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For Walt Cummings, the owner and operator of the Boulder Lift, getting people from Boulder to the mountains to ski and snowboard is more a labor of love than profits at this point in his business.

“I took up a group Sunday they needed a ride to Breckenridge because they’re staying for the week, and they went with me because I’m pretty much half as expensive as anyone else,” Cummings said.

“I’m not going to make millions doing this, but I’m not willing to do this for more than I’d be willing to pay,” Cummings said with a laugh, who does consulting on the side.

The Boulder Lift is one of several services in Boulder that is profiting more in purpose getting multiple skiers to the mountains in one vehicle than on their balance sheets.

Sue Prant, a board member for ridesharing site said that after working on various sustainable transportation projects for 15 years, she feels it’s difficult for rideshares and the like to turn a profit since government subsidies for gas and insurance are so beneficial to individual car owners.

The CU Ski Bus transports students, faculty and staff from campus to Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge and Vail during weekends when school is in session for $15 or $5 for CU Herd alumni association members.

The popularity of the Ski Bus has increased every year; last year, it sold out for every trip. But even with sold out trips and a $10 reimbursement from the Herd for their members $15 per rider doesn’t cover the cost of the bus, Smith said. The rest is subsidized by the sustainable transportation program.

Smith said he sees the Ski Bus as a great way to get cars off the roads and keep students safe instead of driving icy roads when they’re tired at the end of the day, they’re on the bus. But he thinks many of the students see it as a convenient option to driving, and sometimes paying to park at a ski area along I 70.

“I think people ride it once and go, why am I going to drive any more?” he said. “And traffic on 70, it’s only getting worse.”

SkiCarpool board member Prant said that when a new ski bus or other form of group transportation pops up that’s in line with SkiCarpool’s mission, that’s great.

“I know the Meet Up people also have carpools they form as well, and more power to them,
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” Prant said. “Anything that’s reducing the traffic on I 70 during ski season is helping SkiCarpool’s goal.”

Last year, Rich Masana and some friends in Boulder started , a ridesharing and social media site. The site is free and they’re in the middle of redesigning iit now, he said. But last year, they gained about 800 users around the world the site aims to connect people at resorts all over, not just in Colorado.

Masana is enthusiastic about this enterprise, but they haven’t figured out how to monetize it yet, he said. So he’s keeping his job managing a law firm.

“This is our side passion,” he said of .

It’s a passion that’s showing promise.

“It didn’t even launch until Dec. 20 last year, and it’s pretty awesome to see how it’s taken off since then,” he said.

Nine years after it started, Prant said is still growing, too.

“Every year, it gets more people, it’s steadily going on.”

CU Ski Bus

The University of Colorado Environmental Center’s Ski Bus picks up students, faculty and staff (but mostly students) for trips to the mountains both days of every weekend when school is in session.

Tickets are $15 for students, $5 for Herd members.

“Those sell out weeks and weeks in advance,” said Smith of the Herd tickets.

Even though the bus sells out every weekend, Smith encourages people go to the bus in the morning on standby anyway there are usually enough cancellations to accommodate all the standbys, he said.

The bus goes to Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge and Vail. Check the ski bus website for the schedule.
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