Who is Germany's favorite bus driver in 2024?

Passengers can nominate their everyday heroes and tell their bus story until May 17th

We are looking for Germany's everyday heroines and heroes: A friendly smile, always with a funny saying on their lips, unsolicited willingness to help, a calm charisma in stressful situations - these gestures are invaluable in everyday bus life - and are definitely noticed by the passengers. But the appreciation felt is rarely expressed. That's why the starting signal for the nationwide Favorite Bus Driver competition was given again today at the mobility move industry event in Berlin. Passengers are called upon to express their appreciation on lieblingsbusfahrerin.de. They have the opportunity until May 17th to tell their personal bus story and to say thank you to the women and men behind the wheel. A diverse jury will then select the most remarkable stories from all the submissions and choose the favorite bus drivers of 2024. The passengers who submitted the winning stories will also receive a thank you. The initiators hope that this will result in greater recognition of the achievements of the approximately 100,000 bus drivers in Germany and a boost in the image of the profession. Over 2,300 stories were submitted in 2023.

The “Favorite Bus Driver” competition is a joint initiative of the PRO BAHN passenger association, DB Regio, the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) and the Federal Association of German Bus Companies (bdo) – and is kindly supported by KRAVAG, DEVK and MAN. It is intended to honor the many small good deeds and the commitment of the drivers who bring hundreds of thousands of people from A to B on regular services every day. The competition started for the first time last year. The success surprised the initiators: more than 2,300 bus stories were submitted. The bus drivers honored in 2023 received a great media response with strong interest within and outside the industry. This motivated the initiators to continue the competition.

The competition is also a nationwide image campaign
In order to motivate passengers to write down friendly or moving stories again this year, the Favorite Bus Driver 2024 competition is now being advertised. Whether in or on the buses, in industry magazines, on social media or through reports in newspapers - the more passengers are reached, the more bus stories find their way to the public. So that transport companies and bus companies can specifically make their passengers aware of the competition, a partner area has been set up on the website lieblingsbusfahrerin.de, where analogue and digital advertising materials are available free of charge.

Voices of the initiators

Karl-Peter Naumann, honorary chairman (PRO BAHN passenger association): “We passengers travel on buses and trains every day. We always experience bus drivers who take special care of their passengers, whether it's about something they've forgotten, or special assistance, or just being courteous and friendly. Then they are there for us. We want to say thank you for that and award the best with a prize.”

Werner Overkamp, Vice President (VDV): “Every day on the road, every day in the service of the economy, society – and above all for the passengers. From our point of view, 100,000 colleagues are everyday heroes. Without them, Germany would stand still, air pollution in the cities would increase, communities would be less hospitable to life - and the climate would be even more at risk. We finally want to say thank you again and express our appreciation. We call out to all school leavers and career changers: Come to us, we have secure, meaningful jobs on site!”

Marion Heber, Head of Road Human Resources (DB Regio AG): “We need dedicated bus drivers in local public transport. Because they do much more than just sit behind the wheel: they are a personal contact for passengers, have a high level of technical understanding and have a lot of responsibility. Our favorite bus drivers do this important job with particular passion. That’s why they are strong role models for future drivers.”

Edith Bischof, Chairwoman of the Public Relations Committee (bdo): The empathy and appreciation that our drivers show our passengers are important parts of the job. Of course it should be the other way around. The great responsibility in everyday life that rests on drivers can be supported through mutual respect. We should do everything we can to make the profession more transparent in the public eye for all career changers. Due to the acute shortage of skilled workers, this is more necessary than ever. That's why I'm very pleased to be able to support the Favorite Bus Driver campaign as a jury.

The industry in numbers
Around 100,000 bus drivers are currently employed in commercial public transport across Germany. Recently, every second company stated that they had restricted operations at least temporarily for personnel reasons. 84% of companies report a moderate to significant impact on their business due to the skills shortage. More than half of all bus drivers are older than 50 years. This implies that around 4,000 to 6,000 skilled workers will retire every year by 2030. VDV and bdo assume that there are already a total of around 20,000 bus drivers missing from public and private bus companies in Germany. Just about that
As a result of the industry-wide employer initiative and the local job market, there are currently over 10,000 open jobs in all areas: in-dir-steckt-zukunft.de

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Image: Markus Bollen