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DOB New Hire FAQ

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Similar to SubwayGuy's FAQ in regards to RTO, here's one for DOB.

 

What medical certification / driving type do I need for MTA?

If you are NOT going to be working in Staten Island, AND do not live out of state, you will need the Excepted Interstate (EI) driving type. This will give you the A3 restriction (Med Cert. exempt) on your CDL. This means that you do not need to have a current medical certificate on file with the DMV.

If you ARE going to be in Staten Island, (OR you live out of state) then you need the Non-Excepted Interstate (NI) driving type. This means you will need the medical certificate on file with DMV. The ONLY reason you need this is for the S89 route, which since it goes to Bayonne, means that it needs to be ran with DOT-certified drivers and buses. You do not need the NI type to do line training in SI and if you know for sure that you're not going to be touching the S89 line. If you are working the Extra List in Staten Island, Vacation Relief at Yukon or put in for OT (with no specifications), then you need it for the off chance that you'll work it. Please don't go out on the S89 without your medical card. DOT or the police pulls you over for a safety check, that's on you. (+The Ticket + Points + FMCSA Violation + The Discipline)

* You are responsible for having a current med cert. on file with DMV. DMV will automatically downgrade your license from a CDL to a regular driving license. You will get taken out of service when DMV notifies MTA that its expired. There's no penalty but no work = no pay.

 

What's the 9 point threshold for your license?

One of the 19A disqualifications is having 9 or more points on your license. You get those 9 points, you will no longer be "19A qualified", which means that you can't drive for the MTA. Again, there's no penalty for losing your qualification status but if there's no work for you, then there's no pay for you.

 

What's the 10 day training schedule?

Day 0 - At Zerega, you fill out 19A paperwork, start your permanent record, sign initial depot transfers if you want to work out of Staten Island or Queens. You will get your depot assignments for Days 1-7, as well as your passes.

 

Day 1 - Pre-trip inspections, learning the airbrake test, "L" turns, getting to know the bus. (The one freebie day)

Day 2- More "L" turns, hooks and acute turns

Day 3- Bus stops

Day 4 - "EL" pillars, parallel parking and straight line backing

Day 5 - Driving in Upper Manhattan

Day 6 - Driving in Lower Manhattan

Day 7 - First qualification day

Day 8 - Re-training day if you have to go to Day 9, otherwise equipment training

Day 9 - Second qualification day in Upper Manhattan

Day 10 - Last qualification day out of Zerega

 

I qualified. Now what happens?

Between Days 7 to 10, you will be doing equipment training on the RTS, Nova and New Flyer (Xcelsior) models while you wait for the rest of your class to qualify. After Day 10, you will go down to the union for Day 11 and be back at Zerega for Days 12-14. On Day 12, you will be there for General Instruction, where you will pick your depot. Days 13-14 will be spent on Customer Service and the Vision Zero classes. From Day 15 on, you will proceed to line training (or obtaining your CDL, if you have your permit)

 

How long is line training?

Depends on where you go. If you go anywhere but Staten Island, it will usually be 2 weeks. If you go to Staten Island, it will be approximately 6 weeks. During line training (not S.I), you will learn all of the lines assigned to your depot, local and express, usually in that order. If you are in S.I, you will rotate between Castleton, Yukon and the Charleston depots learning all the local lines in Staten Island for the first 3-4 weeks. For the remaining 2 weeks, you will ride around with the union learning the SI express routes. Regardless of how your class gets split, you will all be together for graduation after line training on the local lines.

 

What's this transfer paper that we sign on Day 0?

When you get hired, you are represented by TWU, which allows you to work in the Brooklyn TA depots and the Manhattan/Bronx OA depots. If you wish to work in Staten Island or Queens, which is represented by two different locals of ATU, you will have to request a transfer to either of these boros. When there is a space available for you, you will be asked if you want to transfer. It's an one shot deal and you can't return to any of the TWU represented depots, unless you originally was forced to S.I or Queens.

If you (or your entire class) gets forced to Staten Island or Queens, you will sign an additional transfer request, which will allow you to return to the TWU represented boros. It works the same way. They will ask you if you would like to come back when a spot opens up. If you deny it, you will be locked in to that boro for your career.

