For some time now, you have had to go to Noumea to pass the D permit, public transport. No local driving school offers driving lessons for this specialty, unless you are trained in the RSMA. Soon, the company RTCP will be equipped with a school bus and will rent it to driving schools.
Seeking license D holders, public transport, desperately! This is the call of the company RTCP, the public transport network of Tahiti, which operates 240 buses and lacks drivers trained in public transport.
“During the health crisis, the need for staff was strong. But in normal times, we are always looking for drivers because we have to consider retirements, the sick… Today, either young people go to train in New -Caledonia and return with the permit, or they try to pass it to the RSMA which forms and issues the permit and then sends them to us for possible employment. But it’s limited. Today we have enough staff, but you always have to plan ahead.”explains Xavier Chung Sao, director of RTCP.
Given the number of buses in circulation, it is not surprising that people with a D permit are highly sought after.
To unblock the situation, the company decided to invest in a school bus. Thereafter, driving schools will be able to rent it in order to open up the sector and that young people no longer depend solely on the RSMA.
Currently on the territory, it is the only structure which trains for the D license. Still it is necessary to have been a trainee. This is the case of Arii, hired by RTCP for 3 months. “I had a lot of qualifications at the RSMA: PL; public transport… When I entered the RSMA, I was rather aiming for the PL license, then I was offered public transport, so I accepted , it was a plus, later I found a job”said the young man.
Arii has passed and obtained several driving licenses at the RSMA and since then he has worked for the company RTCP.
According to his boss, “when we talk to some young people, many are interested in the public transport sector, but they are blOqués because here there is no driving school to train”. At least one has one, but it’s broken.
As a result, RTCP acquired a school bus which will then be rented to driving schools. Interested young people will save a trip to New Caledonia, without going through the RSMA box. And in the end, there are outlets.
Because once the permit D in hand, it is access to the labor market. “As currently it is difficult to find work, why nots [être conducteur transport en commun] As long as there is work and money at the end of the month to eat, you have to go”summarizes Arii.
On the other hand, we will have to wait a few more months before seeing the school bus circulating on our roads. “After the release of health crisis, everything is slowing down, both for production and delivery”says Xavier Chung Sao.
In 2021, barely 7 trainees graduated from the RSMA with the license D in hand.