Keolis has significantly increased hiring of conductors to further improve passenger experience
BOSTON – July 3, 2018 – Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the MBTA’s operating partner for commuter rail, graduated this week 16 new assistant conductors, increasing the roster of conductors to its highest level ever and helping to further improve service.
“Our conductors are the face of our service. These highly trained men and women play an integral role in helping to ensure the safety of our passengers and provide a positive commuter rail experience,” said David Scorey, General Manager and CEO, Keolis. “We’re operating 9,000 more trains per year now compared to when we first took over operations in 2014. This creates a need for us to recruit, hire, train and retain a greater number of conductors and management staff. Matching this growth, we’ve increased our workforce by 13 percent to even more effectively manage the service and business.”
In June 2015, commuter rail had 351 conductors. Due to a dedicated initiative to retain and hire more conductors as a key component to further improve service, today Keolis employs 423 conductors, a 21 percent increase over three years. This group of 16 new assistant conductors follows a January graduating class of 27.
Having more conductors available helps Keolis improve service. It allows for easier and faster boarding at stations and makes the service more resilient with broader staffing options. Both of these contribute to an improving service level on commuter rail.
New assistant conductors participate in an eight-week Keolis program that trains new crews on customer service, railroad safety and the commuter rail network and facilities. The program includes classroom instruction, exams and time onboard trains. This class of 16 new ACs graduated Monday, July 2.
All assistant conductors are now also trained on the new onboard mobile point of sale system Keolis is deploying. This system allows passengers to pay onboard with credit cards and will be available on all trains starting this fall.