Maybe the buses are a cheaper option when going by yourself or if you do not like driving for several hours
^ Exactly. For solo or with one other person, buses are the way to go. If more than that then renting a car or carpooling makes sense.
If you go that often, I'm not sure if you have a core group of friends that go as often as you do. If not, and you're usually going solo, the bus-only (no lift ticket bundle) option will make sense to you. That's my situation:
Distance from NYC Midtown: 215 miles each way = 430 miles total
Current Gas Price: $4.00/gal (regular; more for high octane)
Car's Fuel Economy: 25 miles/gallon (being generous here, my car actual is ~21 hwy)
Gas Cost: $68.80
Tolls: ~$15? (GW Bridge is $13 or ~$11 with EZ-Pass) + Route 87 is toll road.
Wear and Tear on Car: @34 cents / mile (a "rule of thumb" # used to include insurance and maintenance) = $146.20
--- Total Estimated Cost of Transportation via Private Car = $230
@ 1 Person: $230
@ 2 person: $115 each
@ 3 person: $77 each
versus bus price (bus only, no lift ticket): $70 (source: MT Snow Sunday Day Trip Mar. 10th | | OvRride.com
For solo, bus is much cheaper (get the bus-only price if you have season pass).
For 2, bus is cheaper
For 3, bus is marginally cheaper
For 4, car will be cheaper
Sorry, I work in finance, calcs like this is second nature to me; sorry if it's too much numbers for you haha...
Point is, driving up yourself is cheaper the more people you have.
But then, a car has limits to how much people + gear you can take (bigger SUVs like Suburbans can carry more people & gear, but also have less gas mileage, so you need to adjust accordingly).
Personally, I don't have friends that go every freakin' weekend. Maybe a few times a season. Otherwise it's solor or with one other friend who's as hardcore as me. And that's back in my peak when I used to go every weekend...