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Is Driving A School Bus An Enjoyable Job?

A school bus driver’s job is very challenging. Transporting students to and from school is one of great responsibility. The safety and comfort of students are of prime consideration to the school bus drivers.

Like any other job, the interest and dedication to the profession make the school bus driver’s job enjoyable. Driving a school bus can be enjoyable if the driver can relate to children on the bus.

One who has a low tolerance level to kid’s antics and especially high sound levels may not find the job interesting.

Read Also: Why School Bus Drivers Deserve Our Respect

Drivers working for a bus system owned by a school or a school district are generally happier. They drive the same routes every day. They get to know each child on the bus and are able to develop a healthy relationship with them. The drivers also interact with the parents all through the school year on a daily basis.

Whereas a driver working for a contracted school bus company may not find their job enjoyable, the contract companies are more focused on profits and not on children. Drivers are juggled around depending on the decision of the transportation manager each day.

They drive different routes for different schools and hence building a rapport with children or parents become impossible. This clearly makes the drivers unhappy.

Most of the drivers feel that their job is rewarded by each child’s smile every morning. The child is invariably rushed to the bus stop in the mornings by the busy parents who have no time for niceties.

The child is therefore only too happy to see the familiar cheerful welcoming face. Similarly at the end of a tiring school day the child once again sees the school bus driver who is known to him. The child feels secure in the care of the school bus driver.

Utmost dedication and patience is the virtue of a good school bus driver. Affection for children and an ability to mingle with them is certainly of help to manage the students on board the bus.

A pleasant disposition with both students and parents will entail the school bus driver being included in the community.

Drivers term the students as precious cargo. They feel like carrying the future citizens of the country. Hence they are very careful and responsible in handling them.


The relationship with children and their parents leads to the drivers being accepted into their community. The drivers are invited for fetes, carnivals etc hosted by the community. The drivers are even called for college graduation day celebrations.

This inclusiveness raises the self-esteem of the driver. He feels important and in turn takes on himself the task of caring for the children on board the bus. Connecting with community and being surrounded by children on a regular basis keeps the drivers young at heart.

The drivers use their discretion depending on the relationships. If a normally punctual child is running late, the driver might wait for a reasonable time instead of sticking rigidly to his time schedule.

Teachers often change during the school life of a child. But a school bus driver remains the same for the duration of the student’s school life.

The job of a school bus driver is most of the time a part-time job. Drivers who can deal with part-time hours find the job enjoyable. The school bus drivers have a lot of independence.

Drivers can do other jobs during their free time to augment their income. They can attend to their personal needs at home.

The flexibility in their job allows the school bus driver to be happy. School bus drivers who work part-time have flexible schedules as compared to rigid schedules of a full-time job.

Read Also: School Bus Drivers Health Problems And Solutions

They can opt not to work on days they are otherwise engaged. They can take up other work during their idle time. Most drivers enjoy the flexible schedule so that they can mesh together their personal life and professional life seamlessly.

The school bus drivers have the opportunity to do additional work like driving students on field trips, athletic events etc. The schools operate on school year calendars where time off is given for Christmas, summer and spring breaks.

Transporting children to and from school for five days a week is the main job of the school bus driver. Hence they enjoy their weekends and evenings off giving them ample time to spend with their families and friends.

A school bus driver does not have to spend years obtaining a certificate or degree. A school bus driver’s profession would be apt for those who do not wish to spend years studying.

A driver’s license and the special skill training to be a school bus driver will enable him in transporting the young children safely to and from school. He is surrounded by playful children and appreciative parents. He interacts with people in the community.

There are other humane aspects which make the driver’s job enjoyable. The exchange of greetings like good mornings on entering the bus and the good days while being dropped off at the end of the day is an encouragement for the drivers.

The drivers get an insight of the different personalities and their traits. It ranges from the mild mannered, boisterous, polite, considerate, taunting and bullying nature.   


The driver witnesses the warm exchanges between children and their parents or grandparents while they are being dropped off at the bus stops. The drivers in the bargain learn to be patient, compassionate and caring.

The school bus driver’s job is repetitive. An early morning start in all weather conditions, checking of the condition of the vehicle daily, memorizing routes and pick up points, tackling traffic are inevitable acts that the driver has to perform day in and out.

The loud noise of chatter and communication of students on the bus, the fights between students, dealing with irate parents and school authorities are other challenges the driver faces. Without a sincere dedication to his duty the driver would not be able to do these tasks.

The remuneration of a school bus driver may not be very high. But the immense satisfaction the driver derives in transporting young scholars to and from school safely makes his job enjoyable.

The work life balance is high. If working part-time hours, the driver finds sufficient time to do time his household duties. He can take up other jobs during his free time if he needs to augment his income.

The driver has to handle plenty of responsibility. The parents and school entrust their children with the driver. His alertness and ability to make the right decision is of paramount importance to the safety of the passengers. Though stressful at times the job of the school bus driver is relaxed in general.

The added benefits of payment during summer duty, additional money on field trips, the holidays and flexible schedules make the job attractive. Helping special needs children makes the job even more worthwhile. Co-worker interaction helps the drivers to learn from each other’s experiences.

The job provides job security. There are plenty vacancies for school bus drivers at all times. Performing the job to the best of one’s ability and remaining extremely professional will ensure that the job is secure.

Being safe, punctual, reliable, responsible and behaving appropriately with the children on the bus are key factors pertaining to retaining a school bus driver’s job.

Read Also: School Bus Transportation Security – 18 Practices to Follow

There isn’t much of career advancement in the school bus driver’s job. Sometimes they are promoted to drive bigger vehicles like coaches or offered trainer positions. The special skills acquired to drive a school bus can be easily taught to other drivers.

