MTS Bumps up Starting Pay of Bus Operators to $22.71 per Hour

Agency extends $5,000 sign-on bonus for bus operator new hires indefinitely 

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San Diego – Driving a bus for the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) just got a little more lucrative as the agency announced it is bumping up starting pay more than $2 per hour, from $20.21 to $22.71. Tiered pay increases for existing bus operators will also be implemented to keep pace and provide incentive to stay long-term with the agency. 

Additionally, MTS will continue offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for newly hired bus operators and is actively recruiting for a wide range of jobs to support the system’s growth. This includes dozens of positions for Trolley operators, bus operators, electro-mechanics, station ambassadors, administrative positions, and more. 

The pay increases and bonuses are part of a larger strategy to hire and retain workers needed for critical frontline positions. 

“Like many businesses in the service sector, MTS is managing its way through a workforce shortage,” said Sharon Cooney, MTS Chief Executive Officer. “Bus operator is one of the most important jobs at MTS. It’s also a very gratifying career path when you provide an essential service for so many people. These pay increases and sign-on bonuses serve as an incentive for those seeking a career path in transportation and help MTS continue operating a great system for our region.” 

MTS has a wide range of job openings and many departments welcome applicants with different levels of expertise. MTS offers paid training for select positions including bus, Trolley and maintenance operations. Other benefits, depending on the department, include: affordable healthcare, pensions and/or generous contributions to tax deferred retirement accounts, a transit pass for employees and dependents, public loan forgiveness, tuition reimbursement, wellness programs, professional development, and much more. 

How to Apply:

  • Visit the MTS career page, browse job openings, and applications must be submitted through the portal. For more information about the sign-on bonuses and qualification requirements, visit   

About MTS

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates more than 100 bus routes and three Trolley lines in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego. MTS is a leader in advancing initiatives to create a greener, cleaner and better-connected transit system in San Diego. Each weekday nearly 200,000 passenger trips are taken throughout the MTS system taking people to work, school, health appointments and other essential trips. In FY 2022, MTS served more than 57 million riders. For service schedule updates, news, alerts and more information on how you can use public transportation, go to


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