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Part-time bus driver recruitment is now open

Take the Transit Operator (Bus driver) Self-Quiz

Want more flexibility than a full-time job can offer? Going to school and to work? Working part time and need more hours?

Working part time as a Metro Transit bus driver is ideal for anyone who wants part-time work without weekend or late-night hours, such as students, artists, and people juggling family responsibilities. Part-time drivers enjoy flexible schedules and good pay and benefits. Plus, they know they are performing a valuable service for their community. Being a part-time bus driver for Metro is part-time work that pays off!

What about full-time?

Hiring process

Here are the steps and timeline to become a Metro Transit Operator—please note it can take up to 16 weeks between the day you apply and completing our 33 day paid training program.

Submit your application: 2-3 weeks for review

Testing and interview: 2 weeks for testing and interview

If your application is found to be competitive, you will be invited to participate in a survey assessment (exam) evaluating your fit for the Transit Operator position. Candidates passing the survey assessment will then be invited to an interview.

Conditional offer: 4-6 weeks to complete pre-employment

Based on the results of your interview, you may receive a “conditional” job offer to start in a training class. You will receive a formal offer when passing the following steps:

  • Obtain a Class B CDL learner’s permit, including passing written exams for General Knowledge, Air Brakes and Passenger.
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam
  • Driving record review
  • Drug screening
  • Criminal background check
  • Employment verification

Paid transit operator training: 33 days to complete

Once all pre-employment steps are completed you will start our 33 day paid Transit Operator training program @ $16.85/hr. Classes meet 33 days straight on weekdays and weekends, and attendance is required every day of class. You will be offered a choice of a morning or afternoon class to accommodate your schedule. Training is a mix of classroom and driving with our experienced training staff. After passing the CDL skills test in class, you will pick your first Metro driving assignment and spend the rest of training practicing out of your assigned base.

Start your career with Metro!

Congratulations! After graduating training you will convert from a trainee to a Part Time Transit Operator for King County Metro, holding a Class B CDL with P1 endorsement. Your career with Metro is underway! If your goal is to promote to driving full time for Metro (40 hours a week), we are currently promoting in under a year.

Job description

Good pay. Good perks. Good hours.

If you’ve got a passion for people, we’ve got the perfect job for you! Metro is currently hiring part-time employees to operate the transit buses and interact with the public during commuter hours, Monday through Friday.

You get: medical, dental, vision, paid vacation and sick leave, and start at $23.16 an hour. King County offers additional benefits and resources to its employees—for a full list, visit the employees page.

No commercial driving experience required-we offer PAID training ($16.85/hr., 33 consecutive days) to take your Commercial Driver’s License exam!

Folks who do well in this job have a strong customer service background, love people, and have a general aversion to cubicles.

  • Be at least 21 years old at the time you apply
  • Hold a valid Washington driver’s license, and have the ability to obtain a CDL Learner’s Permit with Air Brake and Passenger Endorsements
  • Have a minimum of two years of experience providing customer service to the general public
  • Have an acceptable driving record at the time of offer. Any of the following violations within the last five years will automatically disqualify you from consideration:
    • reckless or negligent driving
    • DWI/DUI (driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
    • hit-and-run incident
    • vehicular homicide or vehicular assault
    • open container violation
    • more than one “at fault” accident within the past year
    • suspended license for moving violations
  • Have reliable transportation to work
  • Be able to speak and write in English
  • Have an acceptable work history and employment references
  • Be available for morning and afternoon shifts

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

CDL pre-trip inspection

Check out this overview of the pre-trip inspection—a required part of the Commercial Driver’s License test, which all part-time transit operators must pass.

  • Monday through Friday only, with weekends and most holidays off
  • Minimum guaranteed pay is two hours and 30 minutes per day
  • Work shifts fall during commuter rush hours. Morning assignments typically occur between 5 and 8:30 a.m.; afternoon/evening assignments typically occur between 3 and 6:30 p.m.
  • Assignments change every four months and are chosen by operators in order of seniority. Metro cannot guarantee that you will work the hours, routes, or base location of your choice.

Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 587 represents this job. An initiation fee and monthly dues are required for union representation.

Successful candidates will be invited to participate in a customer service video test and a written test. The most competitive applicants will then be invited to interview for the position, with successful applicants being 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

All newly hired drivers must complete Metro’s 33-day training program, which includes classroom and coach practice instruction. We offer either a morning or afternoon class schedule (see below). Metro does not require new hires to already have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or prior transit driving experience. Attendance is required at every class; no make-up classes are allowed.

See our Part-Time Transit Operator Performance Policy.

Training schedule

Class Mon-Fri Sat-Sun
Morning 7 AM - 11:30 AM 7 AM - 3:30 PM
Afternoon 2 PM - 6:30 PM 7 AM - 3:30 PM

Pay and benefits

  • Pay: $23.16 per hour upon completion of paid training
  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits, with the option of family and domestic partner coverage
  • Paid vacation
  • Sick leave
  • Retirement and deferred compensation plans
  • Membership in Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587
  • Flexible scheduling
  • No weekend or late-night assignments

Frequently asked questions

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 followup drug testing.

No, work experience that demonstrates good performance, reliability, and good communication within the last 10 years will be considered.

Metro 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.

Metro staff will acquire your five-year driving record from another state.

If you are self-employed, you will be required to submit specific tax-related information for the years you were self-employed. We will also request that you provide us with the names and phone numbers of three client references for each business you have owned.

Transit operators are represented by Local 587 of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

Applicants will be required, before being hired, to provide a current, complete five-year 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
  • More than one “at fault” accident
  • 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 Metro. A conviction will not necessarily bar you from employment consideration.

You are guaranteed a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes per day during morning or afternoon commute hours. These shifts fall between 4:30 AM to 10:30 AM and 2:00 PM to 8:30 PM Some routes are longer than two hours and 30 minutes. You may request additional hours if you sign up to drive for vacationing, sick, or unavailable drivers.

To be eligible for full-time employment driving for Metro, you must first apply to be a part-time driver. Full-time drivers are only hired from our current part-time employee pool. Right now, part-time Metro drivers with good records are going full-time in under a year. In past years this has taken 2-4 years.

Contact us

Each job announcement should include information on who to contact for more information. If you have questions that were not answered in the job announcement description, please contact:

Metro Transit Division
201 S. Jackson Street
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206‑477‑6000
TTY: 206-263-5202
Send an email

King County Metro Operator Referral Program

Do you know someone who could wear the Metro Transit Operator uniform with pride? Are they committed to safety, service, and helping King County grow? Current ATU Local 587 members that refer them to drive for Metro, can earn $300!

How it works

Customer services offices
Lost & found
Comment forms
Transit police