The school bus driver sets the tone for the day. The first and last face the child sees during a school day is that of the school bus driver. The driver who enjoys his job and is happy will make the child’s day on the bus a pleasant experience.

Why School Bus Drivers Deserve Our Respect

The primary duty of the School Bus Driver is the transportation of students to and from school regularly.  The parents and the school entrust their children to the school bus driver for safe and secure transportation. He has to be committed to his profession in order to work to the satisfaction of all concerned.

A school bus driver’s job is considered an easy, simple task and not considered worthy of mention. The stress and strain undergone by the drivers in the seemingly simple task of transportation are not to be neglected.

Read Also: School Bus Drivers Health Problems And Solutions

They deserve enormous respect for the one single fact that they are the safe transporters of the nations young.

School Bus Driver – Role

The role of a school bus driver is a multi-faceted one. His responsibility is not limited to mere driving. In addition to possessing a valid driver’s license he needs to both possess driving and inter-personal relationship skills.

Driving skills include knowledge of traffic rules and experience in driving heavy vehicles. Ability to stay focused on the road and to remain alert at all times is a necessity for safe driving.


School bus drivers interact with students, parents, teachers, school authorities, transport companies, other drivers on the road on a daily basis.

The driver’s attitude and behavior have a large impact on the relations with each one of them. The expectations from a school bus driver are many and the challenges faced by him from various quarters are even greater.


The school bus driver is expected to be a perfect time-manager.  Sticking to designated routes and being punctual at bus stops and on-time arrival at school is of daily concern to the driver.

A slight deviation in timings caused due to traffic blocks, accidents or even late arrival of children at stops invites the wrath of both parents and school.

slight deviation in timings caused due to traffic blocks, accidents or even late arrival of children at stops invites the wrath of both parents and school.

School bus drivers are the first point of contact for parents each day. Since the bus drivers have a one to one interaction with the parents, they are required to be pleasant and smiling always.

They have to be kind and polite with the students and parents. This will assure the parent that there child is in good hands.

The driver has to be positive and dedicated to his job. An understanding of his prime responsibility of the safe transportation of children is necessary to ensure his commitment.

School Bus Driver Challenges


School bus drivers are responsible for the hundreds of children riding the buses to school and back. The safety of the children on-board their buses is a source of constant worry to them.

The biggest challenge for the school bus driver lies in driving a bus-load of 50 noisy children seated behind him, with only one mirror above his head to check their behavior.

The students keep talking, laughing, shouting, crying, fighting among themselves.  Some of them will be eating, walking up and down the aisle, ripping seats and some with special needs. Unruly behavior of students on buses is very common.

Students do not give enough respect to bus drivers. Students insult, use swear words and accuses the drives when he tries to discipline them.

At times, the drivers have to stop the buses to quiet the children and assure minimum disturbance before he proceeds further. This causes delays in the time schedules.

The students are disrespectful by leaving garbage in the bus to be cleaned by the drivers later. The students feel they have the liberty to do anything once outside the school campus. They are a disturbance to their riding compatriots who are quiet and disciplined and want to enjoy a safe ride.

School bus drivers do not expect impeccable behavior from youngsters. They only require them to have peaceful conversations without any disturbance.

The drivers, while keeping an eye on the students, need to drive safely, watching out for traffic on all sides. He has to comply with road signs, traffic signals, speed limits and crossings. The driver’s stress is compounded in adverse weather conditions.

Read Also: How Much Do School Bus Drivers Make

The boisterous and noisy students on the bus are a major cause of distraction to the drivers.The school bus driver has to monitor and maintain a level of discipline on the bus to minimize distractions. A moment of inattention can imperil the lives of the young children under his care.


Despite all the effort taken by the school bus driver to maintain cordial relations with all, he is faced with countless problems from parents.  He feels misunderstood and unappreciated by them.

Parents are always defensive when the driver points out the misconduct of their ward. This gives the child the feeling that he can misbehave and the driver is not an authority to be obeyed.

Prima facie the driver is blamed for any mishap on the bus by students, parents and school.The child’s version of the disciplinary measure meted out to him by the school bus driver very often upsets the parents. Parents react without learning the facts of the situation. They fail to give the driver the benefit of doubt.

The driver is usually faulted for non-tactful handling of the situation. This minimizes the impact of the wrong-doing and the student continues to engage in dangerous activities.

Parents can communicate with drivers through the special windows, but very often they barge into the bus blocking the entry passage. They interfere in fights among students and directly admonish those involved with their child.


The school bus drivers are reprimanded by the school administration for minor accidents, short delays, route deviations, faulty records. Many a time, the drivers are not given a fair hearing for their lapses. Reasons beyond the school bus drivers control are very often not given due consideration.

The cumbersome procedure in reporting of misbehavior of children on the bus does not elicit the desired result. The school bus driver reports misconduct.

The students are then removed from the bus. Parents complain and the students are re-instated. The driver’s efforts to maintain a level of decorum is disregarded.

Employing an annoyed, de-motivated, frustrated and distracted driver compromises the safety of children on board the bus.

 Personal grievances

The drivers have to deal with malfunctioning equipment in the bus like cameras, alarms, sensors etc. They are not trained sufficiently to handle medical emergencies or special needs children. Quick and ready access to their superiors is limited.

Long hours behind the wheels and irregular food habits cause health challenges in them. Stress, insomnia, obesity, muscular pains and gastric disorders are common ailments among the drivers.

Why the drivers deserve respect

All these factors show how exhausting the school bus driver’s job is. Every day offers something new and unstructured. Their performance against all odds is commendable.

School bus drivers need to be respected and appreciated for reaching students safely to school and back, amidst daunting circumstances inside and outside the bus.

The students need to be made aware of the difficult job that the drivers handle. They have to be taught that their safety is in the hands of the driver. Parents and school have to inculcate in them a respect for drivers. 

