A thing to like about Portland’s transit agency TriMet: They don’t hire commercial drivers and train them to be friendly. They hire friendly people and train them to drive a bus.
4 Responses to Portland: Hiring Nice People
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Yes, but that is not new. I joined BC Transit in Vancouver in 1997. I was told then “We used to hire people with air brake licenses, and tried to train them to deal with people. We found that it was a lot easier to hire people who genuinely enjoyed meeting new people, and train them to use an air brake.”
That is the far superior way to do it, for sure. In our area there’s only a single commercial insurance option and they forbid training drivers to get a CDL under their policy, so we have no choice but to only hire from the existing CDL operator pool. There also isn’t a single school or community college in the state where you could pay to get a CDL with passenger endorsement, for the same reason; they can’t get insurance to cover that portion. So, ideals can’t always be met.
Seriously, where exactly does that insurance company expect new commercial drivers to come from?
I’ve asked them the same question, but the commercial insurance market is a mess right now, and this is one way they are protecting themselves. It’s having it’s impacts, too. One high school near us started school this year with no school bus service because they were unable to get a single driver. There’s a real operator shortage problem and insurance is just one of many causes. We’re also a more rural area, which doesn’t help.