Citing a shortage of bus drivers, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) announced last month that it will adjust 17 bus routes or schedules and suspend three routes altogether beginning Dec. 11.
“These changes were necessitated by the shortage of operators that we’ve been experiencing,” said UTA spokesperson Carl Arky. “It’s … a shortage that has been growing, and [it] has been an issue for UTA for quite some time now.”
The agency will suspend routes 650, 901 and 953. Adjustments will affect service in Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties, as well as service to Summit County, and involve 15- and 30-minute changes in most cases.
Local route schedule changes in Salt Lake County include:
- 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
Two of those routes, routes 39 and 240, provide commute to one of two Salt Lake Community College campuses.
Route 39 services SLCC’s Taylorsville Redwood Campus via Bruin Boulevard, while Route 240 currently takes students directly to SLCC’s Jordan Campus.
In addition to a move to 60-minute service after Dec. 11, Route 240 will remove service from Sam’s Boulevard and Plaza Center Drive, and it will no longer transport students to and from Jordan Campus.
Arky said ridership numbers and demand went into deciding which routes would receive adjustments. The route changes do not have an end date at this time, as it will take an influx of new bus operators to get things back on track.
“We hope to get back to being fully staffed as soon as we possibly can, and to be able to provide more service – not just [to] restore the service that we had, but to provide even more service beyond that,” Arky said.