I did the entire 2 weeks of unpaid training and completed and passed all the training and written testing and then right before the final driving test they decided to "release me from training". Really upsetting because I had passed all the testing, watched all the training videos, done all the paperwork properly and on time. I wanted to finish the program at least. I had memorized how to pre-trip a bus completely for that final road test. But honestly, the instructors really rubbed me the wrong way during the in-class and driving experiences with their strange commentary and excessive back seat driving and were constantly chain smoking cigarettes and blowing the smoke in my face while I was doing inspections. I was practically getting headaches from the excessive second hand smoke I was inhaling when I'm not a smoker and never been one. Honestly, if you're a smoker, you'll fit right in at this place. The instructors got so strange and bossy with me yet it was always me who ended up looking like the bad guy when all I did was listen to them and do exactly what they said. Whether it was checking my mirrors every 1 second (supposed to be 5 to 8 seconds) or doing something exactly the way the instructor wanted it, I would just do it. They were very critical of everything I did or didn't do and very fussy. I get that it's important to learn the proper procedures but it's also important to get a feel for the job without constantly being told that everything you are doing is incorr
Prosgot to the drive the school bus. that's about it.
Consrude instructors, so many smokers, very misleading, poor pay, no union, a lot to know and a lot of responsibility considering the pay, no benefits, low class, poor treatment of drivers and trainees.
This was the second time for me working for a school bus company. This type of work is good for people who are parents of young children because you can bring them with you. I believe your children can be up to 6 yrs of age to travel with you? This was an amazing opportunity for myself when my kids were younger. BUT.. the one big BUT. The pay is LOW. And if your school has days off, so do you. There is a small way around that and that is to work with the Charters department. Now keep in mind most Charters your not able to bring your children with you.
This type of work is also good for people who are retired or are a student. You work a split shift, meaning you do your AM pickups and then your PM pickup from school and then home drop offs.
This particular company was alright to work for, the staff was great when you needed help. But the units themselves are tired and understandably so. My unit was always in the shop having something fixed or overhauled. There are only so many mechanics and so much to do. So, please be kind to the mechanics! They can only do so much!!
The other drivers seemed nice. No complaints there.
I loved the kids I drove. Like all children, they had their good days and bad days. The bad days were yelling and screaming, not sitting down, walking on the seats while the bus was moving, hitting each other, throwing things or tossing their garbage all over the unit.
Only words of advice I can give is, just breath. Remeber these kids come from all w
ProsMonday to Friday work, good kids, staff were helpful.
ConsLOW pay, units are tired and brake down often, traffic can be crazy.
afternoon supervisor review:
(If you don't want to read - do not take this position. In a nut shell. Do not. Horrible job.)
The wage works out to 18/hr on salary which is nice on paper, but you work a heap ton of extra hours without extra pay.
You will be given a work cell phone that you must answer 24/7. Even on holidays and days off. Even if you book time off. "Tough" said the boss.
The union is horribly strict and there was constant confrontation between management and staff.
Poor management. Could not give proper direction. A lot of unanswered questions.
Office staff are not able to take sick days. I called in sick at 4am with a fever (did not work until 230pm) and was still told to come in because "it's not my problem that you're sick" said my boss.
The work load will range from normal to tripple from a daily basis with zero added incentive. If your on salary you lose money every extra hour you work. You'll work a min 10 hour day every day. And get paid for 8 on salary.
There is no common courtesy or general respect. The drivers and shop treat you like you're a complete idiot. Lots of tension.
The company wasn't making money, so instead of filing for bankruptcy they decided to take half of everyone's pay cheques and hold them until you quit or were fired. To make their numbers look good on paper. This is 100% truthful. I will show my pay stubs to anyone doubting this.
This company, overall, will not be successful in future endeavours.
ProsPaid the bills - when they didn't cut my cheque in half
Was with this company for 6 years. Saw 5 different LM's. Was given an amazing opportunity to succed and help the company, couldn't advance due to
athorititarian thinking, managment didn't like free thinking or belief in keeping your own values and morals. Aka if you are not a yes "person", your hard work and opinions don't weigh anything.
Management, even above location management, is closed minded. When there is a real concern with harassment or "demeaning behavior" it is over looked and washed under the carpet as "delt with", because it easier to get rid of the person making the complaint then to deal with problem. Like earlier stated, anyone with a valid opinion gets fired due to "restructuring" and management changes hands so fast that the old crew never has a chance to solve issues before the new "hero" come to solve all.
