Hundreds of lives are in the hands of bus drivers on a daily basis. So how do you know they're ready for the responsibility?
Drivers must have either a Commercial Drivers License or Chaufferâ??s license depending on the size of the bus. For potential Marq-Tran drivers, which serve Marquette County, those are just the basics.
â??The whole training period is four to six weeks,â?? explained Delynn Klein, Executive Director of Marq-Tran. â??They actually go into every kind of bus that we have to train so they know what they're doing.â??
Drivers are then trained out on the bus routes and required to attend monthly safety meetings. And like all other bus drivers, the Department of Transportation subjects them to random Drug and Alcohol testing.
â??We don't want to put drivers who don't know what they're doing out on the road, and we feel that they need this education to perform their job,â?? Klein said.
As for private companies, Jesse Schramm, owner of Checker Transport , said to make sure the company you're riding with puts safety first.
â??You don't want them cutting corners on the maintenance in your vehicles that youâ??re going to be riding on; you don't want them cutting corners in their selection of drivers,â?? said Schramm.
The transportation owner says the U.S. Department of Transportationâ??s Federal Motor Carrier Safety website enables customers to check any violations a company has. Schramm gives all applicants extensive background checks before hiring them.
"Make sure they've never had a drug violation, accidents, been fired for any kind of driving reasons,â?? explained the owner.
Once hired, drivers take an eight-hour safety course and then three levels of training behind the wheel. They are then monitored 24/7 with a GPS tracking system.
â??Any manager gets an alert on their Smart phone if there's ever hard breaking, hard cornering, too much speeding, severity,â?? Schramm said.