Thinking about becoming a Harpenden Hopper driver?
What is the Harpenden Hopper?
The Harpenden Hopper is a community bus service run by volunteers that runs through the town along roads that are not otherwise served by public transport.
We provide a convenient, relatively 'green' alternative to private cars for everyone in Harpenden. Our regular and friendly service is especially appreciated by residents who might otherwise become isolated at home.
Who do we need?
Enthusiastic and friendly drivers who can usually commit to driving for at least two shifts (about 3 hours per morning or afternoon shift) each month.
The Hopper runs to a timetable around a fixed route and is a 'hail and ride' service.
You will be looking out for passengers along the route, and focusing particularly on safety when picking them up and dropping them off wherever they ask.
Our passengers really appreciate our service, so we like drivers who will want to engage with them and encourage them to spread the word about using the Hopper.
What we will provide?
Driver training : We are able to offer 1:1 initial training which can usually start as soon as you're ready.
This will cover all you need to know about operating the service, driving in a safe and smooth way and completing the small amount of paperwork necessary when signing on and off of your shifts. After your initial introductory session, you will complete a driving assessment and then will be able to operate shared shifts with experienced drivers until you (and we) are happy that you can operate on your own. Typically, the introduction takes about 3 hours, the Assessment a further 2 hours and then you spend two or three shared shifts - whole mornings and/or afternoons - with a 'buddy'.
You will be able to choose when you drive, and the rota is planned about 6 weeks ahead.
Route orientation - we'll give you detailed instructions and you will probably find it useful to drive the route a few times in your own vehicle (or, if you're feeling particularly energetic you can walk or cycle it) as well as during your training and familiarisation period.
An easily identifiable Harpenden Hopper uniform - a polo shirt and a fleece jacket
As much support as you need to make your shifts an enjoyable and fulfilling experience
Who can drive our bus?
Most drivers holding a 'normal' manual Driving Licence (Category B) can drive our buses, with the only provisos being that you must be over 21 and have held your licence for more than 2 years.
Our buses are of a special lightweight design. We chose them because they can be driven on an ordinary licence, and feel like a large car.
All driving licences expire at age 70 (and your photocard must be renewed every 10 years at any age). When you renew your licence you will need to complete a medical examination if you want to continue to drive a minibus. All licences normally renew for three years, and the medical examination is required at each renewal. Talk to us if this affects you - we can assist with provision of medical certificates.
Even though some licence categories are restricted ‘not for hire or reward’ (NFHR), holders of such licences can drive a minibus, like ours, operating under a 'Community Service' Section 22 permit.
We are required to confirm your licence details with DVLA three or four times a year
We regret that we cannot normally accept drivers over the age of 75
We can accept drivers having points on their licence. Please check with us if you have any penalty points - we look at every case individually.
Want to know more?
One of our team will contact you.