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Become a Transit Operator (Muni Driver)

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9163 Transit Operator

Images of Muni operators from the I am Muni camapign

The SFMTA operates a wide variety of transit vehicles including diesel and electric motor coaches, light rail vehicles, vintage streetcars and San Francisco’s world famous cable cars. As a Muni Transit Operator you will also have the unparalleled experience of being a frontline ambassador to a world-class city.

As employees of the City and County of San Francisco, Transit Operators receive an excellent compensation and benefits package and are offered the choice of seasonal reassignments. As an SFMTA employee, you would become part of an extended family of individuals who take great civic pride in promoting the use of public transit and San Francisco’s Transit First policy, the City’s blueprint for creating a more environmentally sustainable community.

Read below to find out how you can become a Transit Operator for the SFMTA.

1. Do you qualify

2. How to apply

3. Review of DMV Driving Record

4. Examination and Eligible List

5. Pre-Employmeny Recruitment Process

6.Training Program and Employment 

Step-by-step instructions

1. Do you qualify?

Minimum Qualifications

Applicants must possess and maintain all of the following minimum qualifications through the time of appointment and during the course of employment:

1.1 Age: Must be at least 21 years at the time of application filing.

1.2 Education: A High School graduate or attained a GED or California High School Proficiency Certificate.

1.3 Experience: One (1) year of full time verifiable satisfactory public contact or customer service experience.

1.4 Driver license: Possession of a valid Class C driver license. Must have been a licensed driver for at least three (3) continuous years preceding the date that you apply; Suspension or lapse of driving privilege for any reason, for a total of more than six (6) months during the specified three (3) continuous years and through the date of appointment will be cause for disqualification.

1.5 California Class B commercial driver license or permit: Possession of or the ability to obtain a California Class B – commercial driver license with Passenger (P) and Air Brake Endorsements and no restrictions that prohibit operation of a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency public transit vehicle.

1.6 Driving Record: A good driving record during the three (3) years preceding the date you submit your application and through the date of appointment, meeting the following requirements:
• no moving violations;
• no accidents where applicant contributed to cause;   
• has not had his/her driving privilege suspended, revoked, or placed on probation by DMV for a cause involving the safe operation of a motor vehicle;
• no convictions of California State Vehicle Code 20001 (leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury or death); 23103 through 23109 (reckless driving), 23152 – 23153  (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs);
• other violations and/or accidents will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may be cause for non-selection.

1.7 Drug Conviction: No convictions within the seven (7) years immediately preceding the date that you submit your application of any offense related to the use, sale, possession, or transportation of narcotics, habit forming drugs, or dangerous drugs.

1.8 Sex Conviction: No convictions of any sex offense as defined in Section 44010 of the Education Code. For more information, visit the State of California website.

1.9 School Pupil Activity Bus (SPAB) certificate: Ability to obtain a School Pupil Activity Bus (SPAB) certificate issued by DMV.

The DMV shall deny or revoke a School Pupil Activity Bus (SPAB) Certificate if the applicant:
• Has been convicted of a sex offense defined in Section 44010 of the Education Code.
• Has been convicted, within the preceding two years, of an offense involving the use, possession, or sale of drugs.
• Has been convicted, within the preceding three years, of hit and run, reckless driving, or driving under the influence.
• Fails to pass the written test(s) or driving test.
• Within the preceding three years, has had driving privileges revoked or suspended, or has been placed on probation.

The DMV may deny, suspend, or revoke a School Pupil Activity Bus (SPAB) Certificate if the applicant:
• Has committed any act involving moral turpitude regardless of when the act was committed.
• Has been the cause of three accidents within the last 12 months.
• Has been the cause of an accident resulting in a fatality, serious injury, or $750 damage within the preceding 24 months.
• Has violated any law, rule, or regulation for the safe operation of a vehicle for which the certificate was issued.
• Has violated any restriction of the certificate.
• Has made a false statement on the application.
• Is a negligent or incompetent operator.
• Habitually uses or is addicted to alcohol or drugs.
• Does not meet minimum medical standards.
• Has been convicted of specific crimes within the past seven years.
• Has been convicted of an offense, other than a sex offense, that is punishable as a felony within the past seven years.
• Has been dismissed for a cause related to pupil transportation safety.
• Has been convicted, within the preceding seven years, of any offense related to the use, sale, possession, or transportation of drugs.
• Has been arrested for or charged with any sex offense, as defined in Section 44010 of the Education Code.

Further information can be found in the DMV 2013 California Vehicle Code or by contacting the California Highway Patrol.

2. How to apply

2.1 Sign up to get email notification

• You may only apply for 9163 Transit Operator when the recruitment is open for applications.
• Sign up for e-mail notifications. 
• Enter your e-mail address in the box provided, click next, then click subscribe.
• Continue until you reach the final screen with the request confirmation. The e-mail notification subscription is good for 365 days. You will receive an e-mail notification when the job announcement opens for 9163 Transit Operator

2.2 The Transit Operator Recruitment Hotline: 415.701.5656: This is a recorded message that contains the dates that you may apply for the 9163 Transit Operator position and other important information about the process.