 

Important notes:

-Like I said, these transfers are one way, one shot deals. You only get two of them if you get forced to an ATU depot at the beginning. This is the only way that you will be allowed to work in SI/Queens and be able to return to BK/Bx/M. Of course, if your slot opens up and you say no, that's it, you're stuck.

-If you are waiting for your transfer to SI/Queens that you requested on Day 0, you will go to the bottom of the seniority list when you do transfer over.

-If you are working in Staten Island, you can change depots every year. (System pick) If you are in Queens, you are stuck at that depot for life. (Jamaica, Stengel, Queens Village) Queens does not have any system picks.

 

Uniforms

You will get measured on Day 11 when you're down at the union hall. The uniforms will take forever to come. They will come piece by piece, they may come in the wrong sizes. Until you get it straightened out, continue wearing the training uniform. If you are starting training in August-October, be aware that the transition from summer to winter uniforms occurs on October 15th. Don't get sent home/written up because you're out of uniform. Winter uniforms mean that you can't wear shorts and you need to wear your tie with both short/long sleeve shirts. If you are a student (read: Didn't graduate yet), then you cannot wear shorts at any time.

 

Benefits

See SubwayGuy's thread: http://www.nyctransitforums.com/forums/topic/49538-rto-new-hire-faq/

 

Tips

 

-Definitely whatever tips SubwayGuy mentioned in his thread.

 

-Definitely get your rest, eat and stay healthy. It takes one bad medical to disqualify you from driving and have you cleaning at the depot.

 

-Keep your license in shape too. You get it suspended or revoked, then they will say "Bye, we don't need you anymore." Know the driving laws that now apply to you now that you have a CDL, especially the 19A laws. If you at any time you are no longer a "19A Qualified" driver, then you won't be driving until you are qualified again. If you are required to keep a medical certificate on file, then you make sure you get the DOT medicals done and the paperwork submitted well before the old one expires. You can ask to go to the MAC to get this taken care of (See the General SLD). This is one of the common things that trips people up along with crossing the 9 point threshold.(See above for more info on both)

 

-Arrive early, 30 mins to 1 hr prior to your report time. When you're new and you're on your own, you won't be pre-tripping that bus and pulling out in those 5-10 minutes. Being early gives you the opportunity to take your time, get your OVCR card signed and give you some more time to deadhead to your first trip. MTA wants you to be on time twice a day -- reporting at the beginning of your run and any time you pull out from the depot.

 

-Don't be late.1 minute after your report time and your run is open for the operators sitting on the extra list. I'm working the extra list right now and I will gladly take your run with no shame. (And so will everyone else and MTA won't care) If it is hard to get to your work location, talk to your union reps and see how they can accommodate you. The earlier you bring up your issues, the better they can try to accommodate you. It's not an automatic thing but the goal for your first year is to get through probation with the cleanest record you can. Being AWOL, going sick because you can't make it to work won't work for you.

 

-Ask questions. No such thing as a stupid question. The more questions you ask, the more you'll understand the ins and outs of things. Know who to ask. It's okay to ask bus operators, dispatchers, etc., but you will have to figure out what's the legit answer/advice as opposed to bull. I'm not saying that anyone will lead you astray but there are people who will give you the wrong advice with the best intentions of helping you. When in doubt, definitely ask your union reps. Most of the time when someone can't give you a clear answer, they will direct you to the union... even if they do know the answer, they will tell you to ask the union. Also, ask if you're unsure. If you are on the road and unsure of something like the route, operating procedures, call console.

 

-Drive slow and always go back to what you've learned at Zerega. Zerega is your basics and over time, you will fine tune your operation for the real world. Try not to run any yellows. It's going to happen but try your best not to run them. Definitely don't run any reds, that will get you fired depending on the severity of it. If you're late, you will get put back on time. (Trust me, I've gotten placed several times already) If you're working a route that goes to the SI ferry, they will pressure you to get the ferry on time to make the boat. Dub it. I did it during line training. You get busted for speeding or an accident as a result thereof, it's on you. These people are not going to be giving you that $1100 every two weeks if you get fired. Also, no letting anyone out in the middle of the street. If there's no curb next to your bus, the answer is no. Don't let these people pressure you to do the wrong thing.

