Starting this month, Calgary Transit will be filling positions at an accelerated pace in order to restore service to pre-pandemic levels.
Over the next four weeks, the service will be recruiting 400 transit operators, followed by an additional 400 operators later in 2023.
Sharon Fleming, director for Calgary Transit, said that the ideal candidate is a professional driver who already has some customer service experience.
“We want to make sure that we have the courteous, responsible drivers that make transit bus operators great,” she said.
Fleming said that this was the second part of a multi-year process to restore transit operations to per-pandemic levels, something that should be achieved by the end of the year. During budget deliberations in November 2022, Fleming said it could be two years before they could expand service levels. That’s in large part to the inability to recruit personnel.
Last year, Calgary Transit battled with recruitment as they tried to ramp up bus and LRT service.
Calgary Transit is also recruiting eight truck and transport journeypersons to join the maintenance team.
The recruitment will add an additional 20 per cent in staffing to the service.
“Nobody cares more about the service Calgary Transit provides than our staff and team. This is an opportunity for them to return the service back to where it needs to be, and puts us on that trajectory to focus on the primary transit network going forward,” Fleming said.
Better quality of life for operators, and less overtime costs for the city
Fleming said that the recruitment process would also help alleviate the current issues surrounding overtime and long work hours for operators.
“There are some advantages to that for them because they do get paid over time, but eventually there is burnout,” she said.
“We want to make sure that we get ahead of this and increase our team member complement as soon as possible.”
The staffing increases, said Fleming, would first be noticed by Calgarians using the CTrain during the daytime and on weekends. She said they would also be focusing on cross-town connections for riders.
According to Calgary Transit, applicants to become operators must be at least 18 years old, legally able to work in Canada, have a full Alberta class 5 operators license—excluding graduated drivers license holders, and a high school diploma or GED from an accredited institution.
Successful applicants will be placed into the Calgary Transit training program, which is a full-time 25-day program.
For more information, see www.calgarytransit.com/content/transit/en/home/careers/applying-to-be-an-operator.html.