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How to become a bus operator

Join the team that helps move New York!

MTA bus operators are responsible for driving New York City buses safely and efficiently. They must follow agency rules, New York State law, and New York City traffic regulations.

Bus operators can work for different agencies. There is the MTA Bus Company, which operates local, express, and Select Bus Service routes in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA) operates local, express, and Select Bus Service routes in Manhattan and the Bronx. New York City Transit has 234 local bus routes, 20 Select Bus Service routes, and 73 express routes in the five boroughs.

Upcoming Bus Operator Application Periods

A Job Vacancy Notification (JVN) for an MTA Bus Company Bus Operator is now open. Please see the JVN for more details on the position. You can apply through the MTA Careers Portal. We will be accepting applications for this position through November 30, 2021

Please note that the application and testing process for this JVN is different from the process described below. There is no application fee for the current Bus Operator opening.

 

Want to become a bus operator? Here’s how:

Step 1: Find out if you meet the test requirements.

We offer written tests to become a bus operator every 10 to 18 months, depending on the agency. You do not need any formal education requirements to take the bus operator’s exam.

Please note: You will need a valid driver's license and a Commercial Driver permit or license when you file your application. Learn more about how to get a CDL

Notices of Examination (NOE) for each test are posted during a three-week application period and contain important information, such as job descriptions, test dates, and how to apply. Check the schedule of upcoming exams each month to make sure you do not miss a NOE posting.

Step 2: Apply to take the Bus Operator's exam.

If you think you meet the test requirements, you can apply online to take the bus operator’s exam. You must do this by the last day of the application period.

To apply for a test online, you will need to create an account at www.mymta.info/exams. Once you find the exam you want to apply for, follow the instructions onscreen. You can find more information about the process in our Online Application Guide.

The fee for the bus operator’s exam is between $60 and $70. If you have any trouble submitting a payment, please refer to the Online Payment Tutorial. You can also email examsunit@nyct.com if you have issues with your application. The fee may be waived for all applicants of a particular exam at the discretion of the agency.

Fee waiver

The exam fee may also be waived for candidates receiving certain city or state benefits, those who are unemployed, or veterans. For more information, please read the Fee Waiver Request Guide.

Step 3: Take a multiple-choice test and/or the Bus Operator Selection Survey.

After you submit your application, you may have to take a multiple-choice test and/or the Bus Operator Selection Survey (BOSS). The multiple-choice test and BOSS test your knowledge and abilities such as customer service and safety, and the ability to read and understand rules, regulations, and other relevant written material. 

If you pass those tests, you will be placed on a list of eligible candidates based on your multiple-choice test score or from a randomly assigned list number.

Step 4: Wait to hear from us.

If you pass all of the test parts, you will be added to a hiring list, which can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to create after the final date of the exam. If you are added to that list, you will receive a letter with your spot on the list.

What does a Bus Operator do?

See what it's like to be an MTA Bus Operator.

If you are called to move forward as a Bus Operator, these are the next steps:

  1. Submit the online pre-employment application. You will receive the application via email. You will then need to print out the application and complete it, and bring it with you to our Brooklyn office on a scheduled date and time. You will be notified of the date and time via phone, text, and email. 

  1. Head to our Brooklyn office for Day 1 of processing. You’ll report to our offices at 180 Livingston Street where you’ll meet with us to: make sure you meet the driver's license requirement, review your employment history, and take a drug assessment (this is required for all sensitive positions.) It takes 48 to 72 hours to process this assessment. If you pass, you’ll receive a conditional employment offer and be invited back to our office for Day 2 of processing.

  1. Report to Day 2 of processing. During processing, you’ll meet with our medical staff to undergo a medical assessment. Then, you’ll meet with our team to review all the details about the job, benefits and training. If you accept, you’ll get all the details about when and where to report to training.  

  1. Join the next class of bus operators and then hit the road. We schedule training classes regularly, and if you accept you can expect to hit the road in about six to eight weeks. 

A man wearing a light blue shirt and a dark tie and a face mask behind the wheel of a bus. A woman wearing a coat and a face mask is boarding the bus to his right.

Learn more about the benefits

The current minimum salary for Bus Operator is $25.4944 increasing to $36.4206 in the sixth year. It also includes a transportation pass benefit. These rates are subject to change.

The benefits of this position include, but are not limited to, night and weekend salary differentials, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave, a comprehensive medical plan, and a pension plan.