1. What Services do we offer?
The Bay Area Ski Bus offers pre-scheduled bus trips for the public to Ski Resorts in Lake Tahoe during the Winter Ski Season. We are not an any-time shuttle service. We are also the experts in organizing private trips for groups. Group Trips. If you are looking for a ride to Lake Tahoe, you can check our public schedule online to see if we are travelling ON the day/s you are interested in and TO (or near) the destination you desire. Schedule
2. How long has the Bay Area Ski Bus been around?
The Bay Area Ski Bus is currently ints 18th year of operations. To date, we have run over 2200 buses with over 100,000 customers! Today, the Ski Bus can take you to the slopes 4-5 days per week from early-December through mid-April. We also fly to fantastic mountain resorts in Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Canada and Europe, including: Whistler, Snowbird, Alta, Steamboat, Zermatt, Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Telluride, Banff, Val d'Isere, Grand Targhee, Sun Valley, Revelstoke, Fernie, Kicking Horse, Big Sky, Innsbruck, St. Anton and Jackson Hole!
3. What kind of reputation does the Bay Area Ski Bus have?
The Ski Bus is a classy outfit that runs on-time and pays attention to the details. Read what some of our regulars say about us! This is NOT a loud "party bus" with obnoxious behavior. We definitely have Fun, but do so with style and class. Adult customers may drink alcohol at the Apres-Ski party (from 3:30-4:30pm), but not excessively. Rude and obnoxious people only ride once!
4. Who goes on these trips?
People who realize the savings and convenience of not having to drive themselves to Lake Tahoe!! :) Bay Area Ski Bus Adult customers range in age from early 20's to early 60's, with equal numbers of men and women, couples and singles. We have those who wish to meet other singles or people to ski with. We have single or married folk whose spouses or friends don't ski, couples and singles who realize a great deal when they see one, people in town on business, people who will not drive in the snow (or who are sick of dealing with chains and the drive up and back) and all of which love the convenience of having us do all the driving while they relax, sleep and watch movies on the way home! 100% Pure Convenience and Fun! TEEN Trips are for 12-17 year olds and FAMILY Trips are for ages 4 and up.
5. What is the Itinerary for the trips?
We basically board the bus between 4 and 5:30am (depending on your pick up location), sleep until 7:30, enjoy continental breakfast and a ski movie 'til 8:30ish, ski from 9:00am to 4:00pm, enjoy the Apres Ski Party until 4:30pm and then watch a movie or sleep during the ride home. Return times are approx. 7:30pm in Walnut Creek through 9:30pm in Sunnyvale and San Francisco. We do not stop for dinner on the way home. Times are subject to change due to weather and road conditions.
6. What if the Weather is bad or stormy?
The Ski Bus travels "snow or shine". If the road is closed to the scheduled resort, we will re-route to another resort on another freeway. If we cannot reach a ski resort, we will return home and everyone will receive a refund minus a $30 transportation charge. (The bus still costs money). If it is stormy at the resort, any credits on lift tickets will need to be taken up with the resort staff. In over 20 years of hosting ski trips, I can't tell you how many times the media predicted a "major storm" (it's news-worthy ya know) and the weather was actually great at the resort. Storms are great - they bring powder! As long as the roads are open and safe, we go!
7. What should I Wear on the Bus?
It depends on what kind of ski pants or bibs you wear and how comfortable they are. Half of the people wear their ski clothes on the bus, half change at the resort. All resorts have coin or credit card lockers. If your ski pants are comfortable and breathable, wear them. We do.
8. What do I need to bring?
Ski or snowboard equipment if you have it, regular clothes and warm ski clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses and goggles, waterproof gloves, cash for meals and/or souvenirs, credit card if you are renting equipment (required) or just in case something breaks. Although videos will be shown on the return home, some people bring a book, a pillow and/or ear plugs. Equipment will be loaded in the bus' storage bins and a carry-on bag or backpack can accompany you on the bus. Ski and Snowboard bags are RECOMMENDED to avoid scratches. LABEL YOUR EQUIPMENT!
9. Can I Leave my belongings on the bus during the day? Yes, you may leave anything you wish on the bus, however, you WILL NOT have access to it during the day since the bus will be LOCKED and the driver needs to rest/sleep. We DO NOT recommend leaving any valuables on the bus because we cannot guarantee the integrity of all of our customers:( Wallets, purses, mp3 players, etc should be brought with you and/or put in a locker in the lodge. THE BAY AREA SKI BUS WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY LOST OR STOLEN ITEMS.
