Learn the qualifications and required training to be a bus driver.
Working as a bus driver is more than just putting your hand on the wheel and, well, driving. As the driver, you are in charge of every passenger’s safety – including your own. More than just driving the bus, your job is to get passengers to their destinations safely and on time. For this reason, the State Government of New South Wales has strict qualifications for anyone wanting to work as a bus driver.
Working as a bus driver
Driving a vehicle, in general, is not easy. You need to be alert and be able to look at all your mirrors before speeding up or changing lanes. Now, imagine driving a larger vehicle seating more than 12 adults. Twice the size of an SUV with more passengers, driving a bus surely is no easy task.
Driving a bus requires you to look out for the passengers, the bus, other vehicles, pedestrians, and yourself. You look out for all these by doing the following:
- Driving the bus routes knowledgeably and safely.
Driving is your work as a bus driver. Buses have different but consistent routes. You have to know these routes and drive accordingly. Passing through schools? Better drive with extra caution! Driving from New South Wales to another state? You should know the gas stations for the long drive. Knowing how to drive is not enough for public transport. Remember, the passengers’ safety and comfort are the priority!
- Checking tickets and passes
Passengers need to pay for the services of public transport. Thanks to buses, they can get to work, school, and other destinations for less cost and effort. Tickets are not only proofs of payment. They also evidence a passenger’s destination. Bus drivers and all other passengers avoid delays if you check tickets and passes. Besides, you can help lost passengers get to the right bus.
- Allowing only the right number of passengers
Pandemic or no-pandemic, filling only up to the bus’s capacity is vital. Passengers are uncomfortable on an overloaded bus. The bus is also more prone to accidents. A heavier load may cause the bus to tip-over. Now more than ever, filling the bus according to capacity is important.
- Assisting passengers
Expect passengers of all ages on public transport. At times, you may even have passengers with disabilities. As the driver, you also have to assist passengers. Help passengers with disabilities get on and off the bus. Assist elderly passengers who may have a hard time using the Opal ticketing system. Working as a bus driver is also a work in customer service.
- Maintaining and monitoring the bus and its fuel
Driving doesn’t only require driving skills. You may experience mishaps along the way. Do you know how to change flat tyres? What if the vehicle overheats in the warmer months? How long can a bus run with this amount of fuel? As a bus driver, you may have to maintain and monitor the bus and its needs in order to ensure safe and smooth operations.
Reasons why you may not be able to work as a bus driver
Being a bus driver is a big job with big responsibilities. To be licensed to drive a bus in New South Wales you need a Bus Driver Authority. In order to obtain this, you need to meet certain criteria:
- Be at least twenty-one  years of age
- Have held an unrestricted Australian driver licence for a total of at least twelve  months in the two  years immediately preceding the date of the application
- Have passed an examination or assessment, in medical fitness
- Have attended and passed a Driver Authority Training Course