The thoughtless complaints raised against the drivers lower their morale and motivation to perform.  It would be beneficial to school bus drivers and authorities if due consideration is given to how challenging it is to navigate a cabin filled with young children through traffic and adverse weather while simultaneously maintaining discipline and order in the bus.

It is customary for school authorities to reward exemplary students and compliment teachers. The system of transportation is often overlooked until something bad occurs. They should be equated with the other staff in the school system.

Read Also: School Bus Driver Safety – How Technology Can Play a Role

The drivers do not seek any special recognition. They need to be listened to. Their requests should be heeded.All that the school bus drivers require is to feel included, that they are an important part of student education.

This dedicated group of drivers should be thanked profusely and praised for their efforts in safely transporting the students to school and back.

4 Ways To Find The Best School Bus Driver

The responsibility of a school bus driver is much more than mere driving. Parents and the schools entrust their children to the drivers for safe transportation to and from school.

Possessing a valid driver’s license and satisfying the age criteria to drive school buses is the bare minimum requirement. The bus driver should complete a special training program to be a school bus driver.

Apart from the eligibility criteria, school bus drivers need to have additional characteristics. This is a necessary requirement since the passengers the drivers deal with are children of different age groups and the people they report to are varied – parents, teachers, school authorities and transport authorities.

Read Also: Master the Skills of School Bus Driver Roles and Be Successful

Selecting the best school bus driver

School bus drivers are hired on the basis of their resumes the school transport department receives and also recommendations from bus companies.

Selecting the best driver is about picking aspects that show they can perform the task professionally. To make the selection process easier it would be most practical to list out the traits required.

Final selection can be made keeping these qualities in mind.


1. Driving skills


Driving large vehicles like the school bus requires skills which differ from driving small personal cars. On road experience of driving large vehicles amidst small cars, traffic hold-ups, road accidents etc is highly essential. The driver experience in transporting school children is definitely desirable.

Knowledge of traffic rules

The drivers have to be well versed with the traffic laws and regulations, in general and that pertaining to big vehicles, in particular. A different set of rules is applicable to school buses especially when stopping to pick and drop off students. The rules on the use of stop arms and flashing lights, while stopping, have to be strictly followed.

Road focus

School bus drivers should concentrate on the road, no matter what personal problems or distractions he/she faces. Distractions inside and outside the bus should not cause him to lose focus of his job.


Safe driving requires the driver to be mentally alert during his shift. His quick response is warranted in situations of emergency. Having a good night’s sleep and not being under the influence of alcohol will enable the driver to remain alert.


A keen sense of judgment is the key to safe driving and it comes with practice. The driver’s assessmentof the oncoming traffic, aggressive driving, vehicle speeding, pedestrian behavior etc help in avoiding accidents due to external factors.

Track record

The driver should have had an accident-free and clean driving record. He should be devoid of criminal cases. His credentials should be verified and counter checked with respective departments.

Mechanical skills

Knowledge of basic mechanical skills is highly desirable. Repair of minor technical issues by the driver himself will save down-time of the vehicle. This will help in maintaining schedules with the least disruption. Assisting in keeping the bus clean and checking the operation of the bus daily are additional points to be considered.

2. Operational efficiency


The school bus drivers are personnel on whom the schools and parents depend and rely on. The driver has to be punctual to the time schedules given to him. He should strictly adhere to the route charted out for him by the school. He should be prompt in updating parents and schools of any changes in route or timing.


A school bus driver must follow the specific route given to him. He should always keep to the timings for each stage on the route. A good time manager will start early to avoid traffic and begin his route on time. He should refrain from using alternate routes or short cuts if it affects the time schedule.

Effective Communicator

The parents see and interact with the school bus driver more frequently than any other person in the school. He has to be prompt in updating them on changes in time schedules and routes.

He has to answer their calls and queries politely. Bad conduct of their wards is communicated to the parents without offending those involved.

The school bus driver has to be in constant touch with the school transport department reporting delays due to traffic jams, road construction, accidents etc. Accurate and regular reporting is required to keep the operation smooth.


The school bus driver is in charge of the students on the bus. He should be confident and take the right decisions when it is required. He should be in effect a leader, always keeping in mind the well-being of the students.

The school bus driver is in charge of the students on the bus. He should be confident and take the right decisions when it is required. He should be in effect a leader, always keeping in mind the well-being of the students.

Maintaining Log

Daily recording of routes, trip times, distances run, fuel consumed etc. has to be kept. This information is required for efficient fleet management and is helpful in monitoring drivers. Student discipline reports have to be written.

Read Also: School Bus Drivers Training – 10 Tips For City Driving

3. Behavioral Aspects


Being patient with the students on board the bus is the highest virtue that a school bus driver must have. He must understand that they are children and that patience with them is absolutely essential.

Even when the students are boisterous, he should be patient and be able to control them. This will ensure no mishaps and that the bus reaches the destination on time.

At times, the students tend to become violent and fight among themselves. The students get adamant about seating and their belongings, some indulge in misbehavior.

The driver requires extra-ordinary patience and skill to manage the children on the bus and at the same time drive the bus. He should be able to handle all situations with ease.

Being Personal: The driver has to build a healthy relationship with the children on the bus. He should try to remember their names, be kind and friendly to both parents and children. He should possess a pleasant demeanor, smiling at all times. His duty is to make the child and parent feel at ease while boarding the bus.

Staying Calm

Bus drivers do not have control over what happens on the road. Hence they have to be always prepared for any eventualities such as road rage, traffic conditions and bad weather.

Rational decisions have to be taken in adverse circumstances. They have to remain calm under situations of pressure keeping the safety of the passengers in mind.

4. Attitude

Being Positive

A positive attitude is required to perform a satisfactory driving job. Bad moods and personal problems should not affect the driver. This should not be reflected in his job at any time.


