Imagine supervising up to 200 people. It sounds like a big challenge, but being one of Edmonton Transit’s Bus Operations Supervisors is a remarkably rewarding opportunity. If you have organizational skills and people-person abilities, you might aspire to this role.

Job Overview

Within Edmonton Transit, there are 10 Bus Operations Supervisors who each supervise up to 200 Transit Operators. Bus Operations Supervisors are assigned to a specific division and report to a Division Supervisor

The daily supervision of up to 200 Transit Operators involves day-to-day performance monitoring, coaching and providing direction. Supervisors also meet with Operators every day on various matters and provide personal support and recognition. They deal with ad hoc issues such as vacation/shift changes, facility or safety concerns and other employee issues.

Bus Operations Supervisors are responsible for performance management. This includes performance recognition, attendance management, coaching, and discipline. Bus Operations Supervisors conduct probationary reviews for new Operators and annual performance reviews for permanent Operators.

To manage performance of such a large group of direct-reports, Bus Operations Supervisors rely on the Operator performance management system which tracks and records information about Operator performance. Information includes customer complaints and accolades, driving safety issues, etc.

Bus Operations Supervisors monitor and analyze the information regularly and determine if direct intervention is required. Otherwise, they provide performance feedback at the annual performance review. Bus Operations Supervisors are responsible for investigating issues and complaints, disciplining operators if required, and coaching for performance improvement.

As part of the division management team, the Bus Operations Supervisors are responsible for provision of scheduled and non-scheduled bus service. They ensure compliance with ETS operating standards and procedures.

Working Environment

Bus Operations Supervisors work out of an office in the assigned ETS garage. They are not out on the road. As issues or complaints arise, the Supervisor must investigate and address them. Gathering all of the relevant facts can require significant time and effort. Personal contact with Operators is limited as Operators are usually outside the facility, on the road. 

Hours of Work

Bus Operations Supervisors work standard business hours, Monday to Friday. However, they must be flexible and prepared to work extra hours if required to address issues.

What Bus Operations Supervisors Like About This Job

  • The opportunity to have a positive impact on the working life of Operators.
  • The opportunity to have input into business planning and be involved in various projects.
  • The authority to make decisions.

Unique Characteristics and Challenges of This Job

Bus Operations Supervisors must be able to build and maintain relationships with Operators despite limited contact. The logistics for arranging meetings are challenging. Operators sign for shifts and do not always report to the same division or Supervisor.

Investigating issues and getting all of the relevant information is challenging and Bus Operations Supervisors must find a way to let Operators have the opportunity to present their side of the story.

Having to quickly assess and understand situations and decide on appropriate actions is challenging.

Success Factors

  • You have an operational knowledge of Transit.
  • You are good at connecting with Transit Operators.
  • You have excellent time–management skills.
  • You are a good listener.
  • You are good at building relationships.
  • You have the ability to influence and make decisions. 
  • You are good at coordinating tasks and functions and setting priorities.
  • You are good at setting and communicating performance standards.
  • You are good at monitoring performance against goals, standards and assignments.
  • You have the ability to coach, mentor, and help staff with personal development.
  • You are good at recognizing employees for their efforts.
  • You cooperate with others to meet goals and objectives.
  • You have excellent problem-solving skills.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor Degree in Business Administration or a related field from an approved post secondary institute, supplemented by training in management and leadership practices.
  • Minimum of six years progressively responsible management or leadership experience within a unionized environment. Experience within the Transit industry is preferred. 
  • The Bus Operations Supervisors works within a unionized environment and must be knowledgeable of the collective agreements between the City of Edmonton and unionized employees.
  • Knowledge and experience dealing with human resources management practices and issues.
  • Ability to work with a large and diverse group and effectively develop individuals and teams.

Union Affiliation

The Bus Operations Supervisor is a management position. Classification, compensation, and working conditions are governed by Total Rewards Program for management.

Preparing for This Job

A thorough understanding of the ATU 569 collective agreement and working knowledge of all areas of Bus Operations is highly desirable. Work experience as an Operator, Dispatcher, Inspector or Superintendent would provide relevant experience and preparation. Incumbents should also be able to organize work and communicate effectively, and have well-developed stress management and counseling skills.