As a driver, again not valued. Saskatoon location drivers are amazing, management refuses to give a safety bonus or even recognition more than a $5 Tim's card. First Student is a multi billion dollar corporation that values money and not the employee. "Corporarion", all for the big guy...
Current Drivers for First Student have the biggest hearts, and best interest for their students, every minute of every day. Management of these drivers is highly inefficient. Drivers seem to manage themselves and hold each other accountable to utmost safest standards possible.
Saskatoon location manager is not the person you want to work for.
The company culture has no integrity. It promotes itself as being in the business of "Safe Transport" for children, but in practice the only reason safety is maintained at all is because employees overcompensate for the company's consistent behaviour of putting money before safety.
In my time working there, I witnessed consistently repeating incidents to support this... including covering up or re-spinning news and events damaging to the company image, dismissal of people expressing concerns over questionable practices, exploitation of vulnerable workers, and many more.
I was with the company for five years and it had five general managers in that time. When I left, there wasn't one single person left in the main office from when I started five years before... all of them were gone and replaced... it was a completely different team in just five years, yet the work culture remained almost exactly the same with same chronic problems. The company has no memory of it's past performance because the problems don't get properly documented, and then staff leave and the knowledge of the problems is not passed on to new staff. When the problems arise with new staff, they are seeing them for the first time and think they are new issues... when, in fact, they are ancient problems that never get solved. It's a vicious and frustrating chasing-your-own-tail condition.
The managment at the bus yard are nice enough and a few of them do seem to care and do the best they can but head office seems to not care at all. Dispatch are not helpful in the least. When you get shorted a days pay its like pulling teeth to get paid. They say you have to wait for the next pay period which is against the law. They make you fill out a form and they cant even be bothered to give you the form or show you where to find it. You have to ask a few ppl for help finding the form an eventually go find a manager to get it for you. Still havent been paid and its been a week. Then there is the issue with being expected to control special needs kids who are having aggressive outbursts, with no proper training and a wage that doesnt even come close to reflecting the responsibility of the job. You will get hit and pushed and when you report it the only thing they do is say they will ask the teachers what you should do to handle it in the future. We are not trained behavioural interventionists and do not get paid anywhere close to their wage and as such should not be in the position of having to control potentially harmful outbursts. Its not the kids’ fault, they can’t help it. But apparently the school board doesnt value their wellbeing while on the bus and First Canada doesn’t value it’s employees. Don’t waste your time with this company.
Overall, the job isn't that great. A good stepping stone for a real job though.
My experiences are all through the Coquitlam branch of First Student.
My co-workers are excellent.
Most of the equipment is newer and reasonably well maintained.
The location manager is fair, competent, and likeable, even though she's based out of the Maple Ridge location.
Being the largest transportation company makes each employee feel like a number and not a person within the company anymore.
The Vancouver office is also the western Canada head office, making them extremely busy all the time. This results in employee communications from other locations being missed/ignored constantly.
While the rate of pay isn't all that bad once you reach the maximum rate, it takes a full 5 years to get there, Other than a 4 hr/day guarantee, there aren't a lot of hours.
Charter assignments are assigned the day before, making it difficult to schedule your life around the job.
Company will not pay overtime
Company will train you for each and every occurrence or mishap out there. That way, if something happens and you're found at fault, the company can then say "we trained them on this day about this kind of danger. We have nothing to do with it now as we've done our due diligence."
Consterrible management practices out of the Vancouver Head Office location.
Located in Northern Canada where most of the school year is cold. winter (downwards into the -the 30s) it could be a challenge to get up by 7:00 am and have to go out spect your bus (parked outside), hopê it gets warm in 15 minutes that you are allowed to start it prior to your run. Split shifts ... Early Morning, Afternoon, each about 2 hours. Pay for the "work" was decent, each period (AM and PM) was $75.00 (4 hours work). The downside could face days off (unpaid days) with the weather (i.e. Snow day), PD Day (Teacher Professional Development), Holiday Break 2 weeks, Spring 1 week. Off Summer. Prior to the C19 outbreak, many many charters available, pretty good money in those. I had a GREAT ROUTE, GOOD well behaved kids! Management: FIRST 3.5 years not really good, usually HANDS OFF, replacement EXCELLENT One on One, TOOK immediate interest, was there for each to talk, discuss, gain advice; was VERY FAIR if something needed to be corrected. BAD was the School Boards, their method of following up on those students that required write-ups and corrective action; very very lame!
ProsPaid meal if on charter away from home area. Pay for hours worked pretty good.
