Do you have a cushy butt? Are you ready to earn $63,000 a year sitting on it? A career as a TransLink bus driver may just be right for you!
Do you have a driver’s license? Have you successfully avoided any fender benders in the last three years? Can your noggin memorize enough pages about pre-trip inspections and traffic regulations to obtain a commercial driver’s license? Are you sprightly enough to pass a medical examination spanning from cardiovascular to respiratory, musculoskeletal, and psychiatric conditions? So far so good!
Are you brave enough to take responsibility for the safety of 30 to 70 passengers from behind the wheel of a 30,000-pound bus? Can you handle boundless distractions and the need to multitask? Do you thrive in the spotlight? If so, let TransLink put a mic and camera on you.
Being a TransLink bus driver is about much more than safe driving. It’s about staying on your toes. You’ll be answering questions, giving directions, interpreting head bobs, learning new curse words, and hemming and hawing your way through foreign languages. This job is the perfect training for parents- or grandparents-to-be! “Are we there yet?” “How about now?” “His feet are touching my seat” “She won’t turn down her music” “Why’d you turn here?” “Can’t we go any faster?” “He faaarteeed!”
Can you memorize dozens of service routes including cross streets and stops should passengers need directions? Can you deal with people with special needs? Can you dodge potential conflict situations and unravel confusion? Every once in a while, can you explain to non-English speaking tourists boarding the 20 on Victoria Drive with their luggage that you, in fact, do not reach Vancouver Island? Then, let us tell you more.
Some people are early birds. Others are night owls. TransLink bus drivers are more like mountain goats; cathemeral species that switch up their activity patterns for reasons such as access to food, temperature, and risk of predation (or shitty options for shifts due to lack of seniority). With TransLink, you can expect new patterns every few months.
There are months when you might start at 4:30 in the morning and rest on Margarita Mondays and Taco Tuesdays. There are others when you’ll work until 2:00 in the morning, and others still when you’ll work split shifts with a few hours break in between. And the only thing that’ll change about holidays and weekends is you’ll actually get paid to sit on your butt all day!
Indeed, every few months will bring new adventures. Will you drive a night shift past a cemetery? Perhaps you’ll venture into the eerie backroads of Riverview Hospital. Will you pick up high school students with senioritis? Or maybe choose an early shift to catch construction workers while they’re still clean. Will you drive a polite crowd of suit-wearing professionals to work, or a drunk crowd of jersey-wearing hockey fans home?
Who needs Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, consistent patterns? Shit’s for the birds. Embrace your inner mountain goat. Follow the 10 steps below to start earning $32 an hour sitting on your butt.
Step One: Apply
Simply head to www.translink.ca/drive to submit your application.
Step Two: Customer Service Test
Wear your most polite smile to this 2-hour test that measures your customer service skills and ability to diffuse potential conflict situations through 28 scenarios often encountered by bus drivers.
Step Three: Panel Interview
Demonstrate how you’ll apply past and present work experience to your new career. Trust us, whether you worked in childcare, social services, tourism and hospitality, languages, or mechanical engineering, your skills will apply.
Step Four: Driving Skills Assessment
Give an instructor a 45 to 60-minute tour of the streets of Vancouver while demonstrating impeccable knowledge and application of the Motor Vehicle Act’s traffic rules and regulations.
Step Five through Seven: Reference Check, Criminal Record Check, Medical Exam
Step Eight: Offer of Employment
Welcome to a team of over 7,000 bus drivers who move over 800,000 passengers throughout Metro Vancouver each day!
Step Nine: 30-Day Training
Earn $22.83 an hour learning the ins and outs of your new-for-you 40-foot-long bus.
Step Ten: 675-Hour Probationary Period
Get out on the road and start enjoying 100% of the responsibilities of your new career for 75% of the pay for the first eight months, 80% for the second eight months, and 90% for the third eight months.
Congratulations, your cushy butt is officially employed!
Disclaimer: This job may lead to stiff shoulders, neck and back pain, poor circulation, dehydration, and poor eating habits. Other side effects may include social disconnection, respiratory illness caused by persistent exposure to high concentrations of air pollutants, and hearing damage caused by long-term exposure to excessive noise. Some bus drivers have also suffered post-traumatic stress disorder due to instances of verbal and physical assault or traffic fatalities. Shitty work conditions apply.