Public and private passenger transport needs a skilled professional, the bus driver.
He takes tourists, workers, citizens and students from one end of the city to another and from one country to another using a bus that can be scheduled, urban or suburban. He follows the predetermined route also using shuttles and buses for organised trips.
Typical day of a driver:
A public sector bus driver travels the same route every day, respecting stops and and travelling from one terminus to another according to different timetables. At each stop, the driver must ensure that all persons in the vicinity of the door have alighted, while in the meantime there are others boarding from another door of the bus. These passengers must also be checked by the driver by means of devices on the driver’s console. In addition, it is always the driver who has to indicate the number of the bus and its destination on the outside of the vehicle as well as ensuring the right temperature inside, which is pleasant for everyone.
But there are not only public drivers, in fact there are also private ones such as the school-bus driver who loads the students in the morning at the various stops and takes them to school; then in the afternoon, when school is over, he takes them home. This driver must also ensure a good service for all children by, for example, helping the youngest children to cross the street or to get on and off the bus.
Another type of bus driver is the one who works to perform long-distance journeys that can be national or even international. These buses are usually booked by travel agencies or by the school itself for school trips. The driver in this case will have to be very careful when driving the bus and will have to help with luggage as well as sleeping outside if the itinerary is quite long.
There are companies that provide shuttles and transfers to take passengers from stations to airports or fairs and so on. There is also no shortage of tourist buses offering sightseeing tours stopping at the most interesting places such as squares and monuments or museums. In fact, in the tourism sector even the bus driver is required to give some information or indication about the city or place visited using a microphone, at times when the tour guide is missing.
Perhaps not everyone knows that.
The bus driver has a job where he or she is always driving, perhaps in traffic, and with schedules to keep! In fact, not everyone knows that there are shifts and breaks to rest. Flexibility is required in the case of long routes or in the case of weekends or evening and night routes. Furthermore, it is always the bus driver who must be responsible for the people he or she is transporting and ensure proper driving in order to comply with the Highway Code.
It may not seem so, but it is precisely the driver who must take care of the bus that is given to him for that day or shift. He must clean it and tidy it up before starting work, and he must also check that the heating, air conditioning and lighting are working, as well as the doors, which must close and open correctly. In general, he must ensure that the bus is completely efficient.
The bus driver’s duties also include selling tickets to passengers who do not have them and who request them on the bus.
What is needed to work as a bus driver
In order to be hired as a bus driver, one must have a D or D and E driving licence, as well as the Habilitation to Transport Persons, i.e. the Driver Qualification Card.
One must know the Highway Code and the mechanics of the vehicle for possible repairs if the driver feels able to do them. They must be familiar with the area of the route, i.e. the streets and squares of the city, and they must also know a foreign language in case the bus driver has to respond to requests for information or directions from foreign passengers and tourists.
Overall, he/she must have good manners, control stress, be prudent, punctual and focused when driving.
As far as the training of a bus driver is concerned, it is the transport agencies that will have to take care of the induction and training. In the initial period, all newly hired drivers are supported by other drivers or more experienced colleagues. The latter offer assistance and help to the newly hired driver.
Bus drivers need licences and qualifications and in no time at all they will be able to find work with transport companies, car services, both public and private. He could then become a bus driver for transport in the city or for transport outside the city or on international and national coaches.
Here too, as in any other sector, the driver can specialise, for example in driving shuttles or mini-buses, school buses, accompanying the disabled or elderly, or become a driver for coach hire and so on.
While as far as careers are concerned, it is fair to point out that with experience and skill, the bus driver could aspire to Head of Movement, who would be the one who controls and manages the other drivers as well as checking the exits and entrances of the buses and filling in the shifts.
Finally, the same driver could become a Public Transport Coordinator who would then be able to plan the routes and manage the activities necessary for a smooth service.
For all those who love driving, especially coaches, buses and couriers, this is the right profession, a job that is certainly stable despite being repetitive.
It might be a stressful occupation because of the traffic, tiring because of the shifts, but there are good earnings to be had. In fact, the bus driver could choose a higher allowance or extras in the case of holiday and night work.
The salary of a classic bus driver
The salary of a bus driver starts at a minimum of EUR 1100 per month and goes up to EUR 2300 net per month and even more.
The lowest salary is found with the basic city bus driver, i.e. urban, whereas the highest salary is that of the driver who drives a coach bus.
It is nice to think that a simple traditional bus driver with 20 years’ experience earns around EUR 1800 per month, so it can really be a very interesting job outlet.