Southland Transportation

28 reviews

Southland Transportation Employee Reviews

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n/a
Dispatcher (Current Employee), Edmonton, ABJanuary 28, 2016
Southland is a good place to work. Management is great and the morale in the office is remarkable. I would recommend a job at southland to anyone
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Unorganized
bus driver (Former Employee), Calgary, ABJanuary 14, 2016
Pros: class2
Cons: not worth the stress
Very hard company to work with. low pay.treat employees poorly.
poor maintenance of buses.
poor managment.
favouritism to workers
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Good for a time
School Bus Driver/Administrative Assistant (Former Employee), Calgary, ABDecember 10, 2015
Being a school bus driver has it's perks, for some people. It was good for me during the time my children were small so I could take them with me to work.
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Managers make over taxed office workers do the managers work
Special needs driver (Former Employee), EdmontonDecember 3, 2015
Pros: Kids are fun, seniors are awesome
Cons: usually pay works out to be less than min wage
If you can get a route with minimal office input and the time commitment equal's the pay, then this is an ok job. The company advertises $20 an hour when in reality it means you get paid 4 hrs a day even if it takes you 8 or more hours to complete your route. Seniors routes are even worse, there are many route changes weekly and you are responsible to reschedule and map all changes without compensation. Also you NEED to supply and pay for a cell phone in order to have a chance to competently complete your route, without compensation. Also you can not use a gps when driving the bus while you learn your route and are only to use maps......because the gps is a "distraction" and a "safety" concern.....reading a map while you drive is safer I guess. They also guilt you into doing extra non compensated runs with only a "you are the best for helping out"....I could go on for ever...but I wont.
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This job is not for everyone. You must be pretty desperate...
Access Driver (Former Employee), Calgary, ABDecember 3, 2015
Working at this company means long hours, insufficient training and impatience. They are biased towards newbies, Not easy to survive first couple of months.
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What they say does not match
Bus Driver (Current Employee), CalgaryOctober 4, 2015
Pros: Kids are great., School I drive for is great., Dispatcher is great as are ladies in Charters., Management needs a shakeup and to be told they are in the people business.
Cons: Expect you to do many extras for which you do not get paid., Keeping the bus clean is on your time not paid for it., Same with taking bus in for work etc.
What they say does not match what they do. They hold these things called Raise the Bar. And then nothing happens with the results. Nothing changes.

They also have a new thing with GPS in the bus and they use it to threaten drivers with speeding. If you speed management will be advised! But they do not prove the speedometers are correct in the bus and show the right speed. Also many do not work properly.

They use it as a threat not as a useful tool to assist in your job. Fear rules a lot of what they do.
Also they say the door is always open but nothing happens. You can file reports and no feedback ever happens. If something happens you have to attend a meeting on your own time even if you were not at fault at all.

There is always some excuse as to why things are not happening as they said they would. The new GM is trying hard but he is up against a lot of old school thinking in the company.

Rather than admit a mistake was made they lie to you and when logs prove them wrong they lie to you.

Other drivers are great to work with for the most part and take the responsibility very seriously.

If they had to pay for all the work they expect for free the company would not be in business or management salaries would have to be reduced to cover costs. It is really a who you know company rather than a what you know and do company. They show no appreciation for those who go above and beyond in the job.

My best advice is to just stick to doing exactly what the job needs and do not do extras. It will get you nowhere.

