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Rider's Almanac Blog


7 Reasons to be Bus Operator instead of a Truck Driver

Posted by John Komarek | Tuesday, February 26, 2019 1:45:00 PM

Both jobs require a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) and operate large vehicles, but here’s a few reasons why bus operations might be a better fit than truck driving for some people.

  1. Work + Life Balance
    Most trucking jobs require long hauls across the country with days, weeks, or even months away from loved ones. Working as a Metro Transit bus operator keeps you within our seven-county system with a consistent schedule.

    You can spend time with your family, start one, and sleep in your own bed every day. Most long-haul truckers average about 22 nights a month sleeping in their truck. Sleep patterns for long haul drivers can be sporadic based on schedules and can change month-to-month.
  2. Union Life
    Fewer commercial driving jobs offer union protection. A bus operator at Metro Transit becomes a member of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU).  Public sector jobs still have a higher percentage of unionized workers than the private sector.
  3. Route preferences
    Every quarter, bus operators present preferences for routes and earn them based on seniority. Pick routes close to home or in a region you enjoy – it’s up to you and your seniority. And if you don’t enjoy a certain route, you can change it in the next quarter.
  4. What you haul
    As a bus operator, you move people.  As a trucker, you could be responsible for hauling large, dangerous, heavy, or hazardous materials, even garbage.
  5. Guaranteed hours and overtime options
    All bus operators are guaranteed part-time hours and can go full-time with opportunities for overtime.
  6. Socialization
    Truck driving can be a solitary life due to long hours by yourself on the road. As a bus operator, you’re working with a steady stream of people who you can make lasting relationships with as you drive along a route. Buses become small communities as people in the neighborhood use them consistently.
  7. Advancement and longevity
    Joining Metro Transit opens doors to advance in your career outside of the bus, if you so choose. From supervisory positions to other departments, there’s opportunity to build a life with us. We consider ourselves a destination employer – and the host of 10-, 20-, and 30-year bus operators agree.

Want to know more? Come to a Bus Driver Application Preparation meeting to find out if becoming a bus operator with Metro Transit is right for you.