Behind the Scenes: Unitrans

Every day early in the morning, the big red buses that are ingrained in Davis community and culture have started up again for another busy day of shuffling students and citizens back and forth to campus. Hundreds of students work for the school system. You may know that the students drive the buses, but they also conduct, clean, and supervise all the aspects that help the system work. 

What does it take though to drive one of the big buses? A lot. According to current trainee Sydney Bonnell, it takes 15 phases to earn your bus driver’s license. That process can span into several weeks of hard work, and even when you get the license you still have to endure another couple of weeks to drive the bus solo.  By the time a driver is taking you to school, it has taken months of hard preparation for that moment.

If you’re ever worried that your driver doesn’t know what their doing, just know the hours and hours of hard work they have put in to being the best driver possible.

Once you are accepted into the driving system, it can be quite fun! In fact, driving is perhaps the most fun you can have while working. Senior Naomi Lopez commented that while driving can be “really stressful” at times (picture it now: a crowded bus, the pouring rain, a disruptive passenger), the co-workers are so “fun and supportive” that they make it all worth it.

It’s not just the drivers that have all the fun, though. A strong sense of community can be found within another department. SS. Colleen Pitman, a Support Services Supervisor, washes the buses, drives the buses in circles for them to get to the washer and actually runs them through the big wash. In addition, she is in charge of making sure that every SS employee is assigned a bus to clean, that the right bus is cleaned, and that every bus is at least cleaned once a week.

Her favorite part about working for SS is eating all the food left behind on the buses. Yes, people leave wrapped and untouched food on the bus, and SS gets to enjoy every last bite. Favorite finds have been a roast beef sandwich and any type of chips still in the bag.

Least favorite part of Unitrans? When someone barfs on the bus. This is a PSA that if you’re feeling nauseous, better to just stay home.

Colleen, like the drivers, loves working for Unitrans and SS because it is “like a family.” She wishes people knew that her department existed because she thinks SS is “the angsty middle child of Unitrans because people forget about us and no one ever tells us anything.”

Some advice given by all the Unitrans employees is that if you are passionate about working for Unitrans, apply a couple times if you aren’t accepted the first. Don’t give up - it’s worth it!