A day in the life of a bus driver (Behind the Scenes)
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On school days, Rodney Hofts wakes up at 5 a.m. and arrives at the bus pickup by 6 a.m. “When I get to the bus, I have to do engine checks, brake checks, signal checks, and a bunch of more safety procedures everyday to make sure the bus does not malfunction, “ Hofts said. “If it does, then I have to take it to the shop to get fixed.”
Hofts, driver of bus 167 and retired professional, has driven buses for three years.
Hofts arrives at his first stop right on time at 6:37 a.m., and from all the other stops fit in like a puzzle. Hofts said that after doing through the route so many times, he is able to get consistent times and have everyone picked up at the right time.
Hofts generally arrives at CHS by 7:20 a.m., and then he goes back to pick up students for elementary school. By the time he is done, which is around 9 a.m., Hofts goes home as he retired from his day job.
In the afternoon, Hoft goes back to the elementary school at around 2:20 a.m., drops students home, then comes to the high school, drops students home, and leaves the bus at the drop-off location by 4:30 a.m.
“My job doesn’t seem like much, but always arriving on time is the something I have to do otherwise the students become unhappy,” Hofts said. “I don’t mind doing a job that doesn’t really get much recognition because someone has to drive the students to school and I think it’s a bit fun to drive a giant vehicle around roundabouts.”
Everyday, thousands of CHS students are driven to school via the Carmel Clay bus system. And everyday, there are a handful of drivers who go unrecognized.
“It is something I enjoy. A lot of people think I all I do is wake up and drive but that’s not the truth. I have to do a lot more stuff beforehand and I often get to interact with students,” Hofts said.