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Details for Subway and Streetcar Operators


Operate subway or elevated suburban train with no separate locomotive, or electric-powered streetcar to transport passengers. May handle fares.


  • Drive and control rail-guided public transportation, such as subways, elevated trains, and electric-powered streetcars, trams, or trolleys, in order to transport passengers.
  • Make announcements to passengers, such as notifications of upcoming stops or schedule delays.
  • Operate controls to open and close transit vehicle doors.
  • Regulate vehicle speed and the time spent at each stop, in order to maintain schedules.
  • Report delays, mechanical problems, and emergencies to supervisors or dispatchers, using radios.
  • Monitor lights indicating obstructions or other trains ahead and watch for car and truck traffic at crossings to stay alert to potential hazards.
  • Attend meetings on driver and passenger safety in order to learn ways in which job performance might be affected.
  • Collect fares from passengers, and issue change and transfers.
  • Complete reports, including shift summaries and incident or accident reports.
  • Direct emergency evacuation procedures.
  • Greet passengers, provide information, and answer questions concerning fares, schedules, transfers, and routings.
  • Record transactions and coin receptor readings in order to verify the amount of money collected.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Related Careers

  • Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity
  • Cargo and Freight Agents
  • Couriers and Messengers
  • Postal Service Mail Carriers
  • Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers
  • Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators
  • Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks
  • Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs
Wages for this career
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