Learn how to select reliable, safe, and customer-oriented bus operators.


For almost 15 years, APTA’s process for selecting reliable, safe, and customer-oriented bus operators has benefited transit systems nationwide. The Bus Operator Selection System (BOSS) was researched and developed with the firm of EB Jacobs, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and APTA-member transit system CEOs and training directors. The end result – the most reliable source in operator selection today.


BOSS is a selection process consisting primarily of a pre-employment screening survey and structured interview process. The 75-item BOSS survey is administrable by means of paper-and-pencil or online via computer (“eBoss”). With eBoss, test results are available immediately for online testing and for paper-and-pencil tests when administrators hand enter candidate responses into the system.

The structured interview process is an optional, complimentary companion to the BOSS survey and includes a pool of standardized questions and behaviorally anchored rating scales and is linked specifically to the job of bus operator. The training materials instruct staff on the focus of interview questions, given different patterns of candidate scores.


APTA’s study of over 800 bus operators hired using the BOSS system projected an average of seven fewer missed days per operator and 20% fewer accidents per year. Transit staff indicated they saved $2,500 per operator in the first year’s costs for absenteeism, tardiness, accident/incident liability, training drop-outs, and by interviewing fewer candidates to fill the positions.

Boss Usage Fees

There is an annual fee of $1,000 per property that includes BOSS access, full eBOSS platform access, access to BOSS scores and reports online, any program updates, and up to two hours of technical and consulting support via telephone. This fee is assessed on a calendar basis in January of each year, however, it is not charged during the year of enrollment into the program. Additional technical and consulting support is available on a per-hour basis.

The per-candidate scoring fee depends on which “scoring option” your organization chooses based on the preferred level of predictive information required for each candidate tested:

The “BOSS” scoring option is $10 per candidate and includes scores on Attendance and Safety measures, a Score Group Category for each candidate indicating potential performance on the job, and an Honesty Score Category used to identify if a candidate is misrepresenting him or herself.

The “BOSS PLUS” scoring option is $13.50 per candidate and includes the same scores and categories provided with the BOSS scoring option plus a Customer Service Score Category used to predict a candidate’s customer service performance on the job.

Scores for paper-and-pencil administrations scored by EB Jacobs are posted on eBOSS and can be accessed online via a web browser. Transmittal of scores via fax and FedEx incur additional costs.

Structured Interview Tools

When you register as a BOSS user you will receive a structured interview process that covers everything you will need for conducting an interview that will treat candidates in a fair and consistent manner and will yield important decision support information for the selection process. You will receive a pool of standardized questions to select from, behaviorally anchored rating scales for assessing different dimensions of performance, training materials, and up to three hours of consulting assistance via telephone: $1,800 for one transit property; $1,500 per property in a consortium of four to nine properties; or $1,200 per property for ten or more properties. Additional technical and consulting support is available on a per-hour basis. On-site training is also available and will be billed at separate rates than those listed above.

For More Information

If you have questions or want more information, please contact Pamela Boswell at (202) 496-4803 or email pboswell@apta.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email