I would like a manager to show how to keep – more... the bus as clean as they expect it to be in the few minutes they say it will take. – less
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Long Hours No Time for Anything Else
STS Transport Driver (Former Employee), Calgary, ABJuly 20, 2015
Pros: free training to acquire class 4 license
Cons: long hours, hard physical work, no time for a life, can't plan for anything during leisure as you are too tired after working
STS Driver Runs start anywhere from 0630 am to 0745 am pre-trip takes 15-30 minutes prior to run leaving yard. Pickups are tightly scheduled by Access and not realistic as they do not include traffic, accidents, weather issues to be at pickup for time required for each pickup. Unrealistic goals for drivers to attain prompt on time door to door service. Long hours on road anywhere from 10-16 hours with unpaid breaks in between ranging from 30 mins to 3 hours. Sometimes you can't go home on breaks you end up in a parking lot sitting in your bus for break to finish. Told initially you will have to work 1 day of month on weekend but realistically you end up working and are scheduled every weekend as a new driver while on probation and after probation you work weekends even with a regular run as you are sometimes taken off your run to cover. Not fully honest with how they will schedule you and they don't really explain in detail the amount of time and hours you will spend working. Must attend meetings monthly on top of regular run schedules on days of meetings. Run schedules are not passed on to you until the end of the day around 7-8 pm and you usually have to be up by 4 am depending on your run schedule. Monthly meetings can last until 9 pm after you have driven your full run for the day. They will schedule you to work 7-8 days only so if you are looking for a 8-4 job mondays to fridays this is not the job for you. Hard physical work involved, you deal with clients in wheelchairs, with canes, with walkers and other physical or mental aspects. Customers are usually great – more... co-workers are good, management could be much better. Lack of organization in upper and administrative areas. Cannot plan for anything outside of work. You have to clean your buses usually on days off but do get paid for the time. Too many proverbial hands in the kitchen or irons in the pot in administrative area. Buses are classified as safe to drive, but many of them need quite a bit of work rather than a bandage fix. No room for any advancement. If you want a life after work this is not the job for you, if you don't mind working long hard hours doing a physical job this is the job for you. Wouldn't recommend it to people who have familys as you are never home and will never see your kids or spouse. If you are a workaholic this would be the perfect job for you. – less
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Be favorite or stay hungry! Connections mandatory!
Driver (Former Employee), CalgaryApril 17, 2015
Hi Guys!
If you need a class 2 with "S" endorsement for free. Get hired! there is not much job to do.
If you need Class 1 - check for government schools. you may find few with government paid training.

The wage is very poor and responsibility is very high. i would prefer to cook some hotdogs then be responsible for a bus of people for the same wage.

If you are regular guy from the street, you will never get a good route with a good wage.
For example, charter manager gave me a one day route to drive employees from a party home. I was supposed to work 6 hours. Offer was accepted i took the bus, then i got a message that there was a mistake and you gonne work 3 hours. I came to that place and saw another bus instead
working over two years now, I see often same employees who are getting good routes, heard lots of same situation like "mistake" from charters and suddenly pop up same FAVORITE drivers with good routes.
Attitude in Charter department is very bad. In general management attitude is bad!

Mechanics are nice guys, always willing to help and fix old buses desperately.
Often buses are dirty with lots of technical/mechanical issues.


"Once was asked to drive a bus from one yard to another without coolant. I asked dispatcher to confirm that she is fine to be responsible with all the issues which may happen. suddenly another bus was found for me" :)

Negative: being a new driver, you will be like ping pong ball jumping from one bus to another. most all of them need to be fixed. Heaters usually are not inspected and not fixed before winter. Be really – more... very warm dressed with really warm boots!!!

Positive: the trainers are really good, very professional. after school bus training you will be almost confident bus driver. You do not pay a penny for your Class 2, even in the registry when you exchange your driving license, of course you need to do you best to pass tests from the very first time.

Conclusion: if you have connections inside the company, that make sense to work. you will get good routes=good wage for those routes and nice bus, and may be grow a career. You may benefit if you become a favorite guy, but I do not know what should you do, as there are so many drivers, I believe connections is mandatory

Advise: try to get "S" endorsement as soon as possible, it should be free as well.

Overall, I would recommend you this job as a survival or extra income job, but not as a career or main job. It is not steady. lots of fights among drivers for routes and management has very bad attitude

Nice company to start your career as a driver. you get really good driver education, skills and experience

There are few other companies on the market check them all! – less
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Its a job
Bus Driver (Former Employee), Edmonton, ABMarch 25, 2015
Pros: work independantly
Cons: always adding extra work
I go to work ..do my job and go home
The kids are great to work with, management, not so much
Work with some drivers that are really good people
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driving around the city in new places
School Bus Driver (Former Employee), Calgary, ABMarch 13, 2015
Pros: same expectations you can try to improve everyday
Cons: bus breakdowns
I loved working with many different people of all levels of inquiries. creating relationships with management and mechanics and the students and school officials. A great responsibility that is appreciated by all. Keeping the bus clean and in good shape for all to enjoy. Communicating with supervisors who were there when you needed them for any uncertainity.
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Good company to work for if your lifestyle fits
School Bus Driver (Current Employee), Calgary, ABDecember 7, 2014
Pros: 4-5 hours per day committment
Cons: no benefits
Typical day starts with inspection of bus. Students are picked up and transported to school. In the afternoon they are picked up at the school and delivered back home. Management is good and supportive.
Co-workers are a diverse group and quite interesting.
The hardest part of the job is dealing with loud and difficult children.
Best part of job is connecting with some of the kids.
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Lack of communication, long hours, very badly managed company
Technician (Former Employee), calgary,abNovember 25, 2014
Pros: good technicians, good crew.
Cons: appaling all around senior management. very long hours, poor maintenance protocols (as per management) many many many downed/late units because of this.
Worked for this company for 4 years and in that time, we changed 5 shop managers, a few of them quitting, but being hired back (probably through a bribe), countless drivers left, yard staff and managers, good people essentially, all left due to one reason alone. Very bad management. Even recently, the GM of the company is no longer.

