KAT bus drivers expected to make a starting wage of $18 per hour

Built in pay raises every year will also reach a top hourly wage of $25.20 per hour after four years.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Saturday was the last day of the Knoxville Area Transit job fair, but now, after reducing several routes due to a driver shortage, KAT officials said they hope the higher pay will help solve the route reductions.

KAT Director of Planning & Public Information Belinda Woodiel-Brill said some applicants already had a commercial driver’s license, making it easier for them to get on the road sooner.

“We do have folks come in who have their CDLs, a lot of them might be long-distance truck drivers who are kind of tired of that life,” Brill told WVLT News.

According to KAT officials, they recently hired more than 20 new bus operators.

Starting driver wages went up nearly 30%, bringing the starting wage for a new driver up to $18 per hour. A built-in pay increase every year will also be in effect until the new employees reach $25.20 per hour.

The increase in wages became available after several months of negotiations with union members, according to KAT officials.

It is also hiring for other positions; Trolley Operators will have a beginning hourly pay of $16.55 and Maintenance Service team members will start off at $17.92.

If you are interested in applying for a position at KAT, visit their official website.