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Yes, you can still ride the bus to go skiing and snowboarding on Christmas and New Year’s

Skiers and snowboarders board a UTA bus headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon on Dec. 23, 2022.
Sean Higgins
Skiers and snowboarders board a UTA bus headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon on Dec. 23, 2022.

The Utah Transit Authority recently cut back or eliminated some bus routes, including the services to Utah ski resorts.

The transit authority blames a driver shortage for several bus routes along the Wasatch Front being eliminated or reduced from 15- to 30-minute frequency earlier in December.

Unfortunately, we've had a huge issue with hiring new operators and so we've had a huge labor shortage,’ said UTA spokesperson James Larson. “And so we've just had to be extremely creative this year when it comes to our ski service.

Despite the recent cutbacks, bus service could still return to previous schedules.

“We view all this as temporary fixes,” Larson said. “If our labor pool increases and gets a little bit better, then of course, we would love to be able to go back to our 15-minute service and return all of our service throughout our whole entire area.”

Over the busy Christmas and New Year's holidays, UTA’s ski bus will still offer skiers and riders trips up and down the mountain. The buses will run weekend service on those days, which comes less often.

High schooler Bodhi Ravarino and his friends take the ski bus whenever they don't have a ride up to the mountain. He’d love it if the bus came more often.

“I think I’d take it more if it’s more convenient,” he said. “I do like to ride it. It’s one of the things I ride more when I’m not being driven up, so if it came more I would definitely ride it more.”

To keep up with expected demand this winter and help make ski bus rides more convenient, Larson said buses will also be getting police escorts up popular Little Cottonwood Canyon on heavy traffic days.

It's one of those things where if there's accidents or there's avalanches or there's super, super bad traffic, we'll use it as needed. So it's not like you're going to see a police escort every single time we go up the mountain. But we did use it a couple of weeks ago when we had that first big heavy snowstorm … And it helped out quite a bit.

Sean is KUER’s politics reporter.
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