Market Response

This article is proof, as if any were actually needed, that the general public, very much including journalists and most politicians, have no clue when it comes to basic micro-economics:

Bus drivers have been flocking to jobs with haulage firms as HGV operators when companies were desperate and were handing out large signing on bonuses.

Like this should come as a complete surprise.  You have a heavy-duty driving license and are working as a bus driver, when an opportunity comes to do essentially the same job but for much, much more money.  What should you do, oh what should you do?

But let us never forget that a bad situation can always be exacerbated by government regulation:

They said the [public transportation] industry had put in place plans to hire new workers but said they were being put off due to delays in sorting licences.

…which delays are because of government red tape, as evidenced by the very next sentence:

The CPT urged the government to ensure training them was as ‘streamlined and efficient as possible’.

I’m sure that the government is getting right onto that.

7 comments

  1. Not sure about the US, but in Europe a bus driver’s license is quite different from an HGV license.
    The latter requires a lot more training courses, exams, and certification. Including but not limited to mandatory training to handle hazmat loads and spills (even if you’re never going to haul hazmats but only bulk food or minerals for example).

    That (re)training can take years, even without the government slowing down the exam process and issuance of the earned licenses.
    Having a bus license can speed up your actual driving lessons a bit as you’re used to the size and weight of the vehicle, but that’s where the commonality stops pretty much.

    1. In the US, it’s sort of the reverse.

      First, you get a CDL, and then you start getting endorsements.

      To start, there’s different kinds of CDLs.
      A – Combination vehicle (semi)
      B – Heavy Straight Vehicle (regular truck 26,001 pounds or over)
      C – Small Vehicle (under 26,000 pounds)

      Endorsements:
      H for Hazmat
      N for tank vehicles
      P for a vehicle over a certain number of passengers (commercial buses)
      S for school buses
      T for double/triple trailer
      X for a combination of hazmat and tank vehicles

      Most of those only require written knowledge tests, but the two “bus” licenses require road tests, and the school bus endorsement also needs a background check.

      You can get your basic CDL after a couple of months of driving school.

      Generally, though, you can do a lot of “truck driving” without a CDL, in trucks below a certain size (26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight). I’ve driven box trucks under that size for work, and there’s a bunch of opportunities for local and long-distance “small truck” deliveries, or even just van drivers.

      1. Europe too has vehicles you can drive without a heavy license.
        Large vans, boxtrucks up to a certain size and weight limit.
        Buses designed for up to 7 people (so driver 6 passengers).
        And trailers up to I think 500kg or the weight of the towing vehicle, whichever is lower.

        Basically the stuff you can rent for moving yourself or getting new furniture from IKEA 🙂

        Here in the Netherlands B is for personal cars, C for trucks, D for buses, E for trailers, and A for motorcycles…

  2. Don’t overlook the fact that freight drivers don’t get much lip from their cargo. With today’s entitled populace, I’m sure some appreciate the peace and quiet of nothing but the CB. Where’d I put that CW McCall 8-track?

  3. I’m old enough to remember when New York was begging for healthcare workers to come deal with the sickNDyin CCP 19 virus. Member that? Then when tax time came, they dicked those nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists right up their culos?
    Pepperidge Farms remembers.

  4. It sounds like this started with a shortage of HGV (“Heavy Goods Vehicle”, mostly = semi-truck) drivers, and related workers such as in the container ports, in the UK. How did that happen? Are there still drivers out due to lockdowns and COVID, or because they’re getting paid as much to sit at home?

    Now, even though it requires some re-training, UK bus drivers are switching to driving trucks (and from government to private pay scales) to the extent that they can’t man all the bus routes, but there still aren’t enough drivers for the big rigs to keep up with the incoming shipping containers. But I wonder how many of those canceled bus trips consisted of one driver and zero to three passengers? In other words, trips that in the US would be someone driving himself in a car, possibly with a few passengers? But the Brits aren’t wealthy enough for everyone to have a car – in large part due to the outrageous taxes and other socialist policies. (Remember, FGB is the place that still had war-time rationing 5 years after WWII ended – and the kind of governmental idiocy involved in that has never ended.)

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