From the Driver’s Seat.
Want to hear it all from a driver’s POV? Check it out in our “From the Driver’s Seat” section – written by former/current Greyhound drivers.
“What is the recipe for the perfect driver?”
Some of you may wonder what it takes to be a Greyhound driver. I recently spoke with some drivers about this very subject. One driver told me that applicants for the position of Greyhound driver must love to drive! While this may seem obvious, it’s not always the case. This is especially true in the larger cities in the Northeast. The New York City Metropolitan area, the greater Philadelphia area, and in and around the city of Boston are some examples. While many of our prospective drivers come to the Training School in Atlantic City, New Jersey with driver’s licenses, they may drive rarely-if ever. People in these areas tend to favor public transportation for the most part, and will occasionally rent a vehicle for a weekend getaway or while on vacation.
Our challenge is to transform them from being a casual driver, and prepare them to drive for up to 10 hours during the workday. I was one of those people when I came to Greyhound in 1991. Having lived in Manhattan for the majority of my life, I came from a family where having a driver’s license was the exception. I loved to drive, or so I thought, but had rarely driven outside of my immediate area. That was 21 years ago, and I absolutely love coming to work each day! While being a Greyhound professional motor coach operator involves so much more than driving, drivers have to be prepared to take on traveling several hundred miles in the course of a day.
Once you conquer driving endurance, there’s the key quality that all Greyhound drivers must possess. What’s that you ask? To put it simply, you absolutely must love people! Every day our drivers interact with hundreds of people, often acting as a parent to young children, counselor to travelers in distress, host to weary passengers, information portal to both first time and regular customers, and even tour guides to people visiting from all over the globe. Our business is that of customer service, even more so than the almost unnoticed task of maneuvering a 50,000-pound bus down the highway.
So we take a person who loves to drive, loves to meet and talk to new people, has a sense of adventure, and is up for a challenge, and we polish them until they shine for miles. And that is what goes into making our world class Greyhound coach operators.
A special thank you to Ronnie, Greyhound Driver Instructor, for being our first “From the Driver’s Seat” contributor!