KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After recently reducing bus service due to a driver shortage, Knoxville Area Transit is hoping higher pay will attract new employees.

KAT is looking for full-time bus operators, trolley operators, and maintenance service team members. The company said they are hoping a recently-approved increase in wages will encourage more people to apply.

  • For bus operators, pay starts at $18 an hour with raises yearly until reaching the top hourly wage of $25.20/hour after four years, which equals $52,000 annually.
  • Trolley operators begin with an hourly wage of $16.55 while Maintenance Service team members start at $17.92.

A KAT spokesperson said that the positions also include a wide range of benefits such as health, vision, and dental insurance, retirement contributions, life insurance, paid vacation and sick leave.

To give potential employees the chance to learn more, KAT is holding two job fairs at Knoxville Station Transit Center on Church Avenue.

  • Thursday, September 29 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

At the fair, KAT will have an electric vehicle on-site so interested applicants can take a close look at their “workspace.” For those interested, interviews will also be held during the events.

“This job fair is a great opportunity for potential employees to come learn about what we do, talk to team members, and apply and interview for these positions,” says Isaac Thorne, Director of Transit. “Some potential employees may be given offers at the job fair itself.”

An ongoing worker shortage has led to KAT reducing bus service and reaching out to Knox County CAC Transit to help fill some of the gaps. Service has not been able to return to regular levels since November 2020 due to both COVID-related issues and a lack of drivers. At the end of August, KAT’s director of Planning and Public Information said they were down about 50 bus operators.

To work for KAT, you must be 21 years or older, have a high school diploma or GED, have a TN driver’s license and be legally eligible for employment in the USA. To learn more, click here.