Get on the bus, but who's driving?

Okanagan MLAs and Mayor Walter Gray were driving 40-foot busses around the Cook Rd. boat launch Tuesday morning.

They were not applying to become transit drivers, but they were getting a taste of what it was like to get behind the big wheel.

The three bus driving amigos were just a few of the participants who signed up for the Kelowna BC Transit Media Roadeo.

The event provided an opportunity to test and experience some of the real life scenarios that bus drivers face every day.

BC Transit's John Palmer knows the difficulties drivers face, he spent five years operating a transit bus.

He says the hardest part of the job was keeping the bus on time and to a schedule.

"A schedule is an extremely controlled environment that is influenced by any number of uncontrollable events, it can be weather, traffic, passengers," Palmer explained.

"If you get one passenger with a mobility issue, which is very important we provide that service to them, it sets you back on your time."

As for the participants in Tuesday's event, their biggest concern was not to smash into the pylons.

"I got pretty good at hitting cones over," said a smiling Walter Gray.

Kelowna- Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick says the event helped him understand how difficult it is to drive a bus. 

"I think I have a much better appreciation for what it takes to be a bus driver."

Letnick's coach was BC Transit driving instructor Dave Driedger, he says it was clear Letnick had driven a larger vehicle, like a motorhome before.

"I knew he had backed up before, he was better with his mirrors."

This is the second time BC Transit has held the roadeo, the first event took place in Victoria last year.

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