The school bus drivers must be dedicated to his job. He should enjoy doing his work. This will keep him in a happy frame of mind which will make his job easier. His commitment will be reflected in his dealings with the parents, students and authorities.

Respect for others

While the foundation of the driver’s job is to transport students, he has to respect all individuals he deals with. Each of these individuals, be it students or officials, contribute to the success of the driver. All of them have to be respected and appreciated.


School bus drivers should understand the nature of their work. A comprehension of the high degree of responsibility they are entrusted with is of utmost importance. Understanding that safety should be his priority at all times will make him function logically.

Read Also: School Bus Driver Safety – How Technology Can Play a Role

These are the core traits that a school bus driver should have to be successful in his job. Finding the perfect fit for the best school bus driver is being able to recognize these traits.

While school buses are considered to be the safest mode of transportation for students, school bus drivers have a challenging task transporting them.  A driver with ample driving experience, knowledge and an interest in working with children would be an asset to the school.

School Bus Driver Salary 2020

500,000 school buses ply the road daily in the US alone. This calls for a requirement of an equal number of drivers well experienced in transporting students safely. The school bus drivers require responsibility and a high level of commitment. The driver should love to drive and must be aware of traffic laws.

Job Description of a School Bus Driver

School bus drivers are engaged mainly to pick up students from the bus stops, bring them to school and at the end of the day drop them back home. He also transports them on extra-curricular activities, field trips and class picnics.

The driver starts off his day from the school-yard ensuring that the bus is safe to drive and has enough fuel for the day’s trips. He must make sure the bus is properly maintained, should perform mechanical checkups on a weekly basis and properly keep a driving log.

He drives on pre-assigned routes, always keeping to schedules. He makes certain that the student is picked and dropped off at bus stops at the appointed times despite traffic jams, bad weather, and accidents on his route.


Safety is the prime aspect of a school bus driver. He has to be on constant look-out for erring vehicles on the road to avoid accidents. Drivers must know traffic rules and follow them diligently.

The next important quality in a driver is his level of maturity and calmness. He has to manage student discipline in the bus, fights and bullying among students. In addition to this, he has to handle irate parents and school authorities.

Qualities of a School Bus Driver:

  1. Customer service skills- School bus drivers often interact with parents, students and school authorities, so they must be courteous and helpful to their needs.
  2. Hand-eye coordination- A driver needs to be alert all the time while driving. He/she requires to have normal use of one’s arms and legs and should have good hand-eye coordination as well.
  3. Hearing ability-  it is required that a driver needs to have good hearing ability. He should be able to hear a forced whisper with or without using a hearing aid.
  4. Patience- A driver may overcome stressful situations like heavy traffic congestions, unruly passengers, etc, so a driver should be able to overcome these situations calmly and must maintain enough patience.
  5. Physical health-  A bus driver should have sound physical health. Federal and state regulations do not allow people facing health issues like high/ low blood pressure, epilepsy, etc to operate a bus. Because these health issues can interfere with driving. 
  6. Good vision-  Bus drivers should pass vision tests. People with poor vision or color blindness must keep away from becoming a driver. Federal regulations require at least 20/40 vision in each eye. He should be able to distinguish traffic colors also.

Pay of school drivers

The average annual salary of school bus driver, as per the Bureau of Statistics, is $29,250 which works out to $14.05 an hour. The lowest-paid school bus driver gets under $18,800 a year or $9 an hour. The highest-paid drivers receive above $47,800 annually which approximates to around $23 an hour.

Also Read: 15 Best School Bus Driving Games 2020 [Updated]

Most of the bus drivers are part-time employees. This is possible as school timings are fixed. They usually work in other places during their down-time.

The regular employees help in doing basic vehicle maintenance and do administrative jobs when not on school duty. This way the drivers make extra money as well as keep themselves gainfully occupied.

The schools normally pay the drivers for the hours and days worked. Doing extra runs during vacations for summer school activities, field trips, school picnics add to their earnings.

The actual wages offered to school bus drivers depend on the previous driving experience of the driver, prior driving history, the employer, location of work and the hours worked.

School Bus driver Salary Based on Location

SL noLocationSchool Bus driver Salary
1Seattle, USA$39,465/ Year
2Washington, USA$38,797/ Year
3Baltimore, USA $34,024/ Year
4Akron, USA $32,344/ Year
5New York City, USA$40,851/ Year
6Minneapolis, USA$39,943/ Year
7Toronto, ON AreaCA$ 18/hr
8CanadaCA $ 1,133/month
9AustraliaA$ 2,502/month
10Alabama$35,223/ Year
11San Francisco$43,841/ Year
12 India Rs 16,255/ month
13United Kingdom £ 10.35 per hour
14Switzerland CHF 68,699/ Year
15Germany€ 27,300 / Year
16London € 28,853 / Year

NB: “The above information is collected from various websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, Payscale, neuvoo, etc

Factors considered while deciding the wages of school drivers

Driving experience

The pay mainly depends on the driver’s prior experience in driving. The driver should obtain his Commercial Driving License as per state requirements and pass all federal alcohol/ drug tests and physical examinations.

School bus drivers undergo rigorous classroom and road training. Drivers on completion of a licensing exam obtain an endorsement to drive a school bus. Some states require drivers to take refresher courses to retain their licenses.

Drivers have to take road and knowledge tests at specific intervals, the number of years being specified by each state. Some employers pay for and train the drivers to attain the necessary standards.

As the drivers gain experience their earnings also increase. An entry-level school bus driver salary is $30,000 on average annually. A driver with an experience of 5 to 10 years can earn $31,000 annually in wages.

The earnings go up to $34000 annually for drivers with experience of 10-20 years.  Drivers with driving experiences above 20 years earn approximately $35000 annually.