I hope this company changes, but unless the few managers leave their fancy management chairs, it'll never change.

I do not recommend working for this company at all, unless you are desperate. Even then, there's better places
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Was fun and family Orientated
Committed to safety and customer service (Former Employee), Edmonton, ABNovember 13, 2014
Pros: a -lot of weekend work if you wanted
Cons: n/a
I learned a-lot from southland lots of patience, and fun to drive the school bus, made it fun and rewarding
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bad pay/ bad hours/ expected to volunteer lots
Bus Driver (Former Employee), Calgary, ABAugust 24, 2014
Pros: free trainning
Cons: missing pay broken bus bad attitude from mgm
Lots of things you do are suppose to be paid bit u never get paid for it because somebody somewhere did not approved even if you prove you did the work. The bus are not safe for the road and break down weekly. I was recently called to see if I was returning in September. Wow made me laugh. No way would I ever I volunteered enough for someone else to fill their pocket. I have had enough of waiting full days without getting paid for their bus to get fixed. I had enough of charter promises stuff that will never happen. Any company would be better than this.
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Great office staff that were positive and uplifting
School Bus Driver (Current Employee), Calgary ABJuly 14, 2014
Pros: great staff and co workers and the safety programs
Cons: lack of hours and the pay wasn't that great
A typical day at work would be arriving at the bus yard 20 minutes early to preform a pre trip inspection and to fill out any forms or log books needed. I arrive at pick up 10-15 minutes early and pick up students at their designated pickups and then drop them off at school. Then pick up students from school and drop them off safely for home. Co workers including Management were amazing, very nice and willing to help out as much as possible. I would say that the southland staff was the best by far that I have ever worked with. My greatest concern was the condition of the buses. They are some of the oldest buses in Canada and the time that it takes to get the work done on them was very timely. That was my observation. The most enjoyable part of my job was the smiles and relationship that I had with the students. When I treated them respectfully the same was usually done in return. For me I really enjoy driving these large busses. I really enjoyed the safety programs. I just wish i did more of them.
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Great salary,favoritism.Very bad place to work
FM (Former Employee), Calgary, ABJune 10, 2014
Pros: rude
Cons: rude
don't seem to care too much for their employees.Poor training,
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Excellent workplace
School Bus Driver (Current Employee), Calgary, ABDecember 26, 2013
Pros: training and licensing covered, team oriented
Cons: part time work
Very Safety Oriented company, very good team atmosphere

Start of day doing a check of your bus before your run, then the run consists of driving through various types of traffic to pick up students of varying ages to drop them at school, return to base to have a few hours off and then report to the school to transport students to their homes. Free time can be filled with personal time or company related charter services.
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I am not in an office and able to travel, which I like to do.
Shuttle Bus Driver (Current Employee), Calgary, ABOctober 20, 2013
Southland is a great company to work for, if you have 2 incomes coming into the house.
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long hours and hard work
o Para Transit Driver (Current Employee), Calgary, ABOctober 7, 2013
Pros: freedom of the road
Cons: very long hours, hard physical work
A typical day begins at 6am and finishes around 6pm. Driving a handicap bus has challenges not normally experienced by a regular bus driver. It is a door to door service with very tight timelines. Clients have varying needs and all must be transported safely, securely and in a timely fashion. Times are very tight with only 3 minutes allowed per pick up. This includes going to the door, waiting for the client, transporting the wheel chairs or walkers, securing them and the client.
The day is very long but the clients are very nice and the job has its rewards.
Overall a good job with moderate pay but no time for a personal life.
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Picking up kids and dropping them off
School Bus Driver (Former Employee), Okotoks, ABJuly 21, 2013
Pros: worked with a great group of people
Cons: the winter weather.
Pre tripped my bus at 5:45 AM.
Drove for 50 minutes to my first pick up.
For the the next half hour picked up rural students for three different schools within the Catholic School Board. Drove back into town and unloaded the students at the appropriate schools.
Returned the bus back to the maintenance yard and did a post trip on my bus.
Came back in the afternoon, performed a pre trip and lined up at the appropriate school. Picked up all the morning students and took them home.
I learned how to manage students from Grade 1 to grade 12 while driving the school bus.
Work with management with regards to problems with students and/or the bus. Helped with additional transportation matters that came up.
The most enjoyable part was driving the bus in the mountains.
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