Regional transit faces delays, packed buses over snowy holiday weekend
After a busy powder weekend, with weather challenges, road closures and delays, High Valley Transit is urging riders to be considerate.
With visitors flocking to the mountains over Martin Luther King Jr. Day, local public transit has been working to manage crowds of riders and snow-covered roads.
High Valley Transit executive director Caroline Rodriguez said while the weekend’s snowstorm was good news for skiers, it meant dense traffic and messy roads, adding to the challenges facing bus drivers.
“If the snow is dumping, then the plow drivers are also dumping snow into the shoulder, which makes it impossible for us to operate there,” she said. “So it’s been difficult.”
And High Valley’s microtransit vans get stuck like all other cars in traffic.
Visitors to Park City are urged to carpool and use buses to help mitigate traffic around town. Rodriguez said it’s imperative for skiers to be considerate of transit workers so the system can run smoothly. She said it hurts everyone when skiers ignore signage at park-and-rides and take bus drivers’ parking spots.
“When our drivers reported for duty, they had nowhere to leave their car… because people so blatantly ignored where they were supposed to be parking,” she said. “People think they’re sort of gaming the system by finding a spot, but guess what? There’s no one to drive the bus.”
Indeed, having enough drivers to serve the transit system has been a challenge this winter. Rodriguez said High Valley Transit is still looking for around eight drivers.
“It absolutely affects us – just like if you go to a restaurant and there’s no servers,” she said. “There are runs we’re going to miss.”
Especially at this time of year, drivers log long hours under challenging conditions.
“Please be pleasant to your operators,” she said. “They’re really just trying to keep everyone safe out there on the road while getting you to your destination.”
Information about bus routes can be found on High Valley Transit’s website.