Sparkling Salt Lake City, with its bluebird skies and powder-dusted mountains, is Utah's capital city, and yet still manages to emanate a small-town feel. Downtown is easy to get around and fairly quiet come evening. It's hard to grasp that some 1.2 million people live in the metro area.

Two major interstates cross at Salt Lake City: I-15 runs north to south and I-80 east to west. I-215 loops the city. The area around Temple Square is easily walkable, and free public transportation covers much of the downtown core, but to go beyond you will need your own vehicle. Here's everything you need to know about getting around in Salt Lake City.

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Salt Late City by bike

Salt Lake City’s Transportation Department encourages bike riding throughout the city. They offer invaluable map resources showing the best cycling routes in the city and surrounding areas. 

GREENbike is a nonprofit bike share program in Utah that aims to provide a sustainable travel option. Day passes are $7, but be sure to dock the bike every 30 minutes to avoid additional charges.

Mormon Tabernacle and buildings of Salt Lake City with the Wasatch Mountains beyond, Utah USA. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.
Mormon Tabernacle and buildings of Salt Lake City with the Wasatch Mountains beyond, Utah USA © Alamy Stock Photo

Buses will get you to ski resorts too

The Utah Transit Authority operates bus routes throughout Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Front. The base fare is $2.50. During ski season, UTA buses serve Park City ($5) and Salt Lake resorts. Monthly and day passes are available as well.

The easiest way to get around is by car or cab

Having a car is best for any travel outside of downtown.  If you are driving in downtown Salt Lake City, note that parking is metered.

National rental agencies have offices at the Salt Lake City airport. Or, try Rugged Rental, which rents 4WDs, SUVs and passenger cars. Rates are often better here than at the major companies.

Yellow Cab offers taxi service in the city. The flag drop rate is $2.25, and the metered mile is $2.20. Uber and Lyft also operate in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City, Utah at twilight
Salt Lake City, Utah at twilight © VisionsofAmerica / Joe Sohm / Getty Images

Commuter and light rail transit in Salt Lake City

FrontRunner, the city's commuter rail train, runs frequent service (one-way $2.50) to nearby Provo and Ogden. The light rail system, aka TRAX, serves Salt Lake, its southern suburbs and the international airport (one-way $2.50).

Accessible travel

Salt Lake City International Airport offers a guide for travelers with disabilities. 

Wheelchair Getaways can meet you at the airport with a fully-accessible, ramp-equipped rental van. And United Access and Compassion Mobility offer a fleet of wheelchair accessible van rentals. Compassion Mobility also offers mobility scooter and power wheelchair rentals. 

And UTA's buses and rail system is accessible as well. They offer reduced fair for qualified people with disabilities.

To ride the bus, ask the bus driver to lower a ramp if needed. Buses can also "kneel" or lower the first step. Tie downs are available for people with wheelchairs, and lap/shoulder belts are available on request. 

All rail vehicles are accessible to riders with mobility devices. On the red and green lines, riders can press the blue "wheelchair accessible" button on the door they want to enter. The train operator will open the door and assist riders boarding and leaving the train. On the blue line, there is a place near the front of the car for those using wheelchairs or walkers. 

And all FrontRunner trains are accessible as well. Just be sure to board the new railcars. The older "Comet" cars are not wheelchair accessible. 

For more information, download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides.

This article was first published May 2021 and updated May 2022

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