Your Colorado vacation to Gunnison and Crested Butte can be sustainable, inexpensive and low stress thanks to the public bus system in the Gunnison Valley. Buses run year-round, making it easy to get around the valley no matter when you visit.
You might think public transportation in Colorado is limited to big cities like Denver and Colorado Springs, but the Gunnison Valley has a robust public transportation system that is safe, convenient and free.
Public transportation has a lower impact on the environment than cars because it helps eliminate some of the carbon emissions produced by transportation. Even if you need to rent a car you could still take the bus to grab one meal a day or to visit another town in the valley. This will help cut down your carbon impact.
The bus systems in Gunnison and Crested Butte are free and run at regular intervals. The costs and logistics of renting a car could be unnecessary depending on what you have planned. Lodging in Gunnison and Crested Butte is often in walking distance of downtown and other things to do, including hiking, biking and skiing. If you’re here to mountain bike, many trails can be ridden from town, which helps keep traffic at the trailheads down. If you’re used to using Uber and Lyft to get around, please remember that ride share services are very limited in Gunnison and Crested Butte. Buses are a much more reliable option.
The Gunnison Rural Transit Authority (RTA) bus is free and runs between Gunnison and Mt. Crested Butte. It makes several stops in Gunnison, one in Almont, one in Crested Butte South, several in Crested Butte and the base area of Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Mt. Crested Butte. Visiting both towns is convenient and easy because the bus runs up and down the valley. Taking the bus also means you don’t need to worry about finding parking in busy downtown areas. Get real-time updates on the bus’s location with the Transit app.
Please note that the RTA doesn’t stop at the airport and is not equipped to carry luggage. However, if you fly into Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) there are several shuttle services that can get you to your hotel.
The free Mountain Express town shuttle runs in Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte. Its schedule changes based on the season and can be found on Google Maps. In summer the shuttle runs every 20 minutes, in the spring and fall off-season it runs every 40 minutes and every 15 minutes in winter. There is also a route to condos and vacation rentals in the summer.
One advantage of taking the bus is not having to parallel park on Elk Avenue in downtown Crested Butte. It can also decrease the amount of time spent walking between your vehicle and your destination. This is especially notable in the winter because the bus takes you right to the base area of CBMR. That means no walking from the parking lot in ski boots! Taking the bus also saves you money on the paid parking fee at CBMR.
There are several shuttle services available in Crested Butte and Gunnison. Their services range from airport pickups, late night rides to your lodging, pickups for weddings and events, transportation to and from trailheads, and more.
The Bustang is an intercity shuttle service. It has routes all over Colorado, including ones from Denver to Gunnison and Crested Butte. In Denver the route begins at Union Station and stops at the Econolodge in Gunnison and the 4-way stop at the visitor center in Crested Butte. You must purchase a ticket in advance to ride.