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UTA cutting several winter services to Park City including ski buses

UTAH — On September 28, Utah Transit Authority (UTA) announced that they will be cutting their services due to “staffing shortages and hiring challenges.” These service cuts include several routes to and from Park City and will take effect on the UTA December 11 Change Day.

Some of the most significant cuts affecting Park City include suspending Route 901, which connects Salt Lake City and Park City and shortening Route 902 to only run between Olympus Cove Park and Ride and Kimball Junction Transit Center. UTA currently has no plans to reinstate these and other cut routes in the future. You can find a full list of the amended routes across the state here.

In addition to changing several of their normal commuter routes, UTA will also be adjusting several ski bus services this year. You can find the full list of amended ski routes here. Notably, UTA will still provide ski bus services on routes 902 and 39 to Park City, which will run weekday mornings and evenings and all day on the weekend. Services to Park City will not be free for season pass holders and will cost $5-$10 roundtrip.

Nathan Rafferty, President of Ski Utah, said the following about the adjustments’ impact on Utah skiing:

“Ski Utah and its partner resorts were disappointed to hear this news so close to the start of the winter season. However, Utah’s ski resorts are working diligently with UTA to come up with potential solutions prior to opening day.”

UTA also included extensive question and answer sections in their announcements about the amended services. Regarding the cause of the cuts, UTA wrote the following:

“A shortage of transit operators persists across the nation, amid staffing shortages and hiring challenges facing multiple businesses in the transportation industry and many others. Since the pandemic, the number of bus operators across the country has 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 have been affected more significantly.”

UTA continued saying that they will keep using extensive data about their services to make adjustments to their routes, including the possibility of restoring some of the cut routes. They also reiterated that UTA “takes service reductions very seriously and recognizes the impact it will have on customers who rely on them.”

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