Transit Ambassador

Program Details

Transit Ambassador is taught in a train-the-trainer format intended for supervisors, managers, and instructors working in public transit. The program helps improve customer service interactions with lessons geared for everyday interactions at transit systems. The program is separated into two modules: Core and Advanced.

Transit Ambassador Core Module Course Description

CUTA’s Transit Ambassador Core Program will help your transit system create or expand upon a culture of customer service. This program empowers employees with skills on how to better handle the many situations that may arise when interacting with a customer. The Transit Ambassador program is comprised of a series of training modules which addresses different customer service topics.

In a train-the-trainer format, transit system trainers are certified as Transit Ambassador trainers by CUTA’s Master Trainers. Ambassadors are provided with the knowledge, skills, and attitude to implement the Transit Ambassador program and to deliver the modules.

Advanced Module Course Description

Transit Ambassador Advanced Module course is about dealing with difficult customers and preventing operator assaults. Participants must already be a CUTA Certified Transit Ambassador Trainer in the Core Modules in order to register for the Advanced Module. The advanced modules are specifically intended for dangerous situations – providing tools for operators to diffuse potentially violent situations.


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Core Modules


This module introduces the basic principles of customer service as they apply to the transit environment. It is an effective introduction for new recruits and also for refresher sessions. Training principles presented include the concepts of customer service being a job expectation, and that customers are both external (passengers/public) and internal (transit team). The definition of excellent customer service is explored throughout the module. The focus of the learning objectives and behaviour keys is to equip front line operators with customer service skills that are immediately practical in the workplace.


Communicating effectively in public-contact situations is the theme of this module. Participants will concentrate on how to listen, observe and speak while maintaining respect for the customer, avoiding misunderstandings, and verifying comprehension of the message. Content includes the use and understanding of active listening, non-verbal communication, questioning skills, as well as problem-solving in communication breakdown scenarios. Tasks and video are based on real operator communication experiences.


This module facilitates an understanding of why people complain, and encourages employees to take advantage of the opportunity to address a situation proactively and positively. The principle of this component is that a complaint is preferable to a silent, dissatisfied customer, as it allows the situation to be addressed and explained. Employees are encouraged to handle complaints by remaining professional, calm, and in control; without becoming defensive or taking comments personally. Practical behaviour strategies are practiced in various interactive activities throughout the module.


This module acknowledges the high-stress level involved in operating a transit vehicle while maintaining a pleasant disposition towards all customers. It recognizes the difference between positive and negative stress, and allows participants to identify specific symptoms and their causes. Participants develop personalized de-stressing techniques that can be used to relieve stress on the job.

Advanced Modules


Handling inappropriate customer behaviour is a very sensitive matter and an issue of increasing concern. In this module, participants discover how to avert or minimize potential conflict and defuse anger while dealing with customer disruptions, fare disputes, vandalism or other difficult situations. Operators are trained to identify and deal with situations that range through the “different – difficult – dangerous” spectrum. The focus is on defusing a situation before it moves up the scale from different to dangerous.


This module works best in conjunction with Difficult Situations to reinforce identification and de-escalation skills. The module focuses on operator safety in situations that could become violent. There are four video segments dealing with the topics of personal threat, theft, bomb scares, drunkenness, use of weapons (pre-meditated with a knife and spontaneous with a broken beer bottle), as well as external violence resulting from road rage. Participants practice developing responses from video scenarios.


Understanding and interacting effectively with diverse customers and work teams is the focus of this module. Types of diversity are identified and transit system diversity policies are incorporated and reviewed. Guidelines for working in a diverse community are discussed and participants practice appropriate responses to sensitive transit case studies.

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What our program graduates have to say about our course:


The Transit Ambassador train-the-trainer program is excellent. The program facilitator was fantastic and had insights into the experiential learning method that were invaluable to me. I have not seen the content of the program facilitated in this way and it made it so much more applicable to the day-to-day situations that transit operators deal with. On my first day back to work, I was already able to use learnings from the program to help a transit operator reframe how they would deal with a difficult situation and for myself to deescalate with a disgruntled customer. I am excited about facilitating the program with our transit operators here in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to improve our levels of customer service and remedy ineffective communication.


-Erin, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, AB