Also Read: 27 Best GPS Tracking Apps for Android and iOS

Prior driving history

This means a track record of accident- free driving, clean criminal record and incident- free behavior of drivers.

School buses are the safest mode of transportation for students to and from school. Hence school bus drivers have to exercise extreme caution while driving.

School bus drivers, in addition to driving safely, are responsible for maintaining discipline inside the bus. They have to report misbehaving students to school authorities. They settle skirmishes and fights among students on the bus.

They have to answer parents and school authorities. Dealing with students and parents require tact and diplomacy. Drivers with a high level of maturity handle this with ease.

An excellent school bus driver is one with superb driving skills and an enormous amount of patience. They should be friendly and enjoy driving.

How many trips they make

Schools pay drivers on the basis of the number of trips they make in a day. Some schools hire them on a monthly salary. In addition to the daily trips, they are required to transport children on school field trips, museums visits and other extracurricular activities.

Some schools stagger their school timings so that the drivers get to drive multiple routes in a day. On average, drivers spend 20 hours per week behind the wheel.

Most of the drivers work during the school months and are off during summer months when the schools are closed.

Some of them work year-round with limited time off. There are drivers who consider school bus driving as a part-time job due to the fixed hours of working.

Some districts in the US have year-round schools. So they have full-time drivers. Special needs students attend extended year programs at school during summer.

Whom they work for

The school bus driver’s pay depends on whom they work for. Wages differ slightly from employer to employer. School districts for elementary and secondary schools pay their bus drivers an average of $15 an hour.

Those who work for transportation services earn slightly higher at $ 16.5 an hour. Those working for charter bus services earn around $16 an hour.

Since there is no prescribed standard wage, the employer can use his discretion to fix wages. Private school operators and charter bus services pay higher.

Location of work

The salaries of the drivers depend on the geographic location where they operate on. Average annual wages in the range of $39,000 to $43,500 are paid in cities like Washington, DC, New York etc.

Southern states of US, like Alabama, offer lesser annual wages ranging from $18500 to $21,000. Major metropolitan cities, like San Francisco, tend to pay higher annual packages of $52,500 approximately.

Children need to go to school and transporting them safely is a huge responsibility. Hence well-experienced school bus drivers are always in demand. Job security is the advantage of being a school bus driver. Inspite of this school bus drivers are not without complaints.

This is proved by the high attrition rate. They earn lesser than their counterparts with commercial driving licenses in other industries. There is a limit to the hours one can work.

Read Also: School Bus Drivers Training – 10 Tips For City Driving

The extra runs made by them are paid at lower rates than the normal. Drivers cannot afford the high premiums for health-care. The training for school bus driving is expensive with the aspirant paying all of it on his own.

Lack of support from the management of school and bus companies is a major reason for drivers leaving the school bus fleet.

Honest, dedicated, friendly and safety abiding drivers are always needed and in great demand. In addition to being professionally experienced, the school bus driver has to be humane to perform his duty cheerfully and responsibly.

School Bus Driver Safety – How Technology Can Play a Role

School bus drivers are given the huge responsibility of transporting the children to and from the school safely. Driving a school bus is a very serious job and often thankless. The driver is exposed to many an experience on and off the bus and their safety is of utmost importance.

Nowadays, the school fleets comes fitted with a number of technological aids and this helps them to stay safe as well as do their jobs to the best of their abilities. We review below a list of technologies and gadgets that help them in more than one way.

Read Also: 10 School Bus Safety Tips for Drivers

1: Digital Cameras

Safety enforcement is always a tough job. During most of the trips, on-bus behaviour of the students is a major distraction for the driver. Most drivers trim this problem by assigning seats to the students.

Digital cameras that are installed in modern school fleets help the driver to constantly monitor the situation inside the bus while simultaneously maintaining a watchful eye on the road.

The cameras are also endowed with the capability to record both audio and video of the happenings inside the bus. This spares the driver from having to turn back to find out what exactly happened.

These cameras are also equipped to capture the licence plate details of vehicles that pass close by the bus when it halts.

2: Bus Tracking Systems

Bus tracking systems provide the much-needed transparency that is otherwise required of the bus drivers in reporting where the bus is located at that point in time.

These systems not only work to notify parents and school authorities of the current location of the bus, but they also act to restrict harsh driving behaviours.

Parents monitor both unscheduled bus routes/ bus stops that the drivers may take and also monitor the speed of the bus. This aspect keeps the children and the drivers safe.

Bus tracking apps help to keep away distress calls from the parents that would otherwise be a distraction for the driver. The school bus tracking app helps to provide real-time data as regards approach time of a bus near the scheduled bus stop.

It also helps the driver to do his work with the concentration required to get his wards to the bus stops at the scheduled times.

3: Mirror Grid Systems

The latest school fleets come fixed with a grid of mirrors. This 7-mirror system helps the drivers to have a wide-angle view of the surroundings of the bus.

The electric grids that are present behind the mirrors help the drivers during the cold winters. The heat generated by the grid removes the fog and snow particles that get lodged on the mirror during the winters. It helps to enhance the driver’s surrounding vision.


4: Driver-controlled Bus Doors

The doors of today’s school buses can be controlled by the bus drivers with the touch of a button. The driver’s control in the opening and closing the school bus doors are helpful in more ways than one.

Firstly, the absence of manual operations keeps away unnatural twists and turns of the body and the problems arising thereof. Shoulder pain, arm injuries, and fatigue can be completely avoided. The annual door swings are nil.

5: Air-cushioned Driver Seats

The latest school fleets come with built in driver seats that are kept up with the help of air pressure. This keeps the seat at a comfortable position for the driver and provides enhanced lumbar support that leads to fewer back problems for the drivers in the long run.

6: Smaller Bus Engines

As a direct consequence of miniaturization that is taking place in all fields, bus engines are now smaller in size. The smaller size of the engine means a smaller hood. This improves the field of vision of the driver and enables him to see more of the surroundings.