 

-Cover your ass. Unless it's a bus on it's first day of service, it's going to have damage. Write it up on your OVCR card and get it signed by the yard dispatcher before you go. This way, you won't be liable for the damage if let's say, the operator before you did the damage and didn't write it up. (You both go down if you didn't write it up) If the yard dispatcher refuses to sign, refuse the bus and ask for a new one. If you get a hard time past this, go to the union. When you're doing reliefs, if the operator that you're relieving can not explain the damage on the bus, refuse the bus. Something happens en route, write it on your trip sheet. Calls to console are recorded. Know who's who at the depot. Names are usually sufficient for management but if need be, get their pass #s for your reports.

 

-You will get warned countless times on what gets your probation extended. Don't get your probation extended. An extra 6 months of probation and undercover rides won't make it any easier on you, just because you didn't do something simple such as announcing your ADAs. Other things as driving with one hand, taking turns too fast, getting too many "bad rides", triggering the door alarm, running those yellows/reds will get you extended and/or taken out of service. Don't get extended, don't get taken out of service. Definitely don't be that much of a "F UP" to get extended twice and have to do a 2 year stint because at that point, you deserve to be fired. (Not that I wish that on you but you usually get extended once, and fired the second time)

 

-Keep in contact with your class and encourage them throughout training. This is the one support system that you'll have during your time here who actually understands everything going on with you and the job. People on the outside may or may not hold your thoughts, complaints, etc., with the same value because they don't understand. Also, you will be able to share information and answer each other's questions when not at work, etc.

 

-Save a few AVAs (holidays) in the beginning. This way, if you need a day off for an emergency, you will be able to take it without it being counted as "bad time off". If you're on probation, you have to pay back your bad time off in the form of your probation being extended day for day.

 

-Make the sacrifices. It's all part of the job. The job gets easier everyday after training. My class got forced to SI and only 4 of us live there. Yet, we are all making it happen. (And all but 4 of us stayed in SI too!) Do the best you can. A situation like this can and definitely will come across your way and if you think it won't, wait until you're stuck at the depot on mandatory report.

 

-Be happy, be positive, don't take all the insults personal. Enjoy the job.

 

-PM me with any questions. 100% of them, I will tell you to ask the union but feel free to ask nonetheless.

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What's an official hire date? When you swore in or completed 10 days training or after graduation day?

 

 

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What's an official hire date? When you swore in or completed 10 days training or after graduation day?

 

 

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Your hire date is the first day you started training at Zerega.

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What's the 10 day training schedule?

 

Day 0 - At Zerega, you fill out 19A paperwork, start your permanent record, sign initial depot transfers if you want to work out of Staten Island or Queens. You will get your depot assignments for Days 1-7, as well as your passes.

 

Day 1 - Pre-trip inspections, learning the airbrake test, "L" turns, getting to know the bus. (The one freebie day)

Day 2- More "L" turns, hooks and acute turns

Day 3- Bus stops

Day 4 - "EL" pillars, parallel parking and straight line backing

Day 5 - Driving in Upper Manhattan

Day 6 - Driving in Lower Manhattan

Day 7 - First qualification day

Day 8 - Re-training day if you have to go to Day 9, otherwise equipment training

Day 9 - Second qualification day in Upper Manhattan

Day 10 - Last qualification day out of Zerega

 

As far as Day 7 is concerned, it is ultimately up to the Superintendent as far as where you go, however chances are that it will NOT be in Manhattan. Also, you have to do good on both Days 6 & 7 in order to qualify the first time. For Day 9, you only have to do good that day alone, similar with Day 10. And for Day 10, you will have two Superintendents with you.

Edited by +Young+

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Why are most depots for pick after 10 day training from OA /NYC and Bronx/? Is there any reason? If I prefer TA Brooklyn depots can I request a transfer to particular depot during the line training or when I can do it? Got confused...

 

 

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Why are most depots for pick after 10 day training from OA /NYC and Bronx/? Is there any reason? If I prefer TA Brooklyn depots can I request a transfer to particular depot during the line training or when I can do it? Got confused...

 

 

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The choices that you get at Zerega are whichever depots that have open spots. It just so happens to be the OA depots. If you want to work in Brooklyn, you will have to wait until the system pick next year. If you want to work out of Staten Island or Queens, you have to request a transfer and wait your time out.

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Similar to SubwayGuy's FAQ in regards to RTO, here's one for DOB.

