Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
Metro Online Home

From behind the wheel: A bus driver's job

Meet Aaron Desrochers, a student reporter for Metro News. Aaron was a fourth grade student at Arbor Heights Elementary School when he filed this report.*

Aaron Desrochers and James Liverman

Aaron's assignment:

to interview James Liverman, Metro bus driver.

His tools:

a small tape recorder and lots of questions.

Aaron met Mr. Liverman at Metro's Central Base, a place with a large parking lot and maintenance shops for buses. After a short tour, Aaron and Mr. Liverman boarded a tunnel bus and headed for the University District. Let's find out what it's like to be a Metro bus driver.

Driver shows bus controls Aaron: Where did you learn to drive a bus?

Mr. Liverman: I took a special class to learn the rules of the road. Then I went out with a Metro driving teacher, but I drove the bus by myself. When I first started driving, I was pretty nervous. After awhile, it became easy to drive the bus.

Aaron: How long have you been driving a tunnel bus?

Mr. Liverman: I've been driving a tunnel bus for two years.

Aaron: How does it feel to drive a bus? I mean, it's so big.

View from driver's seat Mr. Liverman: I enjoy it. I like sitting up high and looking at things along my route.

Aaron: What's hard about your job?

Mr. Liverman: I think driving safely and staying aware of everything that's going on around me are my biggest challenges.

Aaron: What's the best thing about driving a bus?

Welcome aboard tunnel bus Mr. Liverman: I like meeting different people. There are some really nice folks on my bus route.

Aaron discovered that being a Metro driver is a pretty cool job. He also learned that driving safely and taking care of bus riders is hard work. After his bus ride and interview were finished, Aaron said, "Bus drivers have a very big responsibility!"

Would you like to be a bus driver someday?

To become a bus driver, you have to be at least 21 years old, have a Washington drivers license and have a good driving record for the past five years.

Bus drivers get to work with lots of people, they get to be in charge of the bus while they drive, and they get good insurance and vacation benefits. When someone becomes a Metro bus driver, they go to Metro's driving school for one month and then start as a part-time bus driver.

Here are some questions for you:

  • Would you like to be a Metro bus driver? Why?
  • What do you think you would like best about being a bus driver?

* This article was written for the April 1994 "MetroNews."
(Photos by Ned Ahrens, King County Graphic Design and Production)

Updated: Sep. 30, 2005