7: Computerized Diagnostic Tools

Computerized diagnostic tools that inform the driver well in advance about the upcoming maintenance jobs of the vehicle are a boon to the drivers.

Wear-out of tires, replacement of non-working indicator lights, and other maintenance jobs, if informed to the driver in advance helps them to keep the children and their job safe.

Other issues that can give the drivers a feeling of preparedness include indications about transmission problems, oil tanks and their malfunction, exhaust systems’ alarms, etc.

8: Wi-Fi Connectivity

Wi-Fi connectivity in the bus can keep children engaged with the Internet and allow them to complete their lessons, homework or indulge in other intellectually gainful activities.

This keeps them from engaging in unruly behaviour which can distract the drivers and keep them from performing their duties.

Read Also: School Bus Safety Precautions a Bus Driver should Take

9: Sensors

Installation of sensors in wireless devices will inform the drivers about the current status of brakes and emergency door systems. This prevents impending disasters.

Final Thoughts

Though skilled and careful driving is still the best preventative method to keep the kids safe during their ride on the school bus, technological aids, in the recent times have helped the drivers prevent many an accident.

Therefore it is important to install these technological gadgets and systems to make the school bus ride much safer than before.

Is My School Bus Tracking App Safe to Use

Parents are always worried about whether their child has boarded the bus from their pick up point and got down at the drop point. They are concerned if the driver or attendant in the school bus is well behaved and is taking good care of your child.

These concerns are real and parents look forward to a system which can help track the movements of their children. If there was an effective system which can undertake this task it would be easier for parents, drivers, attendants and school management.

One of the questions that is raised by everyone is that if the school bus tracking app is safe to use. The sensitive data of the students need to be protected from all piracy.

School bus tracking enables parents to monitor the child or school bus location while they are on the go. Let us look at how safe school bus tracking applications are.

Parent’s concern

Why is the bus late, have my child boarded the bus, where is the school bus right now, will the bus drop my child before I finish my work. These are some of the worries that parents have when they send their child to school or while they come back after school.

After realizing the concerns of parents an app was developed to solve the basic problems that parents and school management faces. It gives a peace of mind to parents who worry about their child’s safety. Parents worry about when the bus will reach to pick up their child and when it will drop off their child.

Another concern is that they don’t have any contact with the bus driver or the attendant. In case there is a delay in pick or drop the parents want to be notified regarding this. If there is a change in the point from where the child is picked up or dropped that needs to be reallocated that is to be communicated with the driver or the attendant.

Driver app

Using the driver app, drivers can have all the details regarding the students that he needs to know. They can mark the attendance of the children so that they know which student is attending school and who is not.

This helps them to plan the best routes so that it saves money and time.

They can collaborate with transportation managers and take the route that is best suited. They can also monitor students from the inside and ensure the student’s safety.

Drivers can view live cam feed so as to monitor activities without leaving the driver console. This also makes sure that your child is not bullied while they are in the bus.

Drivers have an instant access for student details which helps them to take the best routes to reach the pick up or drop points.

Drivers receive notifications regarding change in pick up points and even birthdays of students which helps them to build a rapport with the students.

Parent App

Parents can check on their pupil as the application marks the attendance four times a day when a student gets on or off the bus in the morning and in the evening. Thus parents get to know the attendance of the child without contacting the school management.

Parents get real time notifications of the activities of their child which gives them a peace of mind. Thus they get to know the location of the bus.

This can help them know when the bus if arriving to pick up or drop their child. The parent app can be used to assign a new pick up point without having to call up the driver or school management.

The app can be used to manage more than one child who comes from the same house.

Bus Attendant App

Bus attendant can make use of this app to perform their duties clutter free. They can figure out the next location which the school bus needs to make a stop.

The trip history can be mapped which helps to record the journey taken. When a student boards or gets off the school bus a notification is sent to the attendant. It even notifies the attendant if a child misses a school bus.

Attendants can schedule and direct driver throughout the trip as when a trip is confirmed, it automatically moves to the trip history.

Just like in the driver app attendants also get notification about the student birthdays. Students will be happy to be wished on their birthdays.

Transport Manager App

Sometimes the whole trip is conducted and managed by a transport manager. A school might have a fleet of vehicles that needs to be managed from a control centre.

They can also help with planning the best routes and efficiently manage the fleet. If in case a vehicle is not being tracked the transport manager will get an immediate notification regarding this.

They can send group messages which help to communicate a message to all drivers and attendants. Each bus can be tracked by the transport manager and this real time location can help to choose the best available routes.


School bus tracking apps not only is safe to use but it also ensure the safety of our kids. There are various facets of school bus tracking application that ensures co-ordination with parents, bus drivers, bus attendants and transportation managers.

It is definitely a value addition for schools and parents looking for the safe transit of their children to and from school.

TrackSchoolBus Launches Upgraded Driver Console App

Hurrah!! we're launching an upgraded version of our Driver Console App. A number of our clients and prospects were confused with the mobile and tablet versions of the app. So we decided to combine both their features and release it as a single app.

This new version is a complete trip management app.  As the same app is now available on mobile as well as tablet, it allows drivers to access the app without any confusion.
It is a useful version for transport managers as they obtain details such as kilometres covered, details of finished trip, vehicle speed, etc. As per these details, school authorities can provide ranks to drivers.

Read Also:

Why is the Driver Console App a Necessity for Schools?