 

What medical certification / driving type do I need for MTA?

 

If you are NOT going to be working in Staten Island, AND do not live in NJ, you will need the Excepted Interstate (EI) driving type. This will give you the A3 restriction (Med Cert. exempt) on your CDL. This means that you do not need to have a current medical certificate on file with the DMV.

 

If you ARE going to be in Staten Island, (OR you live out of state) then you need the Non-Excepted Interstate (NI) driving type. This means you will need the medical certificate on file with DMV. The ONLY reason you need this is for the S89 route, which since it goes to Bayonne, means that it needs to be ran with DOT-certified drivers and buses. You do not need the NI type to do line training in SI and if you know for sure that you're not going to be touching the S89 line. If you are working the Extra List in Staten Island, Vacation Relief at Yukon or put in for OT (with no specifications), then you need it for the off chance that you'll work it. Please don't go out on the S89 without your medical card. DOT or the police pulls you over for a safety check, that's on you. (+The Ticket + Points + FMCSA Violation + The Discipline)

 

* You are responsible for having a current med cert. on file with DMV. DMV will automatically downgrade your license from a CDL to a regular driving license. You will get taken out of service when DMV notifies MTA that its expired. There's no penalty but no work = no pay.

 

What's the 9 point threshold for your license?

 

One of the 19A disqualifications is having 9 or more points on your license. You get those 9 points, you will no longer be "19A qualified", which means that you can't drive for the MTA. Again, there's no penalty for losing your qualification status but if there's no work for you, then there's no pay for you.

 

What's the 10 day training schedule?

 

Day 0 - At Zerega, you fill out 19A paperwork, start your permanent record, sign initial depot transfers if you want to work out of Staten Island or Queens. You will get your depot assignments for Days 1-7, as well as your passes.

 

Day 1 - Pre-trip inspections, learning the airbrake test, "L" turns, getting to know the bus. (The one freebie day)

Day 2- More "L" turns, hooks and acute turns

Day 3- Bus stops

Day 4 - "EL" pillars, parallel parking and straight line backing

Day 5 - Driving in Upper Manhattan

Day 6 - Driving in Lower Manhattan

Day 7 - First qualification day

Day 8 - Re-training day if you have to go to Day 9, otherwise equipment training

Day 9 - Second qualification day in Upper Manhattan

Day 10 - Last qualification day out of Zerega

 

I qualified. Now what happens?

 

Between Days 7 to 10, you will be doing equipment training on the RTS, Nova and New Flyer (Xcelsior) models while you wait for the rest of your class to qualify. After Day 10, you will go down to the union for Day 11 and be back at Zerega for Day 12. After this, if you have a permit, you will be continue to report to a depot for a bit of a refresher course with a superintendent until you take your DMV road test. When you pass your road test, you will begin line training at your picked depot on the next day. If you already have your license when you qualify, then you will go straight to line training after G.I day. (Day 12)

 

How long is line training?

 

Depends on where you go. If you go anywhere but Staten Island, it will usually be 2 weeks. If you go to Staten Island, it will be approximately 6 weeks. During line training (not S.I), you will learn all of the lines assigned to your depot, local and express, usually in that order. If you are in S.I, you will rotate between Castleton, Yukon and the Charleston depots learning all the local lines in Staten Island for the first 3-4 weeks. For the remaining 2 weeks, you will ride around with the union learning the SI express routes. Regardless of how your class gets split, you will all be together for graduation after line training on the local lines.

 

What's this transfer paper that we sign on Day 0?

 

When you get hired, you are represented by TWU, which allows you to work in the Brooklyn TA depots and the Manhattan/Bronx OA depots. If you wish to work in Staten Island or Queens, which is represented by two different locals of ATU, you will have to request a transfer to either of these boros. When there is a space available for you, you will be asked if you want to transfer. It's an one shot deal and you can't return to any of the TWU represented depots, unless you originally was forced to S.I or Queens.

 

If you (or your entire class) gets forced to Staten Island or Queens, you will sign an additional transfer request, which will allow you to return to the TWU represented boros. It works the same way. They will ask you if you would like to come back when a spot opens up. If you deny it, you will be locked in to that boro for your career.

