Transit Operator FAQ
What are the physical expectations of being a Transit Operator?
If you want to find out more details about the physical demands and work environment than what is outlined in the job posting, you can read the full job demands analysis here: Job Demands Analysis
I drove a transit bus in another city. Do I still need to go through the regular recruiting process?
Yes, you must submit a complete application for consideration. Even within BC, there are no reciprocal agreements between BC Transit regions. Regardless of your previous driving experience, all new employees must successfully complete all aspects of training and probation and will begin at the starting seniority and wage schedule outlined in the job posting.
What is a Drivers’ Abstract?
This is a document available to BC residents by request from ICBC and is free of charge for the licence holder. It provides details about your licence status and driving history for the past 5 (five) years.
All applicants are required to include the Provincial (P) abstract with their online application. As well, for full non-learner commercial license holders only, the National (N) abstract is also required as part of your application.
For more information, go to: http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/Pages/Your-driving-record.aspx
What is a Claims Experience Summary?
This is a document available to BC residents by request from ICBC and is free of charge for the licence holder. It provides details about your insurance claims as a driver or registered owner of a vehicle. Be sure to include all provided pages.
If you currently live, or have previously lived, in another driving jurisdiction within the past 5 (five) years, you will be required to include a letter from your insurance provider in that jurisdiction disclosing any insurance claims made related to vehicle ownership or operation.
Am I able to apply with a licence from a province other than BC?
Yes, you are able to submit an application and participate in the recruitment process with your out of province commercial licence (class 1 or 2 equivalent). Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Do I need to have a commercial driver’s licence and #15 air brake endorsement to apply?
As of December 2017 BC Transit does not require you to have your commercial driver’s licence nor the #15 air brake endorsement in order to apply for the Transit Opertor position. A Class 5 license is still required.
If you are offered the Transit Operator position and you do not currently hold a Class 1 or 2 Licence, you will need to obtain and provide BC Transit with a copy of your Class 2 Leaners Licence with the #15 air brake endorsment temporarily added on your first day of employment. Please note you will not be required to write any air brake test with ICBC prior to accepting employment with BC Transit. If you are offered a Transit Operator position, BC Transit will provide you with the necessary training and then arrange ICBC testing for commercial licencing and air brake endorsement.
For more information on obtaining your Class 2 Learners including what you need to bring and the $15 cost, visit this link to ICBC's website then click on Commercial Leaners http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/types-licences/Pages/Get-your-commercial-driver-licence.aspx
How many years of driving experience do I need before I can apply?
2 years of non-commercial driving experience is required. This driving experience must be beyond any graduated licensing program (such as ICBC’s learners (L) and novice (N) program for first-time, non-commercial license holders).
Are Transit Operators part of a union?
Transit Operators are represented by Unifor Local 333. Visit their website for more information: http://www.unifor333bc.ca/
What kinds of past driving violations will disqualify me from being considered?
Your driving record over the past 5 (five) years will be reviewed as part of the application process. You must demonstrate a safe driving history as assessed by BC Transit in order to qualify for any position that involves the operation of a company vehicle. BC Transit gives preference to those with a clear driving history.
Even if you are able to meet the minimum requirements, an excessive number of violations, prohibitions, suspensions and/or accidents in the past may exclude you from consideration.
Any 24-hour prohibition or suspension for alcohol or drugs, any recent criminal driving convictions or charges, or any administrative prohibitions may eliminate you from consideration.
Can I apply even if I have a criminal record?
Offers of employment with BC Transit are conditional upon a satisfactory criminal record search. A criminal charge or conviction will not necessarily preclude employment with BC Transit, however, a recent criminal or motor vehicle charge or conviction which is found to be related to the intended employment may result in the loss of an employment opportunity.
How long must I wait to reapply if I’m not offered a Transit Operator position?
Applicants are welcome to reapply for the Transit Operator position after a period of 6 (six) months. When re-applying, we expect to see how you have demonstrated improvements since your last application with special consideration on work experience, education and/or other upgrading.
What is the recruitment process for the Transit Operator position?
When you apply for the Transit Operator position, there are several steps in the recruitment process. If you meet our online, pre-screening requirements and are successful at each stage of the process, you can expect the following:
1. Online Application and Initial Screening Questionnaire
This is the first step for anyone interested in applying for the Transit Operator position. Required driving and insurance documents as outlined in the Application Checklist of the job posting, in addition to a resume and cover letter if you’d like to include one, are required for BC Transit to fully consider any application.
2. Online Strada Assessment
This assessment takes approximately 20 minutes for an applicant to complete and can be done at their convenience, online, once they receive an invitation to do so. Developed by Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) and used by several other transit systems within Canada, the Strada Assessment is a personality-based survey tailored specifically to the Transit Operator position and designed to measure characteristics important to this position such as customer service, vehicle monitoring/driving/safety, time management and problem solving.
3. Phone Screen
This phone call will be scheduled in advance and conducted by a Hiring Manager. It will be an opportunity for you to hear additional information about the Transit Operator position and will also allow the Manager to hear about your knowledge, skills and abilities as they relate to the position. This call will take approximately 20 minutes.
4. Operator Assessment and Panel Interview
This step consists of potentially two assessments scheduled back to back. The Operator Assessment first, and if successfully passed, a panel interview to follow. In total, these two assessments can take up to 2 hours.
The Operator Assessment is conducted by a member of BC Transit’s Safety & Training team and assesses the candidate in several key areas as indicators for success in operating a BC Transit bus. The Safety & Training Officer will pay special attention to the applicant’s ability to follow instructions, multi task, and general attitude towards learning and other motorists. This assessment is conducted in a bus, though no driving of the bus by the candidate is required. Please bring any glasses or contacts normally worn.
If successful, an in-person interview will immediately follow. In the interview candidates will be assessed on general suitability as well as the following competencies: safety, customer service, communication, judgement/problem solving, and ability to handle stress/decision making. This interview will consist of both behavioural and scenario-based questions that the candidate will be given 15 minutes to read prior to beginning the interview. If the candidate is not successful at passing the Operator Assessment, feedback will be delivered to the candidate by Human Resources immediately.
5. Reference Check
A reference check is a process BC Transit uses to verfiy past employment dates, job responsibilities, and work performance of candidates. Candidates who pass this stage will have provided 2-3 professional references that BC Transit deems to be satisfactory.
6. Offer of Employment
During times of active recruitment for the Transit Operator position, successful candidates who reach this stage will be offered employment, conditional on a satisfactory completion of the POET (see below). Transit Operators must then successfully complete and pass the 9-week training program, followed by successful completion of a medical exam in order to obtain commercial vehicle licensing through ICBC.
If active recruitment is not currently in process, successful candidates will be offered a position at the next available intake.
7. Post Offer Employment Test (POET)
POET is physical ability test. It is used to determine an individual’s physical abilities in relation to identified physical demands of a job. This information is used in job placement as part of the hiring process to ensure that an individual’s physical capabilities match the requirements of a particular job description.