WEATHER

UTA bus driver says he is living the dream, driving during snowy days

Mar 5, 2023, 10:21 PM | Updated: Mar 6, 2023, 7:52 am

As Utah continues to see feet of new snow in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, a Utah Transit Authority bus driver is sharing his unique perspective on the responsibility that comes with transporting thousands of people in and out of the canyons safely each day.

“Every single day I look up at the mountain and I look up at the clouds, and if I can tell there’s going to be new snow on the mountain, I know it’s going to be a busy day,” said 39-year-old Joshua Memea.

Safety is the number the top priority for Memea, who became a UTA bus driver nearly three years ago.

“I make sure I tell my passengers every single time we pull away from the stop that their safety is my number one priority,” he said.

Memea’s passion for driving began at a young age and he enjoys sharing his adventures and positive messages about being a bus driver on Twitter.

“It’s my dream job, ever since I can remember, since I was 6 or 7, I’ve wanted to be a bus driver,” he said.

Memea spends several shifts a week driving to the resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons. He said he loves the winding roads and the snow-covered trees.

“Definitely more (snow) than I’ve seen being a bus driver, but the more white stuff, the better.”

With record snowfall amounts in the Cottonwoods for the 2022-23 season, road conditions in the canyons have often been challenging. For Memea, he doesn’t mind the big snow days, in fact, he feels confident driving in them.

“In pitch black darkness, I can read the curves, I know the curves, I know every turn,” he expressed. “Now it’s just second nature.”

Memea tries to project that confidence onto his passengers, who often turn to UTA on big snow days to avoid driving their own vehicles in the canyon.

“Sometimes getting stuck in the canyon can get a little stressful, so I kind of make people laugh,” he said. “I make sure my passengers know that I love my job and love what I do because at the end of the day, it’s my job to get them from point A to point B safely.”

Memea hopes that his calm and positive demeanor as a bus driver will encourage others to ride the bus in the canyons, he says his goal is to get each of his riders home safely.

“My whole philology is I leave people in a better situation than what I found them, so when they get off my bus, they’ll talk about me, they’ll have a smile on their face, that’s why I do what I do.”

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UTA bus driver says he is living the dream, driving during snowy days