DTA offering opportunity to test drive a bus

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Every day, hundreds of people rely on Duluth Transit Authority buses to run errands or go to work and school. And the DTA needs drivers to take them there.

This weekend, there is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in trying bus driving to get behind the wheel.

The DTA will host two sessions, one from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday and the other from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. A closed course will be set up at the Duluth Heritage Center. Test drivers must be 21 or older and have a valid driver’s license.

DTA General Manager Rod Fournier said every transportation agency is competing for the same candidates, more or less.

“We thought, we need to think outside the box in a way to attract people,” Fournier said. “And we realized early that one of the barriers for that is the fact that some people might think, ‘I can’t drive a vehicle that big.'”

The DTA has room for another 6-8 people in their October class. It’s a six-week process that involves both classroom and road training. People come in with a permit but get in-house training and earn their Commercial Driver’s License through the Transit Authority.

Fournier drove bus himself for 16 years.

“It’s the freedom of kind of being your own boss when you’re out there. Your office view changes every day,” he said. “This is a people-driven job, and the people that you get to know over the time and the years as they go on is the best part of the job.”

Visit DuluthTransit.com to sign up for a test drive slot.