My Process for Becoming a Bus Operator for First Transit
As of January 22, I started training with First Transit’s Safety Department in Garden City, Georgia. My safety director had two of six students who showed up with only one (me) remaining at the end of the training sessions. Training lasted two weeks and consisted of lectures, video lectures, knowledge tests, then behind the wheel training. The behind the wheel training included 10 hours of closed-course training, and a lot more hours of on road training. For the on road training, I drove and maneuvered around wide roadways with less traffic. Once the trainer was satisfied with my skills, we moved onto narrower road ways to ensure that I cornered properly without hitting cars, curbs, signs, etc. Upon completion of my second week of training, I passed all of my behind the wheel driving and knowledge tests.
So here I am, close to six weeks in and I love my job. I love working with the students that I transport and with the staff I work with in Garden City. Everybody is supportive and I’ve been given great advice from multiple drivers whilst driving with other trainers on their routes. I appreciate all of their help and take pride in receiving criticism and other helpful information because I really want to improve upon my skills.
Not only do we respect each other, CAT (Chatham Area Transit) and trolley operators respect each other on the road. If one of us is caught in a tight left turn at a stop sign or traffic signal, the driver who is going straight or turning will stop to allow the other driver to start and complete the turn so that they do not have to wait behind traffic on the opposite end of the intersection.