New Rapid bus drivers keep training in snow

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Public transit workers in Grand Rapids are working despite the cold and some newcomers are training to drive the 40-foot buses.

There have been hundreds of closings and cancellations due to the weather, but the CEO of The Rapid told 24 Hour News 8 that they're up and running no matter what.

"We train for this. We train for extreme weather," said Andrew Johnson, the transit service CEO.

Seven people are training to become bus drivers for The Rapid right now. On Thursday, 24 Hour News 8 rode along one of them, Brian Little, and trainer Nancy Slater.

The roads were sloppy, but drivers said training on them is necessary.

"It's hard when you have parked cars and when the plows do not plow, it's hard to navigate between parked cars, especially on your side streets," Slater said. "Some of our routes, we do have to go down side streets."

A 10-year veteran of bus driving, Slater explained the pre-check process. It includes checking lights, bike racks and accessibility features for riders with disabilities. Little completed that before the bus was clear to leave.

24 Hour News 8 spotted another vehicle struggling to get up a hill during the ride-along. It was just ahead of the bus, but Little kept his space, allowing the other vehicle to eventually turn around.

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