Becoming a Bus Driver

Job description

The bus driver performs skilled work involved in the operation of motor vehicles. The bus driver is responsible for the safety and conduct of the children who are passengers. While performing the duties of this job, the bus driver is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; and talk and hear. The bus driver frequently is required to reach with hands and arms. The bus driver is occasionally required to stand, walk, and climb or balance. The bus driver must occasionally lift and/or move up to 120 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.

Duties include:

  • Operating a school bus on a regular schedule or on special occasions.
  • Checking the operating condition of the bus before starting on a trip.
  • Informing children about safety practices.
  • Maintaining orderly conduct of children on the bus.
  • Keeping bus exterior washed and interior clean and neat.
  • May be required to operate a station wagon or other vehicle(s) maintaining orderly conduct of children on the bus.
  • May be required to perform minor maintenance tasks on the vehicle(s).
  • Maintaining records of mileage, routes, times and incidents.
  • May be asked to assist in the preparation of maps of routes and pick-up points.

Bus driver training requirements

  • Must hold Commercial Driver’s License – CLASS B with Passenger endorsement. Must meet all Dept. of Motor Vehicle Article 19A regulations, which include an annual physical, road tests and written tests. A 19A examiner will ride with you at least once a year.
  • All new drivers must be fingerprinted for background check with state and federal agencies.
  • New drivers are subject to pre-employment drug screening. Upon being hired, effective January 1, 1995, all current drivers are subject to random drug and alcohol testing as well as all new drivers. Yearly, 10% of our drivers are tested for alcohol and 50% of our drivers are tested for drugs.
  • Physical performance test – All new drivers tested upon employment; all regular drivers must be tested by July 1, 2000; re-testing to be conducted every 2 years.
  • New drivers will receive approximately 40 hours of training to learn the proper driving skills for handling a school bus. In addition, they will be given training on state and federal laws and regulations, district policies, and on the locations of our many schools.
  • Two 2-hour safety refresher courses are required for all drivers annually. In addition, two 1-hour safety refresher courses are required annually for drivers of students with special needs.
  • A 30-hour basic training course must be completed within first year of hire. After receiving a certificate upon completion of the course, drivers will be compensated for time.

Upon completion of the above training requirements and hire by the Guilderland Central School District, all drivers are hired in a substitute position until a permanent opening becomes available.

Substitute bus driver salary and benefits

Effective July 1, 2016, substitute drivers earn:

  • $14.25/hour for up to one year of substitute driving
  • $15.00/hour after one year of substitute driving
  • $16.00/hour for individuals meeting criteria prior to 7/1/14 (30 months and a minimum of 500 hours of substitute driving)

Rates continue to increase with experience. There is also an increase in salary upon obtaining a permanent position with the district.

Incentives for substitute bus drivers (effective as of July 1, 2016):

  • $300.00 after 90 days of driving (not 90 calendar days)
  • $500.00 after 90 additional days of driving (not 90 calendar days)
  • $1,000.00 signing bonus to drivers hired with all required credentials and requiring no training. Paid after 45 days of service hired to a permanent position.
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