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If you like the thought of being responsible for getting a lot of people where they need to go, then driving a bus may be the job for you. The majority of opportunities for bus drivers are for school bus drivers. After all, just about every school district in America requires at least some students to be transported to and from school. But drivers are also needed for commercial outfits and private coaches chartered by groups. And, of course, there are also the city bus drivers who get people around town.
School bus drivers begin their day by checking over their vehicle to make sure it's ready to handle the students. They also are responsible for keeping the bus clean, oiled, and full of gas, in addition to immediately reporting problems that might prevent the bus from operating efficiently.
In addition to the regular routes around neighborhoods to and from school, school bus drivers will be hired to take students on field trips and teams to athletic meets. Drivers not only have to follow the routes but must maintain discipline in each bus. This means knowing the codes of conduct unique to each school district. Should something go wrong, the bus driver might be asked to administer first aid or help a physically disabled student.
City bus drivers have scheduled routes that they need to master quickly. Once they have passed the course work and are approved to drive, they generally start work as a substitute driver or handle extra routes added during peak seasons. When an opportunity opens, they are among those first considered for an opening. Driving a city bus can be fun because you may get to know your regular riders, but it can also be stressful for those who get aggravated by city traffic and gridlock.
Charter bus drivers get to hit the open road for short day trips and longer, overnight excursions. While the thought of long-distance driving may be appealing, please note that charter drivers tend to work the longest hours. Federal guidelines mandate that bus drivers drive no more than sixty hours in a seven-day period or no more than ten hours without being immediately followed by eight hours of rest. As a charter bus driver, you will drive on weekends and holidays, and your day will be dictated by the schedule of the bus company or the specific charter.
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