How to Succeed as a Bus Driver

Happy Bus Driver Greeting Passengers

Do you enjoy driving? Are you good when it comes to finding your way around out on the road? Is safety your No. 1 concern when you’re behind the wheel? If you answered “yes” to all these questions, you might make a great bus driver.

Northwest Bus Sales has highlighted several qualities that will help you succeed as a bus driver.

 You Must Be Personable

When people walk onto a bus, it helps them to see a friendly face behind the wheel. Many passengers expect the bus driver to interact a bit and make traveling fun. Whether you’re driving people across town or across several states, you should be friendly and personable. As a bus driver, you want to be someone that passengers would like to see again.

Cool, Calm, and Collected

Driving a bus can be a lot of fun but it can also be stressful. As a bus driver, you’re going to need to be able to deal with everything from terrible weather conditions and angry passengers to road rage and, of course, traffic. You need to be prepared to take care of whatever your job throws at you and handle it in a calm and collective matter.

Remain Punctual

The people who climb aboard your bus need you to be able to get them from point A to point B safely. They also need you to be able to do it in a timely fashion. If you say you’re going to show up somewhere at 10 a.m., you should be there at 10 a.m., if not earlier. And if you say you can take people somewhere by 5 p.m., they need to arrive no later than 5 p.m. Being punctual will be a big part of your job. Although traffic and life in general can result in delayed buses, it’s important that time management matters to you.

Looking to purchase a bus for your fleet? Northwest Bus Sales has a huge inventory of new and used buses. Call us at 800-231-7099 today!

How to Handle Bus Travel with Children

Family Trip on Large Bus

Traveling by bus is a simple and convenient way to travel, however when you add children into the mix, doing so can get a bit more complicated.

Northwest Bus Sales is offering several suggestions on how to handle bus traveling with children for a smooth, fun ride.

Do Your Research

Compare bus lines for ticket prices and see if you can find discounts for children in their appropriate age group. Depending on where you live, children under a certain age might even be free. Keep in mind that children are often considered adult travelers when they reach a certain age so keep that in mind when shopping for tickets.

Look up reviews to find out how child-friendly a bus line is. Find out if the bus has seatbelts or if you can bring a child safety seat on the bus.

Pack Some Entertainment

Bus rides are often longer compared to other forms of travel, with buses making multiple stops along the journey. Providing various forms of entertainment for your children on the bus ride will help to keep them occupied.

Consider coloring books and handheld electronic games to keep young minds occupied. Don’t forget to download some movies to keep them busy if you have the technology to do so. Keeping children busy will make the bus ride go smoothly and make the trip more comfortable.

Remember Bus Safety

Go over some bus safety tips with your children prior to boarding the bus. Remind them to remain seated while the bus is moving, and if there are seatbelts, encourage them to put them on.

Be sure to pack some water and snacks as well as blankets in the event of an unscheduled stop. The more safety tips you review with your child prior to traveling, the easier bus travel will be.

For over 31 years now Northwest Bus Sales has been providing new buses for sale and used buses for sale in the Northwest. Contact us today to get more information.

How to Make Your Bus Stop a Better Place

Group of People Waiting for Bus at Bus Stop

We here at Northwest Bus Sales talk a lot about buses: why they’re eco-friendly and efficient; why they’re getting more attention from cities and organizations alike; and why they’re great for any group travel occasion.

However, what largely goes under the radar is where you get on and off the bus itself: the bus stop! And how that bus stop looks, and feels, can largely impact your overall bus experience.

Luckily, there are several bus stop pioneers out there who are rethinking what a bus stop means to its local community and how to improve them.

Here are a few examples of what they did to improve this vital transit space:

Link the Bus Stop to Bikes

We need to see our bus network as connected to other transit systems, whether it’s subway or light rail (if that’s available), private cars, or, most importantly, bikes. Many commuters use their bikes for what’s called the “last mile” — that ride home from the nearest bus stop, that is faster by wheel than foot. So make your bus stop respond to that: try to encourage neighbors to get behind the installation of a bike rack, which can invite bike riders to use the stop more often. And if you’re really feeling creative, add a bike repair stall, with an air valve for refueling included.

Make the Bus Stop an Inviting Space

For this step, take your inspiration from local parks and public spaces: why do you like to spend there? Is it the benches? The tables? Or the general welcoming atmosphere? Whatever you think it is, add it to your bus stop. Maybe install a bench or table, so people can enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation as they wait for their bus. Or maybe more greenery, so it’s not a drab blight on the community and offer a sweet spot to sit.

Incorporate a Unique Feature

This is one of our favorite ideas: if you’re waiting for the buses, why not have a book you can read? Like a dentist’s office, it always helps to have reading material around to pass the time. A number of bus stops nationwide now feature free libraries, where people take a book, and leave a book. It can also be donation-based. (Because we all know that we have some extra books lying around.) Why not allow others to enjoy them?

Whatever your inspiration is, improving your bus stop is a great community-building project, that will allow you to meet your neighbors, work collaboratively, and create a space that you all love.

At Northwest Bus Sales, Inc., we love hearing the different approaches to bus travel out there which is why we offer a diverse inventory of models. Contact us today for any questions or concerns you may have!

Bus Travel Popularity Increases in Seattle

Bus Travel Popularity Increases in Seattle

When you think of Seattle, you probably think about coffee or the Space Needle, but these days, two other words might come to mind: public transportation.

Seattle is experiencing an influx of new citizens and they are all looking to the Metro systems to get them where they need to go.

If you are still unsure of how big bus travel really is in Seattle, then all you need to do is look towards the numbers. The fact of the matter is that Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country with nearly a quarter million new jobs and a population that has grown by over 15 percent since 2010.

Not only are there more people but they have also made their travel preferences known. Studies show that commuters opting to drive private vehicles in the downtown area has declined by 10 percent since 2010, and instead, King County Metro in Seattle has seen an 8 percent increase in bus riders.

Currently, there are approximately 250 buses traveling across some of the busiest corridors in the city during the busiest hours of rush hour which amounts to around two buses every minute. These buses carry approximately 52,000 passengers every day, meaning there is essentially a seat for everyone.

The increase in buses is just one piece of the puzzle that city officials are putting in place to decrease the amount of traffic that is caused by the astounding amount of people that are moving into the state every year.

Many of the most popular streets have been modified to give the advantage to bus travel and lighten the traffic caused by private vehicles. On Third Avenue, cars are banned from traveling on all four lanes during rush hour. Meanwhile, the southbound lanes of Second Avenue and the northbound lane of Fourth are also off limits during these times.

The fact of the matter is that Seattle officials have seen that the population is rising and they have been pulling out all of the stops to help these people get to the jobs that they treasure. The great thing is that the citizens are showing their appreciation and the ridership numbers are proof.

Here at Northwest Bus Sales, we are glad to do what we can to assist in Seattle’s transportation endeavors with our selection of coach buses, transit buses, and shuttle buses. We believe that bus travel is the best travel and we would love for you to come by the lot and see our selection.