In addition to above benefits, there are a number of other valuable features including:

  • Error-free attendance management system
  • Easy scheduling of instant trips
  • Data storage (everything related to trip such as route, pick-up point, etc.)
  • Next destination details
  • Quick creation and update of new pick up points
  • Trip history details
  • Announcement of next trip
  • Real-time notification
  • Automatic school announcements
  • Chat facility
  • Birthday wishes for school bus students
  • CCTV Footage for drivers
  • Automatic leave update
  • Over speed Alert
  • Welcome message for each student

We are excited about this new app. It is definitely a positive step towards TrackSchoolBus' ultimate aim – 100% safe school buses. The launch of the app is not the final word though. There would be constant improvisation as we try to implement new ideas, and more importantly, listen to feedback from the Drivers and Transport managers themselves.

If you want to check out the app, here's the link – Driver Console

Trends in School Transportation Management

In the past few years, educational field has greatly been influenced by Information technology. School transportation management is an area where a number of IT companies focus on. Most of the entrepreneurs consider this as a good opportunity and thus, make innovative products to solve the school transportation issues.

Some of the key trends in school transportation management that can capture the attention in the coming years are as follows:


9 Qualities of a Great School Bus Transportation System

  • Route Optimization

Now, it is not difficult for us to think about organizing school bus routes, bus stops and then, allocating students to their respective bus stops. One can automatically build optimized routes, resolve the most appropriate bus stops and match students to those stops based on their addresses.

  • School Bus Tracking

Now, people are more interested in keeping track of school buses during their movement. Many schools have started implementing the school bus tracking software for effective school transportation management.

The software helps transport managers to effectively manage fleet of buses, tackle emergency situations properly and create weekly reports regarding school transportation management.

  • School Bus Attendance

Due to working hours and tight schedules, parents will have great concern about their child's safety in transportation. In order to put a stop to this worry, schools have implemented software that provides instant notifications to parents whenever their child gets on or off the school bus.

With apps like driver console drivers are able to know whether any particular child is missing from the bus. The app will have details regarding each student and their assigned stops, which help the drivers to instantly recognize them. School management, thus guarantees a secure and risk-free transportation to students.

  • Tracking App for Parents

From morning to evening, parents will be worried about their child and eagerly wait for the school bus to arrive. When there are unfavourable weather conditions, the situation gets worse. School management can tackle such situations by providing an app that enables the the parents to track their child's school bus in real time and thus, reach the bus stop in time.

Once a child boards the school bus with tracking, parents are able to see the real-time location along with route which helps them to plan accordingly. They are also able to manage more than one child with a single app.

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  • Tracking App for Transport Managers

With the help of the transport manager app, transport managers are able to have exclusive control of the school bus. App avoids even minor possibilities of accidents or mishaps that can happen in the school transportation service.

Transport managers are able to communicate with the driver whenever they feel a need for that. Using the app, they are able to schedule school bus trips easily. New pick up points can be built and assigned. Also, it is possible to update if there are any bus stop relocations.

  • Tracking App for Bus Attendant

This app includes a complete attendance management system which helps to reduce attendance flaws. Manual way of collecting attendance is usually a tedious task and is prone to errors. Each and every minute detail is considered in the attendant app.

Drivers are able to instantly get notification, along with the contact details and a picture of the child. They get exact direction of the trip and the confirmed trip paves way to trip history.

  • Live camera feed

With the help of cameras, drivers obtain live camera feed of students inside the school bus. Drivers can view this feed via their own console. This helps them to save time, thereby adding comfort, convenience and safety.

  • Geofencing

Parents as well as school authorities can restrict the movement of school bus to a particular area. They will get instant notification if at all school bus enter the restricted area. Parents can also set their own boundary by using the geofencing feature of parent app and receive alerts when the school bus approaches near to their child's pick up point.

  • Manifest Feature

Produce routine school bus passenger details like pick up details, route diagram indicating pick up location, list of students present inside the bus etc. If a student applied leave on a particular day, his pick up details will not appear in that day's stop list in the app. This saves valuable time of the driver as well as the students by not having to stop at unnecessary points. It is a useful feature that is going to be a trendsetter in the future.

These are trends that have revolutionized the school transportation management. They not only help the new drivers to have better control of the school bus, but also give parents peace of mind. With the advent of various technologies, costs for fuel can also be significantly reduced with the facility of route optimization.

20 Must-know School Bus Safety Tips for School Bus Drivers

At an initial glance school bus might not seem different from other buses, but there are vast differences between school bus and other buses.

Compared to driving by themselves or riding with friends, students are about 50 times more likely to arrive at school alive on a school bus.

Read Also: School Bus Drivers Training – 10 Tips For City Driving

School bus, no doubt is the ultimate solution for safe transportation of children to and from school. There are a lot of factors that adds to the school bus safety.

From GPS tracking to RFID tags, school bus attains full points as far as safety of children is measured.


School bus driver plays a vital role in managing and maintaining the school bus. There are guidelines for the school bus driver to be followed.

The task of picking up of students from stops and dropping them off at school are managed by the school bus drivers. They also transport students and faculty to field trips or sporting events.

Must Read: 

How to Handle Emergencies? Tips for School Bus Drivers

School bus drivers often work split shifts of mornings and afternoons. They hold a very important responsibility of transportation of the students.

The role of drivers might appear small but there are a lot of things that drivers must concentrate on.

