The Summit Stage began providing ski bus service in 1977. Supported by a coalition made up of Ski the Summit, representatives from the ski areas, Summit County Government, and individual town governments, service was provided only during the ski season. With the increasing demand for inter-city and year-round transit service, Summit County assumed operation of the Summit Stage in 1989.
In 1990 the Summit Stage received a big break thanks to local town and Summit County representatives lobbying successfully for House Bill 1081. This granted “authority of counties outside the Regional Transportation District to impose a sales tax for the purpose of funding a mass transportation system.” Grants from the Federal Transportation Administration and CDOT were instrumental in purchasing the Stage bus fleet and completing the Frisco Transportation Center. In 2001 an additional sales and use tax was passed by County voters that enables the Stage to run late night hours until 2:00am.
In 1992 ridership was 432,000. Today the Summit Stage serves 1.9 million riders annually, and continues to grow month after month. The Summit Stage is the second-busiest rural transit system in Colorado.