Streetcar Operators

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Streetcar Operators

Streetcar Operators - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, subway and streetcar operators:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a high level of social contact. They provide information to passengers throughout the day.
  • Talk to others in person or sometimes over the telephone.
  • Are responsible for the safety of passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers.
  • Must sometimes deal with individuals who may become violent.
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  • Occasionally are placed in conflicts where they must deal with unpleasant, angry, or discourteous people.
  • Often work as part of a team.
  • Are somewhat responsible for the work done by others.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Often wear uniforms.
  • Often work indoors while operating subway trains or streetcars. They may work outdoors when helping passengers get on or off the vehicle, but this is rare.
  • Are regularly exposed to loud sounds and distracting noise levels.
  • Are sometimes exposed to hazardous conditions, equipment, and contaminants.
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  • May be exposed to very hot or very cold temperatures, depending on the weather.
  • Sometimes wear safety attire, such as hard hats or heavy boots.
  • May be exposed to very dim or very bright light.

Work Performance

  • Must be sure they complete all details of the job accurately, especially with regard to safety measures. Errors can endanger passenger safety, disrupt schedules, and cause financial loss.
  • Must be constantly aware of events that change often, such as passengers wanting to get on and off. Must be aware of events that are rare or unexpected, such as mechanical problems.
  • Repeat the same physical activities.
  • Determine the pace of their work by the speed of surrounding traffic.
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  • Often make decisions that affect passengers. They often seek input from others before deciding a course of action.
  • Must meet strict daily and hourly deadlines.


  • Usually work at least 40 hours per week. May occasionally work multiple shifts.
  • May work nights, weekends, and holidays.
  • May have rotating or regular shifts.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.