Overall Reviews at First Student
Bus Driver | Chicago, IL | Sep 8, 2019
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 ...more
Bus Driver | Springfield, IL | Oct 17, 2018
High Stress Workplace
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...more
ProsIt's not retail
ConsStressful, long hours due to split shifts which are mostly unpaid, no paid time off, poor bus maintenance
Bus Driver | Pueblo, CO | Feb 7, 2019
Small office and poor maintained buses
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 ...more
ProsGot a CDL Class B
ConsBad Management, Bad Environment, Buses Never Properly Maintained
Driver | Huntingdon Valley, PA | Jun 9, 2018
Management failure at every level.
Take away the unprofessional , borderline stupid management the job is great. I work in a yard with 50 drivers of various "cultures" and it is a fantastic group of dedicated drivers. We have had 4 managers in the past 10/11 years and each one worse than the previous (with the exception of one who lasted a year - she left because she could not stand dealing with the Corporate culture above her). We have a dispatcher who refuses to learn the area and sends drivers to wrong places and at wrong times. As drivers know - we are the front line and we get the blame when these things happen so it is disheartening to say the least. First Student is a cold corporate entity - their motto is "Safety First" and it is a crock. Their sole focus is not on safety but on covering their butts. It has grown much worse in the past 5 years. The past two years we have had constant pay shortages. They shave minutes off your times and it takes weeks to correct the pay - many just let it go as it isn't worth the hassle. Very dishonest group. This past year the managers denied our drivers who were Jewish time off for their holy days (the Union had to fight them for it) and they told one driver that he couldn't have time to go to his mother's funeral because they were short drivers! It is now always the drivers fault when there is a mix up or incident and they refuse to acknowledge their role. It is a huge company in the transportation field but it will fail because they have let the foundation rot. M...more
ProsCoworkers, dealing with kids and parents
ConsVery poor management throughout the company. Constant shortages in pay, they take minutes off here and there.
Bus Driver | The Colony, TX | Feb 22, 2020
Business Analysis: Case Study
Let me count the ways: Note: Report all issues to discrimination hot-line, do not trust local management
Note: Management fired employee after they sent an email the night before resigning the afternoon shift. This was because of the problems caused by new local management and problematic employee not reigned in because of their attitude and reported safety issues. The biggest issue was the disrespect toward the “Special Needs” students involved about their needs over attempted forced schedule change. Local management tried to use “circular logic” to attempt to trap employee in lame argument,. Their problem was not understanding how an actual real time schedule works allowing enough time to make sure the original students are taken. Lot of disrespect because they were not transportation experienced.
1. Cliche issues, drivers try to force new drivers to conform to bad habits
2. Drivers not written up for not following procedure
3. Drivers arrogant behavior not written up because of reverse discriminatory practices
4. Driver allowed to get away with assault and not fired creating a “hostile” work environment
5. Hostile work environment created by local management not handling problems early
6. Behavior issues not corrected by new management when reported
7. Unsafe practices by drivers allowed on vehicles
8. Never trust local management with complaint, new management incompetent
9. Location had drivers bail on them working to disrupt the company’s contract rene...more
ProsThere are many good people, did not associated with "Cliche".
ConsNever trust local management to handle complaints, always contact corporate "discrimination" hotline for resolution. Cliche issues were many.
Bus Driver | Council Bluffs, IA | Aug 12, 2019
Terrible management from location all the way up to the top
Every paycheck had to be reviewed with a very fine toothed comb. Careful record keeping drivers who made a fuss could get hundreds of dollars a month.
Nobody kept the school district transportation people in line with the contract. They (the school district) treated bus drivers and busses like an unlimited resource. Another example was child discipline... if you had a child so bad (even 2nd or 3rd grade) they had to be taken off the bus by the police - the school district would say it was the driver's fault and put them right back onto the bus routes.
Management style could be called: reactionary. Instant over reaction was the norm when something may be questionable. Drivers were so scared of being punished for the most minute infraction that most quit thinking on their own. Imagine feeling that you could not do the most basic easy, safe maneuver without first radioing in to dispatch (who would have to get permission/denial from higher ups) - usually only to be told that you weren't allowed.
Busses were trashed. Enough resources were not allocated to keep the busses running well. The Thomas busses we used were built VERY cheaply. We were promised more than two dozen new busses before the 2018/19 school year. About January 2019 we got four. Years of this kind of treatment takes a toll on morale.
Hardest part of the job was coming into work and spending time around the bus lot and managers.
Most enjoyable part of the job was the children.
