Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"What Makes A Good Motorcoach Operator"


In all my years involved with this marvelous industry I have often asked myself the question, what is it exactly that makes a good bus driver?

Is it driving skill, is it appearance? is it time keeping? is it how much money they bring in each day? Is it reliability? The list is I suppose endless, and it all depends on your own personal criteria.

Or is it the X factor, something undefinable, there are certain basics that need to enter the mix automatically such as regular attendance, honesty, good relations with all around, and a helpful attitude. The list of course could go on and I dare say others might add and subtract accordingly.

But if I had to choose one key element that makes an individual stand out then I think that I would have to say that it is the ability to make the customer feel valued, and special in a positive way.

I have seen people who in the past who have just been steady good guys who day in, day out, year after year have come in done a good job and then after thirty or forty years they have reached the top of the escalator and then off they go into the horizon.

A lifetime of service to the communities that they support, a key but often invisible cog in the daily lives that people live, often unheralded just taken for granted, bit like breathing I suppose, but equally valuable.

Wesley Victor Rose
fifty plus years of service
So, what makes a really special great bus driver? I think it is someone who makes every single person who they have contact with better for the experience of having been in contact with them. Very hard to define and yes it is much more than saying hello and goodbye as the passenger gets on and of the bus. In fairness it is difficult in the tiny amount of time that allows for interaction between driver and customer,but it is possible that people feel better for having had that contact.

The other thing that matters is what I call the feel good factor, passengers I think notice subconsciously how drivers behave, trust me if you get a bad or nasty driver the passengers are very aware of the behaviour of the driver. It is like everyone tunes in to see what is going to happen next.

Conversely if you get a great driver, the mood on that vehicle becomes infectious ,people feel happier as there is a good vibration, very hard to define in words but suffice to say it is that X factor that we all seem to crave.

Sadly the truth is that it is rare but it does exist and where it does we should respect it and encourage others to pursue it.