2.3 Fill out and submit application online during the filing period: When the recruitment is open for application filing, you may submit an application online by going to www.jobaps.com/sf, clicking on the open 9163 Transit Operator position and following the instructions. Applications are accepted through this online process only. Please note that you will need to have an email address in order to apply for this position. Please read the entire announcement carefully before filling out your application, and take time to fill out your application completely and accurately before submitting it. Inaccurate or incomplete information may result in the disqualification of your application.

3. Review of DMV Driving Record 

3.1 Driving Record Printout: After an initial screening of applications for minimum qualifications, qualified applicants will be notified to submit a current 10 year DMV H6 driving record from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. If the applicant has been out of California for all or part of the past three years, a 10 year DMV printout from the applicable state/country must be submitted. (Note: the printout must be dated within 30 days of the request)

If the DMV printout indicates accident(s) in the past three years, the applicant must provide an insurance report or police report showing that the applicant did not contribute to the cause of the accident. If the accident occurred while driving for an employer, a copy of the employer report must be submitted showing that the applicant did not contribute to the cause of the accident.

Failure to submit your DMV printout during the specified time period will result in disqualification.

4. Examination and Eligible List

4.1 Taking the Examination: Applicants who meet the Minimum Qualifications and meet the DMV driving record requirement will be invited to take the Civil Service Examination for 9163 Transit Operator. Failure to take the exam at your scheduled time may result in your disqualification. Failure to pass the exam will result in disqualification.

4.2 Eligible List: Those who pass the examination will be placed on the Eligible List. Examination scores are used to determine a candidate’s rank on the list.

5. Pre-Employment Recruitment Process: 

Your participation does not guarantee an offer of employment. Depending on your rank on the eligible list, you will be contacted by the SFMTA to complete the following steps. DO NOT proceed with any of the following steps until requested to do so by the SFMTA. Failure to successfully complete any of these steps will result in disqualification.


5.1 Fingerprinting and Background Check: Candidates will be required to be fingerprinted and complete a Conviction History form. Candidates who do not report their complete criminal conviction history on the Conviction History form may be disqualified. A conviction is not necessarily a bar from employment.  Each case is given individual consideration based on factors such as nature and gravity of the offense, job-relatedness of the offense, age at the time of offense, time elapsed since the conviction, evidence of rehabilitation, and any other mitigating circumstances.

5.2 Current 10 Year DMV H6 Driving Record: Candidates will be required to submit a new current 10 year DMV H6 driving record from the California DMV. (Note: the printout must be dated within 30 days of the request)

5.3 Medical Examination: Candidates will be required to pass a comprehensive physical examination at San Francisco General Hospital and obtain a twelve (12) month medical card. The medical exam will test for the medical guidelines for a commercial license required by the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The California DMV commercial license medical requirements can be found on the California DMV website.

5.4 Interview and Drug Screening: Candidates will be required to pass an interview and drug screening.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has determined that Class 9163 Transit Operator is a “safety-sensitive” position, under regulations issued by the Federal Transit Administration (49 CFR Part 655).  Federal law requires that all transit employees who perform safety-sensitive functions be subject to random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion, return-to-duty and follow-up drug and alcohol testing.  All applicants for Safety-Sensitive positions shall undergo urine drug testing prior to employment and within 90 days prior to performing Safety-Sensitive functions for the first time.  Receipt by the SFMTA of a negative test result is required prior to the employee being placed on the payroll.  A positive, adulterated, negative dilute or substituted test will result in a decision not to hire, and the applicant’s name will be removed from the list of eligibles for Safety-Sensitive positions.  The SFMTA will not consider hiring any person who tested positive, adulterated, substituted or refused to submit to testing for a minimum of two years following the positive test. 

In addition, each applicant who has worked for a Department of Transportation (DOT)-regulated employer(s) within the last two years will be required to sign a consent form, prior to appointment, authorizing SFMTA to obtain information from his/her prior employers concerning his/her drug and alcohol test history.  Each applicant will also be required to provide SFMTA with information regarding whether, during the last two years, the applicant tested positive or refused to test on any pre-employment drug or alcohol test administered by an employer to which the applicant applied for, but did not obtain, safety-sensitive transportation work covered by DOT drug and alcohol testing rules.  SFMTA will not hire any applicant for a safety-sensitive position who fails to provide this information or fails to provide written consent for the release of information from prior employers.

5.5 California Class B commercial driver permit: Candidates will be required to possess of a Class A or B commercial driver license with Passenger (P) and Air Brake Endorsements or to obtain, at your own expense, a Class B commercial driver permit with Passenger (P) and Air Brake Endorsements prior to starting the Transit Operator training program. No restrictions prohibiting the operation of a Municipal Railway public transit vehicle.

6.Training Program and Employment

6.1 SFMTA Transit Operator Training Program: Upon hire, new Transit Operators will begin their employment by attending the 8 week SFMTA Transit Operator training program. All employees must successfully complete the 8 week SFMTA Transit Operator training program consisting of both classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. Failure to complete the training program will result in termination.

6.2 Probation Period: A probationary period is required for all permanent appointments. Upon completion and passing of the probationary period, new Transit Operators become permanent employees of the SFMTA.