A Day in the Life of an STC Driver

A daily shift as a Student Transportation Center Driver:

Well, first thing we do at the start of our shift is we come in to be given the keys of which tram we will be taking that day (If you are lucky you will get what we call STC 4, which has been around since the dinosaurs and always sounds like it is going to fall apart when you hit a pot hole).

Then we proceed outside to inspect our shuttle to ensure that it is in satisfactory condition for transportation. Often you get to do this with an audience of people waiting at the stop for you to pick them up, it’s not awkward or anything (she says sarcastically).

The rest of our shifts usually consist of:1. Continuous loops for hours and hours. Union, Franklin, Maple Athletic, Maple Commuter, Repeat. Mall, Shopper’s World, Target, Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

2. Comments on our driving. Usually if you get a comment from a passenger it is negative, so the goal is to aim for no comments.

3. Comments on our music taste. We often hear groans from the back of the bus from people dissatisfied with our music choice, but that’s okay. Sorry friends, the driver is the DJ. It’s our form of entertainment for the shift. What else are we supposed to do for those hours of loops? If we’re lucky, we will have a passenger who totally digs our playlist and gives us compliments, which personally puts me in a better mood.

4. Occasionally, a concerned passenger on the noises the buses are making. You’re okay, I swear it’s just the tire flaps scraping the ground.

5. Traffic. Lots and lots of traffic. During rush hour, route 9 can be a parking lot and the back roads to the school parking lots are just endless lines of cars. Trust me, we don’t enjoy how long it takes to get back to the school from Target in traffic either. And we don’t enjoy being late to our stops. If we are a few minutes late, please cut us a break and remember there are some things on the road we cannot control.

6. Angry Students. This will not happen every shift, but there is a very slim chance you will make everyone happy. You will most likely have someone upset with the amount of time we wait at a stop, even though we are on a schedule and can’t leave early (unless we are full). Or, you will accidently miss someone at a stop because you couldn’t see them, even though they will claim that you saw them in that tiny parking lot in a sea of cars (we most likely didn’t see you, I swear we are not evil and trying to leave you out in the cold). Or, someone will try to wave us down on the street even though we can only pick up and drop off at the stops (sorry friends, we are a shuttle service, not a bus service).

The shift ends with paperwork and if you’re the last driver of the night you get to park the shuttle. The job definitely has its pros and cons, as does every job, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Working with STC has been a great experience. Now you have gotten a little taste of a day as an STC Driver!