Every day, 432 buses, 48 trams and 38 trolleys run in Tallinn, which are driven by a total of about 1,500 public transport drivers who work according to a schedule. Interest in the profession of public transport driver has grown year by year – among other things, more and more women want to learn to be bus drivers.
“Although over the years the driver of public transport in Tallinn has had a long-term work experience, in recent years there has been an increased need for additional training, especially for bus drivers, as many drivers have retired after a long term of work and the number of buses in the capital has increased somewhat. This year, 42 people have completed the D-category motor vehicle driver courses organized by Public Limited Company Tallinna Linnatransport, 37 of whom have also started working as bus drivers in Tallinn. After the courses, the rest of the bus drivers have started working either on county lines or in other cities,” explained Otto Popel, a member of the management board of TLT.
He added that as of the beginning of September, there are 11 vacancies for bus drivers in TLT.
“As additional buses were added to the timetable at the beginning of the school year and the demand for runs has also tightened timetables, the need for public transport drivers has increased. We hope that the additional bus driver training courses that will start at TLT in September and November will help to fill the positions with new colleagues by the end of the year,”Popel added.
Popel stated that while years ago one could see mostly men as bus drivers in the capital and more women working as tram drivers, today we see that more and more women also want to get a D-category motor vehicle driving license to work as a bus driver. “Probably the reason is both a renewed bus fleet, i.e., the buses on the route today are significantly more driver-friendly,” said Popel.
People who have worked in other positions as well as those who are looking for a new challenge with the help of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund have applied for the bus driver’s training.
“This year, 32 bus drivers trained through the Unemployment Insurance Fund, 13 of whom were women, have started working at TLT as bus drivers,” said the member of the management board.
How to become a public transport driver?
The occupation of a bus driver presupposes the right to drive a category D motor vehicle, which can be acquired at the training of Tallinna Linnatransport. “The training includes 40 theory lessons and 20 practical driving lessons – the courses last 2-2.5 months, depending on the number of people. The prerequisite for being admitted to the courses is that the person has a previous, at least 2-year long driving experience in a B-category vehicle and a valid medical certificate of a professional motor vehicle driver,” said Popel.
The theoretical part focuses on traffic rules and traffic safety, but also on ensuring the technical condition of the bus and the basics of passenger service. In the practical part, study drives are carried out, where great attention is paid to acquiring smooth and safe driving techniques of the bus.