Skip Navigation

Employment with Thunder Bay Transit

Transit Services hires through the Human Resources Division of the City of Thunder Bay. Applications and resumes can be sent to Human Resources and will be accepted only on current job postings.

Visit the Employment webpage for information on current positions and how to apply.

Transit Services 

At Transit Services, we believe that people are most successful when they are well matched to their jobs. A good fit between the person and the job ensures that our employees will enjoy and be successful at what they do - a benefit both to the Corporation and the individual. This outline is designed to provide a realistic preview of our Division and the Transit Operator opportunity. The information presented in this document may help you decide if this job is a good match for you. Follow the link for a Self-Assessment Quiz of your fit to the position of Transit Operator.

Transit Services is a Division of the Community Services Department of the City of Thunder Bay and operates conventional (Thunder Bay Transit) and specialized (Lift Plus Specialized Transit) public transportation within the City. Thunder Bay Transit serves our citizens with a fleet of forty-eight 40-foot accessible conventional buses, running 17 routes and operating 19 hours a day, 365 days per year. Lift Plus is an on-demand specialized service operating twenty-three (23) high-floor accessible buses for registered passengers who are unable to use Thunder Bay Transit for all or parts of their trips, due to a disability. Our mission is to provide the best customer service possible while being competitive and responsive to our diverse customer base. Our ridership reflects the diversity of our community, serving customers of all ages, backgrounds, and individual needs.

About Transit Operators

Thunder Bay Transit Operators start their shifts at our central facility on Fort William Road and end their shifts at the central facility, Waterfront Terminal or City Hall. Each facility offers basic amenities such as lunchroom and washroom facilities which provide an opportunity to interact with coworkers and administration. Much of the Operator’s time is spent on the bus they are assigned for their shift. Our buses are all well maintained for the comfort of both passengers and the Operator.

Transit operators are skilled professionals who provide safe, courteous and accessible public transit service. Their job is very dynamic and they are exposed to a variety of working conditions. Transit operators are required to work varying shifts throughout the day. This could involve split shifts where you would have two or three pieces of work within a twelve-hour period.

Work will be assigned to you from a "spare-board". This means that your work is assigned to you on a daily basis and as a result, you may have to adjust and adapt to last minute changes to your working day.

This work requires up to 19 hours a day, seven days a week coverage, and that requires working a wide variety of shifts. Days off will vary from week to week and may not even be two days in a row.

Due to the nature of the working conditions of a Transit operator, there could be an impact on both your personal and family life.

A Day in the Life of a thunder bay Transit or lift plus Operator

Listed below are typical responsibilities that Transit Operators encounter on a daily basis. Keep in mind that each day is unique so flexibility is required of this job:

  • Transport passengers safely according to Thunder Bay Transit's routes and time schedules. Customer relations forms a large part of the Transit Operator’s daily activities and Operators meet a variety of passengers from various social, economic, and multi-cultural backgrounds, which can make the job very interesting.
  • Operate assigned Transit vehicles in a safe manner in high density traffic and all weather conditions. Our buses follow a set schedule and Operators must follow schedule guidelines, sometimes under challenging circumstances.
  • Ensure the operational requirements of the on-board electronics which includes the GPS location system, the bus stop announcement system, and the on-board video camera system.
  • Collect proper fares and check the validity of transfers/passes and resolve any passenger disputes.
  • Provide information and assist passengers in a courteous manner.
  • Maintain orderliness on the vehicle by dealing with individual riders as well as disruptive groups.
  • Advise Transit Control of a variety of issue such as when off schedule, vehicle maintenance issues and vehicle or passenger emergencies.
  • Fill out accident and/or other reports as required related to any incidences occurring during the shift.
  • Provide assistance to passengers with language barriers, accessibility needs and deal with passenger’s challenging temperaments.

Transit Operators usually work alone, without direct supervision, which requires a great deal of individual autonomy and responsibility. However, we work as a team to support each other. Transit Operators maintain radio communications with the Controller on duty.

All of our buses are equipped with wheelchair accessible features that require Operators to activate the ramp system and ensuring that customers in wheelchairs are secure before proceeding on route.

Compensation & Benefits

As a new hire, you are considered a relief Operator, which means you are not guaranteed any hours. On average, it could take Operators two to three years to move to a full-time or guaranteed-hours position, which is a minimum of 40 hours per week.

As a new operator working in a unionized environment, you will have limited choices as to when you can take your vacation. All vacation selections are based on seniority.

As of January 1, 2016, an operator trainee will be paid hourly at 60% of the starting Operator’s rate (1 st 6 months) during the training program. If successful in the training program, Transit Operators are paid:

Step 1 (1st 6 Months): $21.46 per hour

Step 2 (2nd 6 Months): $24.14 per hour

Step 3 (Full-time rate): $26.82 per hour (maximum)

Transit Services offers a competitive total compensation package when a Relief Operator attains the position of full-time Operator that includes the following:

  • Extended Health and Dental;
  • Short and Long Term Disability;
  • Life Insurance;
  • Retirement Savings Plan, with employer matching contributions;
  • Membership in the Amalgamated Transit Union (required - Union dues are deducted bi-weekly);
  • Paid vacation based on years of service; and
  • All benefits are subject to established waiting periods as per the current Collective Agreement.

We appreciate your interest in Transit Services as a choice of a lifelong career. All open competitions can be found online or at Human Resources, 141 May Street South.


A computer kiosk is available in the Human Resources & Corporate Safety Division’s lobby. Human Resources has also partnered with the Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL).  The TBPL has public computers available that applicants can use to apply.

Follow the link for a Self-Assessment Quiz of your fit to the position of Transit Operator.