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Related Occupations
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Bus Drivers

Bus drivers transport people between a variety of places including, work, school, shopping and across state borders. Some drive regular routes, and others transport passengers on chartered trips or sightseeing tours. They drive a range of vehicles, from 15-passenger buses to 60-foot articulated buses (with two connected sections) that can carry more than 100 passengers. Show Details

Duties

Bus drivers typically do the following:

  • Check the bus tires, lights, and oil and do other basic maintenance
  • Pick up and drop off passengers at designated locations
  • Follow a planned route on a time schedule
  • Help disabled passengers get on and off the bus
  • Follow traffic laws and state and federal transit regulations
  • Follow safety procedures to make sure they and all passengers are safe
  • Keep passengers informed of possible delays

The following are examples of types of bus drivers.

Local transit bus drivers follow a daily schedule while transporting people on regular routes along the same city or suburban streets. They usually stop frequently, often only a few blocks apart and when a passenger requests a stop. Local transit drivers typically do the following:

  • Collect bus fares, sometimes making change for passengers
  • Answer questions about schedules, routes, and transfer points
  • Report accidents or other traffic disruptions to a central dispatcher, and follow directions when using an alternate route

Intercity bus drivers transport passengers between cities or towns, sometimes crossing state lines. They may travel between distant cities or between towns only a few miles apart. They usually pick up and drop off passengers at bus stations, where passengers buy tickets. Increasingly, intercity buses are using curbside locations in downtown urban areas instead of stations. Intercity drivers typically do the following:

  • Ensure all passengers have a valid ticket to ride the bus
  • May sell tickets to passengers when there are unsold seats available
  • Follow a central dispatcherís instruction when taking an alternate route
  • Help passengers load or unload baggage

Motor coach drivers transport passengers on charted trips or sightseeing tours. Their schedule and route are generally arranged by a trip planner for the convenience of the passengers, who often are on vacation. Motor coach drivers are usually away for long periods of time because they usually stay with vacationers for the length of the trip. Motor coach drivers typically do the following:

  • Listen to and sometimes address passenger complaints
  • Ensure the tour stays on schedule
  • Sometimes act as tour guides for passengers
  • Help passengers load or unload baggage
  • Account for all passengers before leaving a location

School bus drivers transport students to and from school and other activities. On school days, drivers pick up students in the morning and return them home or to the designated bus stop in the afternoon. School bus drivers also drive students to field trips, sporting events, and other activities. Some drivers work at school in other occupations, such as janitors, cafeteria workers, or mechanics, between morning and afternoon trips. School bus drivers typically do the following:

  • Watch traffic and people carefully to ensure the safety of children getting on and off the bus
  • Take care of the needs of children with disabilities
  • Keep order and safety on the school bus
  • Understand and enforce the school systemís rules regarding student conduct
  • Report disciplinary problems to the school district or parents
Delivery Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers pick up, transport, and drop off packages within a small region or urban area. They drive trucks with a capacity of 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) or less. Most of the time, they transport merchandise from a distribution center to businesses and households. Show Details

Duties

Delivery truck drivers and driver/sales workers typically do the following:

  • Load and unload their cargo
  • Report any incidents they encounter on the road to a dispatcher
  • Follow all applicable traffic laws
  • Report serious mechanical problems to the appropriate personnel
  • Keep their truck and associated equipment clean and in good working order
  • May accept payments for the shipment
  • Handle paperwork, such as receipts or delivery confirmation notices

Most drivers plan their routes. Some have a regular daily or weekly schedule. Others have different routes each day.

These drivers generally receive instructions to go to a delivery location at a particular time, and it is up to them to find a way there. They must have a thorough understanding of an areaís street grid and know which roads allow trucks and which do not.

Light truck drivers, often called pick-up and deliver or P&D drivers, are the most common type of delivery driver. They drive small trucks or vans from distribution centers to delivery locations. Drivers make deliveries based on a set schedule. Some drivers stop only at the distribution center once, in the morning, and make many stops throughout the day. Others make multiple trips between the distribution center and delivery locations.

Driver/sales workers are delivery drivers with added sales responsibility. They recommend new products to businesses and solicit new customers. For example, they may make regular deliveries to a hardware store and encourage the storeís manager to offer a new type of product. Driver/sales workers also deliver goods, such as take-out food to consumers, and accept payment for those goods.

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs drive people to and from the places they need to go, such as homes, workplaces, airports, and shopping centers. They must know their way around a city to take both residents and visitors to their destinations. Show Details

Duties

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs typically do the following:

  • Check their car for problems and do basic maintenance
  • Keep both the inside and outside of their car clean
  • Refuel their car when necessary
  • Pick up passengers and listen to where they want to go
  • Operate wheelchair lifts when needed
  • Help passengers when loading and unloading their luggage
  • Drive to the passengers' destination
  • Follow all traffic laws
  • Collect fares, including allowed extra charges
  • Give a receipt if the passenger wants one
  • Keep a record of miles traveled

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs must stay alert and monitor the conditions of the road. They have to take precautions to ensure their passengers safety, especially in heavy traffic or bad weather. They must also follow all vehicle-for-hire or livery regulations, such as where they can pick up passengers and how much they can charge.

Good drivers are familiar with the streets in the areas they serve. They choose the most efficient routes, considering the traffic at that time of day. They know where the most frequently requested destinations are, such as airports, train stations, convention centers, hotels, and other points of interest. They also know where to find fire and police stations and hospitals in case of an emergency.

Taxi drivers, also called cabbies, generally use a meter to determine the fare when a passenger requests a destination. There are three ways cab drivers typically find passengers. The most common is that a customer calls a central dispatcher to request a cab, and the central dispatcher then tells the taxi driver where to go to pick up the customer. Some drivers pick up passengers waiting in lines at cabstands or in the taxi line at airports, train stations, and hotels. In some large cities, cabbies drive around the streets looking for passengers, although this is not legal in all places.

Chauffeurs take passengers on prearranged trips. They operate limousines, vans, or private cars. They may work for hire for single trips or they may work for a private business or citizen or for a government agency. Customer service is important for chauffeurs, especially luxury car drivers. Some do the duties of executive assistants, acting as driver, secretary, and itinerary planner. Other chauffeurs drive large vans between airports or train stations and hotels.

Paratransit drivers transport people with special needs, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. They operate specially equipped vehicles designed to help people with a variety of needs in nonemergency situations. For example, their vehicles may be equipped with wheelchair lifts, and the driver helps a passenger with boarding.

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