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Hello All,

I am new here and quite frankly excited about the job that is, becoming a NYC MTA Bus Operator. I was educated to be a teacher and taught for a little while (maybe I can become a trainer down the line) but I always wanted to be a BO. Having said that, I took the MaBSTOA BOSS EXAM and passed. My list number is 578 and I passed my drug test and will soon take my physical. I was supposed to start last Spring but COVID put a damper on that. So now I am supposed to start some time in November, so so far so good. Now, I have a few questions: what can you tell me with regard to training, what to expect, and is having a CDL A good as far as the driving is concerned (I know the bus isn't articulated like a tractor trailer) but does it help with training, and how hard is the training? Lastly, what is the one year training like (assuming that you pass the seven-day training), and do you get to choose where you want to work as far as depots are concerned? Thank you for your advice. 

John B.

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Hi and welcome.

If you take a look at the Transit Employment forum, you'll see several threads regarding training for bus operator. You can get more pertinent information looking through the exam threads as well.

Training is as hard as you make it. I've seen supts talk good and bad about having to train tractor trailer drivers. It's not hard to drive the bus, use your knowledge from already having a CDL to your advantage. You already know how to pretrip to an extent, scan for hazards, forward plan and all that good stuff.

As for choosing your depot, you will be able to work out of all depots in Manhattan, Brooklyn and three depots in The Bronx. You won't be able to work out of any MTA Bus depot, Staten Island or Queens.

Coming out of training, you will be able to pick into a depot that has space for you (if you don't get forced to go somewhere) and then you'll be able to change depots every January. (When the system pick goes into effect)

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Hello and thank you! 

I want you to know how much I appreciate your feedback. It was exactly what I was looking for with regard to the training and depot questions that I was asking. I kind of figured that if I was in MaBSTOA it wouldn't be possible to work for SiRTOA or MTA Bus Company. Although, I did read an article that, like the NYPD, they consolidated under one pension system. As you remember in the past, there was "Housing, Transit, and Regular Police." Now, they're all one under one system. Having said that, do you think that the Bus companies will consolidate under one pension system as well? Making it easier for people to pick and choose (or maybe not based on the needs of the MTA) the depot of choice on the desired geographic area? Personally, I live in Staten Island, closer to NJ, but I have no problem traveling to and from work. I used to teach in the Far Rockaways and it took me over an hour to get to work and sometimes on certain days over three hours to return home depending on the traffic. I got used to waking up at 3:45 - 4:00 and I was always the number two man in the school building. I was never late and it made a great impression on the administration. However, regardless of the past experience. I just gained a love of traveling and the ability to rise to the challenge. 

Now, one more thing before I go. I also filled out an application (because of the long waiting period because of Covid. I was supposed to start training last Spring) filled out an application to be a NJ Transit Bus Operator. Now, they are calling me to come down for their physical. Having said that, I don't want to sound ignorant but is the NYC MTA better than NJ Transit? I do know that NJ Transit is the third largest in the country but I also heard that they are rife with problems. They are just now revamping their entire system and I also heard that they only have a six week training period. In fact, one guy I read about on Indeed.com didn't cut the mustard with NYC MTA and ended up training with NJ Transit and stated that their training is substandard to NYC MTA's training. So I'm guessing that he is stating the obvious with regard to the differences in training standards and company differences as well. What is your opinion about that? Thank you again, have a great week and stay safe! 

John

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They've been trying to consolidate everything into one "MTA" but there is way too much involved. One of the things that they have to do is consolidate seniority list across four locals of two different unions. (The 1 TWU local and 3 ATU locals) I'm not (and trust, neither would you be) okay with someone bumping me completely out of Staten Island because they have more time than me. I have 4 years on the job and I already can get vacation in June. That's not happening in the TWU depots.

Second if there was a merge, then it comes down to who is representing us as a whole. I have respect for TWU and all but I'm keeping ATU. As far as pensions go, they would have to make OA and MTA Bus civil servant positions before anything but it goes back to the differences between us. I had to take a test for this civil service position (which determined my pension) and get a score solely based on my effort. (which determined seniority among my classmates) The other two groups just got a random list number from jump. So why should they have access to the same pension as us? That's not how I feel specifically but that's exactly the kind of concerns that will be raised considering a merge.

