A tribute to our local bus drivers
Our local bus drivers contribute a lot to reducing the traffic congestion in the Roaring Fork Valley by providing transportation for thousands of commuters each year. To me, driving a bus would be a very stressful job. I can’t image driving a 40-foot bus through Glenwood Springs’ heavy stop-and-go traffic, day in and day out, while dealing with passengers on board and vehicles impatiently waiting behind you while you are stopping to pick up and drop off passengers at each bus stop throughout town. However, our local transit drivers seem to accomplish it without difficulty. If you get the chance to sit behind one of these expert drivers, you can witness their experience and talent at work. A high percentage of drivers have worked a minimum of 15 years with RFTA and are very knowledgeable of their job. These multi-talented people deal with the full responsibility of their bus and passengers, and all on a strict time schedule. During the course of their shift, bus drivers must be alert at all times to prevent accidents, work in heavy traffic or in bad weather, exercise strong customer service skills, and avoid sudden stops or swerves that jar passengers while maintaining order on their bus. Just to operate the bus, drivers must hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with the appropriate endorsements from the state of Colorado. To qualify for a CDL, applicants must pass a knowledge test on rules and regulations and then demonstrate in a skills test that they can operate a bus safely. Bus driver qualifications and standards are established by state and federal regulations. RFTA offers their driver trainees four to five weeks of classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. In the classroom, trainees learn Department of Transportation and company work rules, safety regulations, state and local driving regulations, and safe driving practices. They also learn to read schedules, determine fares, keep records and how to deal courteously with passengers. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our RFTA bus drivers on a job well done and let them know how much we appreciate them. So if you happen to ride the bus today, be sure to let the driver know how much you appreciate them. Tell them thanks for making a difference in our community! Sabrina Harris, Transportation Manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.