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Smart Driver
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SmartDRIVER Train the Trainer takes place in Edmonton, Canada

Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) Certifies Five New Trainers in the Prairies

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Being a professional driver means more than knowing the rules of the road, understanding safety regulations and getting from one point to another as safely as possible. Professional drivers are also aware of how driving habits affect fuel consumption and are dedicated and competent in assessing weather, road and traffic conditions. Building your knowledge and skills as a professional driver requires you to adjust your driving style to model safe practices and prevent collisions, even when other drivers are not skilled. A professional driver displaying these behaviours is driving defensively.

To be a SmartDRIVER you must use Defensive Driving techniques. is possible to drive defensively, use excessive fuel and create unnecessary emissions.

The SmartDRIVER program is a significant advancement in professional driving and raises the expectations of the term ‘professional driver.’ For many years, most operators were instructed in the methods of Defensive Driving. At the time, this was seen as a progression from merely being able to manoeuvre the bus to doing so professionally. Defensive Driving incorporated elements about your driving, including the awareness of everything around you with the goal of avoiding incident, in spite of conditions, and/or the actions of others around you. Defensive Driver training enables operators to be models of professional driving in the community.

The SmartDRIVER program requires all of these skills and raises the bar once again. In addition to maintaining your knowledge and skills as a professional driver who is acutely aware of his/her surroundings, SmartDRIVER focuses on ' how ' you operate your vehicle efficiently. This course measures your driving habits with computers built into the bus -- the same ones that the mechanics use to diagnose a problem in the vehicle. There are many indicators which give us feedback that have been linked by a team of trainers and transit curriculum experts to driving habits. These statistics, which we call performance indicators, will objectively show you and your trainer how you can improve your driving techniques to become a SmartDRIVER.

SmartDRIVER Program

What are some of the Benefits?

  • Reduced fuel consumption per trip compared to the average operator.
  • Smoother ride for passengers.
  • Fewer emissions from exhaust, reducing the effect air quality.
  • Reduced wear and tear on brakes and tires, extending their life span and reducing replacement costs.
  • Transfer of new driving habits to personal vehicles, saving operators fuel and maintenance costs at home.
  • A less stressful day for operators.
  • Schedules are not impacted.

Isn't this just Defensive Driving?

The SmartDRIVER program is more than defensive driving as it ……

  • Uses an Electronic Control Module on the bus to collect data and to show the improvement from a pre-course drive to a post-course drive.
  • Addresses the technical aspects of driving such as how and when to use retarders.
  • Examines the entire organization and how all departments contribute to fuel efficiency.

How do I learn to be a SmartDRIVER?

The SmartDRIVER program is designed in a Train-the-Trainer format. Here's how it works:

1. Your system contacts CUTA to register for the program through the "Contact Us" link on this page.

2. CUTA will work with the system to establish training objectives, design the test route, create an internal implementation plan and set goals. The performance tracking database is set up for you and we will work with your maintenance team on technological issues.

3. A 3-day Train-the-Trainer workshop is conducted. Attendees receive the Leader’s Guide and instructional materials required to train the course. Training Managers and designated staff are trained to use the SmartDRIVER database program.

4. Participant Books are delivered to your system.

5. Implement the training program with your employees!

6. A CUTA Master Trainer or Representative will visit your site after approximately 6 months to provide coaching assistance and work with you to meet your goals.

Host a Train-the-Trainer at Your Facility

Train-the-Trainer programs are hosted at transit systems across the country. To host a course, you will commit to providing:

  • a training room with a u-shaped table that can seat 8 participants and a head table for the instructor.
  • a laptop, data projector and screen.
  • flipcharts, markers and pads of paper.
  • a bus for on-road testing that is equipped with an Electronic Control Module (ECM) from which to download data. Prior contact with the Maintenance Department to test compatibility and availability of download hardware is necessary.

To learn more about bringing SmartDRIVER to your facility, please contact Training 416-365-9800, ext. 121 or


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