10. What about Rentals or Beginning Ski Packages?
If you are a beginner and need to rent equipment and take a lesson, then a "Beginner's Ski or Snowboard Package" is for you. For an additional $30-$80, you get a beginner chairs lift ticket, equipment rentals and a 2+ hour lesson. Select this package when registering online. If you need Rentals only, you can purchase them when registering for $39-$46. OR you can rent Before you come which will save you time at the resort and give you more ski or riding time!
11. How do I set up a Trip for my company, school, church or my large group of friends?
This can be handled in 1 of 2 ways:
1. If you are sure that you will be able to fill your own bus, check out our Group Trips page, pick a date and resort that you would like to go to and give us a call or send us an e-mail, or
2. If you are not sure of how many people will go, choose a date and location on our existing schedule and give us a call. This way, even if you only have a few people or even a half of a bus, the trip will not be canceled, rather it will be combined with another group to fill the bus.
12. Can I get a discount for Referring my friends or co-workers? YES! If you refer someone, tell them to enter YOUR e-mail address in the "Referred by" box when they create an account. They will receive $10 off their first trip and you will receive a $10 credit into your account. PLUS -
13. What are the Light Refreshments that are included with the price? In the morning, we serve a continental-style breakfast: bagels with cream cheese &/or muffins, juice and yogurt. When you return to the bus after a full day of skiing or boarding, we will have soda, water, hot cocoa with whip cream and cookies waiting for you! Lunch and dinner are on you.
14. What kinds of videos will we see?
The Ski Bus usually has 3-5 movies for the customers to vote on, typically PG-R for Adult Trips, PG and PG-13 for Teen Trips and G-PG for Family Trips. For those who wish to sleep on the way home, bring ear plugs.
15. Is the Bus Company safe and reputable? We only use bus companies which have fantastic safety records, top-of-the-line equipment and safe, competent and screened drivers.
16. What if I need to cancel, can I get a refund?
For the one-day trips, if you cancel more than 5 days prior to the trip you will receive a credit towards a future trip. If you cancel within 5 days of the trip, there are NO Refunds. Cancellations credits (that can be used for a future trip through the end of April 2014) will be: the cost of the trip minus the $75 bus portion. NO REFUNDS/Credits for "Bus Only" registrations, cancellations within 24 hours of the trip or "No-Shows". For multi-day trips, see trip pages.
17. What kind of lodging will we expect on the multi-day trips?
We stay at quality hotels that would be considered moderate or "middle-of-the-road". (During a survey of our customers, some wanted "cheap", some wanted "high-class" and the majority wanted "moderate and clean"). Each hotel has clean, good size rooms, hot tubs and restaurants within walking distance.
18. Can I bring my kids?
The Ski Bus offers Adult trips for those 18 & over, Teen trips (12-17 years) and Family trips for ages 4 and up. We do not mix children in the adult trips because, 1. they are often excited & can be noisy, especially during early morning sleep time and 2. we show PG-13 (and sometimes R ) rated videos that are not appropriate for them. Parents CAN ride on the Teen bus trips OR the Family bus trips. Sorry, Infants, lap-children and any child under 4 years old are NOT permmitted.
19. Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing?
XC and snowshoeing is available at Northstar, Sugar Bowl (via shuttle) and Squaw (via shuttle), However, customers must check with the XC centers to determine whether or not they are open and How to get to their locaiton. If you plan to ride the Ski Bus to XC ski or snowshoe, Sign Up for the "bus only" ($75) and then purchase a trail pass at the XC center. Customers are responsible for planning their return shuttle from the XC center in order to back @ the bus before departure.
20. Can I take the Bus "One-Way" OR Just get Ride from a Resort to the Bay Area OR Ride Up one day and come back a different Day?
This is a common question these days and Yes, All are possible:
- A "One Way" ride TO Lake Tahoe is the same as the Round Trip price since we would rarely be able to sell your seat on the way back.
- A "One Way" ride FROM Lake Tahoe is $40, however there is always the possibility that the bus coming up TO the resort may re-route to another ski resort due to road closure or limited resort operations. In this scenario, customers will understand in advance that we are not responsible for providing another means of transportation FROM the resort. IF the bus does re-route, You WILL receive a call to your cell phone that morning to inform you and would receive a Refund. Customers MUST register through the office as a "Ride Back" so that Trip Hosts will know to call you if bus is re-routed.
- To ride UP to a ski resort on one day and and BACK on a future day will be the Round Trip cost for the first day (with or without a Lift Ticket) + $40 for the Ride Back. Again, we would not be able to sell your empty seat for each way of the 2 dates. Again, Customers MUST register through the office as a "Ride Back".
- Departure times FROM the ski resort is always 4:30pm, unless otherwise communicated.
21. Can I bring my Dog?
No Animals are allowed on the bus!