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Bus Operator Recruitment FAQ

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Bus Operator Recruitment FAQ

What are the steps involved in becoming a bus operator at AC Transit?

You must apply online along with your resume and send in your H6 (10-year) driving record from the DMV. Your application will then be screened by our recruiting team.

  • If your application meets and exceeds minimum qualifications, a recruiter will call you for a brief phone interview.
  • If you are chosen to proceed, you will be scheduled for an interview.
  • If you pass the interview, you will proceed to the following steps:
    • Criminal background investigation (fingerprints)
    • License/Permit – You must obtain your Class B permit with Passenger & Airbrake endorsements; if you have a class A license, you must obtain a Passenger endorsement
    • DOT physical with Drug & Alcohol screen
    • Employment reference checks
    • DOT history check
  • You must pass each step to be eligible for a conditional offer for a position as a Bus Operator Trainee.

What are some reasons I might be rejected/disqualified?

As with any other career opportunity, our goal is to hire and retain the best qualified candidate. You may be disqualified or rejected for one of several reasons.

  • Your DMV record may not meet District driving standards
    • If you have more than 1 moving violation in the last 3 years
    • If you have an at-fault accident in the last 3 years
    • If you have a “Failure to Appear” or “Failure to Pay” (FTA or FTP) or a Suspension in the last 3 years
    • If you have violations such as reckless driving or DUI within the last 7 years
    • If your DMV record shows a pattern of irresponsible driving or repeat offenses, even if violations do not fall within the automatically disqualifying time limit
  • Other candidates may be better qualified than you
  • You may not meet other minimum qualifications specified in the job announcement

If I am rejected, when can I reapply?

Once you’re rejected, you must wait a minimum of twelve (12) months before reapplying for the same position. If you do reapply within this 12 month period, your application will not be considered. 

How can I check the status of my application?

You can log in and check online. Go to for more information.

I already have a Class B (or Class A) license. Do I have the right license to drive an AC Transit bus?

Not necessarily! Look at the front of your Class B or A license. Make sure you have a “P” (Passenger) endorsement. Then look at the back of your license. If you have a “48″ restriction, you are restricted to vehicles without Airbrakes and you must get the restriction taken off. If you have a “74″, “75″, or “76″ restriction, you must obtain a new permit for Class B with Passenger and Airbrake endorsements (even if you already have a B/P license). If your license has only a “64″ restriction, you are OK, since all our vehicles have automatic transmission.

Please be advised that if your license has not been issued within the last 12 months and you need to remove any restriction or add an endorsement, you may have to take all parts of the CDL Permit exam again (General Knowledge, Passenger, Airbrakes etc. – please consult the Commercial Driver Handbook for requirements).

How long is training?

8+ weeks, 40 hours a week

Will I be able to choose my route and schedule?

As a new hire, you will have low seniority, so your choice will be based on what is available and may not be a route and/0r schedule you prefer. This will change as you gain seniority. Routes are chosen at sign-ups four times a year.

What kinds of shifts will I be required to work?

You may have to work at any time during the day or night, on weekends, and on major holidays. You may also have to work a split shift.

What is a ‘split shift’?

Some Operators work on split shifts, meaning that a Bus Operator could work a couple of hours or more, be off for a certain amount of time (an hour or more), then return to work for several hours to complete the assignment.

What is ‘seniority’?

Seniority means the length of time you have been employed at AC Transit. Those who have been with AC Transit longer will have seniority over those who are hired later. Run and shift assignment sign-ups are done by seniority, which means that those with higher seniority will get to pick their runs before those that have lower seniority. As a new Operator with the lowest seniority, you will likely have limited choices in the route or shift that you will be working.

What Division will I be assigned to?

You will be assigned to the Division that needs Operators the most. As you gain seniority, however, it is possible to be reassigned to the Division that you request. Our Divisions are Emeryville (D2), East Oakland (D4), Hayward (D6), and Richmond (D3). You may change your division once a year, depending upon seniority.