Pictured above: Community Transit driver David Nicholson checks the tires on his bus during a pre-trip inspection.
Did you know that Community Transit operates more than 1,200 trips each weekday? Over the weekend, this number drops to roughly 700 trips a day. While each trip starts at the first stop on the route for riders, the bus driver’s work starts well before that.
Before our drivers embark on their workday, they educate themselves on any updates that may impact their route or riders. Here is a breakdown of what a driver might do before they head to their bus:
12:00 p.m. – Arrive at the bus base and clock in for their shift at the dispatch window. Drivers pick up forms they need, such as turn-by-turn maps, or read any notes left for them by their supervisor. Extra board drivers, who may drive a different route every shift, will check in to see what their route is.
12:05 p.m. – Read the information boards containing construction and route updates to stay informed about any changes that might affect their riders.
12:07 p.m. – Head to the “yard shack” to retrieve their assigned bus for the day. Buses are neatly organized by size: 30 ft, 40 ft, and 60 ft. At our Kasch Park base, they may be assigned a Double Tall bus.
12:10 p.m. - Perform a thorough 10-minute pre-trip inspection to ensure their assigned bus is ready to transport passengers to their destinations safely. Once this is done, the driver can get moving!
Pictured above: Heather Ratley, Assistant Manager of Transportation at Community Transit, demonstrates the construction and route information board our drivers review when they start a shift.
A pre-trip inspection is a list of more than 50 tasks that Community Transit drivers complete before heading out for the day to make sure that their vehicle is safe and reliable. The tasks include:
Pictured above: Community Transit driver David Nicholson ensures his bike rack works during a pre-trip inspection.
If the driver finds something wrong during pre-trip, they will radio dispatch and be directed to report it to the maintenance shop. They will then be issued a new bus and perform another pre-trip inspection before heading out.
By dedicating time to checking for updates, performing pre-trip inspections, and promptly addressing any issues, our drivers play a crucial role in keeping our buses reliable and our riders safe!