Transit bus driver courses prepare students to earn a commercial driver's license (CDL), which is required in order to operate commercial and public transportation vehicles. Training is offered by transportation companies as well as professional driving schools. Transit bus driver courses include instruction in accident management, driving safety, passenger interactions, occupational regulations, drug and alcohol abuse prevention and record keeping. Behind-the-wheel training is also included in programs for potential transit bus drivers. Here are some common concepts discussed in transit bus driver courses:
- Behavior management
- Defensive driving
- Maintenance and care
- Electrical systems
Passing a commercial driver's license course or CDL course is the fundamental requirement for a prospective transit bus driver. Students receive behind-the-wheel training and study the department of transportation work rules as well as safety, state, and municipal rules. They also learn how to read schedules, keep records, and understand passenger fares.
Students must be able to maneuver buses through specially designed driving courses and practice routes with and without passengers while shadowed by a supervisor. To receive their licenses, students must pass a written knowledge and bus safety skills test, demonstrating all they have learned.
First Aid and CPR Course
In this course, drivers are taught how to maintain oxygen circulation in adults and infants using cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Students also learn how to deal with victims suffering from obstructed airways through rescue breathing. Students learn the treatments for shock, heat stroke, frostbite, and emergencies related to epilepsy and diabetes. First aid and CPR courses can sometimes be offered as a part of a CDL course and are considered necessary endorsements on a CDL license.
Americans with Disabilities Safety Course
In this course, all transit personnel, including prospective transit bus drivers, are taught the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Students learn the categories of disabilities and the difficulties encountered when transporting passengers with physical impairments. They also learn the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and procedures used during driver and passenger interaction. An ADA course also introduces students to the resources that can meet the needs of passengers with disabilities.
Emergency and Accident Handling Course
The procedure for safely evacuating the vehicle during an emergency or accident is covered in the emergency and accident handling course for prospective transit bus drivers and current drivers renewing their licenses. Students learn the use of a emergency and common exits to get passengers quickly out of the vehicle. This course often utilizes video teaching along with lectures and hands-on practice.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Management Course
Designed for transit bus supervisors, the drug and alcohol abuse management course explains how to recognize a drug or alcohol abuse problem in transit bus drivers and other employees. Supervisors are shown how to best handle the situation for the company and the employee. Drug and alcohol abuse courses focus on improving management communication and crucial safe handling procedures.
Transit bus drivers must take courses with instruction in accident management, driving safety, passenger interactions, emergency response, occupational regulations, first aid and CPR, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, and record keeping.