Prosworking with the kids; opportunity to get extra hours was available
Consschool district people, local and regional management, worn out busses, poorly built busses, accounting practices, being treated like you were dumber than dirt.
Bus Driver | Delevan, NY | Apr 19, 2019
Don’t do it!!!! It was a nightmare!!!
I worked for First Student. I gave the company 110%. I would do anything for my dispatcher, like clean spare buses for lotmen pay and double up runs for no extra pay. I had a work related accident. One afternoon, the fuel pump was faulty resulting in about three gallons of diesel spraying me in my face. I got no help from any of my coworkers and I still had to work with diesel fuel on me. The dispatcher could not even call 911. They had me washed some off in their one bathroom no eye wash station. Burning me. Even the company has not helped me at all. To this day I still have effects from it. When I returned to work, I was harassed to the point that my dispatcher friended my 12 year old daughter on Facebook to what I think they(First Student) wanted to watch my Facebook page. I threw up before every run. And I was told by many coworkers not to park in the parking lot because my van was to big. I was called names. When I handed in my two weeks notice, my boss shared it with other coworkers who cheered. I had nightmares about First Student. Recently one of their drivers came way too close to hitting the same 12 year daughter with a 15 ton school bus, but that is one way to cut down on drivers’ time and make more money for the company. I am working for another bus company making more money, better work environment, and better management. If you are looking to get a job with First Student run away fast. It is a nightmare.
Bus Driver | Jefferson City, MO | Dec 2, 2018
a day in the life
the day in the life of a driver or monitor is not always easy, but it is not the same ever in any two days. If you like variety, you like good pay, you are reliable, quick on your feet, you enjoy beautiful children that you don't have to take to your home at night that no matter what they have going on you can make even the tiniest difference in their lives...this is the job for you! This job was so rewarding when I was able to do it! I looked forward to seeing the babies that weren't mine everyday. Looked forward to knowing that their parents trusted them safe in my hands each day. I knew I would do my best to get them to where they needed to go. I learned their names, I knew of some of their troubles, some of them took the time to learn my name, some of them even took time to give me a hug on occasion usually when they needed it. I was a tool, I would help break up petty fights and offer morals and manners when their parents couldn't be there. to teach and provide love and care not because I had to but because I wanted to and it made this job more meaningful and rewarding to all of us! On my last day some of the kids had made me cards, and pictures, some cried. all of them I know are in the caring hands of a new driver. I just hope they carry on the same principals that I had as a bus driver!
ProsI was allowed to take my 2 year old son on the route with me
Consgetting up and out in the cold sometimes and 4:30 in the am to start my day
Bus Driver | DeKalb, IL | Mar 13, 2019
management does not care
A typical day consists of doing safety checks on your bus first thing in the morning to make sure it is safe to drive. Then driving your route to pick up students and transport them to school. It was nice because you have 5 hours of free time during the day to do whatever you want before having to go back for the afternoon route. The management was awful tho, when something went wrong with the buses they would brush it off and want you to drive it anyway. If you had any sort of concerns about your route (i.e. the behavior of your students, the safety of the stops, or the illogical way the route itself was planned out) they would brush it off or tell you to talk to another supervisor who was not there. For weeks or months you could complain about situations you were concerned about before they would ever even consider doing anything about it. And if they did actually do something (i.e. put a bus monitor on for help with students behavior) they would only do it for a day or two to keep your complaints/concerns quiet for a few days. The management truly does not care about the safety of their drivers or the students they transport, all they care about is making sure the route is covered. The hardest part of the job was dealing with the management. The most enjoyable part was getting to know the students.
Bus Driver | Hillsborough, NJ | Mar 19, 2019
Stressful with dispatcher and manager
Dispatcher is so rude and nasty Open the checks to see how much you make and ask money for giving job or charters ,no respect the seniority and doesn’t like to hear that the buses are not in good maintenance just wanted the run be covered and doesn’t matter your health if buses smell smoke he gets mad and makes false statements to take you out or remove you from the run Manager is only once a week and she doesn’t want to hear you complaining about him or just ignore the problem .it was a nightmare working at this location. is that the reason why others drivers doesn’t help him when he asked help to cover open runs and all the time is short of drivers also force drivers to go over speed limit to save money I definitely don’t recommend this base to work. Buses has no maintenance and stop in the middle of the road or died because mechanics also have to cover runs and cannot performed their jobs Bathroom is nasty not cleaning staff if you want to use you have to clean before or use as is with the risk of getting sick On safety meetings doesn’t take in consideration your opinion or concerns. In this location bosses has no respect to employees not confidence in this location because dispatcher shares good or bad to other drivers
ConsNot benefits, no future, no safety