How Can I Get Transit Bus Driver Training?

Transit bus drivers operate city buses, school buses or private coaches. Learn about training programs and licensing requirements for transit bus drivers. Schools offering Driver Training degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Where Can I Get Transit Bus Driver Training?

You can get transit bus driver training through community colleges, technical schools, private transit companies, city bus agencies, government agencies and private truck driver schools. While some training programs focus on truck driver training, you can find many that either focus on passenger vehicles or include some instruction in transit buses. You may be able to find a program that offers flexible schedules and allows you to keep working as you complete your training. There aren't any online training opportunities available.

Training LocationsCommunity colleges, technical schools, government agencies, private transit companies
Program RequirementsDefensive driving, bus control, supervised driving, state testing
Licensing OptionsCommercial driver's licenses in classes A, B, and C, which vary according to weight of vehicle; requirements vary according to state

What Are the Program Requirements?

Transit bus driver training programs teach you how to drive buses and other passenger vehicles through both classroom and fieldwork. You'll spend time in the classroom learning about rules, regulations and procedures of transit bus driving. You also learn about inspecting the vehicle before your daily route and how to drive defensively. Much of your time is spent in hands-on driving situations, learning the basics of bus control before you take it out on the road. You'll practice on set courses and then drive the bus under the supervision of an instructor, or experienced bus or truck driver. These programs typically take about 160 hours to complete, including state testing.

Upon completion of transit bus driver training, you'll be eligible to earn your Commercial Driver's License (CDL), which allows you to drive large trucks and buses. You will have to complete more training and undergo additional state testing to earn a passenger endorsement, which gives you the right to transport passengers. Additionally, many transit companies require training for new bus drivers. They'll teach you about bus routes, company policies and bus characteristics. You'll also be required to get more training as technology and policies advance.

What Is the Licensing Information?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) sets down CDL guidelines, but each state gives out their own licenses. Class A CDLs allow you to drive bigger vehicles, including semi trucks and large buses. Class B CDLs qualify you to drive trucks with less trailer weight and smaller buses. Class C CDLs allow you to drive smaller vehicles that are used commercially or to transport 16 people, including the driver. You need a passenger endorsement to drive with people on board, and all classes of CDLs are eligible for a passenger endorsement.

There is another endorsement for school bus drivers. You can usually transfer a CDL from state to state, but you can't hold more than one at a time. You can also get more transit bus driver training if you'd like to upgrade your CDL to a different class.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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