NewsPositively Utah


Driving in the Cottonwood Canyons has been 'a dream come true' for one UTA bus driver

Posted at 10:48 PM, Apr 14, 2023

Every time Josh Memea gets behind the bus wheel, he’s living his childhood dream.

“Ever since I was about six or seven, I've always wanted to be a bus driver, had always a fascination with buses in general," he said.

Riders know him as “Uncle Maui," a nickname given to him by his nieces, due to his resemblance to the character from the Disney movie “Moana.”

“He announced himself as Maui, and we all laughed and we were all very crowded bus and he's like, 'We'll make it as smooth as possible,'" Garret Winkel recalled from the first time he took Maui's bus. "He's just making jokes with us all the time.”

UTA's ski bus service ends this weekend, even though some of the resorts are staying open for at least another month. This winter has made the canyons difficult and dangerous to drive in, but Maui is going to miss his favorite routes.

“I just love meeting the people, being in the mountains," he said. "I love the outdoors anyway, so what a better way to be than to be on my bus in the mountains.”

With UTA cutting the ski bus service in half this season, and the constant slow exacerbating traffic problems, many riders have been frustrated, said Maui.

“I do feel the frustration, but I think that's where my personality comes in a lot," he said. "On the weekends, our buses are packed full, so there is tension, but on my bus, it's always a light mood. I always make sure people feel comfortable, feel safe.”

Here are the current set closing dates for Utah's resorts from SkiUtah:

  • Alta - April 23, 2023
  • Beaver Mountain - April 9, 2023
  • Brian Head - April 30, 2023
  • Brighton - May 29, 2023
  • Cherry Peak - April 15, 2023
  • Deer Valley Resort - April 23, 2023
  • Eagle Point - April 2, 2023
  • Nordic Valley - April 16, 2023
  • Park City Mountain - May 1, 2023
  • Powder Mountain - April 16, 2023
  • Snowbasin - April 23, 2023
  • Snowbird - to be announced - Open daily through May 14. Then open Friday–Sundays and holidays through Memorial Day.
  • Solitude - May 21, 2023
  • Sundance - April 8, 2023
  • Woodward Park City - to be announced (chair closes), jib park open until snow melts