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City of Torrance
Class Code: 5104

Class Designation: Civil Service

February 2009 (Revised)

Representation Unit: Torrance Municipal Employees Org. (AFSCME) 


Transit Dispatcher


Under general supervision, operates communication systems utilizing radio, telephone and computer equipment to provide assistance to Bus Operators and the public; provides information to the public; dispatches personnel and equipment in response to service requests and to organize and coordinate the activities of field units; maintains records of activities in response to service requests; leads, instructs and directs in areas of safe driving practices, customer service, schedule maintenance and compliance with Division rules and policies; and performs other related work as required.
Distinguishing Characteristics
Distinguished from Bus Operator in that incumbents regularly perform dispatch functions of the division and drive buses over assigned routes when necessary. Transit Dispatcher is distinguished from Bus operator in that this is a full-time position with a minimum of three years of experience in the operation of a bus, and possession of all required credentials.   At this level, incumbents work with only occasional instruction or assistance; work requires incumbents to exercise sound judgment in selecting appropriate guidelines to follow; significant deviations require prior approval.

Supervision Exercised/Received

Supervision is received from the Transit Operations Supervisor, Senior Business Manager, or Transit Operations Manager.  The Transit Dispatcher provides instruction and technical direction to Bus Operators, Relief Bus Operators and Apprentice Relief Bus Operators.

Examples of Essential Duties

The following duties represent the principal job duties however, they are not all-inclusive.
  • Coordinates and dispatches all bus operator assignments for revenue service, special events and emergency response;
  • Inputs general payroll information into the Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) system and verifies accuracy of data/information;
  • Provides instruction and direction to operators in areas such as customer service, safe driving practices, schedule maintenance and 8/80 log compliance;
  • Assists in the training and development of new operators; provides on-going training and instruction in areas related to passenger relations, safety, accident prevention, bus maintenance; and keeps records of training provided, course content and attendees;
  • Checks on and communicates with supervisors regarding stops and zones, terminals and line checks, employee performance and may provide feedback to the Transit Supervisor to assist with performance evaluations;
  • Identifies, checks and reports operational problems and incidents to supervisors; makes recommendations and proposes solutions to operational issues;
  • Prepares written reports regarding transit operations, accidents, breakdowns, and mechanical defects; assists in entering payroll, 8/80 log checking and monitoring run assignments.
  • Drives a bus over an assigned route and on a fixed schedule when necessary; collects fares and drives with due regard to safety and comfort of passengers and the maintenance of time schedules;
  • Greets patrons, answers questions regarding routes and time schedules concerning the Torrance Transit System and connecting lines in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area;
  • Keeps and prepares simple records such as tracking seat time, completing pre-trip inspections reports and incident reports;
  • Maintains, supports, and promotes a safe work environment while complying with all safety rules, regulations, policies, and procedures to ensure the well being of Torrance Transit customers and employees;
  • Responsible for complying with all City and departmental work rules, policies, and procedures, as well as DMV and all State and Federal mandates as required.
  • Examples of Other Duties

    The following duties represent duties that are generally performed by this position, but are not considered to be principal job duties:
    Performs other related duties as required.

    Qualification Guidelines

    Knowledge of
  • Torrance Transit system operations, rules and regulations, including bus operation, pre-trip inspection, routes and schedules;
  • Safety principles and regulations applicable to bus operations including the California Vehicle Code and neighboring cities' traffic regulations;
  • Customer service practices including courtesy to passengers, sensitivity to passengers with disabilities, stop announcements, responding to questions and providing information and direction to customers;
  • Proper bus safety and maintenance inspections procedures;
  • Two-way radio procedures and codes.
  • Ability to
  • Operate a passenger bus safely and effectively in accordance with the California Vehicle Code and local traffic regulations;
  • Read and interpret bus routes and schedules;
  • Arrive on-time and work independently with minimal supervision;
  • Communicate politely and cooperatively with passengers, employees and members of the public;
  • Exercise tact and sound judgment when resolving operational and passenger problems;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, other City employees, and employees of other transit agencies;
  • Understand and follow detailed oral and written instructions
  • Interpret and successfully maneuver traffic pattern flows and potential road hazards;
  • Inspect a bus for safe operation;
  • Identify and report equipment malfunctions and safety hazards;
  • Collect and count fares, issue transfer tickets and transport passengers on public transit buses;
  • Perform simple arithmetic computations;
  • Provide training to bus operators following a structured training outline;
  • Speak, read, and write basic English;
  • Operate a two-way radio;
  • Maintain basic records and complete reports;
  • Adhere to all City and departmental rules, policies and procedures, as well as DMV and all State and Federal mandates as required
  • Perform and exercise sound judgment in stressful or emergency situations.
  • License or Certificate

    Current California Class A or B Drivers License with a P endorsement and air brakes.
    Current VTT (Verification of Transit Training), SPAB card (School Pupil Activity Bus Certificate), or School Bus Driver's Certificate is desirable.

    Education and Experience

    Any combination of education and experience that would have provided the knowledge and skills required is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
    Three years of full-time experience as a Bus Operator at the City of Torrance or comparable agency.

    Special Requirements

    Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions:
    A current DMV H-6 record showing a ten-year driving history, and no points within the last three (3) years.
    Ability to pass Department of Motor Vehicles Medical Certificate examination.
    Work is performed indoors (i.e. on the bus) but regularly outside in seasonal climate and weather conditions.  Drives for prolonged period of time with limited rest breaks.  Heavy city traffic conditions are encountered on a daily basis.  Follows a schedule.  Noise from traffic and a two-way radio, slippery surfaces and dust are situations regularly encountered.  Physical demands include driving, walking, constant arm movements and sitting for long periods of time.
    These positions are considered safety-sensitive and subject to drug and alcohol testing, including random testing, under Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) drug and alcohol regulations.
    Position requires availability to work various shifts on weekdays, weekends, evenings, and holidays.

    Career Ladder Information

    Experience gained in this classification may serve to meet the minimum requirements for promotion to Transit Supervisor.