Will you take a 50-60 minute bus to Skitube?

It’s great that finally there is some serious movement on better transport options from Jindabyne to the ski resorts.

NSW Transport have introduced a trial service, intended to be the precursor of a permanent system delivering buses regularly enough at peak times to ease traffic and parking congestion at the resorts.

The trial officially starts Friday 6 August, but is currently only showing a Jindabyne – Skitube (Perisher Station not Bullocks) option – services direct to Smiggins and Perisher or to Thredbo are said to be coming.

We looked up a trial booking and it gave us 50 minute or 1 hour journey times for the Jindy – Skitube trip according to time of day. Would that make you give up the car?

Consensus from our social shares of this is yes, pretty reasonable – especially on chain days with someone else doing the chain fitting.

Love this comment from Harry Pepper too, “that’s bring a water bottle for wee sorta bus.” Or a go before you go bus..

Showing 1 hour trip from Jindy to Skitube this Friday

Assuming 50 passenger buses run at full capacity in future (currently it’s half load for COVID restrictions), vs 2 people per car, a bus every 10 minutes in future could take up to 150 cars per hour off the road.

Which will help. But without priority lanes and access the bus timetable will be subject to the same vagaries as the traffic normally is – peak loads, conditions, accidents etc.

The pre-booking required is taxing; if you forget something and miss a service how you reschedule is not clear. You can take your chances on hop on/hop off otherwise – missing one and waiting 20 minutes wouldn’t be great though.

Skitube is the easy way to get to the snow © snowaction.com.au

Here is what NSW Transport says about the new service:

A trial bus service connecting Jindabyne, Perisher and Thredbo will make travelling through Kosciuszko National Park even easier this snow season.

The extra services will allow greater access the region and safer journeys with less people driving on alpine roads during peak periods, while also removing the frustrations of having to find a car park.

The bus service will pick-up and set-down at four locations in Jindabyne, so you can leave your car parked at your accommodation and easily walk to one of the stops.

Two separate bus routes will then service Perisher and Thredbo, providing access to Smiggin Holes, Guthega and Blue Cow and Charlotte Pass.

The travel time for buses between Jindabyne and the ski resorts will be similar to other vehicles, dependent on weather conditions and traffic delays.

The public transport fare for an Adult is $20 return when pre-booked and paid online, or $10 one way. The Child/Concession fare is $10 return or $5 one way. All fares are inclusive of the Kosciuszko National Park fee.

You can purchase a single one-way ticket on the day of travel, but only if there is capacity on the bus, so online bookings are advised.

Buses will have provisions to carry ski equipment and a small day pack to and from the snow fields. Any customers staying at resorts may also bring one bag weighing up to 20kg but are encouraged to use off-peak services in the middle of the day.

The trial will be assessed after its conclusion for potential future adoption.

Peak morning services from Jindabyne will run every 20 minutes between 6am and 10am with similar intervals for the return journey in the afternoons between 2pm and 6.30pm.

Services will start from Friday 6 August but you can now pre-book the trial bus service online or for more information, see Snowy Mountains bus trial.

For a look at what’s being proposed elsewhere check the Salt Lake City / Little Cottonwood Canyons options – with a dedicated bus lane as key to making it attractive. Do that here with a faster ride time than the car trip (never mind not fitting chains when necessary) and it would be a no-brainer to bus it.

Getting out at Blue Cow off the train and skiing downhill is Australia’s best slope access (apart from ski in/ski out of course) © snowaction.com.au