Bus Drivers, Subway Operators, and Other Transit Operators

(NOC 7512)

in All Trades and Transportation

This group includes workers who drive buses and operate streetcars, subway trains and light rail transit vehicles to transport passengers on established routes. They provide passengers with information, collect fares, and ensure passengers' safety. Tour bus drivers take passengers on local sightseeing trips or longer tours and some also provide information on points of interest during the trip. Bus drivers are employed by urban transit systems, school boards or transportation authorities and private transportation companies. Streetcar, subway and light rail transit operators are employed by urban transit systems.

Job Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 205 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Bus Drivers, Subway Operators, and Other Transit Operators may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. With employment conditions being seasonal in nature, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year are fairly common.

The median employment income for 36% of Bus Drivers, Subway Operators, and Other Transit Operators who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $53,282. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$15.09

Minimum

$22.52

Median

$26.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$9,344

Minimum

$27,293

Median

$58,102

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

This group includes workers who drive buses and operate streetcars, subway trains and light rail transit vehicles to transport passengers on established routes.

They provide passengers with information, collect fares, and ensure passengers' safety. Tour bus drivers take passengers on local sightseeing trips or longer tours and some also provide information on points of interest during the trip. Bus drivers are employed by urban transit systems, school boards or transportation authorities and private transportation companies. Streetcar, subway and light rail transit operators are employed by urban transit systems.

Job duties

Bus drivers and streetcar operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Drive buses or streetcars to transport passengers along established routes to local destinations.
  • Drive buses to transport passengers and goods to intercity or long distance destinations.
  • Drive sightseeing tour buses to transport passengers locally or over long distances.
  • Drive buses equipped for wheelchair accessibility, and aid passengers in boarding.
  • Provide passengers with information on fares, schedules and stops.
  • Collect fares, issue and validate transfers, check bus passes and record transactions.
  • Conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections of vehicle.
  • Communicate with passengers, dispatchers or other drivers using two-way radio systems.
  • Report delays, mechanical problems and accidents.
  • May provide information on points of interest during sightseeing tours.
  • May load and unload passengers' luggage and express freight.

School bus drivers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Drive school buses to transport children between school and home or on excursions.
  • Ensure children's safety when boarding and leaving buses and crossing street while bus is stopped.
  • Maintain control of student activities during travel to prevent distractions or behaviours that could compromise safety.
  • May transport adults outside of school hours on chartered trips.

Subway train and light rail transit operators perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate subway or rail transit vehicles as part of two-person crew.
  • Observe signals at crossings and arrival and departure points.
  • Operate controls to open and close transit vehicle doors.
  • Report delays, malfunctions and accidents to control unit.
  • Ensure passenger safety and welfare in emergencies, and direct passengers during evacuation procedures.

Sample job titles

  • bus driver
  • charter bus driver
  • public passenger transit driver
  • school bus driver
  • shuttle operator
  • sightseeing tour driver
  • tour bus operator
  • transit operator - transportation

Skills

To work in these jobs, you should enjoy driving and be able to function under minimal supervision. You must be alert, responsible, and self-motivated. An awareness of safety is important. You must also get along well with people, as drivers often deal directly with customers. For some jobs, you should be willing to drive long distances and for extended periods of time.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Up to three months of on-the-job training including classroom instruction, is usually provided for all jobs in this group.
  • A minimum of one year of safe driving experience is required.
  • Bus drivers require a Class 2 driver's licence in Nova Scotia.
  • An air brakes endorsement and first aid certificate may be required.
  • Experience as a public transit bus driver is usually required for subway and light rail transit operators.
  • A three-year program leading to the Certified Professional Bus Operator (CPBO) designation is available for bus drivers.

Other considerations

Progression to transit supervisory positions, inspector or training instructor positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

2,120

employed in 2016

56.7%

employed full-time

1.2%

self employed

24.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
76%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
56.7

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

46.5%

Halifax

15.1%

Northern

14.9%

Annapolis Valley

11.9%

Cape Breton

11.7%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

61.7%

Transportation and Warehousing

27.5%

Educational Services

5.9%

Public Administration

1.6%

Management, Admin & Other Support

0.9%

Health Care and Social Assistance

What is the age of Employment?

32.6%

55-64

25.9%

65+

24.1%

45-54

12.1%

35-44

4.9%

25-34

0.9%

15-24

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

36.9%

High school

$42,067 median annual income
19.6%

Trades certificate

$43,559 median annual income
18.5%

College certificate or diploma

$41,101 median annual income
16.6%

Less than high school

$42,415 median annual income
5.2%

Bachelor's degree

$29,747 median annual income

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Service Nova Scotia
PO Box 2734
Halifax, NS B3J 3K5
Tel: (800) 670-4357
Fax: (902) 424-0720

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.