ConsSplit Shifts, Have to belong to a UNION.
Customer Service Representative | Markham, ON | Aug 12, 2014
Over all, I loved my job/customers and people I worked with.
A typical day at work was at times very busy. I answered emails and phone calls for quotes and orders for school excursions and public functions.
I've learned a lot about the various rates, destinations and time of traveling times. I also learned a lot about the Computer program.
The busiest and most stressful times was from April to the end of June and from September to Christmas break. Going to work was very enjoyable. Not every day was the same.
My co-workers were great and we all worked well as a team. We helped each other if we needed it.
I loved my boss, she was great to work for. She was always there to answer any questions I had if I needed her input about something.
The hardest part of the job was, I think, having multiple jobs on the computer at the same time and praying I didn't mess it up. I did a lot of multi-tasking and got the jobs done efficiently and in a timely manner for the customer and company satisfaction. My customers were very happy with the service I provided to them and I had a great raport will each and every one.
ProsHours of work was great.
ConsThe pay wasn't the greatest, but it paid the bills
Customer Service Representative | Markham, ON | Dec 18, 2015
Working at First Student was challenging and rewarding. Staff and co-workers were great and we all worked as a team.
A typical day at work was very fast paced and challenging. In working at First Student I have learned computer programs such as MS Word, Share Point,some SAP and Excel. I have also learned to know my areas all around the greater Toronto area and charges for the Rental of buses for excursions.
Management were great to work for, they were helpful, understanding and it was great working for them. My co-workers were also great and we all worked as a team.
The hardest thing about the job was pleasing all customers. Some customers wanted buses on the spur of the moment and it was challenging trying to accommodate them all. I almost always succeeded in helping them on the spur of the moment. I had many customers who looked on me for help. I had an excellent rapport with all my clients.
At the end of the day, it was very gratifying knowing that I have helped so many people plan their trips.
I joined the company as a school bus driver in June of 2015. I already had a class-A CDL from work as a semi truck driver, so just needed to add the passenger and school bus endorsements to my CDL, which First Student provided very good training for. After two years with the company I applied for a CDL trainer position and was accepted, then went through company-provided training for that. (I still drive my regular routes in addition to training new drivers at other times.) The pay is very good for being a part-time job, and while I was a little nervous at first about running a so-called "day care on wheels," I've found that the kids on my bus routes have become like a second family!
The job isn't for everyone -- you need to be able to get up fairly early in the morning and be responsible enough to show up at work every day (or notify in advance as much as possible when you can't come in to work due to illness or emergency). Or, if you're into recreational drugs or such things this job definitely isn't for you. The company also does not have health insurance for part-time employees like the drivers, so you need to either be on someone else's insurance or purchase an Obamacare-type plan. The job is ideal for people who have recently retired who have a spouse/partner with insurance coverage, or are eligible for Medicare, but we also have quite a few drivers who are younger and either go without health insurance or get it through other means.
A typical day starts at 6:00 am wi
ProsBest part-time job I've ever come across, Good pay and interacting with my kids on the bus helps keep me young, The split-shift schedule gives me time during the middle of the day to get other things done, I like having weekends/holidays and summers off
ConsLack of health insurance is a problem for some, Some people don't like the split-shift schedule, Lack of year-round pay is also problematic for some
Poor Culture. Stealth like duplicity. Constant pay issues / harassment.
First Student / Falcon Bus Management Chicago West 4155 W Chicago Ave, Chicago IL will lie to steal your sign on bonuses, and pay is always short. Busses break down often and propane busses often are not fueled in time for routes due to special training required. Have to stay on top of drivers window to get keys to bus to leave on-time. School pick up and drop off times remain consistent throughout the year but clock in and clock out times change daily at base location. Being on time seems to be the last priority and training is a joke. I really loved working for First Student in the past but this location is an embarrassment to the First Student name. The process was not as well run as Jacksonville Florida and very un-organized. I applied also because they said they were offering a $3000.00 sign on bonus for experienced drivers with $500.00 for training pay after training completion. Keep in mind I now have been driving commercial vehicles for almost 20 years including transit busses, MCI coach busses and Class A Trucks with all endorsements including passenger endorsement and past First Student experience as a School Bus Driver, Behind the Wheel Trainer and a Safety Team Member. I was told that I was not qualified for the $3000.00 bonus because I did not have school bus permit certification from State of Illinois. I applied on 05/08/2018 at 4155 West Chicago Avenue Suite 102, Chicago IL 60655 in person after applying on-line with First Student First Group. I was contacted
A typical day at work for me was. I get there in the morning usually help one of the other mechanics with repairs on a school bus or start a service or PM on a school bus. That would take acouple of hours depending on what kind of service it is. The buses usually left around 1:30pm-2:00pm for afternoon routes. So from 2:00pm-4:30Pm I was either cleaning the shop, going on road calls, sometimes mowing the lot. When they start coming back some would stop infront for shop for simple repair example- light bulb. And then I would do another service and the repairs. And I would leave for the day at 8:00pm.
