APD Officers learn to drive a bus

A group of seven Austin police officers have spent this week training with Capital Metro instructors, learning how to drive a bus. Part of the training was spent behind the wheel of Capital Metro’s high-tech bus simulator, as shown in this video by KTBC last night.

Once the officers receive their commercial drivers licenses (they’re taking the driving exam this morning), they’ll be tasked with operating the City’s new Breath Alcohol Testing bus, or B.A.T bus, which was donated to APD by Capital Metro.

Capital Metro has an ongoing partnership with APD to prepare officers to operate buses in the event of an emergency. We’ve helped a total of 21 officers obtain a commercial drivers license since 2000.

All new Capital Metro bus operators who were hired since 2006 (when we purchased the bus simulator), have had an opportunity to train with the high-tech equipment.

6 thoughts on “APD Officers learn to drive a bus

  1. Kraft

    Wow! This is awesome.

    Is there any way for the public to check out the BAT bus without being having too many before getting behind the wheel? 🙂

    The simulator looks very nice as well. An open house to get folks the chance to see how hard it actually is to drive a bus would be fun… a self-serving suggestion, but one nevertheless!

  2. Erica McKewen

    Yeah, it is as cool as it looks. Mark, the trainer in the video, let me try it, and it vibrates like a bus and sounds like a bus, too. I learned we typically only let bus drivers use it for 5-7 minutes at a time because it can be disorienting.. . I only made it for about a minute. 😉 There’s actually a second console for another driver who can be driving a separate bus (or police car or truck, etc.) in the same virtual world as the bus driver.

    The open house idea is neat but I don’t think that is likely to happen… it is a really expensive piece of equipment.

    We’re one of only a handful of transit systems in the nation who have this technology! Incidentally, though, Dallas and Houston both have it, too.

  3. Kraft

    No – the training was given to officers who will be driving the department’s bus that serves as a mobile office where APD expects to pull over a large number of people suspected of DWI (i.e. a parking lot near a major roadway out of the downtown entertainment district).

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