The dreaded ski season traffic. Many look to buses as a solution, but this year expect changes. Some good.

“We’re probably more well-coordinated than we’ve been in the past,” Park City transportation operations manager said.

And some bad.

“We have an operation shortage; we don’t have enough bus operators,” Utah Transit Authority spokesperson Carl Arky said.

In Park City, their transit system is opening two new residential routes, coordinated with resorts for parking and traffic management, provided a calendar of busiest traffic days and sped up bus routes to 20-minute frequencies during ski season.

“We’ve coordinated to try and create plans that will improve the circulation and mitigate some of the congestion,” Leathan said.

They said they’ve been able to hire more bus drivers due to their benefits, which include city housing.

“I think the beautiful surroundings and what park city has to offer has really helped us avoid some of the staffing issues we’ve seen in other places,” Leathan said.

The UTA saw those staffing issues firsthand.

“We really need the operators, and we want to have the ones who are well trained and have a little bit of experience under their belt if possible to provide the safety and reliability everybody’s counting on,” Arky said.

They said Utah’s low unemployment rate and competitive market make it difficult to hire people, especially finding skilled drivers who can safely drive up the canyon.

They’re having to cut route 953 up little cottonwood canyon and reduce bus route frequencies to half an hour instead of the typical 15 minutes. So they’re finding ways to make up for it.

“We’re gonna be putting bigger buses out to compensate for the fact that we’re not going to be running up as often,” Arky said.

In the meantime, they’re asking for patience and any new hires.

“We’ll get you up the canyon; it’ll maybe just take a little bit longer,” Arky said.

And though ski resorts are opening earlier, the ski season bus routes won’t be in service until December 11.