Train Operator Position

Did anyone else here apply for the train operator position last August? I was not called for the written test until January and passed. May not be called for the next phase of the selection process until April-May. Anyone know what's taking so long in the process this time around? Much slower than in the past.

BART moves slow...on pretty much everything.

About a year is the time frame I have seen.

I went through the process and after the agility test I received an mail saying that my name has been placed on the eligibility list and will remain there for a year. Does this mean I will be contacted for a training class? Or should I be concerned that there already is training class and Im on a "wait list"?

Train Operator since 2003's picture

Yes, you are waiting on a waiting list because there are many factors affecting hiring. With that said and if you have already taken the agility test means you are probably in. Next is orientation for about a week where the Union signs you up and you swear your oath. Survive the training and you are on your way. BART moves at the speed of government, this is part of your training. Welcome.

Thank you for the reply!!

Train Operator since 2003's picture

I don't work in human resources so I can not say for sure 100%, but if they bother with the agility test is a major clue.
You're welcome.

T/O

Hi again and just to be sure we're talking about Train Operator positions am I correct? I just making sure since I didnt know I'd be taking an oath if lucky enough to be hired. Thats no problem at all, Im just making sure we're on the same page.

Thanks again

Train Operator since 2003's picture

Would that page be: "I took the agility test for a Train Op position, anyone know what's taking so long in the process this time around?"

Pretty sure my reading comprehension is still intact. ThesilentJ is right, it takes a bit of time, just as I wrote. BART has to get enough candidates to fill a class. They need to arrange that class with the training department. The training department is in charge of training for all kinds of positions so they have to get the certified staff to the T/O position together. They have to coordinate with payroll, benefits, managers, the safety department, Police, a Hospital to arrange your group's drug screen and await the results along with your background check.

All these people will be coming to your orientation to give you information about the District and how they operate and how you will fit in to the grand scheme of things. Making all this happen is like herding cats, it takes time for the people and departments to make time for new hires.

The Union.
The Union is separate from BART but you have to be IN the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 to able to work as a Train Operator, Station Agent,Transportation Clerk, e.t.c. A Union representative will come down sometime during your orientation week to register you and swear you in, kinda like joining the military. Then they get some of your money every month and you get represented for any discipline issues and the negotiation of the employment contract. You can opt out but then you aren't gonna be working either, at least for B.A.R.T. anyway.

T/O

Thank you again for the info, Im not trying to be a pest or anything, Im just really anxious as this would be a dream job.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

No, it's a repetitive grind with long periods of boredom broken up with moments of high drama and intrigue, tiny bits of humor and soul crushing despair. Add to that a management staff that makes you wonder how some of them got the position in the first place, some are really cool though.
Then there is the general public that is for the most part ok, but then you have complete clueless idiots and lots of haters. Last but not least is the new modern self entitled hippies and homeless with a heaping side of the mentally ill.

You will learn to identify every possible body fluid at a distance and will learn to smell trouble or problems. You will also become an expert at reading body language while thickening your skin from fellow train operators with poor social skills from years of isolation in the front of a train. You wind up doing the job just for your retirement only to die of cancer four years after from not polarizing your molecules every day from the magnetic fields the third rail gives off. Until then least the bills get paid.

Living the dream.
T/O

Wow thats alot to take in but like you said at the end, at least the bills are paid.

Yea I took it too. Just took the agility test on June 7th, now im just waiting... the hardest part. I wish they would've sent us all A email at least saying where we are on the list. Ill post though as soon as I get and email for the orientation though. Hopefully soon.

Please do post as soon as you get an email. I'll do the same. Like you said hopefully soon but the posters above said this process can take awhile.

It looks like a training class has already started last month, so I missed out on that one. I was told there will be another in September, my fingers and toes are crossed that Im contacted. Im trying to stay positive because for the number of people that apply making it this far being on the eligibility list is a big deal. I just hope to see this all the way to the finish line.

Awww man, really? Well im be keeping my fingers and toes crossed too. But don't worry, I remember when I took the written test the HR lady told us that as long as we get on the eligibility list that we are going to get the job because they are going to exhaust the list before they open up the position again, itll just be a matter of time. And of course the people with the highest scores and all the station agents that passed everything are going to be in the first class. So don't worry, we got this.

Well that is good to know and that made me feel so much better! You're right our time will come! :)

Train Operator since 2003's picture

No, it works like this; The applicants with high scores from the entrance test are kept and the rest receive a thanks but no letter.
From there you are put on the wait list.
When BART pulls from the wait list, they do so according to date of application received right down to the minute and seconds.
The new hires are informed to show up to orientation at ____ date _____time _____ Location.
The moment orientation starts, new hires are "on the clock" generating a paycheck. This is day one, it's your district date of hire.
You are informed that you are class of ___#. Somewhere they will further breakdown exactly where your seniority is within your class.
It goes;
ATU full time BART employee transferring over to S/A or T/O
Full time BART employee
ATU members from outside BART
Part time ATU employee
Part time employee
New hires.
everything is boiled down from date of hire to date of application to the more final resolutions of older applicant over younger and right down to drawing straws or flipping a coin.

T/O

Thank you for taking the time to post this even though it's not really what I wanted to read. After the agility test I thought I was in, and receiving the Email that I was on the eligibility list was a real downer. All I need is a chance and Im hoping that at some point they have to pull from the eligibility list. I'll be waiting for my shot. And if not, I'll certainly apply again.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

I've been mulling it over a bit and there is an x factor in new hires nowadays; The new trains.
I would guess that the new trains would have to be shaken down on the test track (Hayward Yard has it) so there may be a slow down for new T/O training as they need to train the trainers and then they in turn, need to train the current T/O's first.

