Full-time or part-time, free summers or continued work – driving a bus is full of options. You can stay local or drive all over your county on school buses, tour buses, sightseeing buses, or commuter buses. What you drive and where is entirely up to you. From 15 passenger buses to the huge 60 foot long articulated (accordion) buses that can hold 100 people, it’s all the same license.
The life of a bus driver is never dull, and there is far more to the job than just driving. Most drivers start their day checking their bus out from front to back to make sure everything is working perfectly and is in order. They’ll check lights, tires, and the oil, and then they’ll start transporting passengers.
Depending on the type of bus a driver operates, a driver will follow a planned route and schedule, or hit the road. They’ll help elderly and disabled passengers get on and off the bus and keep passengers informed of delays.
Different Stokes for Different Folks
Intercity bus drivers regularly transport passengers between cities or towns, which means traveling between two or more states in some cases. This type of route is very diverse, and drivers get the opportunity to test their skills under a variety of conditions every day. Some pick-up and drop off passengers stop exclusively at bus terminals, while others provide a mix of curb and terminal service.
Local transit bus drivers will follow a strict, daily schedule as they transport passengers on regular routes along the same city, suburban, and even rural streets and roads. These drivers make frequent stops and get to meet a wide range of people throughout the course of their busy day. Local transit drivers are often responsible for collecting fares or transfers from riders and providing information about routes and connecting transportation.
Motor coach drivers take passengers on chartered trips on sightseeing buses. Their trips can last from several hours to all day to several days or more and are usually arranged by a trip planner. Motor coach drivers often get to experience a different trip everyday and see huge portions of their region – even cross country.
Their responsibilities include assisting passengers with complaints, ensuring that the bus stays on schedule, and sometimes even acting as a tour guide. Motor coach drivers will also help passengers on and off the bus, load and unload baggage, and perhaps most importantly, account for all passengers before leaving a location.
School bus drivers transport students to and from school and other activities, like class trips to museums and amusement parks, and, of course, to and from sporting events, like football and basketball games.
School bus drivers often have other jobs and supplement their income with morning and afternoon routes. Many already work in schools as janitors or cafeteria workers. School bus drivers are responsible for the safety of all the children on their bus, including when the children are getting off at school or at home.