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My wife and daughter recently flew from Cincinnati to Salt Lake City for a mother / daughter weekend date.  Since they were only going to be there for a short period of time, we decided against renting a car so we were left with the question of how to get from Salt Lake City airport to downtown Salt Lake City.  There are a couple of different options on how to get from SLC airport to downtown, so I thought I would write a bit of background of the different choices you have as well as what we did to get from SLC airport to downtown Salt Lake City

a white car parked on a road

Renting a car to get from Salt Lake City airport to downtown Salt Lake

Of course the easiest way to get from Salt Lake City airport to downtown Salt Lake is if you have your own car – either your own or a friend / family member or one that you rent.

All of the major car rental companies have offices at the SLC airport and if you are renting a car, downtown Salt Lake is about an 8-10 mile drive from SLC airport via Interstate 80 East.

Lyft and Uber from Salt Lake airport to downtown SLC

You can use either Lyft and Uber to get from SLC to downtown Salt Lake City.  Depending on where you’re going in downtown Salt Lake City, it will cost you between $15 and $25 and take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on traffic.  Of course if you’re going to Sandy, South Salt Lake, Bountiful, Park City or anywhere else in the Valley, adjust your prices

One benefit of the American Express Platinum card is that it comes with $20 a month in Uber credit (Compare the welcome offer on the American Express Platinum with other cards here).  We thought about using that to get from Salt Lake City airport to downtown but in the end decided not to.

One important thing to note if you’re trying to use Uber to get from SLC airport to downtown Salt Lake City is that Uber and Lyft can only pick up from designated areas at the end of each terminal

How to ride Trax from SLC airport to downtown Salt Lake City

In the end we decided to ride public transportation from Salt Lake City airport to downtown.  If you also decide to ride Trax from the airport to downtown Salt Lake City, here are some helpful tips for you.

There is an airport station of Trax and it is on the Green Line.  After going through the airport, follow the signs for Ground Transportation. You go downstairs and turn left and then you will see there will be signs for Light Rail and at the end of the airport, you’ll see a ticket machine that looks like this

a machine with a screen and a blue and white background

a screen with text on it

You can use a credit or debit card to buy your ticket to go from Salt Lake City airport to Downtown Salt Lake City.  It costs a base fare of $1.25 plus $0.30 for each additional stations, so depending on where exactly you’re going, your ticket should cost you between $2 and $3.

Once you buy your ticket, walk out the doors to your left and the station is right there.  There is only one line that goes to the airport and the airport is the end of the line, so if you see a light rail train at the airport, that’s the train you want to get on 🙂

The only other thing that might throw you for a loop depending on how familiar you are with various public transit throughout the world is that the doors have green buttons that you have to push when you want to exit.  The TRAX trains stop at every stop (no need to request a stop) but to get the door to open, just press the green button

a close up of a door

TRAX also has a free ride zone inside downtown, which is helpful if you’re just riding around the downtown area.

What about you?  What’s your take on the best way to get from Salt Lake City airport to downtown?

4 different options for the cheapest, best and fastest way from SLC airport to Downtown Salt Lake City Utah

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