what does it take to become a bart train operator?

Hello everyone. I'm just curious, what are the requerments for a bart train driver, and what will it take to become one?

very thick skin.

but not as thick a skin as one needs to be a Station Agent!

You need to have the ability to sit there and press a button to open and close the doors dozens of times a day, and announce the name of the station. That is it.

Trains run on autopilot, so no need to man the throttle or brakes, and obviously no need to steer. It is helpful if you like to read or do sudoku or crossword puzzles.

Also, you need earplugs. It can be pretty loud inside the tube.

wrong. you need to know a whole lot more than that, if only it was that easy. you have to know the whole system and not just station names. would you know where to stop your train short of MO3-C? doubt it. you have to know what all of the warning lights on the console, CCP, and exterior of the train mean. you have to develop a radio ear and be able to listen to central, your whining passengers and get the train moving all at the same time. the train operators class is not easy and has a pretty high failure rate, usually the smart asses who think they know it all.

Riiight. That's why the success rate for train operator training is roughly 60%. For every 10 people that enter TO training, you'll get about 6 competent train operators. In my class, there were two guys that graduated from Berkeley.

They both flunked out of class.

I guess according to your logic, airlne pilots don't do anything either considering the plane is on auto-pilot 90% of the flight. Being a TO is really no different from a lot of jobs in the regard that a majority of your training and expertise doesn't come into play until the shit hits the fan. Any job is pretty easy to do when things are going the way they should.

Commuters aren't even AWARE of 75% of the issues and problems that go on in the system because of the actions of train operators. So for you to say something as ignorant as that makes you well, ignorant.

Check http://www.bart.gov every Monday or Tuesday and keep your eyes open for job postings like "Part-Time Train Operator." Apply and wait. It could take six months to get hired.

Previous training/experience as a pilot, driver, technician or in customer service is helpful.

Also, Operator9 is correct as usual.

Op9, I'm not sure who you are, but I like your style.

-M. Delgado

The real test of a good T/O is yard work. Building a consist and not smacking the heck out of the couplers, not running signals and derailing, remembering to chock wheels of cars that have no brakes before uncoupling, climbing up and down from cars without benefit of a platform, hopping over the third rail, etc.

T/Os get paid the good money for what they have to know and hopefully never have to apply. Some T/Os are great, some are a disaster. Central can tell whether or not to pull a train from service depending on who's operating. Working revenue is easy as long as you don't have motor problems, or brake problems, or door problems, or a medical emergency, or a police emergency, or a fire, etc.

Has there ever been a fire on BART? Just a question, I have no idea one way or another. Does anyone know if local FD's are trained to handle it? How would they extinguish it, noting the third rail?

BTW, Great job this morning BPD. And you officers know who I'm talking about and what.

-M. Delgado

Fire? yes, transbay tube 1979, M-17 just about one year ago, lots of little ones more frequently.

FD's trained? yes, but be careful, they grab an axe and want to cut trains open.

UHMMMM, your wife works for BART and you didn't know there have been fires?!?!?!?! Give up the pretense. We know who you really are. Try to keep your stories straight will you?

Hey dumb shit I thought your wife work for BART....no no.... you that geek that has no life and rides BART since you got your ass beat on AC Transit......

Thank you for the one sincere reply.

To the INDIVIDUAL who posted both of these, if anyone's on to anyone, it's you. All the negative posts about me, that's right, ALL OF THEM, are within minutes of eachother. Funny how people access this site around the clock, and most get along fine and genuinely answer and reply, but the only negative ones are within minutes of eachother, and they always happen in pairs. You posted that remark about me, then "It was your lucky day," and "Hey, Moron" then returned to re-post. Funny, isn't it.

Don't try to discredit me. Because in the end, you end up looking like a fool.

-M. Delgado

Martha, Martha, Martha, you are getting a bit paranoid. Everyone is out to get you. No one has to try to discredit you. You do it all by yourself. Furthermore, you are the one who looks like a fool - from the beginning to the end.

When someone points a finger calling attention away from themselves and on to others, it's usually an attempt to keep people from noticing what he's doing. So, Martha, the more you point away from yourself, the more people will take note of what YOU do.

