Transit Bus Operator Trainee

King County
Full Time, Temporary $22 Per hour WA 9000 Olson Pl SW, Seattle, WA 98106, United States Apply before 5/19/2024 11:59


Why Choose Metro:Join us at Metro Transit, where we've proudly achieved recognition as the top transportation award winner and have been honored as the Outstanding Public Transportation System of the year and recently named Washington Transit Agency of the Year by COMTO!   (Conference of Minority Transportation Officials), standing out among the largest transit agencies in North America! We welcome you to be part of our team and help with our region's mobility solutions, providing exceptional and accessible transportation services while building connections within our communities.

The Metro Transit Department is committed to upholding equity, inclusion and belonging. We understand the importance of different perspectives and life experiences within our workforce, and we are dedicated to creating a culturally diverse and inclusive environment. We strongly believe that a diverse workforce is a resilient and dynamic workforce.

At Metro, we prioritize the well-being and mutual respect of every individual. Our commitment goes beyond our internal community; our Transit Operators play a crucial role in empowering our diverse communities. We're more than just a transit provider; we open doors and create opportunities for all members of our community.

New Hire Bonus
We want to help get you in the door and behind the wheel. New operators will receive a $3,000 hiring incentive, disbursed as drivers meet certain milestones:
  • Operators will receive $1,000 after successful completing training and graduating with their class.
  • Employees will receive a second payment of $2,000 after completing 6 months of solo driving and successfully completing probation.
About the Position:
Join our team as a Transit Operator and be a vital part of providing excellent customer experiences! In this role, you'll ensure our passengers feel safe, comfortable, and satisfied as you navigate your routes. Your dedication will help us maintain a smooth transportation service that is dependable and friendly.

We're looking for individuals who love helping others and are passionate about customer service. As a Transit Operator, you'll do more than just drive – you'll be a friendly face for our passengers. You'll engage with them, offer directions, and answer questions with kindness and warmth. Your alertness will also be important as you identify and report any equipment issues or safety concerns promptly.

Safety is our priority, and as a Transit Operator, you'll follow traffic laws closely. Your job is not just to get passengers to their destinations but also to ensure their journey is safe and enjoyable. You'll also help us meet federal safety requirements, contributing to the overall well-being of our transportation service.

If you thrive in a dynamic environment, enjoy helping others, and take pride in providing safe transportation, we invite you to apply. Join us as a Transit Operator and help us provide exceptional service that moves our community forward!

Work Locations:
Transit Operators must be available to work at any

Job Duties

Applying equity, inclusion and belonging principles is a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all King County employees. In this role you will apply equity, inclusion and belonging principles that exemplify shared values, behaviors, and practices to all aspects of the work. You will:

  • Provide safe, professional, and courteous on-time bus service for customers in King County   
  • Follow all traffic laws and regulations
  • Communicate effectively with all customers regarding fares, routes, schedules, and transfer points
  • Effectively operate transit vehicles and equipment, including wheelchair lifts and the securing of personal mobility devices
  • Successfully communicate with Transit Control Center via radio   
  • Accurately complete verbal and written reports

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Strong customer service skills
  • Must be able to report to assigned work location in a timely, reliable manner.
  • Willingness to learn and try new things
  • The ability to learn new routes and procedures and to follow them reliably
  • Flexibility to work split shifts and a varied schedule, including some weekends and holidays
  • Reliability and motivation
  • Knowledge of English, sufficient to communicate, read and follow road signs, and to comprehend written instructions and standard operating procedures, notices and memos.

Necessary Special Requirements

  • All applicants must be 21 years old at time of application
  • A valid driver license and the ability to obtain a Washington State Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) with the Air Brake restriction removed and a Passenger endorsement Ability to obtain a valid Washington State Commercial Driver's License (CDL) class "B", with passenger endorsement and air brake restriction lifted.  Applicants without a valid CDL must obtain a CDL learner's permit before the first day of training.
  • An acceptable five-year driving record at the time of an offer of employment – any of the following violations in the last five years will automatically disqualify candidates under consideration:
  1. Reckless or negligent driving
  2. Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated   
  3. Hit and Run accident citation
  4. Vehicular homicide or vehicular assault   
  5. Open container citation
  6. More than one at-fault accident (does not include non at-fault accidents)
  7. Any, 1 suspension for a moving violation
  8. No more than 2 moving violations within the last 5 years.
  9. Within the last 5 years, no license suspension, revocation, cancellation or disqualification based on a traffic or moving violation.
  10. No license restrictions (such as an ignition interlock device requirement) within the last 5 years.
  11. No convictions within the last 5 years for reckless or negligent driving, hit and run, leaving the scene of an accident, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, vehicular assault or homicide.
  12. No alcohol, drug or test refusal related occurrences within the last 5 years.
  13. No other driving record incidents or occurrences within the last 5 years that provide a reasonable basis to question the applicant's ability to provide safe and public transportation.