 

Important notes:

-Like I said, these transfers are one way, one shot deals. You only get two of them if you get forced to an ATU depot at the beginning. This is the only way that you will be allowed to work in SI/Queens and be able to return to BK/Bx/M. Of course, if your slot opens up and you say no, that's it, you're stuck.

 

-If you are waiting for your transfer to SI/Queens that you requested on Day 0, I believe that you do not lose your seniority. However, if you want to work in these boros and request your transfer afterwards, you will lose your seniority.

 

-If you are working in Staten Island, you can change depots every year. (System pick) If you are in Queens, you are stuck at that depot for life. (Jamaica, Stengel, Queens Village) Queens does not have any system picks.

 

Uniforms

 

You will get measured on Day 11 when you're down at the union hall. The uniforms will take forever to come. I started two months ago and I'm still waiting for my shirts and pants to show up. They will come piece by piece, they may come in the wrong sizes. Until you get it straightened out, continue wearing the training uniform. If you are starting training in August-October, be aware that the transition from summer to winter uniforms occurs. Don't get sent home/written up because you're out of uniform. Winter uniforms mean that you can't wear shorts and you need to wear your tie with both short/long sleeve shirts. If you are a student (read: Didn't graduate yet), then you cannot wear shorts at any time.

 

Benefits

See SubwayGuy's thread: http://www.nyctransitforums.com/forums/topic/49538-rto-new-hire-faq/

 

Tips

 

-Definitely whatever tips SubwayGuy mentioned in his thread.

 

-Definitely get your rest, eat and stay healthy. It takes one bad medical to disqualify you from driving and have you cleaning at the depot.

 

-Keep your license in shape too. You get it suspended or revoked, then they will say "Bye, we don't need you anymore." Know the driving laws that now apply to you now that you have a CDL, especially the 19A laws. If you at any time you are no longer a "19A Qualified" driver, then you won't be driving until you are qualified again. If you are required to keep a medical certificate on file, then you make sure you get the DOT medicals done and the paperwork submitted well before the old one expires. This is one of the common things that trips people up along with crossing the 9 point threshold.(See above for more info on both)

 

-Arrive early, 30 mins to 1 hr prior to your report time. When you're new and you're on your own, you won't be pre-tripping that bus and pulling out in those 5-10 minutes. Being early gives you the opportunity to take your time, get your OVCR card signed and give you some more time to deadhead to your first trip. MTA wants you to be on time twice a day -- reporting at the beginning of your run and any time you pull out from the depot.

 

-Don't be late.1 minute after your report time and your run is open for the operators sitting on the extra list. I'm working the extra list right now and I will gladly take your run with no shame. (And so will everyone else and MTA won't care) If it is hard to get to your work location, talk to your union reps and see how they can accommodate you. The earlier you bring up your issues, the better they can try to accommodate you. It's not an automatic thing but the goal for your first year is to get through probation with the cleanest record you can. Being AWOL, going sick because you can't make it to work won't work for you.

 

-Ask questions. No such thing as a stupid question. The more questions you ask, the more you'll understand the ins and outs of things. Know who to ask. It's okay to ask bus operators, dispatchers, etc., but you will have to figure out what's the legit answer/advice as opposed to bull. I'm not saying that anyone will lead you astray but there are people who will give you the wrong advice with the best intentions of helping you. When in doubt, definitely ask your union reps. Most of the time when someone can't give you a clear answer, they will direct you to the union... even if they do know the answer, they will tell you to ask the union. Also, ask if you're unsure. If you are on the road and unsure of something like the route, operating procedures, call console.

 

-Drive slow and always go back to what you've learned at Zerega. Zerega is your basics and over time, you will fine tune your operation for the real world. Try not to run any yellows. It's going to happen but try your best not to run them. Definitely don't run any reds, that will get you fired depending on the severity of it. If you're late, you will get put back on time. (Trust me, I've gotten placed several times already) If you're working a route that goes to the SI ferry, they will pressure you to get the ferry on time to make the boat. Dub it. I did it during line training. You get busted for speeding or an accident as a result thereof, it's on you. These people are not going to be giving you that $1100 every two weeks if you get fired. Also, no letting anyone out in the middle of the street. If there's no curb next to your bus, the answer is no. Don't let these people pressure you to do the wrong thing.

