Light Rail Vehicle Operator

Sound Transit Tacoma , WA 98402

Posted 3 weeks ago


This is a union position represented by the ATU. The starting hourly rate for this position is contractually set at $24.32.


Under general direction, operates light rail vehicles on the Tacoma mainline, in the yard, and in the operations and maintenance facility; ensures conformance with performance standards, safety requirements, rules, and schedules; performs pre-trip and post-trip safety and maintenance checks and inspections on vehicles; completes accident and other reports as necessary; and responds to customer inquiries.


The following duties are a representative summary of the primary duties and responsibilities. Incumbent(s) may not be required to perform all duties listed and may be required to perform additional, position-specific duties.

  • Operates light rail vehicles in conformance with performance standards, safety requirements, rules, and schedules; maintains appropriate speed and distance from preceding vehicles; obeys signals and speed signs; ensures safe boarding and de-boarding of passengers; counts number of passengers; and safely transports passengers to appropriate destinations.

  • Provides accessibility for wheelchair passengers to board and de-board in a safe courteous manner; provides route and transportation information or directions to passengers; announces all special and station stops; provides proper information to customers requesting it; and makes special announcements as required.

  • Operates track switches, electrically or manually, as circumstances may warrant, ensuring correct routing.

  • Inspects and prepares for operation of light rail vehicles for passenger service or test operations; performs pre-trip and post-trip safety and maintenance checks on vehicles; checks all sandboxes on trains; reports any defects found during routine vehicle inspection to supervisor for appropriate action; and couples and uncouples train as necessary.

  • Performs train operations as necessary to restore service disruptions by trouble-shooting problem conditions; reports observed defects and unsafe condition regarding tracks, track switches, and related equipment while operating light rail vehicles and other conditions that may affect the safe movement of trains.

  • Notifies supervisor of any emergency situation on or near the right-of-way (ROW) or of service disruption, requesting appropriate additional instruction or assistance as required; communicates to customers appropriate information in the event of a need to evacuate a train; oversees the safe and orderly evacuation of the passengers from the train; controls such evacuations to safeguard customers in accordance with prescribed emergency procedures; guides and assists customers to access alternate bus service in the event of a service disruption; and performs flagging duties during emergency situations such as collisions, derailments or vehicle breakdowns.

  • Produces written reports of witnessed incidents as well as accidents, incidents, and unusual conditions in which there has been indirect or direct involvement or that affect the movement of trains or the condition of Agency property.

  • Notifies and turns in to proper authority all lost articles found on the light rail vehicle or at stations; responds to customer inquiries and maintains a courteous and friendly demeanor with all customers; trains other employees in light rail vehicle operation as necessary.

  • Provides support to the division/department and others on matters as directed; maintains awareness of new trends and developments in the fields related to area of assignment; incorporates new developments as appropriate; ensures processes, policies, and practices are interpreted and applied consistently and effectively; ensures accountability and compliance with all current and applicable state and federal laws, Agency policies and procedures, rules and regulations.

  • It is the responsibility of all employees to follow the Agency safety rules, regulations, and procedures pertaining to their assigned duties and responsibilities, which could include systems, operations, and/or other employees.

  • It is the responsibility of all employees to integrate sustainability into everyday business practices.

  • Other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:

High School Diploma/GED and successful completion of training and post-training qualification period; one year of experience in the operation of light or heavy rail transit vehicles is highly desirable; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Required Licenses or Certifications:

Valid state driver's license (with no more than 1 violation in the past 12 months, exclusive of DUI and reckless driving).

Required Knowledge of:

  • Pertinent traffic laws, ordinances, and safety rules in the operation of light rail vehicles.

  • Methods and techniques of providing safe public transportation services.

  • Operational characteristics of light rail vehicles.

  • Basic principles and procedures of light rail vehicle troubleshooting.

  • Standard safety precautions.

  • Pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations.

  • Principles and procedures of record keeping.

  • Principles of business letter writing and basic report preparation.

  • English usage, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

  • Modern office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and statistical databases.

Required Skill in:

  • Utilizing personal computer software programs affecting assigned work and in compiling and preparing spreadsheets and reports.

  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with other department staff, management, vendors, outside agencies, community groups, and the general public.

  • Interpreting and administering policies and procedures sufficient to administer, discuss, resolve, and explain them to staff and other constituencies.

  • Operating passenger light rail vehicles in accordance with applicable traffic laws.

  • Safely operating passenger light rail vehicles in accordance with applicable traffic laws.

  • Performing preventive maintenance inspections on vehicles.

  • Maintaining clean vehicle appearance.

  • Maintaining a tight time schedule.

  • Performing safety inspections and identifying safety hazards.

  • Interpreting and using all types of operating and repair manuals related to a light rail system.

  • Interpreting and applying applicable federal, state, and local policies, laws, and regulations.

  • Maintaining good customer relations with positive customer service orientation.\

  • Maintaining repair and maintenance records.\

  • Communicating clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.

  • Preparing clear and concise written reports of incidents and accidents.

  • Working cooperatively with other departments, Agency offic

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Light Rail Vehicle Operator

Sound Transit