Bay Area Rapid Transit train operators work for the public transit authority of San Francisco, California. They transport passengers inside tunnels and along outdoor commuter train routes. They communicate with dispatchers, engineers, managers, security guards and passengers. Communication skills, good eyesight, responsiveness and passenger focus are essential qualities for this mass transit profession.
Duties of BART Train Operators
BART train operators transport passengers safely and efficiently from boarding stations to desired destinations. Train operators communicate with dispatchers and other transit authorities by radio. They watch passengers boarding and exiting through train doors. They use public address systems to instruct passengers about delays, hazards, emergency situations and routine travel information. BART train operators also must alert authorities of any illegal passenger activities or potentially harmful track conditions. They maintain daily scheduling and transportation logs.
A high school diploma or GED is required. BART train operators must have at least three years of customer service experience and possess a California driver's license without any infractions. They often work in cramped, noisy and stressful environments. According to the BART website, train operators must be certified as a train operator. They must also be up to physical challenges, including stepping safely over high-voltage rails.
BART train operators must be flexible to work irregular hours and shifts. They must have excellent customer service skills and remain calm during potentially dangerous situations. English language communication skills are integral to interact with a diverse population of daily passengers and tourists. Although subway trains have computerized automated train control systems, BART train operators must respond quickly when conditions require them to drive trains manually.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, railway workers such as locomotive operators earned a mean hourly wage of $25.19 and a mean annual salary of $52,400 in 2012.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a job growth rate of -3 percent for rail workers between 2012 and 2022. BLS reports also indicate that the price of gasoline may impact that growth rate, as commuters may opt for passenger trains over private vehicles.
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