What I learned. Pretty much when I first started to work at First Student. I pretty much didn't know a whole lot about school buses. And so as the years went on I was tawt more threw the Shop Foreman/Lead Tech. The things I was tawt were: Service's, well exhaust is pretty easy to learn. And thats the same with removing tires/wheels. I learned alittle electrical and diagnosing. I know how to do hydralic brake jobs. And need some more time learning on the air brakes.
Management. It was good some days and not so good other days. I don't think this is bad on my part but while working there. I went threw 3 bosses.
My co-workers. When I first started I loved working with the guys that were there. I became friends with the guy that was in the wash bay. He would wash school buses and fix seats. The other mechanic was good. But he had his days when he would be bossy. And he had more lun
UGH. OMG. This company here...
The thing is, Its not EVERY First Student. Apparently there are other locations across the country where it is actually a pleasent place to work. They arent located in the area where they have the country's WORST BEHAVED CHILDREN and decide to neglect to do anything about it. They also wont leave you to fend for yourself with a bus full of nasty mannered kids or even if they DID try to help, they would just tell the monitor to do something about it and then write an incident report when you get back.................just so they can NEGLECT TO PROCESS THE INCIDENT REPORT.
These other places DONT mess up your pay check every week, leaving 5 hours off of your pay check. They also know how to set up your direct deposit CORRECTLY and NOT randomly deposit $15 out of your check into your account and give you the rest as a paper check. They also dont do this randomly every 3 months either.
They have actual adults working there, and not a bunch of 35 year old teenagers that devolves the entire workplace into your highschool that you try to forget about. Your coworkers, even though they have a job to do, they dont take off out the office like its some sort of plague......just to avoid their troublesome coworkers.
the other lots clean their buses and dont leave it for others to clean. When you have to do charters, they dont give you a dirty bus and expect you to clean it.
again. apparently this is not EVERY lot. But it was mine. Lots of n
Prosits a lax enviroment
ConsPay is constantly messed up, when kids are unruly on the bus, they have terrible ways of taking care of it, they dont act like they want to work on ways to keep career bus drivers.
They do pay for a Class B CDL but after you are done with the training you realize that they never told you anything about the rules specific to the company or the district and you spend the first few weeks figuring them out by breaking them and getting reprimanded for it.
The buses themselves are poorly maintained. I have yet to drive one that doesn't have the check engine light on among hosts of other problems. You can write them up but it takes weeks for them to fix minor things like lights and bigger things they won't fix until the bus literally dies because of it and won't move anymore. If your batteries aren't holding a charge they will just jump the bus every day rather than replacing them for instance.
The coworkers are nice for the most part but you have to be careful who you say things to because there is a huge gossip problem and people like to stir the pot.
Morale is pretty low overall and you can regularly hear people calling the company "First Stupid." Some of this can be linked back to management who believes "Monitors are a dime a dozen" and the like. The rest seems to stem from the fact that you have almost no support if you have an issue because you have no actual authority to do anything but write the kids up. Usually this just results in a parent yelling at you for writing their kid up and the school doing nothing to help.
The rate of pay is decent until you realize that you will be lucky if you have a route with more than 20-25 hours a week th
ProsIt's not retail
ConsStressful, long hours due to split shifts which are mostly unpaid, no paid time off, poor bus maintenance
Flexibility has allowed me to balance work and life; am caring for elderly mother with serious health issues.Truly enjoy co-workers and students.
My typical day starts with check-in at 0600, drive morning routes as assigned. May then proceed on to Charter/Special Event as contracted by school. Students are returned to school following completion of Charter; then may proceed to afternoon routes, returning students home. I am home at night to be with my husband!
I have obtained my CDL with Passenger/School Endorsement, after NEVER having driven a bus or truck previously! i have learned different driving skills, making me an all-around safer driver. Have learned different interaction skill with various age levels and special needs children, as well as their parents.
Management is challenging!!!