 

-Cover your ass. Unless it's a bus on it's first day of service, it's going to have damage. Write it up on your OVCR card and get it signed by the yard dispatcher before you go. This way, you won't be liable for the damage if let's say, the operator before you did the damage and didn't write it up. (You both go down if you didn't write it up) If the yard dispatcher refuses to sign, refuse the bus and ask for a new one. If you get a hard time past this, go to the union. When you're doing reliefs, if the operator that you're relieving can not explain the damage on the bus, refuse the bus. Something happens en route, write it on your trip sheet. Calls to console are recorded. Know who's who at the depot. Names are usually sufficient for management but if need be, get their pass #s for your reports.

 

-You will get warned countless times on what gets your probation extended. Don't get your probation extended. An extra 6 months of probation and undercover rides won't make it any easier on you, just because you didn't do something simple such as announcing your ADAs. Other things as driving with one hand, taking turns too fast, getting too many "bad rides", triggering the door alarm, running those yellows/reds will get you extended and/or taken out of service. Don't get extended, don't get taken out of service. Definitely don't be that much of a "F UP" to get extended twice and have to do a 2 year stint because at that point, you deserve to be fired. (Not that I wish that on you but you usually get extended once, and fired the second time)

 

-Keep in contact with your class and encourage them throughout training. This is the one support system that you'll have during your time here who actually understands everything going on with you and the job. People on the outside may or may not hold your thoughts, complaints, etc., with the same value because they don't understand. Also, you will be able to share information and answer each other's questions when not at work, etc.

 

-Save a few AVAs (holidays) in the beginning. This way, if you need a day off for an emergency, you will be able to take it without it being counted as "bad time off". If you're on probation, you have to pay back your bad time off in the form of your probation being extended day for day.

 

-Make the sacrifices. It's all part of the job. The job gets easier everyday after training. My class got forced to SI and only 4 of us live there. Yet, we are all making it happen. Do the best you can. A situation like this can and definitely will come across your way and if you think it won't, wait until you're stuck at the depot on mandatory report.

 

-Be happy, be positive, don't take all the insults personal. Enjoy the job.

 

-PM me with any questions. 100% of them, I will tell you to ask the union but feel free to ask nonetheless.

 

very well said

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So today makes 14 months on for me; made it through probation. Here's some common questions that I've asked or have been asked:

Taking Days Off - During probation, you can take [paid] days off without being extended. That means you can use your AVAs, OTO time and vacation days without being penalized. Now with that being said, you get your days, use them. A day out of the seat is a good day. You can use two days paired up with your RDOs to get a 4 day weekend. If you want to save all your days up, that's fine too. Me personally, I had the last 5 days of my probation off. Remember, you cannot use sick time / FMLA without being extended day for day.

Late Slips: Pay or OTO? - A common question is whether you should get paid for your late slips or put it towards your OTO bank. This is personal preference but in the beginning, you're going to be late A LOT and it's something that you can use to your advantage. The money that you can get through your late slips can also get eaten with taxes and deductions. Once the money is gone, it's gone. With OTO, the time you banked in January is good in July, you can get a day off with it and you paid for it. In Addition, OTO days can be used in the AVA and vacation books, in place of the actual AVA and Vacation days. It's useful because you have to wait for a holiday or January 1st to get those days back but you can re-up your OTO with every late slip.

Choosing A Run vs. Work Run vs. Extra List/VR: It boils down to stability, money and personal preference. They all have their own perks. If you own a run or work-run, you do the same thing every day (or every week) and you can develop some routine, make some plans, etc. Also, you have set days off which is an advantage. However, one advantage to having a work run is being able to be forced off for some holidays. For example for spring pick, I had a work run and was forced off for Memorial Day. (It was a Sunday schedule and my Monday run has Sunday-Monday off. I'm not sure if this was the reasoning but hey, I had a holiday off with pay, but no AVA) On the other hand, I had a regular run for Winter and Summer pick and had to work all the holidays (AVAs+pay) that didn't fall on my RDO.

