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Become A Transit Bus Operator

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Working As A Transit Bus Operator

  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $38,290

    Average Salary

Example Of What A Transit Bus Operator does

  • Drive through traffic safely and obeying traffic laws.
  • Provided safe bus operations according to predetermined routes and schedules
  • Maintain cleanliness of bus or motor coach.
  • Communicated with Supervisors and other drivers about dangerous driving conditions.
  • Transport passengers throughout the city.
  • Provide customer service information in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Transport passengers on designated bus routes to various locations.
  • Comply with traffic regulations to operate vehicles in a safe and courteous manner.
  • Recorded cash receipts and ticket fares.
  • Handle passenger emergencies or disruptions.
  • Picked up passengers waiting at bus stops.
  • Performed pre-trip and post-trip inspections of coach for mechanical problems, prior to beginning scheduled run.
  • Have driven 28 passenger buses to 42 passenger buses .
  • Maintained good relations with the general public.
  • Provided bus commuters safe transport to their destination.

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How To Become A Transit Bus Operator

Bus drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This can sometimes be earned during on-the-job training. A bus driver must possess a clean driving record and often may be required to pass a background check. They also must meet physical, hearing and vision requirements. In addition, bus drivers often need a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Education

Most employers prefer drivers to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Training

Bus drivers typically go through 1 to 3 months of training. Part of the training is spent on a driving course, where drivers practice various maneuvers with a bus. They then begin to drive in light traffic and eventually make practice runs on the type of route that they expect to drive. New drivers make regularly scheduled trips with passengers and are accompanied by an experienced driver who gives helpful tips, answers questions, and evaluates the new driver's performance.

Some drivers’ training is also spent in the classroom. They learn their company’s rules and regulations, state and municipal traffic laws, and safe driving practices. Drivers also learn about schedules and bus routes, fares, and how to interact with passengers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All bus drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Some new bus drivers can earn their CDL during on-the-job training. The qualifications for getting one vary by state but generally include passing both knowledge and driving tests. States have the right to not issue a license to someone who has had a CDL suspended by another state.

Drivers can get endorsements to a CDL that reflect their ability to drive a special type of vehicle. All bus drivers must have a passenger (P) endorsement, and school bus drivers must also have a school bus (S) endorsement. Getting the P and S endorsements requires additional knowledge and driving tests administered by a certified examiner.

Many states require all bus drivers to be 18 years of age or older and those who drive across state lines to be at least 21 years old.

Federal regulations require interstate bus drivers to pass a physical exam and submit to random testing for drug or alcohol abuse while on duty. Most states impose similar regulations. Bus drivers can have their CDL suspended if they are convicted of a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle or of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other actions also can result in a suspension after multiple violations. A list of violations is available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Most bus drivers are required to undergo background checks before they are hired. 

Advancement

Opportunities for promotion are generally limited, but experienced drivers may become supervisors or dispatchers. Some veteran bus drivers become instructors of new bus drivers.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Bus drivers regularly interact with passengers and must be courteous and helpful.

Hand-eye coordination. Driving a bus requires the controlled use of multiple limbs on the basis of what a person observes. Federal regulations require drivers to have normal use of their arms and legs.

Hearing ability. Bus drivers need good hearing. Federal regulations require the ability to hear a forced whisper in one ear at five feet (with or without the use of a hearing aid).

Patience. Because of possible traffic congestion and sometimes unruly passengers, bus drivers are put in stressful situations and must remain calm and continue to operate their bus.

Physical health. Federal and state regulations do not allow people to become bus drivers if they have a medical condition that may interfere with their operation of a bus, such as high blood pressure or epilepsy. A full list of medical reasons that keep someone from becoming a licensed bus driver is available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Visual ability. Bus drivers must be able to pass vision tests. Federal regulations require at least 20/40 vision with a 70-degree field of vision in each eye and the ability to distinguish colors on a traffic light.

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Transit Bus Operator jobs

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Top Skills for A Transit Bus Operator

TransportPassengersCustomerServiceInformationSafetyRulesPost-TripInspectionsEmergencyProceduresTrafficRegulationsDefensiveDrivingSkillsDailyPre-TripInspectionSafeBusOperationsBusStopsSafeTransportPublicTransportationPassengerBusesSupervisorsMotorCoachBusRoutesTicketFaresBusSchedulesTrafficLawsMechanicalProblems

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Top Transit Bus Operator Skills

  1. Transport Passengers
  2. Customer Service Information
  3. Safety Rules
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Transport Passengers on different routes assigned, safely and in a timely manner.
  • Provide customer service information in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Comply with traffic regulations to operate vehicles in a safe and courteous manner.
  • Provided safe bus operations according to predetermined routes and schedules
  • Picked up passengers at designated bus stops or as dispatched.

Top Transit Bus Operator Employers

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