Co-workers, for most-part, are enjoyable, diverse in experiences, enjoy working with children and try to do their best each day. Co-workers are very supportive of each other, given management. Enjoy number of co-workers who have become like family and good friends that can be depended upon and are appreciative of various talents and experiences.
Hardest part of the job is management and poor condition of the bus yard.
Most enjoyable part of the job is the flexibility it has given me to have time with my family, to care for my mother, to be able to participate in my church choirs and as a cantor and allow me to appreciate the beauty in the world around me. I have been able to have more holidays with my family than have had in past 8 years and was able to enjoy planning and celebrating my daughter's wedding, with
Yeah, they talk safety... They talk fun environment... and they also promise benefits and fair practices... they even offer employee perks and bonuses but it's all phoney baloney. Once you go through training you can't leave for several months or you owe them money. The management has a lackluster and extremely biased approach to solving internal problems. The "fun environment" is corrupted with drama, gossip, backstabbing, and malicious intent against each other. There is corruption amongst the staff and management, and don't think for a moment that this company will back you up on any type of issue. Document everything or you are assumed a liar. Pay is below average and raises are disappointing. Staff seems to have issues with treating employees with professional respect and dignity. They talk big about Safety - however there are no consequences for violators of safety rules, therefore they have no consistency nor safety compliance enforcement. The majority of seniority drivers are disabled or physically unable to pass the physical dexterity test - however, somehow coninue to drive year after year even though they are too unfit to save a life or walk down the aisle to the back of the bus. There is definetly a lot of undesirable behavior exhibited at this company. However, this is a perfect job for a single person with no financial/family responsibilities. Your shift starts early in the morning, work for a couple hours - then have a few hours (about 4hrs) free in the middle
Prosexcellent extensive professional training provided
Before entering and using a bus an inspection was performed each morning. his included the engine, brakes. After the inspection was complete I would proceed with my route which would be a planned trip to various addresses to pick up kids and take them to school. After dropping the kids off I would perform a student check, would check the seats in the bus to make sure there are no kids asleep or hiding on the bus. When the route was complete and the kids taken to school safely I would return to the bus yard to park the bus till the afternoon, or proceed to go on a field trip for a designated school. On a field trip I would be responsible for making sure the kids and adults going on the trip arrive at the destination and back to the school safely. I would make sure the bus was secure by being lock and anything left in it would be safe when waiting for In between the ride to the destination and the journey back to the school. After the field trip depending on the time of arrival at the school, I would ether continue to my afternoon route or go back to the bus yard to wait for the afternoon route. In the afternoon I would go on my afternoon route and pick up the kids from the school and take them home. I would then perform a student check and return to the bus yard. When I returned to the bus yard I would then perform a post trip Inspection. A post trip inspection is an inspection of the inside of the bus, the outside of the bus, and the tires of the bus.
The low ratings I am
ProsGot a CDL Class B
ConsBad Management, Bad Environment, Buses Never Properly Maintained
Questions and answers about First Student
Does First Student require background check?
Asked Apr 8, 2017
1.) Police background check
2.) Vulnerable background check
3.) 2 work related references & 2 personal references
4.) Drivers abstract required
5.) Any auto accidents within the last 3 years
6.) Class 2 medical examination
These are required as is a drug test BUT the company covers the relevant expenses
Answered Jul 11, 2020
Police background check you are required to pay all incuding background back ground check taking a knoledge test at the registry at my owen Expanse Training is npt unpaid Tanku
Answered Aug 29, 2019
On average, how many hours do you work a day at First Student?
Asked May 11, 2020
You are paid 4 hours - but it's not like a "punch in/punch out" job - the office manager sets the "rate" for all the runs and the school board can change them at anytime so the hours are NOT stable - there are options to do charters and/or private contracts so you CAN make extra - and forget about booking off! They will hound you and say that they cannot possibly cover your run and make you feel guilty so that you will change your plans/appointments to suit THEIR needs - it used to be fun and casual but it has become challenging for management to make sure every contract is covered that they act like drivers are a their beck and call
Answered Aug 3, 2022
4 hours a day for most of the drivers except few drivers who had to work more than 4 hours
Answered Mar 19, 2022
What is First Student holiday leave policy? How much holiday leave do you get per year?
Asked Nov 24, 2018
Answered Dec 3, 2022
All days of summers and every weekend
Answered Nov 7, 2022
How often do raises occur at First Student?
Asked Nov 1, 2018
None to my knowledge
Answered Nov 23, 2022
For Edmonton location: upon ratification of a new negotiated collective bargaining agreement
Answered Nov 8, 2022
What should you wear to an interview at First Student?