Most people are accustomed to driving a car in a metropolis but imagine being responsible for the daily transportation of hundreds of passengers.
Bus drivers have to be able to navigate winding roads while overcoming several obstacles and challenges. They must also adhere to the timetable and be mindful that even a slight mishap might cause injuries to their passengers or result in the loss of their job.
7 things bus drivers do during the day include:
- Follow a strict schedule & itinerary
- Assist disabled passengers
- Follow federal traffic & transportation laws
- Follow safety protocols
- Inspect bus tires, oil, & lights
- Take passengers to desired locations
- Interact with hundreds of people
1. Follow A Strict Schedule & Itinerary
Bus drivers are the heroes of public transportation! There’s a lot more to driving a bus than meets the eye, and even though it may seem like all bus drivers do all day is shuttle people from place to place in exchange for cash, bus drivers face a great deal of pressure and stress on the job.
All city bus drivers must adhere to the hour shifts requirements by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). After 10 hours on the road and 15 hours, bus drivers must take an 8-hour break.
There are also weekly maximums; however, they might change depending on how an organization structures its schedules. The hours of a bus driver are set by the itinerary of the journey they are on with their passengers.
Bus drivers may be required to work at any time of day or night, including on public holidays and weekends
Bus Driver’s Daily Tasks: Schedules
- Adhere to shift hours
- Need to take a break of 8 hours after 10 hours on the road
- They get passengers from point A to B while adhering to a strict schedule
2. Assist Disabled Passengers
A bus driver cannot simply let physically impaired passengers struggle to board the bus if they do not have someone to assist them.
The bus driver is responsible for helping physically impaired or elderly citizens to get on and off the bus without injuring themselves.
Suppose somebody gets injured due to the negligence of the bus driver who refuses to assist the passengers mentioned above.
In that case, it harms the bus company’s name and could cause them to be dismissed from their job or receive a warning.
Bus Driver’s Daily Tasks: Assistance
- Helps the elderly onto and off the bus
- Assists physically impaired passengers
3. Follow Federal Traffic & Transportation Laws
Driving people along set routes across the suburbs and cities, local transit bus drivers adhere to a rigorous daily schedule.
They also have to adhere to federal traffic and transportation laws. It is also necessary to stop whenever a passenger flags them down every few blocks.
Bus operators in smaller cities must handle fare box transactions, collect fares, and field passenger inquiries concerning transfers, routes, and schedules.
The bus operator must also contact a central dispatcher to report incidents like traffic jams and accidents.
Bus Driver’s Daily Tasks: Laws
- Adheres to state and federal traffic and transportation laws
- Collects fares
- Contacts a dispatcher to report traffic jams or accidents
4. Follow Safety Protocols
The bus driver is in charge of handling issues, making assessments, and taking corrective measures during an emergency.
Bus drivers not only require well-defined protocols to follow during times of crisis, but they also benefit from training and practice runs.
There are several ways in which transit agencies may improve their bus driver’s preparedness for catastrophes, including incorporating emergency response into vehicle and equipment procurement and looking into alternative methods of preparing bus drivers for emergencies.
Bus Driver’s Daily Tasks: Safety
- Follows necessary safety protocols
- Trained for catastrophes and emergencies
5. Inspects The Tires, Oil, & Lights
Passengers never see the daily “start-up” process of a bus driver. The bus driver must check in and consult with a dispatcher before commencing work by getting on the road.
The dispatcher will provide the driver with the day’s route schedule, necessary diversions, etc.
However, sometimes dealing with dispatch can also be a source of anxiety for the bus driver even before work begins due to the stresses of working in urban transportation.
After finding the designated bus, the driver has only 10 minutes to set up the fare boxes and radio, install the destination sign, and do a comprehensive safety check (including testing the lights.)
The bus driver also needs to check the tires’ pressure and ensure the bus has sufficient oil), before arranging the driver’s mirror and seat.
The driver’s ability to communicate with others is crucial to the operation’s success, making a functional radio a “lifeline.”
Often, a bus driver’s equipment is outdated and worn, and even if one of these components fails to operate correctly, the time limit becomes insufficient.
If a second bus obstructs the exit, further delay and heightened anxiety may ensue.
Bus Driver’s Daily Tasks: Checks
- Check the brakes & brake lights
- Test if the front lights are working
- Test functionality of radio and dispatch emergency equipment
6. Take Passengers to Desired Locations
It is a massive responsibility to pick passengers up at certain locations and get them to their desired destinations on time.
The scheduling of buses and drivers is a crucial aspect of any bus company’s daily operations. Bus companies require their drivers to keep to their timetables to optimize efficiency and achieve the public transport council’s criteria for bus service.
In the field of bus operations, bus drivers confront several obstacles, such as the pressure to make the most of their resource constraints and the need to fulfill service standards for various bus routes.
When it comes to large-scale bus operations in urban areas, bus planning is necessary since it could mean losing money or saving it.
Bus Driver’s Daily Tasks: Commuting
- Stop if a passenger wants to exit the bus
- Deal with unforeseen obstacles
- Getting people to their destinations on time
7. Interact With Hundreds Of People Daily
Bus drivers not only have to get passengers from point a to point B, but they also need to interact and deal with rude or impatient individuals while keeping themselves composed and professional. Bus drivers need to possess a high level of patience to do their job.
That is a tough thing to do, and most people cannot keep calm during stressful situations. If anything, bus drivers do not receive the appreciation they deserve for everything they must endure daily. Also, imagine how often a bus driver has to greet each person on their bus.
You may have seen a bus driver looking demotivated and aloof at times. Still, it is important to understand that after greeting 300 passengers, it is normal to feel overwhelmed and demotivated.
Bus Driver’s Daily Tasks: Passengers
- Show respect for passengers
- Greet passengers
- Interact with hundreds of people and answer passenger queries