Bus Operator Recruitment Guide

Interested in becoming a Bus Operator with the City of Hamilton? In our Bus Operator Recruitment Guide, you can learn more about the application process, the work environment and the Hamilton Street Railway Company (HSR). Take a moment to review the following information before applying for this position, to ensure that you have the necessary skills and qualifications, and that this is the right career for you.

Our Culture and Expectations

HSR provides a safe, efficient and customer-focused transit system that connects people to where they want to go. We operate 195 buses over 32 routes on weekdays and Saturdays from 5 to 2 am, and 81 buses over 26 routes on Sundays from 6 am to 12 midnight.

Our Bus Operators deliver exceptional service by embodying our core competencies.

  • Results driven. HSR aims to increase ridership. You make it a mission to pick up passengers on time and deliver them safely to their destination.
  • Customer focused.  You understand that you work for your passengers and make their needs a priority.
  • Team player.  Your work assignment is a larger part of the Transit system. You work with other Bus Operators and management to keep bus routes running properly.
  • Effective communicator.  All passengers deserve a respectful and professional interaction. You set a positive example for all riders with your friendly and courteous conduct.

Job Details

Responsibilities include:

  • Safely operate transit vehicles on time and in a proper manner, including during adverse road and weather conditions, on a designated route and schedule
  • Abide by Highway Traffic Act, Occupational Health & Safety Act, Manual of Operations, all other applicable legislation, City policies and procedures
  • Collect fares and issue transfers, while ensuring validity of transfers and passes
  • Report and document all incidents, accidents and injuries immediately
  • Be proactive and help Transit Control by reporting other information and problems impacting transit services such as route blockages, accident locations, traffic congestion, weather and road conditions
  • Perform daily vehicle inspections
  • Regulate heating, lighting, ventilation, etc. 
  • Monitor vehicle performance, and report any irregularities to Transit Control

Skills needed:

  • Strong communication and comprehension skills, including the ability to complete forms
  • Efficient problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills
  • Ability to withstand or recover from difficult situations while maintaining a high degree of ethical behaviour and professionalism
  • A very high degree of punctuality and attendance to support 24/7 transit operations

Physical demands:

  • Sitting for prolonged periods of time
  • Reaching, gripping, and pushing/pulling steering wheel
  • Twisting and turning neck
  • Sensory/perceptual demands
  • Regular exposure to fumes, odours, and moderate noise

Job qualifications:

  • Have a valid Ontario class G driver’s licence, with a point-free driving record for three years prior to application and hire. You must provide a recent Driver Abstract (no older than 14 days) upon request. Preference will be given to those with a clear Driver Abstract.
  • Demonstrate recent experience working with the public, normally acquired through substantial and direct customer-service work that includes interpersonal communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.
  • Be capable of obtaining a class B Ontario driver’s licence. In order to determine eligibility for a class B licence, the City is required to review medical results and a criminal record as per Reg. 462 of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act.
  • 2 to 3 years’ commercial driving experience is preferred. Previous transit bus driving experience would be considered an asset.
  • Ability to work a variety of shifts, including nights, weekends, statutory holidays and split shifts, in all types of weather conditions.

Wondering if you have what it takes to be a Bus Operator?  Check out our job fit checklist or continue on if you’re ready to apply.

Application Process

HSR has implemented a stepped-recruitment/application approach to evaluate prospective Bus Operators. This process reflects the need for Bus Operators to have excellent customer-service skills, resiliency skills, and superb driving ability. NOTE: You are not eligible to apply if you interviewed within the last 6 months and were not successful.
Submit your application to become a Bus Operator with the City of Hamilton.

Please check back regularly to see if applications are being accepted.

Once you submit your application and it’s determined you meet the qualification, this is the process:

1. STRADA Assessment

  • You will be contacted via email to complete your assessment to determine your fit for this position.
  • You must submit a points-free Driver Abstract

2. Job Shadow and Interview

  • Job shadow exercise where you will ride 3+ different routes from the beginning to the end of the line
  • Submit completed job shadow vouchers
  • Interview circuit to evaluate your ability to think critically, communicate “on the fly”, and demonstrate your level of understanding of the position. The circuit will consist of short-timed interview stations, each with a different interviewer and question. You are given 2 minutes to prepare for the question and 5 minutes to respond.

3. Eligibility List

  • Successful applicants are contacted and placed on an eligibility list, which remains in place for one year.
  • Only applicants who have demonstrated the greatest potential are offered positions. Due to a limited number of vacancies at HSR, successful completion of all steps does not guarantee employment.

4. Job Offer

  • You must provide satisfactory references, ensure your Driver Abstract remains clear, and complete the medical and functional ability test successfully to receive a start date.
  • You must successfully upgrade your licence to class BZ, and complete all training and the probationary period to secure permanent, full-time status.
  • Applicants offered a position receive 6 weeks of paid on-the-job training to obtain a licence upgrade, or on-bus and other operational and service training.

Please note:

Applicants are responsible for the following costs through this recruitment:

  • $12 - Driver Abstract
  • $25 - STRADA assessment
  • $90 - Ministry Medical (this fee may be waived for those applicants who have an upgraded licence)
  • $40 / $50 - Criminal Record & Judicial Matters (CRJM) Check (prices vary depending on which Municipality your reside in – check with your local Police Services for details and requirements)