It’s about the people
When our team tells us what they really enjoy about the job, the first thing they talk about is the passengers. The best bus drivers are not just outstanding drivers – they are great at customer service too. A cheery welcome goes a long way towards brightening a passenger’s day – and the thanks you often receive will brighten yours. If you drive regularly on the same route, you’ll start to get to know your regulars – and what they’re up to – you’re a real part of the community.
The second thing our drivers say about their jobs is their pride – making sure that passengers are safe and comfortable on Bristol’s busy roads is a significant responsibility. As a bus driver, you’re a professional, trained to a really high standard – with a big focus on operating vehicles safely. You’re also supported by the control room who provide you with help and information throughout the day. They’ll help you keep on time and guide you through things like short notice diversions. It’s a bit like the pit team in Formula 1.
Shift working on a rota
There are some practical considerations you’ll need to be prepared for. Driving a - bus involves shift work – it’s a 21 hour, seven-days a week operation. At HCT Group, the shifts are a mixture of – earlies, middles and lates covering from about 5am to 1am the next day. We try to make sure people get the rota that suits them best, but because lots of people like earlies, you can’t always get to pick and choose.
You can also expect to work on Saturdays and/or Sundays reasonably often – your weekend sometimes might be on a Tuesday and Wednesday. Whilst this can take some getting used to, most of our drivers come to like it – their rest days are often really peaceful as they avoid weekend crowds.
Keep on learning
We also offer detailed route learning if you want to drive on a variety of routes. Being able to drive multiple routes is also a great way of getting more overtime, if you want it. However, if job variety is not your thing and you prefer a routine, we’re also happy to let you focus on a specific route.
It’s not just new routes you can learn. As a driving professional, you’ll need to keep improving your driving standards and there’s ongoing training to keep you in professional good standing. The depot team is also there to help and advise you as you develop your skills.
Taken together, driving a bus on Bristol’s busy streets is a rewarding, responsible job. If it sounds like something you’d enjoy, why not apply for a place on our training programme today.