Drive and Thrive
Thrive in a rewarding career with competitive wages,
benefits, paid training and growth opportunities.
Begin your career as a Transit Operator today!
As a Relief Transit Operator, you will be a member of a very important team that is relied on to drive routes in the absence of the regular full-time operators. The work of the RTO ensures that the operation continues to run smoothly while the regular drivers are attending training, on temporary assignments, taking vacation or other leave, or away for other reasons.
To be eligible you must:+
- Must be at least 21 years of age at the time of hire.
- Must have been licensed for a minimum of five (5) years to be considered.
- Five (5) years of continuous, recent driving history is required (i.e.. no gaps in license status)
- Must have an excellent driving record within the previous five years. Please see "Supplemental Information" for additional detail on the driving record review.
- Applicants may apply with an out-of-state license, but must possess a valid Washington State Driver's License at the time of hire.
- Must be able to obtain a Commercial License Permit by the first day of training.
- Please note: In order to obtain a Commercial License Permit in Washington State, you must be able to provide your current license, Social Security number and proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency.
Working conditions and requirements:+
Transit operators must be able to meet the Federal Physical Qualifications for Commercial Drivers License (CDL) holders as found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 49 CFR 391.41. Medical waivers will be accepted only for insulin-dependent diabetes.
The job also includes:+
- Sitting for extended periods of time
- Lifting or pulling up to 40 pounds
- Performing repetitive body movements to operate controls
- Working independently with a minimum of breaks
- Operating a transit vehicle in heavy traffic and (rarely) in emergency or hazardous situations or conditions
Hours of Work:+
- If selected from this recruitment, you must be available to attend full-time training for a period of six (6) weeks to become a Relief Transit Operator.
- Relief Transit Operators are a critical role at Pierce Transit and the individuals selected must be available seven days a week.
- Schedules can change with little, or no, notice and will vary from day to day.
- Pierce Transit's operating hours begin at 1:50 a.m. and continue until 1:29 a.m.
- Relief Operators are expected to drive any shift and any route including nights, holidays, weekends, mornings, split shifts, and days off, if necessary.
Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 587 represents the Relief Transit Operator positions
Successful candidates will be invited to a hiring event for the Relief Transit Operator position which includes an overview of the position and two sets of interviews. Successful candidates from the hiring event will be issued conditional offers of employment. At that time, more details about the following requirements will be provided:
- Physical and drug screen
- CDL Learner’s Permit with Air Brake and Passenger endorsements
- Criminal conviction record evaluation
- Current five-year complete driving record abstract
- Employment reference checks
All newly hired drivers must complete Pierce Transit’s training program, which includes classroom and coach practice instruction. Pierce Transit does not require new hires to already have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or prior transit driving experience (only the CDL Permit Class B with Passenger endorsement is required for new hires. Pierce Transit completes CDL training on-site through third party testers. Attendance is required at every class; no make-up classes are allowed.
As a Trainee you will initially be paid at $22.03 per hour. All Trainees start at this step, regardless of prior experience. The pay rate increases quickly! The hourly rate moves to $23.32 upon successful completion of the first three phases of training (10 weeks) when Trainees move to the role of Relief Transit Operator (RTO). After successfully completing the probationary period, (6 months/1040 hours as an RTO), you will receive $24.14.
As Transit Operator positions open up they are filled by Relief Transit Operators on the basis of seniority. As a full time Transit Operator, the hourly salary begins at $25.03 per hour. The top of our Transit Operator pay range is currently $31.76 per hour, which equates to a base annual salary of $66,060, plus benefits. Additionally, there is often overtime work available. In 2020, the top Transit Operator earner made over $130,000.
As a Relief Transit Operator, you will be a member of a very important team that is relied upon to drive routes in the absence of the regular full-time operators. The work of the RTO ensures that the operation continues to run smoothly while the regular drivers are attending training, on temporary assignments, taking vacation or other leave, or away for other reasons.
While many of our Operators choose to remain in that role, many others have pursued a variety of opportunities and have become supervisors, instructors, dispatchers and managers throughout the agency.
Relief Transit Operators are eligible for benefits and guaranteed at least 25 hours of work per week. Our current Relief Transit Operators work 35 hours per week and sometimes more, although hours in excess of 25 are not guaranteed and will depend on the needs of the Agency in any given week.
Applicants are encouraged to review Pierce Transit's background check policy and the driving abstract section to ensure they have an acceptable driving record prior to applying. The background check policy can be found here.
Accepting a position on the Pierce Transit team is the ticket to a rewarding career. The total employment package includes a competitive salary as well as a wide array of benefits.
As an employee, you and your family can choose to be covered by one of several excellent medical and vision plans as well as dental, life insurance and long-term disability insurance plans are also available.
Pierce Transit is committed to supporting the professional growth of our staff and provides a generous reimbursement for employment related tuition.
As a public sector employee, you are included in the Washington State Public Employees Retirement System. Employees are eligible to participate in a Deferred Compensation (457) plan for tax-deferred retirement investment.
Relief Transit Operator (RTO) Recruitment process steps to hire:
The RTO hiring process normally takes 6 to 8 weeks and candidates are encouraged to get their CDL Class B Permit with Passenger Endorsement as soon as possible after attending the RTO hiring event.
- Cadidate reviews RTO information
- Candidate attends scheduled hiring event
- Complete Operator Self-Assessment
- Interview with Operations and Employee Services Staff
- Conditional Offer
- Criminal History Check
- Reference Checks/Employment Verification
- DOT physical, functional assessment and drug screening
- Obtain CDL permit no later than two weeks prior to start date
- Final Offer
- Order uniforms
- Begin your career as a Relief Transit Operator
RTO Frequently Asked Questions
Does Pierce Transit require drug testing for transit operators?+
- All applicants for positions defined as “safety sensitive” are required to pass a drug test prior to employment and, subsequent to commencement of employment, will be subject to random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty, and follow-up drug testing
Do I need to have a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, to apply?+
- Pierce Transit does not require applicants to have a CDL to be hired for this position, but candidates must get a CDL permit with airbrake and passenger endorsements before entering a training class and starting the training process. Preparation for the permit and endorsement tests can be done by studying Chapters One through Five of the Washington State Commercial Driver’s Guide.
How do I get my driving record from another state?+
- Pierce Transit will request and obtain your driving record from another state. You will only need to provide the Driver license number from that state at the time of a conditional offer.
Do transit operators belong to a union?+
- Transit operators are represented by Local 587 of the Amalgamated Transit Union.
What kinds of past driving violations will disqualify me from being considered?+
- Click here to review Pierce Transit's background policy.
- Applicants will be required, before being hired, to provide a current, complete driving record abstract from the state Department of Licensing. Transit Operators must have a responsible and safe driving record. Abstracts will be reviewed for evidence of a safe and responsible driving record. The severity, recency, and number of violations will be reviewed. Any of the following traffic code violations within the last five years will automatically disqualify you from further consideration:
- A suspended license for moving violations
- Reckless or negligent driving
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- A hit-and-run incident
- Vehicular homicide or vehicular assault
- An open-container violation
- Finalists will undergo an evaluation of criminal history records and convictions or releases from prison. Records are evaluated based on severity, recency, and possible threat to the public and/or employees and property of Pierce Transit. A conviction will not necessarily bar you from employment consideration.
Who can I contact if I have questions, comments or concerns?+
- Please email email@example.com or call 253-581-8095 for more information.