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High Valley Transit’s new 108 bus route delayed for lack of drivers

High Valley Transit
High Valley Transit

High Valley Transit planned to launch a new bus route running from Silver Creek to the Jeremy Ranch park-and-ride lot on April 28. But the new bus route has been delayed for lack of staff. 

High Valley Transit planned to launch the new 108 bus route the same day it took over the 10 White Express bus route from Park City Transit. That route is now the 10X running from the Old Town Transit Center to the Kimball Junction Transit Center. However, Executive Director Caroline Rodriguez said the launch of the new 108 route was delayed until July because High Valley doesn’t have enough bus drivers.

“We wanted to make sure that 10X was successful and had enough drivers along with the 101," she said. "So it just wasn't feasible to add the 108 at the same time.”

Chief Operations Officer Brad Herkimer said High Valley has technically never had a full staff of bus drivers but usually can run about 96% of services. With the addition of the 10X and the 108 routes, Herkimer said High Valley needs 53 bus operators. Right now they have about 40.

Herkimer said it’s difficult to find bus drivers in the Wasatch Back.

“I would say about 90% to 95% of our operators do not live in the Park City area,” he said.

A commercial driver’s license is another hurdle for potential bus drivers. To address the need for more drivers, Herkimer said High Valley has a CDL program to help drivers get certified.

Herkimer also said they look for more in a driver than just passing the test.

“We need them to have a higher level of care and understanding and empathy, but also just a good head on their shoulders, so that they can, you know, navigate potentially hazardous situations or de-escalate a problem in the bus,” he said.

Herkimer said 38 people have applied for the CDL program and he’s confident High Valley can hire enough new drivers over the next few months.

The 108 route is expected to launch in July to coincide with High Valley’s third anniversary.