Please Note: To obtain a CLP in Washington State, you must be able to provide and hold a current non-expired license, Social Security number and proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency to a Washington State Department of Licensing Testing Facility. For more information visit

Background Check Review Criteria:

Where the criminal conviction relates reasonably to the fitness to perform the job duties, Metro Transit has a responsibility to ensure a safe and reliable public transportation system for its passengers and its employees.

The following criminal convictions may establish an impermissible nexus with positions that require interaction with the general public and/or, unsupervised access to other employees or the general public and/or, responsibility for the maintenance and safety of Metro Transit property:

  • Crimes of a sexual nature committed against an individual including, but not limited to, rape, child molestation, and unlawful sexual acts.
  • Any crime of a sexual nature that results in inclusion on the national sex offender registry.
  • Crimes involving violent or assaultive behavior including, but not limited to, murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, assault, battery, kidnapping, extortion, carrying or use of a deadly weapon.
  • Crimes involving the physical control, sale, use, transportation of controlled substances, and/or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.   Note – the nexus of prior misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor convictions related to marijuana should be evaluated carefully in light of SB 5605, Misdemeanor Vacating for Marijuana.
  • Crimes involving dishonesty such as fraud, embezzlement, the mishandling, theft, and/or the misappropriation of funds or property, or possession of stolen property.
  • Crimes involving serious or repeated discrimination or harassment based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation (municipal law applies in Seattle).

The above do not constitute a comprehensive list of convictions with a potential nexus to Metro Transit classifications, nor do they automatically disqualify an applicant from further employment consideration.

For additional information please refer to: 

Supplemental Information

Application Process, Forms and Materials:

An application must be completed to be considered for this position; online applications are preferred. No resumes or cover letters will be referenced during the application/screening review. To apply online, go to and find the Transit Operator (Full-Time Bus Driver) job announcement, click the "Apply" link on the Job Announcement Page. If you do not currently have an account with, you will be prompted to create one. Please write down your log-in information for future reference.

Steps of the Application Process:

  1. Apply Online -Applicants should begin studying for the Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) through the Department of Licensing (DOL)
  2. Minimum Qualification Review -Recruitment team reviews application for accuracy, completeness and special requirements.
  3. Interviews -Applicants are invited to In-Person interviews at Renton Technical College. First round of interviews are scheduled for June 6-7 8:30am-3:30PM.
  4. Conditional Offer -Passing applicants receive a Conditional Offer of Employment with requirement to Complete the Pre-Employment Process (PEP) within 30 Days of Conditional Offer:
    1. Applicants complete the DOT Physical at a local Concentra office and are awarded a DOT Medical Clearance Card.
    2. Applicants will complete Drug and Alcohol screening via Urine Sample Analysis collected on the same day of interview after receiving a conditional offer.
    3. Applicants complete Commercial Learner's Permit testing at a DOL location (Must provide copy of DOT Medical Card) Applicants should begin studying for the Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) through the Department of Licensing (DOL) at time of Application
  5. After completing first 3 steps of Pre-employment process applicants complete Background check review via Accusource (online link provided).
  6. Applicants will complete a Driving Abstract via Accusource 30 days prior to their scheduled class date.

FTTO Training Class-Applicants successfully complete the Pre-Employment Process and are placed into a training class. Training Classes will begin on July 22nd, 2024 and take place every two weeks with the exception of King County Holidays. Candidates who complete PEP will be given the choice of attending the next two available operator classes.  

To build an equitable applicant pool this recruitment will be used to fill approximately 210 available training spots based on capacity from July 22nd through the end of 2024. Once filled King County Metro will post a new recruitment for ongoing training classes in 2025. Applicants not selected for the competitive process will be asked to reapply at the next available recruitment.

Training Classes and Training Pay Rate:                        

Training classes are typically scheduled on a bi-weekly basis and run for 40 consecutive days (including some weekends) Candidates will be placed into a class in order of completing all steps necessary to this safety-sensitive position, and after receiving a Formal Offer of employment. Class times are Monday-Friday 6:30AM-3:00PM and weekend work is required and assigned during training.

Rates of Pay:

The rate of pay for Full-time Operator trainees is $22.10/hour. Upon successful graduation from the trainee course new hires will start at the first step of the Transit Operator pay scale: $30.18/hour.

