Working Iowa: Windstar Lines looking to hire tour bus drivers in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Early on in the pandemic, many businesses had to furlough employees who ended up finding other jobs. But now many of those same companies are trying to hire again.
If you enjoy going on an adventure and meeting new people, you might be a perfect fit to work at Windstar Lines. The company is looking to hire at least 5 full-time tour bus drivers and 10 to 20 part-time drivers.
“You’ve gotta have a personality because you’re working with the public,” said Bard Gale, who’s been driving for a few years. “So you’ve got to be very calm, you’ve got to be diligent at what you do, and you’ve got to be steady.”
Bard has been retired, but he wanted to do something with his time during retirement. So he found a part-time driving job with Windstar after driving for the Cedar Rapids Community School District. He says he enjoys the adventure.
“If you wanna travel, if you wanna see the United States, this is the job for you,” he said. “It’s an excellent opportunity and they treat you well.”
But Operations Manager Jeff Kress said the Windstar doesn’t have enough drivers right now, mostly due to the pandemic.
“A lot of our employees were furloughed, and we’re starting to come back from that,” he said. “Some of our drivers did not come back, they did find other opportunities. Now we need to replace those drivers.”
Kress said he needs drivers in many of their areas, including Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Des Moines. He calls drivers the lifeblood of these communities.
“We do the 380 between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who depend on us to get to work, go to the hospital and have their appointments. So, if we don’t have drivers, they can’t get to Iowa City and things don’t work.”
Kress said drivers need a commercial driver’s license, with a passenger B endorsement, preferably before they apply. Bard Gale said defensive driving is key, as well.
“You’re going to get into the middle of traffic, you’re going to get people cutting you off. One of those things that you have to be the most concerned about is these people,” he said. “The safety of our passengers is paramount.”
Bard says it was the perfect opportunity for his retirement.
“I’m an IT guy. When I found this opportunity, it fits what I want to do,” he said. “The [company] works with my schedule, they work with me as a human being and they allow me to run their customers across the country on trips.”
Above all, he says it’s about enjoying the drive and seeing the country.
“That journey is unique to that group of people,” he said. “You actually have lifelong friends after that.”
Click or tap here for more information about jobs with Windstar Lines.
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