School Bus Safety tips for school bus drivers

1. Usually drivers follow a strict time schedule, but under no circumstances safety should be sacrificed to maintain schedule
2. The driver should be well aware that he represents the school so he must display a clean personality with good behavior
3. Leave at the right time to the bus stop, don’t rush
4. Should concentrate on moving traffic
5. Pay attention to the traffic and safety measures, do not listen to music player, do not play handheld video games which can lead to distractions and accidents
6. Never wear hood while driving as it can make difficulty in hearing and seeing traffic
7. Ensure that all the children are safely seated before starting the bus
8. Be courteous and show respect to children
9. Be friendly to children but concentrate more on road while driving
10. Stop for picking and dropping of children
11. Drive with the headlights on, even during day time
12. Be prepared to act accordingly during emergency situation
13. Deal with the public in a positive, courteous and respectful manner
14. Remain alert for ice, debris, or slippery spots
15. Alerts about bad weather should be noticed
16. If the bus is trapped on tracks, evacuate the bus immediately
17. The speed should always be under control
18. Do not rush to reach the destination fast, always put safety prior to schedule
19. After every drive, bus drivers should check all seats and interior
20. Do not smoke or consume alcohol inside the school bus

Here are the 20 safety tips for school bus drivers shown in the form of Slideshare presentation:

Primary Responsibilities of the school bus drivers

• Transportation of the children to and from school
• Transportation on scheduled time and route
• Before operating the bus, ensure the functioning of the bus. Check the bus tires, breaks, lights, and oil.
• Helping disabled children to enter and exit the bus
• Ensuring that children are seated before the bus starts
• Keenly following the traffic rules
• Informing the passengers of any delay
• Staying updated about the latest driving rules
• Remain alert for ice, debris, or slippery spots
• Emergency numbers must be kept with the drivers
• Drive students and staff members to field trips, sporting events, and other outdoor activities

Read Also: Why School Bus Drivers Deserve Our Respect

Knowledge and skills

The driver should possess combination of thorough knowledge, skills and abilities.

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25 School Bus Safety Tips For Kids

Driver’s knowledge should include

• All routes including the highways
• School bus regulations
• Dealing with children
• Dealing with children of special needs
• Scheduling system and procedures
• Record keeping system
• Equipment cleaning standards and procedures

Skills and abilities of the driver

• Operating the school bus in a safe and responsible manner
• Skills of client service and public interaction
• Team building
• Problem solving skill
• Quick decision making capability
• Verbal and listening skill
• Ability to write and read
• Stress management
• Time management

There are some must follow qualities for being a perfect school bus driver

• Honesty and trustworthy
• Respectfulness
• Cultural awareness and sensitivity
• Should be flexible
• Demonstrate sound work ethics

Special direction for the drivers to follow

There are some school bus safety measures that must be followed by the by school bus drivers.

Read Also: School Bus Drivers Health Problems And Solutions

• The driver should not leave the bus with motor running
• While children are on the bus, driver should never fill the gasoline tank
• No one other than authorized people should drive the school bus
• Driver should not merchandise animals, weapons, or other loads or attachments when transporting children
• There must be a back up bus in the school
• Move the bus only after all the riders are seated
• Do not consume alcohol before driving
• Report to the concerned authority if there are unmanageable pupils
• Never put the child to walk home
• Never use abusive language
• While transporting pupils, driver shall not exceed 15 m.p.h
• Promptly file all reports, routes, schedules and instructions for picking and dropping

Why School Bus Driving is the Perfect Career


School bus driving is always a risky business for you. Due to this reason, most of us are reluctant to choose it as a career. Even though there exists such a misconception, school bus driving is still popular among people. There is greater scope for this career as demand for quality bus drivers are rising at a steady pace. With the advent of innovative driver console, task of the driver seems a little easier.

Here follows top 10 reasons showing why school bus driving is a perfect career for you:

1. You are Having Great People Skill

As a bus driver, every day you may need to interact with a lot of people. This includes teachers, parents, transportation officials and obviously kids. One of the greatest qualities needed for a school bus driver is the ability to communicate and deal with different types of personalities. Hence, those with great people skills are best suited for this job.

Must Read: 

6 Must-have Qualities of School Transport Services Drivers

2. You Enjoy Working with Kids

If you love children, then school bus driving is a perfect job for you. All you have to do is to make children comfortable and happy. It will be easier for you to handle them, once they think that you are actually a caring person. If you become harsh and adamant, it may create negative feelings in the minds of children and they may never follow your orders correctly.

3. You like Driving

It will be difficult for you to control and manage a large vehicle like a school bus. Some of you may feel exciting to control a large vehicle and some feel intimidating. If you think driving as a fun task, then life as a driver can be demanding and relaxing at the same time.

4. You Bother about Children's Safety

When you take annual records, you may find that the school bus accidents are really small in number. This is because drivers take an extra effort to make their passengers(students) safe and secure.

If you are a quality driver, then you will be able to maintain proper discipline inside the school bus, make sure that the child reached home safely, implement safe board and de-board procedures regularly. With the help of driver console, you will be able to manage bus effectively and efficiently.

5. You Remain Calm Under Pressure

As a school bus driver, you may face several tight situations such as bad weather, noisy children, difficult traffic, incomplete road construction etc. any time on the road. When such unexpected issues occur, if you have a little patience and a clear head, it can actually be a fun challenge for you.

6. You Prefer a Flexible Work Schedule

Usually a school bus driver works on morning and evening with a long break in between them. You can also choose extra hours for field trips or any other school activities. A bus driving career is a perfect job for you, if you dislike the usual office hours from 9 to 5.

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7. You are Expecting a Job with Rewarding Benefits

You may get different types of benefits from school systems such as extended vacation days, retirement plans, health and insurance etc. Hence you will be encouraged to continue it as a career.

8. You Don't Need a High Five Educational Profile

For becoming a school bus driver, you don't have to spend years in college. All you must need is to go through a training program and receive commercial driver's license before employment.

9. You Want to Get a Reasonable Salary

By spending a few hours in the morning and evening, you will be able to get a reasonable salary. Also you may get plenty of opportunities to spend extra hours and thus can receive additional benefits from the school.

10. You May Not Need to Spend Money for Training Purpose

Most of the schools cover driver's training programme in order to ensure high quality employees for their school bus. This is really advantageous for you.

So, if you are a person who likes kids, is responsible and wants a comfortable, steady source of income, then school bus driving can be a great job for you. With the introduction of  driver console, school bus driving became much easier and interesting than earlier.