Who to Contact:

For assistance with the online application process, please contact NeoGov Customer Support toll free at 877.204.4442 or

For more information regarding the Bus Driver position, please check out our webpage or contact the Transit Operator recruiting team at

Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will be screened based upon the clarity and completeness of their application information. No attachments will be referenced during the application/screening review process.

Applicants who are unable to apply online should follow the instructions under Application Tips and FAQs at

If you need an accommodation in the recruitment process, or an alternate format of this announcement, please inquire directly with the Transit Operator recruiting team at

As indicated in our jobsite's Application Tips, applicants having trouble completing our online application may contact at 855-524-5627 or .

Union Membership

The Transit Operator position is represented by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 (upon successful completion of training.)

Class Code: 9611100

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer

King County is an equal employment opportunity employer. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workplace and workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding values--we are one team, we solve problems, we focus on the customer, we drive for results, we are racially just, we respect all people, we lead the way, we are responsible stewards. We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

Workplace Culture:

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.


Full Benefits Plan

You become eligible for the Full Benefits Plan when:

  • On the first day of the Full-Time Operator Training program
  • Under the Full-time Full Benefits Plan, you receive King County-paid medical, dental, and vision coverage for you and the eligible family members you enroll, plus basic life, basic AD&D, and basic LTD for you. You may enroll eligible family members and add or change supplemental life, supplemental AD&D, and supplemental LTD. You become eligible for the Full-time Full Benefits Plan when you are hired or transferred into a full-time operator position. This information is current as of 11/6/2017. Please note eligibility criteria for the Full Benefits Plan are subject to change. Contact King County Benefits for more information regarding eligibility and for any questions regarding differences between Part Time and Full Time Benefits Plans.

County Paid Benefits -- no employee contribution toward cost of benefit is required 

  • Medical Plan (choice of three plans effective 1/1/2018)
  • Dental Plan    
  • Vision Plan
  • Basic Life Insurance -- lump sum equal to $25,000
  • Basic Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) -- lump sum equal to $25,000
  • Basic Long Term Disability (LTD) -- replaces up to 60% of earnings (limited to $6,000/month) after 180-day waiting period
  • Bus pass and other alternative transportation incentives   
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Making Life Easier Program

Voluntary Benefits -- available as employee option and at employee expense

  • Supplemental Life Insurance -- $25,000/$50,000/$75,000/$100,000 for yourself and 50% of your supplemental amount for your spouse/domestic partner, and $10,000 for each child
  • Supplemental Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage for employee and family -- $50,000 to
  • $500,000 for yourself and 50% or 100% of your supplemental amount for your spouse/domestic partner, and10% for each child
  • Supplemental Long Term Disability (LTD) -- reduces waiting period to 90 days/increases monthly benefit (limited to
  • $7,200/month)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (no employer match) -- IRS 457 Plan
  • Credit Union membership
  • Flexible Spending Accounts -- Health and Dependent Care
  • HRA Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) Trust upon retirement

Other benefits for Full-time transit operators

  • Retirement: Employees are covered under retirement plans provided through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and are covered by Social Security.
  • Holidays:11 paid holidays per year, plus 1 additional floating holiday administered through the vacation plan.

Vacation with Pay:

  • Hire date through end of year 5: accrual at 10 days per year (available after first 6 months of employment)   
  • Beginning of year 6: accrual at 15 days per year
  • Beginning of year 11: accrual at 20 days per year   
  • Beginning of year 17: accrual at 21 days per year   
  • Beginning of year 18: accrual at 22 days per year   
  • Beginning of year 19: accrual at 23 days per year
  • Beginning of year 20: accrual at 24 days per year   
  • Beginning of year 21: accrual at 25 days per year   
  • Beginning of year 22: accrual at 26 days per year   
  • Beginning of year 23: accrual at 27 days per year  
  • Beginning of year 24: accrual at 28 days per year   
  • Beginning of year 25: accrual at 29 days per year   
  • Beginning of year 26: accrual at 30 days per year

Sick Leave is accumulated at the rate of one day per month. There is no restriction on the amount of sick leave that can be accumulated and carried over to subsequent years. At retirement, an employee will be paid 35% of their unused, accumulated sick leave. Non-represented employees and employees in certain bargaining units will receive this benefit as a payment to a VEBA account, which pays for post-retirement health benefits on a pre-tax basis.

Other leaves include:

  • Bereavement leave (up to 3 days/year)   Military leave
  • Family medical leave
  • King County medical leave   Domestic violence leave
  • Jury duty leave
  • Organ donor leave
  • Executive Leave (for eligible FLSA-exempt employees)

NOTE: This is a general description of the benefits offered through employment with King County, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement, the CBA prevails.