Career Opportunities

MBTA 2009 Job Lottery

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pre-Job Lottery?
The Pre-Job Lottery is your opportunity to register to learn more about the upcoming Job Lottery. Interested applicants can complete a Pre-Job Lottery Form to learn more about the 2009 MBTA Job Lottery. After completing and submitting a Pre-Job Lottery Form, you will be entered into a database to receive notices, updates, and information about the 2009 Job Lottery, including information about how to apply.

You may fill out the Pre-Job Lottery form on line at, or you may obtain a Pre-Job Lottery Form by writing to:

MBTA Pre-Job Lottery
Ten Park Plaza, Room 5720
Boston, MA 02116

Pre-registration begins April 1, 2009 and ends in August of 2009. Please note: registering on a Pre-Job Lottery Form does not enter you into the 2009 Job Lottery.

When will the 2009 Job Lottery begin?
The 2009 MBTA Job Lottery is scheduled to begin in August 2009 and will remain open for approximately eight (8) weeks.

What positions are available in the 2009 Job Lottery?
There are five positions available in the 2009 Lottery:
*Part-Time Motorperson - $19.62 per hour**
Part-Time Bus Operator - $19.62 per hour**
Part-Time Streetcar Motorperson - $19.81 per hour**
Full-Time Track Laborer - $18.04 per hour
Part-Time Customer Service Agent (CSA) - $19.10 per hour**
*Will be required to work as a Part-Time Train Attendant ($19.34) and/or Part-Time Customer Service Agent.
**Starting wages are $10.00 per hour during training.

What are the requirements for entering the Lottery?
All applicants must be at least 18 years old. Lottery positions require a high school diploma or GED and the ability to comprehend, communicate and respond to instructions, orders, signs, notices, inquiries, etc in English. Selected candidates must pass a qualifying written exam in English, a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check (Part-Time CSA does not currently require a CORI check), and physical exam including drug/alcohol screens.

Do I need any specialized training to apply?
No specialized training is needed to apply. However, successful candidates for the Part-Time Bus Operator position must obtain a Class B CDL learner's permit with General Knowledge, Air Brakes and Passenger endorsements prior to being hired. Information on how to obtain the permit is available through the Registry of Motor Vehicles at or 617-351-4500. After you have been hired as a Part-Time Bus Operator, the MBTA will assist you in obtaining a CDL driver's license.

When the Lottery opens in August 2009 and I submit a Lottery coupon, what happens next?
Once you complete the Job Lottery Coupon and send it in, your name will be entered into the Lottery. For each position you selected, you will be randomly assigned a Lottery number. You will receive a letter notifying you of your Lottery number assignment(s). When MBTA hiring demands dictate, Lottery applicants will be informed through the mail of an upcoming test. This invitation to test letter will contain information on test location, date, time and any other testing requirements. The invitation to test letter will only be sent to a proportional number of applicants (in Lottery number order) needed to fill the current operational vacancies.

Will applying to the Lottery multiple times increase my chances of being selected?
Multiple entries will not increase your chances of being selected. Each applicant should apply only one time, as only one application will count as an entry into the Lottery.

How long will it take for me to be tested?
Being assigned a random Lottery number does not mean you will be tested. The MBTA tests Lottery applicants as required by operational demand. Many applicants to the 2009 Lottery will not be invited to test during the approximate 2 year run.

How long will it take for me to be hired?
If you successfully complete all steps of the hiring process, it can take anywhere from two (2) weeks to two (2) years to be hired. The MBTA Human Resources Department hires based on the needs of operating departments. As a candidate for a Lottery position, your numbers will remain active until the 2009 Job Lottery expires, about two (2) years.

What happens if I move or my name and/or telephone number changes while waiting to be hired?
If you change your address, name and/or telephone number during the life of the Lottery, you must notify the MBTA Human Resources Department in writing. To ensure accurate name and address changes, your written notification must include both the existing information that needs to be changed and the new, updated information. Failure to notify the MBTA in writing and to include all required information may result in your disqualification from the Lottery. All name and address changes should be mailed to:

MBTA Human Resources
10 Park Plaza, Room 4810
Boston, MA 02116
ATTN: 2009 Lottery

What happens if I accept a Lottery position? Am I still eligible for other Lottery positions?
If you accept a Lottery position and are hired, you are then ineligible for any other Lottery position.

If I get hired as a Part-Time Bus Operator, can I switch over to another position once I am hired?
Yes, it is possible to transfer from a Part-Time Bus Operator to another Lottery position, but very difficult. The ability to transfer to other Lottery positions within the Authority is dependant entirely on seniority and may take several years to become eligible. You cannot transfer from another Lottery position to a Part-Time Bus Operator.

What happens if I refuse a Lottery position? Am I still eligible for other positions?
Yes, if you turn down a Lottery position, it does not affect your status on any other Lottery position list.

How long before I go full-time and how long before I reach top-rate of pay?
Your ability to become full-time is based on seniority and the turnover of employees; you may be part-time for anywhere from two (2) to four (4) years or more. You may reach top-rate of pay in five (5) years.

How many hours is part-time and are all positions split shifts?
Thirty (30) hours is the maximum number of hours a part-time employee will work. Most Part-Time (PT) Bus Operators, PT Streetcar Motorpersons, PT Motorpersons, and PT Customer Service Agents work split shifts.

What is a split shift?
A split shift is an assignment of work that has an unpaid meal break. The meal break can last between thirty-one (31) minutes and eight (8) hours.

What about training and regular work hours?
Training hours are typically Monday-Friday, 8 hours a day. They can be either days or nights. Typical work hours will include nights, weekends and holidays depending on your seniority.

Will I have a choice of work locations?
Operating departments will work with you as best they can to give you a work location close to your home. However, seniority will control your ability to choose a work location. If there are no spots near where you live, you will be assigned to work where the MBTA needs you to work.

How long do I have to work as a part-time employee before I get full health benefits?
You must work ninety (90) days or approximately four (4) months. Dental coverage is not available to part time employees.

What happens if I cannot complete my training?
If you cannot complete your training because you: fail to meet MBTA standards; have excessive discipline or attendance issues; or cannot pass the CDL test (Part-Time Bus Operators only), you will be terminated by the MBTA.

What criminal offenses will disqualify me?
The MBTA has a CORI policy. Pursuant to that policy, if the MBTA makes a presumptive decision that a person is ineligible because of his/her CORI, that person will be informed of how s/he may challenge the accuracy or the relevance of his/her CORI history before a final decision is made.The policy criteria for making presumptive decisions includes such factors as felony convictions within ten (10) years, misdemeanor convictions within five (5) years, and/or any crime that raises concern for public safety and/or may have a potentially negative impact on the Authority's business and/or operating interests, as well as the number of convictions, type and dates of crime(s), and the length of service.

What driving offenses will disqualify me? (Part-Time Bus Operators and Part-Time Streetcar Motorpersons only)
Three (3) moving violations in one (1) calendar year within the past three (3) years will disqualify you. A driving while intoxicated (DWI/OUI) conviction within the past five (5) years will disqualify you. Having outstanding tickets or excise taxes will disqualify you. However, you will be given an opportunity to pay tickets and excise taxes before being denied a position.