Now with the Extra List, you do something different every day and more than likely, you will see the same thing at most, on a weekly basis. Being on XL gives you set days off but you can't be forced off for holidays unless that's guaranteed to you. (In SI for our holiday pick, we are guaranteed one holiday off [Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Xmas or New Years]) I used the list to learn all the routes out of the depot and figure out which routes I liked and those I did not. XL has given me the most amount of hours per pay period but schedule wise, I just had generic hours. One day I can get a 10 hour run, clear 2am, the next time a 8 hour run and clear 9pm. Another upside/downside is sitting on the board (on report) and having to do nothing all shift or going out on a run that puts me past my original clear time (which means the time I sat on report becomes OT) OTOH, I can be an hour away from clearing and get nailed with a full run. Also, while on the list, you can be subject to what's called a shuffle, where you can change your slot, which can be mean earlier/later work and/or different days off. One last thing: Being on XL allows you to pick up a run through the Bid/Hold Down picks that they have from time to time. A run that is a bid means that if you get it, you'll own it for the rest of the pick. A Hold Down means you own that run until the operator who owns it, returns to work.

Finally, Vacation Relief. This is the one thing that I have not done yet. VR means you do the work of someone on vacation for a week. You choose the work in slot order in 3-4 week blocks. (Usually) If you get a good slot, you can get good work/days off. If not, then you're going to get the leftovers. VR does not come with set days off since you assume the days off of the work you pick. This can however be used to string 4 RDOs together. Upsides is the good work, pay or days off which can help you plan on a week to week basis, downsides are the schedule changes week to week. One week you'll be on PMs, then you wind up on the hawk, go back to PMs and then AMs. (Depending on the slot)

 

Civil Service Exams & Promotions: Take them. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements to take the test, take it. Any civil service exam that you take, you are guaranteed to be accommodated for it. As for promotional exams, take any and all that your title promotes into. I'm taking the (SL) dispatcher exam next month and It doesn't hurt. You might get tired and need a change of scenery 3 years down the line or you might not be medically qualified to operate a bus anymore. This will help you have an "out" instead of having to resort to resigning or being miserable for the rest of your career.

Learning How Everything Works: The best advice I can give and have received is to educate yourself about everything in this job. A lot of people coming in from the outside do have a valid point that they're giving up holidays off, their schedule is going to be wonky, etc. Learn how to pick when the time comes around. Own the job, don't let it own you. I just started my second year and I have Xmas weekend and New Year's Day off. On top of that, I took a week off in December just using my saved AVA/OTO days with a 3 day work week for the first half of November. I don't have anything for seniority. I agree that the 5 years to top pay sucks but there's always opportunity for OT and it honestly takes time to get some footing. If you want more money, promote yourself to a title that will allow for such.

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Silly question.  Where do you punch in and out as a bus driver ? at the depot ? And overtime, do you get overtime on sunday or thursday ? or after 40 hours ? Thanks.

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You'll report ("punch in") and clear ("punch out") with the dispatcher at the depot. Overtime is considered as anything "unscheduled" that occurs during your day. For example, working on your day off, doing extra trips, being late in finishing your run are all instances where you'll get overtime. 

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8 hours ago, SevenEleven said:

You'll report ("punch in") and clear ("punch out") with the dispatcher at the depot. Overtime is considered as anything "unscheduled" that occurs during your day. For example, working on your day off, doing extra trips, being late in finishing your run are all instances where you'll get overtime. 

 

 

  Thats awesome.  Does every trip start and end at the depot ? Sometimes I see on 39st in brooklyn, I see bus drivers waiting there on the corner (outside the depot) like they are waiting for something. And sometimes I see them on 38st pulling in and out that area in the depot.

Edited by Moody

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Your report and clearing will always be at a depot. Each run will be different so one run you may have to bring your bus back to the depot while another, you will end in the street doing what's called a relief and will have to travel back to the depot. (As you saw at 39th Street) This is true in the reverse as well. 

With a lot of runs on Express, you will park your bus at a location in the city after the AM rush and have to take a shuttle bus back to your respective depot. 

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1 hour ago, SevenEleven said:

Your report and clearing will always be at a depot. Each run will be different so one run you may have to bring your bus back to the depot while another, you will end in the street doing what's called a relief and will have to travel back to the depot. (As you saw at 39th Street) This is true in the reverse as well. 

With a lot of runs on Express, you will park your bus at a location in the city after the AM rush and have to take a shuttle bus back to your respective depot. 

 Thank you seven eleven.  I took the boss exam for 7105 in december, my list # is 6**.  I know its going to take a while, im patient. 

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