel time was just over two hours. After departing Vail at 7:05am, the bus stopped briefly along the way in Frisco, Idaho Falls and Lakewood before arriving at Denver’s Union Station. He then hopped on a direct train to the airport (35 minutes) for another $9.
My husband described the bathroom-equipped Bustang as clean and relatively comfortable. The WIFI was reliable and there was ample space to store bags, equipment and even bicycles. He felt that he had a lot more legroom (he’s over six feet tall) and privacy on this big bus as compared to the jam-packed eight to ten passenger vans that are most often used by Colorado Mountain Express.
I simply can’t wait to give Bustang a try! It is vastly more affordable than other transportation options in Vail and seems to provide a more comfortable experience. I also love the fact that tickets are quickly and easily purchased via the Bustang app and are not date-specific which means no expensive change fees! One drawback might be the fact that riders must haul their bags from a bus to a train before reaching the airport, but that seems very minor when the savings is factored in to the equation.