Pacific Western Transportation is commemorating four decades of partnership with BC Transit in Prince George.

To mark today’s anniversary, community members were put in the driver’s seat of a 35-foot bus, maneuvering through an obstacle course in the parking lot of the PG Aquatic Centre traditionally set up for new recruits.

This includes making left turns, right turns, navigating tight spaces, and coming to a complete stop.

David Wilson drove commercial vehicles for two years prior to becoming PG’s Transit Operations Manager, adding its important to understand an everyday bus driver’s point-of-view.

“Making sure you have 360-degree awareness is the biggest thing for our drivers because people come out of everywhere and you don’t realize how many people are on the road until you’re out there every day running around the city eight hours a day. There’s potential for incident, and you have to always be on your toes making sure that you’re prepared for any situation.”

Wilson says nearly two million people utilize transit every year in the Northern capital, which is all part of the City’s plan to reduce gas emissions.

“We just got our first expansion last September where we have 2,500 hours added to the system. We’ve added evening and weekend services and we expect to grow and realign the system so that it’s better for passengers, and to try and get more people off the road and into the buses rather than driving around the city.”

He adds it’s also a priority for all parties involved with PG transit to ensure safe, accessible transportation for local residents.

There are 16 available routes in the City running daily from the Hart region to College Heights.