It's great that you're used to traveling but trust, it's different when you have to drive all day, just to drive some more. Again you're OA and you live in SI, so a proper commute is in your vocabulary unfortunately. Upside though is that two Brooklyn depots -- Jackie Gleason and Ulmer Park are the closest off the VZ, and one Manhattan depot - Quill is near the Lincoln Tunnel. That can soften the blow on the commute. (And you can take public to/from Quill, so free.99 on tolls and gas)

I've never worked for NJT so I can't speak on it. MTA definitely does have the better pay and benefits imo. That, a pension, retirement plans, and the ability to move around (depot wise and position wise). I can get more in depth if you want.

Good luck with your hire process!

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Hello,

It's interesting but I thought I responded to you right after you sent this last message but my i-phone has been acting funny ever since my last update, but I will replace it soon with Spectrum. From what I hear they are pretty good! Anyway, I start training on Sunday at Zarega. Now, I have a few questions. I already purchased a blue shirt, blue tie, and black shoes, but is there parking available at Zarega Bus Depot? I am asking because I am coming all the way from Staten Island through New Jersey. I want to get there early and someone from the MTA over at 180 Livingston St told me that there isn't parking at the depot; is that true? I have also seen a few parking garages about 20 minutes walking distance North of the facility on 2020 Westchester Ave, so I might try that instead but ideally parking at the depot would be excellent. In addition, I realize that I should have taken the SiRTOA exam when it became available some time ago because I would have liked to work in Staten Island, but when I saw the MaBSTOA exam I just took a chance without thinking about the aggravation I may cause myself with the amount of money I will need to spend to go to and from a distant NYC Depot. I also know that they pick and instructor for you and the training can be in NYC, the Bronx, or Brooklyn. Personally, living in Staten Island is expensive enough considering now that they decided to put tolls in both spots (that is coming and going). I know that the city had proposed stopping some of the commercial NJ traffic that way. Let's hope that works considering the amount of traffic that we get. Lastly, do we go to Zarega for one day and then we're assigned an instructor and a depot? Again, thank you for your time and patience. I look forward to working hard and that feeling that you get when you had a productive day! I used to feel that way when I was a teacher in the Rockaways. Now, it's an entirely different ball game but and interesting one nevertheless. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you! 

John B. 

 

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2 hours ago, JohnnyB11 said:

Hello,

It's interesting but I thought I responded to you right after you sent this last message but my i-phone has been acting funny ever since my last update, but I will replace it soon with Spectrum. From what I hear they are pretty good! Anyway...

If you type in "750 Zerega Avenue, Bronx, NY" into Google, you will see that the facility is adjacent to three School Bus Companies and the Bronx Sanitation Department Garage. Therefore, parking should be a breeze on a Sunday, unless there is something going on, which is extremely rare. In addition, the meters are suspended on Sundays as well, which helps a lot. Next, you will be going to Zerega for "Day Zero" and you will be assigned an instructor and a depot for the next seven to nine days. For more information, click here.

Finally, what the exam number for the MaBSTOA exam you took? In the event you are not aware, we have a Transit Employment Section with threads dedicated to the various open competitive and promotional examinations, between Bus Operator, Conductor Dispatcher, Station Agent, Track Worker, Train Operator, etc. Therefore, since this thread is dedicated to "new members," such as yourself, you might want to check out the threads that pertain to you and read what other members have already posted, including the handouts which I highly recommend.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask. The only thing we ask is that, as per the guidelines of this website, if you can do so in the relevant topics and/or threads, it would be appreciated.

Again, welcome to the Forums!!

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Hi John,

Young pretty covered everything about going to Zerega. Just keep in mind that you will be reporting there for at least 4-5 days before you get to being on your own. At least that was before COVID. You may find some of your classmates may also be from Staten Island so maybe y'all can arrange a car pool on the days you have to be at Zerega.

Stick with the OA, it's a better deal. When the next TA test comes out, take it. When they call, you will just have to do the drug test and medical again BUT you will be transferred to being a TA employee. They will let you stay at your current depot but you will lose your seniority. However, by being a TA operator now, you can put in for a transfer to Staten island. You will unfortunately lose your seniority (again) when you come to SI but at least you'll be home. 

Good luck with training. 

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Hello,

I want you to know that you really gave me a lot of confidence moving forward for training. I was literally freaking out about Zarega because of the parking situation. I really didn't want to pay a lot of money in a parking lot for two weeks of training. It's a lot of money considering the tolls and the gas consumption. Lastly, as far as my list number is concerned, it is #5** and I took the BOSS Exam #9100. Can my list number help me with regard to taking other tests for other jobs? I am not familiar with list numbers but my recruiter/analyst at 180 Livingston St., told me it is a good number. Is that true? Lastly, what can you tell me about the area at Zarega. I will be there bright and early driving over from Staten Island and I just want to know if it is safe, let's say during a weekday you're coming from Westchester Ave (2020 Westchester Ave Parking lot). Lastly, I will take your advice and see if there are any other Staten Islanders there that can carpool with me. That sounds like an excellent idea! Thank you again and I look forward to meeting you someday. As I mentioned before, you have helped me tremendously and really made me confident with regard to the training. Have a good day and stay safe. 

