The Bus Industry
The bus and coach industry plays a major role in the Canadian economy. Moving millions of people daily, the industry is enjoying continuing growth. Leading edge technology, including integrated electronics, voice and satellites, is creating a dynamic new environment.
The industry includes urban transit systems, inter-city bus lines, tour and charter bus services, school bus transportation and accessible services.
Efforts are focused on providing new and better services for all passengers, from students to seniors, and from commuters to those with special needs.
Working in the Bus Industry
The industry needs employees with a wide variety of specialized skills who are dedicated to delivering the highest levels of service and satisfaction to the public.
The industry offers stable careers with opportunity for advancement.
Bus operators (drivers) are responsible for the safe operation of their vehicles under diverse weather and traffic conditions.They usually work alone, without direct supervision, and must have good communication skills. Positions are full-time or part-time. Salaries and benefits vary by sectors.
Bus mechanics and other maintenance staff maintain, repair, and service Canada's fleet of buses, in a shop environment or from a field service vehicle. Their work includes everything from routine maintenance and inspection of buses to complete engine transmission or transaxle rebuilds, on-the-spot troubleshooting and roadside repair work. They enjoy steady pay and good benefits.
The industry also has occupations in business operation (e.g., in management, finance and administration, safety, training and fleet operations).
Skills & Training
Training for bus operators is usually provided by the employer and continues throughout the operator's career. Training is provided on safe driving techniques and risk management and may include sessions on customer relations, behaviour management, defensive driving, fuel efficiency, first aid and injury prevention, marketing and public relations. Driving skills may be tested at regular intervals. Bus operator certification is available on a national basis.
Community colleges across Canada offer training programs for bus mechanics and maintenance staff. Workplace training and apprenticeships are also available. Licensing requirements vary in each province or territory.