Ski Bus Service Adjustments Due to Bus Operator Shortages

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is experiencing staffing shortages and hiring challenges like many other businesses and transit agencies across the nation. As a result of this ongoing shortage, specifically related to bus operators, UTA is making several emergency bus service adjustments on the December 11th Change Day, impacting Weber, Davis and Salt Lake counties, as well as service to Summit County. Please use the following information and FAQ to plan your ski trip:

Salt Lake County
Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude & Snowbird

On December 11, 2022, UTA’s Cottonwood Canyon ski bus will start service to Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude ski resorts.

  • Ride for FREE with:
    • Season Ski Passes
    • IKON Pass
  • Service Enhancements
    • New Ski Buses: UTA has 13 brand-new 40-foot Gillig buses with snow chains, stronger transmissions, and 20% more space
    • Maintenance Trucks: UTA will partner with UDOT to have maintenance vehicles at the ski resorts to help with any mechanical issues from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Service Dates:
    • Start Date: December 11, 2022
    • Holiday Schedules
      • Saturday service on December 24, 2022
      • Sunday service on December 25-26, 2022
      • Sunday service on December 31, 2022
    • End Date: April 15, 2023
  • Ski Bus Routes:
    • Route 953 – Will be suspended due to staffing shortages and hiring challenges (Use Route 994)
    • Route 972 – Midvale to Solitude/Brighton
      • Adjusted from 15-minute to 30-minute service
      • Service begins at 6:15 a.m. and ends at 8:22 p.m.
      • 24 vans for resorts to shuttle employees to and from UTA stops
      • Cottonwood City and Unified police escorts during heavy traffic days from Park and Ride lots to Solitude and Brighton
    • Route 994 – Sandy to Snowbird/Alta
      • Adjusted from 15-minute to 30-minute service
      • Service begins at 6:15 a.m. and ends at 6:04 p.m.
      • 24 vans for resorts to shuttle employees to and from UTA stops
      • Police Escorts during heavy traffic days from UTA 2000 East and 9400 South Park and Rides to Snowbird and Alta Ski Resorts
      • We will no longer be using the Bypass Road or Goldminers Lodge bus stops due to safety concerns. Please reference the new map.

Summit County
Salt Lake City to Park City

UTA offers service between Salt Lake City and Park City all year long.

  • Service Schedule:
    • Weekday morning and evenings (Mon-Fri)
    • Weekends throughout the day (Sat-Sun)
    • Service is not free for Park City season pass holders ($5-$10 for roundtrip)
  • Holiday Schedules:
    • Saturday service on December 24, 2022
    • Sunday service on December 25-26, 2022
    • Sunday service on December 31, 2022
  • Ski Bus Routes:
    • Route 901 – Will be suspended (Use Route 39 or 902)
    • Route 902 – Salt Lake City to Kimball Junction, Shortened to 3900 S. Wasatch Blvd.

Weber County
Snowbasin and Powder Mountain

On December 10, 2022, UTA’s Weber and Davis County ski bus will start service to Snowbasin and Powder Mountain.

  • Reduced Season Ski Bus Passes available:
    • Snowbasin
    • Powder Mountain
  • Service Dates:
    • Start Date
      • December 10, 2022
    • Holiday Schedules
      • Saturday service on December 24, 2022
      • Saturday service on December 25-26, 2022
      • Saturday service on December 31, 2022
      • Saturday service on January 1-2, 2023
      • Saturday service on January 16, 2023
      • Saturday service on February 20, 2023
    • End Date: March 26, 2023
  • Ski Bus Routes:
    • Route 674 – Ogden to Powder Mountain, Restructured to run more mid-day and less peak trips
    • Route 675 – Ogden to Snowbasin, Restructured to run more mid-day and less peak trips
    • Route 677 – Layton to Snowbasin, Restructured to run more mid-day and less peak trips

Utah County
Sundance Ski Resort

On December 17, 2022, UTA’s Utah County ski bus will start weekday and Saturday service to Sundance Ski Resort (there is no Sunday Service). There will be no service changes to Sundance Ski Resort Service.

  • Ride for FREE with:
    • Season Ski Passes
  • Service Dates:
    • Start Date
      • December 17, 2022
    • Holiday Schedules
      • Saturday service on December 24, 2022
      • No Service on December 25, 2022
      • No service on December 26, 2022
      • Saturday service on December 31, 2022
      • No service on January 1, 2023
      • No service on January 2, 2023
    • End Dates
      • Weekday service ends on February 28, 2023
      • Saturday service ends on March 25, 2023
  • Ski Bus Route:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:     Why is UTA experiencing an operator shortage?

A:
     A shortage of transit operators persists across the nation, amid staffing shortages and hiring challenges facing multiple business in the transportation industry and many others. Since the pandemic, the number of bus operators across the country have been dropping as many operators retire or seek higher wages in jobs that require less in-person interaction with concerns about exposure. UTA is no different. We have seen an unanticipated number of operators leave the agency post-pandemic resulting in the current shortages. While hiring challenges affect the entire organization, bus operations has been affected more significantly.

Q:     What is UTA doing do address this shortage?

A:
     UTA has identified several strategies and steps to address the operator shortage, and we are actively recruiting for bus operators at this time. While we are hopeful these efforts will have an effect long-term, they will not address our immediate need for bus operators in orders to maintain all current service. Some of the strategies include enhancing bus operator support through more coaching, team structures, and restructured work schedules. They also include innovative hiring practices to broaden the candidate base such as an apprenticeship program and early on-boarding for new hires.

Q:     Why did UTA decide to reduce service on these routes?

A:
     UTA takes service reductions very seriously and recognizes the impact it will have to customers who rely on us. As we responded to this emergency situation, we worked to minimize the impacts as much as possible, and focused on maintaining service for essential riders, the equity of the impacts among all riders, and tried to maintain service and connections all day for the greatest number of people.

Q:     Why was my bus route adjusted?

A:
     UTA does not take service adjustments lightly. When faced with operator shortages and other issues impacting our service, we look at ridership data and other factors to determine where adjustments can take place in order to maintain service for the greatest number of people. We also take into consideration what options our customers will have if their route is affected. Most of the impacted routes involved reduced frequency or planned miss trips.

Q:     Will these emergency service adjustments be temporary?

A:
     UTA reviews our operations regularly to determine the best routes, schedules, and services to address the transit needs of our customers. We look at ridership data and trends, operational factors such as availability of operators, and situational impacts in determining the best and most efficient way to deliver safe, reliable, and quality transit services. These efforts will inform us on the continued need for these service adjustments.

Trip Planning & Customer Service

For the best trip planning efforts, download the Transit app from the App Store or Google Play. If you have additional questions, please contact UTA Customer Service at 801-RIDE-UTA (801-743-3882) Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You may also email Customer Service at rideuta@rideuta.com.

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