Bus conductors have a range of responsibilities, which include collecting fares, issuing tickets, helping passengers with baggage, advising on destinations and ensuring the safety of passengers. There is some paperwork involved, for instance when recording fares, checking timetables and counting money. In most areas, with the exception of London, the duties of driver and conductor are combined into one job (see Bus/Coach Driver profile).
What's the working environment like working as a bus conductor?
Hours are irregular and may involve some weekends and shift work. Driver-conductors work alone, but where the roles are divided, the driver and conductor work together as part of a team. The conductor will be expected to stand for prolonged periods.
What does it take to become a bus conductor?
To be a bus conductor, you should:
- Be reliable and punctual
- Be of smart appearance
- Be physically fit - able to climb stairs, stand and lift luggage
- Have good communication skills
- Be numerate – able to calculate quickly and accurately
- Have an awareness of safety issues
- Have the ability to operate a payment system.
Bus conductor career opportunities
Opportunities are greater in large towns or cities. Most companies run buses operated by one person only and therefore the number of openings for conductors has declined in recent years.
More opportunities exist nationally for bus drivers. To become a bus driver you need to have a full UK driving licence and attain a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence, which involves passing a practical and theoretical test. For more information on bus driving, see the Bus/Coach Driver profile.
Opportunities may be found with tram companies in cities such as Blackpool and Manchester.