John B.

PS: I will follow the forums and look for the necessary handouts and fliers for the specific jobs. 

Edited by +Young+
Identity purposes...

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1 hour ago, JohnnyB11 said:

Hello,

I want you to know that you really gave me a lot of confidence moving forward for training...

On behalf of myself and SevenEleven, you're welcome! You are aware that there is a thread for Exam #9100, which can be viewed here, right? If you have the time, I would encourage you to look through the thread. A lot of the questions that you might have at this moment have probably already been answered in this particular thread.

Unfortunately your current list number can not help you in regards to taking other examinations. Just keep an eye out on this page and when you see that the "NYCT" (aka "TA") Agency has a "Bus Operator" title, that is the one you should apply to. If I had to take an educated guess, the next one won't be out for at least a year or two, depending upon how fast they move with the current "TA" lists. Obviously, the COVID-19 situation didn't help, but we'll see what happens as time progresses.

As far as the area at Zerega: You need to keep in mind that you will be there during the daytime hours, such as 6 AM to 2 PM, 7 AM to 3 PM, or something similar. Therefore, just like in any other parts of New York City, it is definitely safer during the daytime hours than the nighttime hours. I wouldn't say it is 100% safe, especially since you can't trust a stranger regardless of where you are, however it's "safe" during the daytime hours.

Finally, you are aware that this is a public forum in which anyone can read this information, right? The reason why I bring this up is because I edited your last post to remove your last name and your specific list number. Therefore, going forward, if you can please be careful when revealing any specific information, it would be appreciated.

Good luck with the 7-Day training session!!

Edited by +Young+
Typographical correction
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Hello,

I will remember the advice with regard to privacy issues. I can only imagine what kind of damage that would have done to me. As for me, I took the BOSS exam without studying because it's a psychology exam. I have taken similar tests like that before for the NYC DOE with the exception that, my test required over 100 questions with two written essays. That was an easy test because it was basic common sense. However, I did see that a MTA Bus Company test was coming up for a part-time bus operator, but they're still using the BOSS exam. The "1301" test is expected to come out in February of 2021. Having said that, do you think I should take that test to get my foot into the MTA Bus Company door? Assuming that, I would hopefully be driving by then and having some experience. Do you think as a trainee, my depot will allow me to take that test? Thank you again. 

John

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Hello

I am just going to follow your advice. I want you to know that I appreciate it very much. Now, I just have to get there on time. I am coming from Staten Island, so I will more than likely take the 278 to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, to the FDR, to the Willis Ave Bridge, to the Bruckner and get off at Zarega Ave. I hope that'll be the best route. Have a good and safe weekend. 

John

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On 11/6/2020 at 2:52 PM, JohnnyB11 said:

Hello,

I will remember the advice with regard to privacy issues. I can only imagine what kind of damage that would have done to me. As for me, I took the BOSS exam without studying because it's a psychology exam. I have taken similar tests like that before for the NYC DOE with the exception that, my test required over 100 questions with two written essays. That was an easy test because it was basic common sense. However, I did see that a MTA Bus Company test was coming up for a part-time bus operator, but they're still using the BOSS exam. The "1301" test is expected to come out in February of 2021. Having said that, do you think I should take that test to get my foot into the MTA Bus Company door? Assuming that, I would hopefully be driving by then and having some experience. Do you think as a trainee, my depot will allow me to take that test? Thank you again. 

John

That MTA Bus exam is for part time work out of Spring Creek depot in BK. You're gonna be taking a step backwards if you went to MTA Bus. Like I said, stick with the MabstOA until a TA test comes out. It's all the same training, same job.

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6 hours ago, JohnnyB11 said:

Hello

I am just going to follow your advice. I want you to know that I appreciate it very much. Now, I just have to get there on time. I am coming from Staten Island, so I will more than likely take the 278 to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, to the FDR, to the Willis Ave Bridge, to the Bruckner and get off at Zarega Ave. I hope that'll be the best route. Have a good and safe weekend. 

John

With you leaving early, you might be able to take the BQE to the Brooklyn Bridge and then get the FDR from there. It'll save you that one too. Check Google Maps or Waze before you leave so you can get the best route.

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