City and County of San Francisco

Transit Operator (#9163)

$28.00-$40.00 Hourly / $4,853.00-$6,933.00 Monthly / $58,240.00-$83,200.00 Yearly


Under general supervision, operates a variety of transit vehicles such as diesel and electric motor coaches, cable cars, streetcars and light rail vehicles; transports passengers along a specific route and makes designated stops as required; accepts fares, issues transfers, gives general directional information; and performs related duties as required.

Distinguishing Features

Employees in this class, upon completion of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Training Program, are assigned to operate various types of transit equipment for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.  Transit Operators are expected to operate equipment according to rules, regulations, and procedures relative to safety and good service, including shuttling transit equipment.  In addition, incumbents have responsibility for the preparation of reports relating to accidents and other occurrences involving the general public and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Supervision Exercised


Examples of Important and Essential Duties

According to Civil Service Commission Rule 409, the duties specified below are representative of the range of duties assigned to this job code/class and are not intended to be an inclusive list.

1. Conducts pre-operational inspection of the transit vehicle, in accordance with federal and state laws and departmental regulations, to ensure it is functioning properly.

2. Inspects the passenger compartment of the vehicle to ensure it is free from hazards (such as spills, loose handrails and stanchions, defective seats, etc.) and that the video camera lenses are not obscured.

3. Safely navigates the vehicle through traffic along assigned routes, under various environmental conditions, in accordance with traffic laws and departmental regulations.

4. Operates the disability access lifts to assist people in wheelchairs onto the vehicle and properly secures their wheelchairs when they are on the vehicle.

5. Collects fares from passengers and issues transfers; checks passenger transfers, fast passes, and electronic passes to ensure they are valid.

6. Uses vehicle's intercom system to communicate instructions to passengers and to call out vehicle stops and transfer points.

7. Responds to customers' questions regarding routes, directions, fares and transfers.

8. Conducts a post-operational inspection of the outside of the vehicle to detect defects and body damage, broken windows, and graffiti.

9. Contacts Central Control regarding various emergencies such as medical emergencies, vehicle malfunctions, vehicle evacuations etc. and/or circumstances that may affect service such as heavy traffic, road hazards, road obstructions etc.

10. Completes accident, incident and/or miscellaneous reports to document unusual occurrences.

11. Performs related duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of:  traffic laws, regulations, and procedures (including the rules of the road, right of way, etc); departmental rules and regulations; how to safely operate various transit vehicles; procedures used to secure various transit vehicles.

Skill in:  safely driving various transit vehicles in heavy traffic and under various environmental conditions (such as rain, nightfall, and fog); using mirrors to view objects behind and to the sides of the driver; operating wheelchair lift platforms.

Ability to:  effectively communicate with passengers, including interacting with irate and agitated people; effectively communicate and interact with Supervisors, co-workers, Central Control, SFMTA officials, and emergency personnel; read and understand written materials (such as training materials, departmental rules, DMV Handbook, etc.); follow written driving directions (such as Route Sheets); accurately complete departmental forms and reports; read maps; read, interpret, and respond to traffic signs and signals; perform basic mathematical computations (including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division); read and interpret mathematical information from tables and charts (such as time schedules).

Experience and Training

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification.  Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.

1. Must be at least 21 years old by the application filing date; AND

2. Possession of a valid High School Diploma, GED or California High School Proficiency Certificate; AND

3. One (1) year of verifiable satisfactory public contact or customer service experience; AND

4. Possession of a valid class C Driver License.  Must have been a licensed driver for at least three (3) continuous years immediately preceding the application filing date.  Suspension or lapse of driving privilege, for any reason, for a total of more than six (6) months during the specified three (3) year period and through the date of appointment will be cause for disqualification; AND

5. Possession of or the ability to obtain a Class B - Commercial Driver License with a Passenger (P) Endorsement and no restrictions that prohibit operation of a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency public transit vehicle; AND

6. A good driving record during the three (3) year period preceding the application for employment and through the date of appointment, meeting the following requirements:

* No moving violations;
* No accidents where applicant contributed to the cause;
* Has not had driving privilege suspended, revoked, or placed on probation by the Department of Motor Vehicles for a cause involving the safe operation of a motor vehicle;
* No convictions of California State Vehicle Code Section 20001 (leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury or death; Sections 23103 through 23109 (reckless driving); or Sections 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; AND

7. No convictions within the past seven (7) years preceding application for employment of any offense relating to the use, sale, possession, or transportation of narcotics, habit-forming drugs, or dangerous drugs; AND

8. No convictions of any sex offense as defined in Section 44010 of the Education Code; AND

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


Special Requirements:
Nature of work requires incumbents to work rotating shifts, holidays and weekends; to work outdoors in all weather conditions; and to use computers.  In addition, may require standing and/or sitting for prolonged periods of time; performing different physical activities such as pulling poles, cranking switches in the subway, resetting retrievers to return disabled transit vehicles to service and assisting in the movement of disabled vehicles when possible.  All employees, and prospective employees must comply with FTA and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency mandates. All operators bid for assignments by seniority. Work hours and days off may change several times per year.

Amended Date:  03/07/2014

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.

CLASS: 9163; EST: 1/1/1900; REV: 3/7/2014;