Ridership on the Utah Transit Authority's ski buses increased 21 percent during the 1998 winter season, according to the agency.

A total of 266,539 people rode UTA buses to Alta, Snowbird, Solitude and Brighton ski resorts in 1997-98 compared to 220,485 in 1996-97.UTA officials attributed the increase to the addition of two park-and-ride lots, an expansion of service in downtown Salt Lake City and a television advertising campaign.

The new parking lots are located at I-15 and 7200 South, and 6600 South and 950 East. Pre-existing lots are at the base of Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood canyons. Riders pay $1.75 to go to any of the resorts from a park-and-ride lot.

Downtown service now includes seven stops. Skiers pay $4.50 for a one-way trip from downtown to a ski resort.