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Bucs Heroes: Meet Todd Moser, Director of Transportation

Todd Moser, who joined Country Day in 2016 as Director of Transportation, says that in a nutshell, his job is to make sure students get safely from one destination to another. And a lot of detail goes into making that happen. From hiring and retaining qualified and dedicated drivers and keeping up with all necessary vehicle maintenance to working with administrators, teachers, and coaches to coordinate bus routes and field trips, Todd does whatever it takes to set a standard of excellence.

Todd Moser standing in front of Lower School entrance

Get to know a little more about Bucs Hero Todd Moser. This regular feature is designed to highlight the many staff members across campus making an impact for our school.

Share a little bit about your background.

Transportation is something I’ve always been interested in. My very first driving job was as a school bus driver. Early in my career I drove freight trucks for companies such as Pic and Pay Shoes, Cardinal Health, and Penske Logistics. I wanted to get into management, so I moved over to U.S. Food Service as a sanitation supervisor. I also served six years in the Army National Guard. I knew Greg Walters and heard he had a need, so I pursued this position, and it has worked out well.

How do you prioritize bus runs?

We have 23 buses and 18 drivers. When you include all the daily bus routes, athletic events, and fields trips, we average about 630 bus runs a month. Getting all students to school by 8 am is the top priority. It’s important that we stay on schedule, which means our drivers only have 1-2 minutes of wiggle room. If a driver can’t do the run due to illness or personal reasons, it means I need to turn to one of our substitute drivers quickly or I will run the route myself to get the kids to school on time.

I also work closely with Masanori Toguchi in athletics. We meet every Thursday so I can get a feel for what’s coming up and how I need to prepare my team for the week ahead. I also work with teachers in planning field trips. That can be a little more challenging if they need to leave before 8:30 am or return after 2:30 pm because of our regular bus runs and athletics needs...but I try to work with teachers on timing to accommodate their needs. We try to do whatever it takes to make the field trip a good experience for the kids.

What do you look for when hiring bus drivers?

I am fortunate in that we have mostly the same drivers from year to year. That’s great continuity for the kids and it frees me to concentrate on scheduling and maintenance rather than constant hiring. When we do have an opening, I look for people who want to drive, who like to drive, and who are committed to it. It’s also important, of course, that they like children and have had experience interacting positively with kids. I think I’ve landed on a series of questions and a process that allows me to find high-caliber people who take the responsibility of driving students seriously and who enjoy it.

What do you like most about your job?

I like the uncertainty of the job. I like the day-to-day challenges. Every day is a new adventure, and you never know what you’re going to get. Even with a great maintenance plan something can go awry, traffic issues are out of our control, and things happen in the drivers’ lives that mean they can’t get here. So, in the spur of the moment, you have to be able to remain calm and reach back into your resources to fill that slot because the buses have to keep running. Whether it’s me or spare drivers I have on call, I’ve got to plug that vacancy.

What motivates you?

I’ve always liked to achieve and excel. I try not to let the job become mundane and I'm always looking for what I can do better. I believe you have to like what you do and I try to press into that. As an early riser, I’m usually here by 5 am and I stay until the regular bus runs are out in the afternoon. But I always have my radio with me so I’m usually on point until about 6 pm. And if the athletic buses are out longer than that, the drivers have a way of contacting me if they need guidance.

How do you like to spend your free time?

My faith and my family are very important to me. I enjoy being with my wife, I love to read, and I love to sing. I also spend a good deal of time doing ministry when I’m not at Country Day. Every other year I travel to Kenya to do missionary work at an orphanage. I do a lot of fundraising beforehand and then we use that to purchase needed supplies for the children. I’m looking forward to heading there over Thanksgiving Break and then taking an additional week of vacation time through December 5.

Final thoughts?

We try keep the buses clean and sanitary, which means no eating or drinking on the buses—not because we don’t want kids to do that but because it creates a kind of cluster and unsanitary conditions that can hold up our ability to turnaround buses in a timely manner. It helps when students respect this policy, and we appreciate parents reminding their children to hold their snacks until they are off the bus.