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Author Topic: Entertaining bus stories from real life  (Read 534 times)

Offline Zephod

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Entertaining bus stories from real life
« on: August 19, 2017, 03:49:05 PM »
Yesterday (as you know I drive a schoolbus), I left the office to start my route being told I have to pick up a new child who's not on my route plan. He's on one side or the other of a road that has a bridge in the middle that's been out for the last year. Anyway, I start to check the bus and oops... somebody left the air door on normal not emergency. So, as I check lights, tires etc the door closes as the air builds up. oops. My aide is inside checking out the air lift. I open the emergency door to ask them to open the front door but the emergency door buzzer is drowning me out. In the end I had to hop on the lift and get in that way. Then, heading out the yard people are gesticulating to me so I stop. Seems one of my headlamps has gone out since I checked, 10 minutes earlier. I circle round and stop by the mechanics truck. They pop the hood as soon as I apply the parking brake. Two minutes later (it's like a pit stop) I have a working headlamp.

So I head out on my run and can't find the extra child. I go up and down the road and eventually get told where to look by a driver that used to pick this child up. So, I find the child and continue on my run - now 15 minutes late for the first school. Then 15 minutes late also for the second school.

I get back to the yard and spend 45 minutes waiting to get my route updated. When that's done, I have about 25 minutes before my midday run. Now I normally don't do a midday run but I was doing somebody else's run because they were on another job. I dash off quickly and get some fries and a drink, scoffing the fries and slurping the drink as I head back to the yard. Needless to say the temperature was near 100F and the humidity was 65% most of the day.

Now bear in mind my bus has AC but only the passengers benefit. The drivers swelter. My run also includes sections of interstate travel. I'm limited to 45 (in theory) on the interstate while on a school run. Fortunately I'm empty when I'm on the interstate so I can take advantage of the 55 limit for other uses. The bus has a governor limiting it to 55 but I still manage to get 58 on the downgrades while all the other drivers are screaming past at 70.

The midday run was one where I had to hunt for the passengers. I only had four. All of them kindergarten. One teacher asked me who I was looking for so I listed the names on the sheet. She didn't know them so she asked the bus number. When I told her the bus number, she recognized the designation and answered in a shocked tone. These are regular children then moved between the children and me, protectively, and continued they're not special ed. That was entertaining!

In truth I find the special ed children I drive are pretty much universally extremely intelligent. Their disability is usually behavioral or emotional.

Then I get my kids and have to run from a route description. I'm literally Kerb crawling along some streets trying to find the right house. Some are easy - one address I guessed was a trailer park and on that particular street there were two on the side that I was supposed to drive along. It turned out to be the second.

The last child was a bit of a laugh. I have to go into a housing area where the roads are steeply undulating with sharp turns mid-way down or at the bottom of the slope. Just the place for somebody half asleep to turn a bus over. Definitely not my favorite part of the run. Anyway I was looking for a side street that I don't normally use. I zipped along and spotted it, slowed as quickly as I could, bearing in mind I had passengers and an aide aboard and stopped a bit past the turn. I wanted to reverse and drive in normally but as there was a car behind, I started to wave them to come around. Then there was a knock on the passenger door. That turned out to be the father of the child, identified by his drivers license. As soon as I'd opened the door, or rather before I, set my flashers going. That must really have confused the car behind!

So, I get myself back to the yard having delivered all the children and 45 minutes later have to set out on my afternoon run. Now my morning started at 4AM with my alarm and my first run started at 5:45AM. My afternoon run concludes at 4:50PM so you can see I have quite a long day doing nothing but driving a bus.

The first school, I have to make enquiries about 3 children that aren't on the bus. They didn't ride in the morning but that means nothing. It took the Principal quite a while to find the children either hadn't come or had gone home. So, I leave on my route. Because of missing children I can take shortcuts. Special needs busses can do this as opposed to regular route. I've only ever driven special needs.

By the time I get to the last stop, I'm almost on time. The last parent isn't there though to pick up their child. As this is a somewhat unusual stop where I have to meet a parent 100 yards from a road junction and they turn up in their car, I had to ring them. They said 5 minutes but took 10.

Now I'm 10 minutes late for the second school. I get there in time to see the line of busses before they left and loaded my children. Then, again, there were several missing. As before I'd not picked them up but that's meaningless. The school policeman boarded and asked who I was waiting for so I told them. Various messages went back and forth. An announcement was made on the tannoy and nobody appeared. By then an extra late bus had turned up behind me. The Principal then appeared and confirmed one child had been picked up and one that was on my list hadn't even registered this year. One I know is home schooling until later in the year so I was free to set off.

The reason I like to check on missing students before I leave is because if they call me half way through the route, it makes everybody that much later and gives me that much extra work returning to the school to pick them up.

So, I continued on my afternoon run pretty much without any events other than those caused by inattentive drivers. I must say I was mildly amused when my aide (who's a new driver) complemented me on my being able to throw the bus around like a rag doll. Well, it's a 4 year old Thomas and runs like a Ferrari. Loads of power, quick(ish) acceleration and it's nimble.

Anyway, that's my real life bus driving story. The worst drivers I encounter are universally on their damn cell phones.




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Carpenter 3800 1994 on a Navistar 1994 chassis with a DT466 and alinson transmission.

Offline Geoff

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Re: Entertaining bus stories from real life
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2017, 07:34:56 PM »
So, you drive the Short Bus.

--Geoff
Geoff
'82 RTS AZ

Offline Zephod

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Re: Entertaining bus stories from real life
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2017, 08:04:57 PM »
So, you drive the Short Bus.

--Geoff
Umm.... blooming big short bus - it's 35 feet.


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Carpenter 3800 1994 on a Navistar 1994 chassis with a DT466 and alinson transmission.