Are you detail-oriented? Do you have keen problem-solving skills? Are you able to tackle a job that requires pain-staking accuracy? Shift Designer might be the role for you. Shift Designers are an integral part of the Transit team, piecing together elements of a complex system to make it work smoothly and seamlessly.

Job Overview

Shift Designers are responsible for creating the major Operator signups each year. Preparing and administering the signups, and producing the supporting documents and running boards are the major responsibilities. Shift Designers report to the Supervisor of Shift Design.

Creating the major Operator signups involves taking scheduled bus service for all service levels and holidays, cutting it into pieces of work, and then putting it together to create complete shifts for the Operators. This is done while balancing a number of cost and human factors.

Shift Designers prepare statistical and operational reports and distribute them to various stakeholders.

Completed signups are hung in each of the operational garages and the signups are administered by this section. All running boards are assembled for each signup, including the special levels of service, which are then delivered at the appropriate time.

Shift Designers must meet with Union representatives regarding upcoming signups and correspondence with Operators and others regarding shift details.

Working Environment

Shift Designers currently work in office space located at Davies Shop. Each Shift Designer has individual office space for concentrated work and there is a common work area used for group-related activities.

Shift Designers work through several cycles a year to create and administer the major signups. They have to make numerous decisions regarding the creation of shifts, keeping in mind a number of factors which ultimately determine the cost effectiveness of each signup.

Shift Designers must pay close attention to detail and work with a high degree of accuracy because the output of the Shift Design section is used by many other sections in the operation of Edmonton Transit’s service.

Most work is performed in an office setting. Several times a year Shift Designers visit each operational garage for the purpose of posting signups, and delivering and picking up signup materials. Deliveries can involve lifting and transporting several heavy boxes (up to 50 pounds) of materials in winter conditions and in the summer heat.

Hours of Work

Shift Designers work regular weekday business hours (75 hours per pay period) and are eligible to participate in the “Earned Day Off” (EDO) program.

Relief Shift Designers undergo a long training period of up to 1.5 years. After training, they are involved in the development of the Operator signups (3 – 4 weeks for each major signup). They also provide vacation coverage for the Permanent Shift Designers.

What Shift Designers Like About This Job

  • Working on a variety of challenging tasks.
  • The satisfaction of doing a challenging job well, on time, and without errors.
  • The office location and layout, and the hours of work.
  • The camaraderie of working in a small team. 
  • The feeling that everyone’s opinion is heard and matters and that they can make a difference.

Unique Characteristics and Challenges of This Job

The learning curve for Shift Designers is steep and it takes a long time to become proficient. But the challenge of creating the best possible work for Operators while keeping budget costs down makes it worthwhile. There is always some problem solving to be done.

When preparing the Operator signups, accuracy is very important. Shift Designers are constantly checking their own work to ensure that completed signups are complete and error free.

Shift Designers are also privy to confidential and personal information.

Success Factors

  • You understand the Transit Operator job and the types of shifts they work.
  • You have strong computer skills.
  • You have excellent interpersonal skills and a genuine interest in people.
  • You have the ability to multi-task.
  • You are even tempered and can handle pressure.
  • You have the ability to think logically and creatively with good problem solving skills.
  • You are respectful of others.
  • You have the ability to coach employees.
  • You have effective communication skills.
  • You have a strong work ethic.
  • You work well alone and in a group setting.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Completion of Grade 12.
  • Minimum of 5 years experience as a Transit employee with experience in two or more areas including Operator and Inspector, Dispatcher, Scheduler or Training Instructor.
  • Proficiency in common working software packages and ability to learn new software quickly.
  • Strong knowledge of the transit industry.
  • Able to multi-task with attention to detail.
  • Able to make accurate mathematical calculations.
  • Able to work in a team environment with a customer service approach.
  • Knowledge of ETS standards, policies and procedures.
  • Knowledge of the ATU 569 Collective Agreement relating to shifts and signups.
  • Able to lift boxes up to 50 pounds for deliveries to various garages.

Union Affiliation

Shift Designers are members of the Amalgamated Transit Union 569. Classification, compensation and working conditions are governed by the Collective Agreement.

Preparing for This Job

Experience as a Transit Operator and one or more other areas of Transit, plus strong computer skills are necessary. You must be trained and experienced as a Relief Shift Designer before moving to a permanent position.