View Full Version : I'm going to be a Light Rail Operator
12-01-2008, 03:52 PM
This morning I took an exam to get accepted into the Light Rail training program. I'm fairly certain I passed, and I look forward to the transition from bus driver to train driver.
While I don't mind my current job, I like the technical challenge that comes with being a Light Rail Operator, and the idea that I would be licensed to drive pretty much everything with wheels. Its also a somewhat 'elite' job in my field- while there are about 900 bus drivers there are only 100 light rail operators, and every training class has an attrition rate of 25-50 percent because the try to train on such a high standard.
If anyone has any questions about the job or the training I'd love to answer them, since pursuing this promotion has taught me a lot about the job already. Once I receive confirmation that I've passed my exam, I can obtain a 'cab pass' any time I want which gives me permission to sit with a Light Rail Operator in the cab while he/she is driving the train.
12-01-2008, 06:00 PM
Wouldn't going back and forth on a limited stretch on rails get to be the most boring job in the world? Also, do the drivers get a special soundproof area so they don't have to listen to the stupid annoying station announcements?
And yeah, where are you located?
12-01-2008, 06:04 PM
Um, nothing personal, but lay off the texting at work m'kay?
12-01-2008, 06:08 PM
Congratulations! Promise not to run me over in front of the Camera 12!
12-01-2008, 09:07 PM
zagloba had the location down- I live in the Bay Area in California.
The trains have a forward cab with a door that locks, and yeah its fairly soundproof. Passengers can talk to the operator through an intercom.
Due to the Metro accident our own rules were modified regarding cell phone use- Light Rail Operators can't even have a cell phone that is turned on while in the cab of the train. Though given the nature of Light Rail they are constantly talking on the radio.
Yeah, it has the potential to get repetitive, but mostly on the Alameda line (which only has 2 stops, and something like a 16-minute round trip counting the little break the driver gets. In that extreme case, the operator is doing upwards of 30-odd round trips during the day. But the other two lines are much longer, and run through Santa Clara Couty.
The way I see it, its not that much more repetitive than driving the bus, since I generally do the same routes over and over (mostly driving between shopping malls and/or colleges). And it has the potential to pave the way for other jobs as well (Supervisor, dispatcher, etc)
12-01-2008, 09:33 PM
Can you get them to fix the displays at the Fruitdale Station so they both show the same tiime?(the clock on one side of the platform is something like 4 hours off). So far I've asked a driver, a security guard, a fare-checker, and called three times without any appreciable results.
12-01-2008, 09:46 PM
From one light-rail city to another, congratulations! :)
12-01-2008, 09:53 PM
Come drive the idiot toy train here in Houston. You can run over cars, pedestrians and even people in wheelchairs.
12-01-2008, 10:20 PM
I think that sounds like an awesome job. Bus driver, but with no traffic and a much cooler vehicle. Congrats!
12-01-2008, 10:55 PM
Sheeeoot, I was going to ask you about bad weather, but it doesn't sound like you'll enounter a whole lot of that. I'm kinda curious if it's a higher stress job in Denver when it's 15 degrees and snowing it's ass off.
12-01-2008, 11:06 PM
If you find a find a family of Opossums in the cab, be sure to name the big one Bitey.
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