UTA Making Emergency Service Adjustments in December 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 11 Change Day, impacting Weber, Davis and Salt Lake counties, as well as service to Summit County. These changes will include several local routes, ski-service routes, and regional routes. There are no other planned adjustments for these service areas.

Other UTA services, such as Utah County bus service, FrontRunner, TRAX, Paratransit, UTA On Demand, UVX, OGX and the S-Line Streetcar are not currently experiencing staffing issues and are not anticipated to be affected at this time.

Affected Bus Routes

Salt Lake County

Local Routes
Route 39: Adjusted from 15-minute to 30-minute service
Route 201: Adjusted from 30-minute to 60-minute service
Route 218: Adjusted from 30-minute to 60-minute service
Route 240: Adjusted from 30-minute to 60-minute service; and the route will be streamlined

Ski Service Routes
Route 953: Will be suspended
Route 972: Adjusted from 15-minute to 30-minute service
Route 994: Adjusted from 15-minute to 30-minute service

Salt Lake - Summit Counties

Regional Routes (Park City)
Route 901: Will be suspended
Route 902: Route will only run between Olympus Cove P+R and Kimball Junction Transit Center.

Davis - Weber Counties

Local Routes
Route 603: Certain trips will be suspended
Route 612: Certain trips will be suspended
Route 625: Adjusted from 30-minute to 60-minute service
Route 645: Adjusted from 30-minute to 60-minute
Route 650: Will be suspended

Ski Service Routes
Route 674: Restructured to run more mid-day and less peak trips
Route 675: Restructured to run more mid-day and less peak trips
Route 677: Restructured to run more mid-day and less peak trips

Regional Routes (Ogden-Salt Lake City)
Route 455: Certain trips will be suspended
Route 470: Certain trips will be suspended
Route 640: Certain trips will be suspended

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 and what options do I have?
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. For the routes that will be suspended in December, here are options for our riders:
- Route 901 to Park City: use either Route 39 or Route 902.
- Route 953 to ski areas: use either Route 972 or Route 994.

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.

Select Language: