Learning to drive with Want Driving Lessons will open up a whole new world of work opportunities for you! For example have you ever wanted to drive a bus? Worried that as a female you can’t do it?
Transport for London have pledged to encourage more women to train as bus drivers in the capital. Along with Hackney Community Transport Group and Job Centre Plus they are promoting existing job opportunities for women. Since 2009 they have been providing open days for women wanting to become bus drivers.
Joanne Hole attended a TFL event in 2009, she went onto became a bus driver and hasn’t looked back:
What were the key things that made you consider driving a bus as a career?
“I’ve always enjoyed driving as an experienced driver. I knew that I would relish the challenge of driving a much larger vehicle. I also enjoy the challenge of working with the public, its something that has been the main part of my other jobs so I knew I could do it. Becoming a bus driver was a way of bringing both of those things together!
How did you first get into the public transport industry?
I had previously been working part-time at a local mums and toddlers group. This was ideal as my daughter was very small at the time. Once she was old enough to go to school I was ready to work full time! I was inspired by a yellow school bus parked up at a local supermarket and I thought to myself ‘I could do that!’. I called the number on the side of the bus, they were very helpful and told me more about becoming a bus driver.
How did you feel when driving a bus for the first time?
Taking hold of the wheel in the training bus for the first time is a bit nerve wracking but exciting too! Once I qualified as a professional bus driver I was completely ready and felt confident about doing the job.
How do you feel about the job now?
I’m really enjoying my job, especially the responsibility of being in charge of a large bus. Ensuring that all my passengers have a comfortable and safe trip is just one of my duties as a bus driver!
Have you ever felt uncomfortable as a female bus driver when so many around you have been male?
It has never been an issue, all of my male colleagues have been very helpful and welcoming right from the start of my training until now.
Name the best things about being a bus driver?
Meeting new people is a great aspect, older people rely on us and are always so grateful for the service. It’s not a regular office job, there is the chance to get out and about!
What would you say to other women who are considering it?
Go for it! You will have a real sense of achievement in this job! There are many opportunities to develop and progress on the career ladder too!
Find out more on how you could become a bus driver on the TFL website.