You enjoy operating motor vehicles and are interested in driving a train. Being on time is important to you and you pay meticulous attention to detail. If this describes you, you may be well-suited to work as an LRT Operator.

Job Overview

To become an LRT operator with Edmonton Transit, you must first work as an ETS Transit Operator; LRT Operators are selected from the ETS Transit Operator pool. Transit Operators interested in operating the LRT trains can apply for vacant positions. LRT Operator positions are not posted externally and are not open to the public.

LRT Operators work out of D.L. MacDonald Garage, receive guidance and support from the LRT Inspectors, and are directly supervised by the Supervisor of LRT Operations. Transit Operators sign for an LRT Operator shift and receive training and certification to operate the trains. LRT operator training is 5 weeks.

LRT Operators start and finish their shifts at D.L. MacDonald Garage. Like Transit Operators, they have some preparation before heading out for their shift. The LRT Operators need to be aware of any planned schedule disruptions or other conditions that might impact service.

Once out of the LRT garage, the most important responsibility is the safe operation of the train for passengers and Flagger who will be working beside the tracks. LRT Operator must pay attention to all the signals and they are in constant radio communication with the Control Room.

Another major responsibility of the LRT Operator is knowing what to do when a train breaks down. Occasionally there are issues with doors or other mechanical problems. Some of these can be dealt with by the LRT Operator. LRT Operators are expected to communicate with passengers on the PA system in a professional manner when system delays are experienced or special directions are required to be conveyed to passengers.

Working Environment

LRT Operators have limited contact with passengers but are in constant communication with the Control Room. They are under constant observation. LRT Operators have few if any breaks. There is a constant schedule to maintain. Once trained for LRT, Transit Operators can be required to work LRT shifts if there are not sufficient LRT Operators available to operate the service.

Hours of Work

Work hours for LRT Operators are variable and involve shift work as well as split shifts. Shift times range from 4-2am and can be any combination of hours up to a 12-hour spread.

What LRT Operators Like About This Job

  • Camaraderie, being part of the LRT team.
  • Support from the Supervisor and Inspectors.
  • Feeling respected.

Unique Characteristics and Challenges of This Job

Being on time is essential for a LRT Operator. Coping with the constant supervision can be a challenge for some. Staying alert while driving the same route can also be a challenge as it can get monotonous.

Success Factors

  • You have safe operating skills.
  • You love driving the train and the predictability of the job.
  • You have the ability to work alone.
  • You are willing to follow rules and adhere to policies and procedures.
  • You accept support from the LRT team.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Must be a City of Edmonton Transit Operator.
  • In addition to the qualifications required for a Transit Operator you need LRT training and certification, and Flagger training.

Union Affiliation

LRT Operators are members of the Amalgamated Transit Union 569. Prospective LRT Operators should be aware of Union seniority and how it relates to promotion, sign up for routes, vacation, etc.

Preparing For This Job

If you have an interest in driving a train, you must also consider whether you would be able to handle a very structured work environment and work independently.

Career and Succession Opportunities

From a LRT Operator position, you might choose to continue your career as part of the LRT team as an LRT Inspector or Instructor. LRT Operators also have the same opportunities as Transit Operators within the Bus Operations area.