The road to our Bus Driver Trainee program has a few steps along the way. The average time from application to the classroom is four weeks or less. You can help keep the process rolling smoothly by watching your email for updates and completing steps
quickly. We can't wait to welcome you aboard!
Step 1: Apply!
Create a profile and answer a few questions.
You will be emailed a form to add your last 5 years of job history.
Be prepared to explain any gaps in employment (school, unemployed, etc.).
Step 2: Online Assessment
The online assessment takes about 15 minutes.
Take the test as soon as you are receive the invitation. You'll have two days to take it.
Take the test in a location where you can limit interruptions and distractions.
Step 3: Introductory Zoom Meeting
Answer a few pre-screening interview questions.
Learn more about what it means to be an essential worker and what schedules for bus drivers look like.
Step 4: Interview
Interviews are scheduled one to two weeks out.
Plan on attending the interview through Zoom for 2.5 to 3 hours.
Learn more about the Training Academy, work schedules, acquiring a CLP, and CDL requirements.
Step 5: Reference Check
You will need at least 4 references from current or former supervisors within the last 5 years.
Let references know in advance that they will be contacted.
Check with your local Department of Licensing for permit testing days and times. You are responsible for any associated fees. We can help you with any questions you may have about this first step of the hiring process.
During our paid training, we will prepare you to take the Skills Test to get your CDL Class B.
We will provide you with an “Employer Certificate of Training Completion" which you will need in order to obtain your CDL.
If you have a current CDL from another state, it’s transferable! Get the transfer process underway by visiting the DOL website.
We welcome applicants who are coach operators from other agencies. However, please note that regardless of length of service or experience, you must complete all pre-employment requirements, including our bus driver training course.
What about my driving record?
Our application review includes a look at an applicant’s driving record over the last ten years from all states in which they have been licensed.
Here are the things we consider when reviewing your application:
You must have a current Washington State Driver’s License when you start Training. If you are given a contingent offer from out of state, your Washington license must be obtained before you begin your first day.
Our training is led by professionals who have been on the journey you are about to begin. We pride ourselves on providing excellent training to excellent drivers and look forward to welcoming you aboard.
Phase 1: The First Eight Weeks
Over the first eight weeks, trainees learn:
Basic bus driving and defensive driving skills
How to drive and operate equipment and the different types of vehicles at Community Transit
Advanced skills: emergency braking, backing an articulated coach, etc.
How to assist passengers, including our customer service standards and how to help riders with special needs, such as those using mobility devices
How to pass the CDL test (testing happens during week 5 of training)
All Community Transit bus routes (weeks 6–8)
Every new skill is first practiced in the bus yard. You will only move to the street once you have demonstrated readiness. We will teach you everything you need to know to pass the CDL skills exam to earn your commercial driver’s license.
Phase 2: Taking it to the Streets
During this phase, you will operate the vehicle “in-service.” This two-week-long phase includes driving a bus with another coach operator aboard to assist you.
You will apply everything you learned. You will drive safely, pick up passengers, secure mobility devices and provide the excellent customer service of which Community Transit is known.
At the end of your 10-week training program, we host an event to celebrate you and the hard work you’ve put in to become a Community Transit Coach Operator.
“We strive to provide safe and excellent service in all that we do — and that starts with our drivers. This is why we take the time to thoroughly vet and train each and every driver we hire. When a new driver gets behind the wheel, they are confident, prepared and ready to take on a fulfilling career.”
As a new bus driver, your work schedule will likely include split shifts: a workday split into two parts.
Split shifts are required due to peak bus service during the morning and evening commutes. As the term “peak” implies, there is more service at these times than the rest of the day, so some drivers work exclusively during peak hour shifts.
Shifts are determined through a bidding process, with more experienced drivers having seniority in the bidding process. New drivers will not have a set schedule and shift assignments may be assigned on a daily basis. It may take up to a year to gain seniority in the bidding process.
What you should know about our split shifts
Our peak service periods are 5:00 – 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Most of the “splits” happen in the time between the peak periods.
Split shifts will not be scheduled to be more than 13.5 hours. You will not be off work between shifts for more than 5.5 hours.