Once they are flogged through whatever scenarios they can think of and all programming is checked 100 times or more, then they will slowly be released into the system. The trains are do for service in 2017 so I imagine things are gearing up for the next generation trains.

All of this I'm telling you I'm pulling outta my ass and is just a musing of my own thoughts as I haven't payed attention about the who's what's and when's lately. Just be patient or better yet, they are hiring for track workers right now. If you were to go for that and get in that would be insta seniority should you shift over when they notify you.

T/O

Train Operator since 2003's picture

I've been mulling it over a bit and there is an x factor in new hires nowadays; The new trains.
I would guess that the new trains would have to be shaken down on the test track (Hayward Yard has it) so there may be a slow down for new T/O training as they need to train the trainers and then they in turn, need to train the current T/O's first.

Once they are flogged through whatever scenarios they can think of and all programming is checked 100 times or more, then they will slowly be released into the system. The trains are do for service in 2017 so I imagine things are gearing up for the next generation trains.

All of this I'm telling you I'm pulling outta my ass and is just a musing of my own thoughts as I haven't payed attention about the who's what's and when's lately. Just be patient or better yet, they are hiring for track workers right now. If you were to go for that and get in that would be insta seniority should you shift over when they notify you.

T/O

This is great information, thank you for posting. I wasn't aware of he track worker positions and that's a smart route to take. I'll definitely look into it.

Been awhile since I've posted but I thought I'd share. I was told by a T/O this weekend that he heard there would be a couple new classes starting at some point. He also stated that he would think that Bart would try to exhaust the eligibility list before opening up to the public. Hope everyone is well.

Any new updates? I also took the Agility test in June 2015...patiently waiting.

Yea thats what I been said. I've talked to pleanty on T/Os and S/As and they all told me the same thing. It's just a matter of time thats all. And the HR lady told me that they are going to exhaust the list before they open it up to the public again.

Nothing yet, I went back and looked at the last email I got and it said our name is on the eligibility list for a year. The closer it gets to June Im starting to worry a bit more.

Let's hope we get in for March!

I was told just last night by a T/O that Bart is gearing up for a new class starting in April. They will start letting people know soon. Good Luck Evryone, hope to meet you in traning very soon!

Awesome! Thanks!

Hi! I was just told by HR that I'm next on the list, however, the next class is already full. They are doing background checks now. And in the event that I am not pulled for training before the eligibility date expires, I will have to take ALL of the tests over again.

Hello I was wondering if there are any study guides that will help a future applicant (myself) do well on the written exam.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

Not really much in the way of any study guides as they are trying to cull the heard by accepting the higher I.Q.'s to continue on. If and when someone gets in they will get a training manual that consists of a three ring binder that is as thick as a San Francisco phone book or about 15 lbs of tree pulp. and an operations rules and procedures manual about the size of a day planner. They want cold turkey smart or experienced so as to rise to the challenges of training.

T/O

Train Operator since 2003's picture

...cull the *herd... (lol)

Hi! I was just told by HR that I'm next on the list, however, the next class is already full. They are doing background checks now. And in the event that I am not pulled for training before the eligibility date expires, I will have to take ALL of the tests over again.

How do you contact HR? I would like to know where I am on the list as well. And Im assuming if they've started background checks then they have already contacted these people?

And CONGRATULATIONS

I just googled the number. Thanks!

Ok cool, thanks again for the info.

This is weird the lady that I just spoke with advised there was a hold on that position and when there was information to share then I'd get an Email.

Awh, that's messed up. Who knows what's going on.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

I just heard from a trainer there are two more T/O classes starting soon after this April class is finished so it sounds like the list will be exhausted before the time limit. I didn't verify this with training or anything, I just heard it from a single trainer.

I do know for fact however they just called up some temp trainers so I would say the rumor is plausible.

T/O

Thank you for posting, this is awesome info.

Yes, thanks Train Operator. You always have the good info.

Thanks for providing so much information. It is surprisingly hard to learn about the BART hiring process.

Do you know anything about turnover in other departments/positions at BART? I was wondering if the process (and wait!) are similarly long for jobs like station agents and police dispatch.

Train Operator since 2003's picture

B.A.R.T. moves at the speed of government...

Right now there is a business man in China reading current events on his personal electronic device. He is riding in a mag-lev bullet train going almost 300 mph. Right now there is a homeless person pissing in the B.A.R.T. train. The train is going full out and rolling at 77 mph.

Ha ha! So true. But we don't value the role of public transportation as much as we should and don't give the appropriate funding to crucial systems like BART.

Been riding BART for a long time and keep wishing there was some way I could help improve the system but there don't seem to be any jobs specific to my career history (designer). Based on the job postings it looks like I'd need to apply for positions outside my area of expertise and then try to move within the system.

I got the email I've been waiting for last night around 6:00pm. I have some forms to fill out and return (consent to background check etc.)

Hopefully you guys got the same?

Thank you Train Operator and everyone else who took the time to share information with us during this process. I apologize if I was a pest :)

Are you scheduled for your physical exam yet?

Not yet but Bart HR has contacted all of my references this past week. Background checks can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks I've been told. Have you gotten word on your physical exam yet?

Yes. I go next week!

Good for you! We're almost to the finish line. :)

Pages