Photos: Courtesy of Kim Chambers
Route Magazine: You’ve been driving for five years. How’d you get into it?
Kim Chambers: One of the main reasons I drive is for my kids. I drive them to and from school, and it gives me the flexibility to be off work when they’re out of school. Working with kids—not just my own—is hugely important to me because hopefully I’m helping instill good values every day. It’s so vital to have influential adults in the lives of our children.
RM: What’s your strategy for maintaining order?
KC: My responsibility is to get students to and from school safely. So I just try to be as friendly as possible. Every morning starts with a smile, eye contact, and acknowledging that they’re getting on or off the bus. A lot of drivers will give assigned seats, or put certain grades together, but I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. They can sit where they like until they show me they don’t deserve that privilege. And it’s always worked well for me. I didn’t think switching routes would be as hard as it was, but when my high school kids cried when they found out I was leaving, it really showed me what an impact a bus driver can have.
RM: What do you like most about your IC Bus?
KC: The arm rests! It’s the little things, right? I love my Air Ride seat, and another cool feature is that the bus beeps when you don’t turn your headlights off. We’re required to drive with them on, of course, and that way you don’t show up to work in the morning to find out you’ve got a dead battery.
RM: The IC Bus plant is located in Tulsa. What’s it like knowing that the rig you’re driving was made just 15 miles away?
KC: I drive by the plant from time to time, and it’s really great to see all those buses uniform in line, looking nice and clean. There’s a definite sense of pride to know that my bus was made right here so close to home.
Hobby: Scrapbooking for her kids
Hometown Pride: Everyone in Owasso is friendly; there’s always someone to lend a helping hand.
School Involvement: During the day, she also serves as the lunchroom monitor at one of the elementary schools.