A day with Marie-Laure
It is not yet 6 a.m. when Marie-Laure arrives at the Flandre bus depot in Pantin. The pull-out controller is already on the job and hands her a card with the time schedule she needs to respect for departures from each terminus. Once she’s picked up her service card, she goes to a computer to print out her route map.
“When we board our bus,” explains Marie-Laure, “we start the motor and then log on to our on-board computer.” This device displays the line number, the bus number, and the time at which the bus should enter service.
Marie-Laure has 10 minutes to take command of her bus, and she uses the time to test and verify that all lights, both inside and out, are working properly. The on-board computer is linked by satellite to the depot computers. This is how the line regulators – the people who manage the line – can ensure that the buses are in good working order, ready to pull out… and that they will be on time!
To ensure line regularity, it is essential for the drivers to maintain radio contact with the regulators throughout the day.
Prudence and concentration
With 20 tonnes in motion, bringing a bus to a halt can take longer than expected, so RATP drivers must be extremely focused all the time. But for Marie-Laure, she feels like a bus drives better than a car!
What I love about my job is driving heavy vehicles, passenger relations, the diverse working hours, and the teamwork. Because, yes, even if we’re alone on board, we are still working as a team!