A very wise person once told me "Sweep your own porch".

Did you see that post where M said they were in car 1495 during a delay? There is no such number.

Yep, that's Martha all right. However, now that you've pointed out that he made a mistake, he will remove the post you refer to. Check back in a few days. You won't be able to find it. He does it all the time.

Marco, what are you doing up so late? Don't you have school in the morning? Shouldn't you be doing your homework instead of playing in the forum?

You need to be able to close the door right as people are running to get onto the train. It takes good timing.

Yeah. Closing the doors in someone's face is a prerequisite for some operators. I've got to give the train operators credit. Most do a good job and have to deal with a lot, but just like in other walks of life, some people are just assholes.

That just happened to me tonight. I came out of a stairway in which I couldn't see the train. As soon as I got to the bottom I saw my train with door wide open like 10 or 15 feet from the stairway with no one between me and the doors and a clear shot. I immediately ran toward the door and the TO closed the doors so the slammed closed immediately in front of my face and I had to come to brake as hard as I could so I wouldn't ram into them.

The asshat was watching, I was getting on the front care, and he couldn't wait *seriously* less than 1 second. I'm pretty sure he did it on purpose. I hope it comes around on him.

Yes it was your lucky day.... We operators pull names out of a hat before starting ours shifts to make your life a living hell... More to come...Next time when you get on the train it will brake down and you be late....

You were late for the train. BART runs on a schedule, and it sticks to it, and that's part of why people ride it. MUNI runs on a schedule as well (or so I've heard), and it doesn't stick to it, and that's part of why people don't ride it.

I know it is quite personal for you to be left behind like that, but humor us by telling us how late you would be willing to have the trains be in order to pick up everybody who was late, and remember there will be people like that at every station, so it'll be a big number.

Next time, leave earlier and you might catch the train "on time". I like the train operator's response. Imagine each train operator waiting at each station for the one person who is running a little late. You'd be the first person screaming about late trains.

the operator hit the door close button while you were on the bottom step and probably didn't even see you when he/she did it. there is a delay between hitting the button and the doors closing. to reopen the doors is just a waste of all of the other passengers' time.


You must first mention what train everyone is on but never utter the stop you are at, just in case it might help someone. For a while, I thought every stop was called "Fremont Train" and I was certainly confused where to get off as a result.
Next, make sure you close the doors right when someone who's been running gets to them and is about to get on, then anounce the train again, even though it is too late to get off. This is important. Thirdly, complain that you don't get paid enough to frustrate your customers, especially ignoring any questions they might have whilst you snooze between stops. DON'T bother the driver or you will be considered a terrorist suspect, at which time you will actually see some BART employees come out of the back room where they hide.
Love the Richmond line driver that had his kids in the cockpit with him pushing buttons while the train was moving. Yeah, I feel safe.

if you see kids in the cab and it's not a bring your kids to work day, report it right away. there are no buttons in that cab that can be pushed and cause you any harm, the worst that could happen is that the train will stop momentarily if the STOP button is hit. get a schedule, a watch, keep your ears open and you can't go wrong. before i worked for BART i was a rider and never had a problem knowing where i was.

Just out of curiosity, what did this operator with the kids in the cab look like?

I have a good guess to who this may be, I just wanna see how accurate I am.

I know who it is.

Granted, there are a few lazy train operators who give the rest a bad name. As in any aspect of life, we have to take the bad with the good. I've had the doors close just as I was about to step on the train. I didn't blame the train operator. I blamed myself for not leaving home earlier. Gosh, I don't expect the airlines to hold the plane for me if I'm not on time. That's only in the movies folks.

Have any of you ever witnessed a person rushing past the station agent and yelling - HOLD THAT TRAIN? It's comical. The station agent doesn't have the authority to hold trains.

How many times have you seen a bus driver close the doors and drive off? They have schedules to keep just as train operators do.

I have seen it written on the site by many people: TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

I have a question myself to operator9.

is a class B license required for the job?

Train Operator since 2003's picture

class c (must be valid at all times)