CTA Kicks Off 2024 By Doubling Entry-Level Positions to Become Rail Operators

January 18, 2024

The Chicago Transit Agency (CTA) is ramping up recruitment efforts to fill critical Rail Flagger positions, which are a steppingstone to becoming a CTA Rapid Transit/Train Operator. 

On Friday morning, January 26th, CTA’s first job fair of 2024 will be held at Malcolm X College in Chicago and focus on hiring applicants interested in a career in rail operations, particularly candidates for Rail Flaggers.  

“Job fairs are critical to our ongoing efforts to further improve the delivery and overall reliability of our transit services,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., said. “We continue to make fantastic progress in strengthening our workforce, having already surpassed our hiring goals for bus operators. And we anticipate doubling the number of rail operators in the training pipeline in 2024, which will be key to us meeting our service goals.”

CTA has been waging an unprecedented and comprehensive recruitment and hiring campaign to bring in more bus and train operators, in addition to front line support staff. CTA made notable progress toward hiring over 2,200 employees in 2023, exceeding hiring goals, and it enters 2024 with the goal of doubling the number of Rail Flagger hires.

The starting hourly rate for Rail Flagger is $21.84. Rail Flagger positions are first made available to existing CTA personnel, in keeping with the requirements of the collective bargaining agreement with the union representing rail operations personnel. The CTA then seeks external candidates.

Applications will be open to the public on Friday, January 26th, and posted to the CTA website: transitchicago.com/careers.

CTA only fills available Rail Operator positions from its pool of existing Rail Flaggers due to the complex nature of rail operations. The training and experience in railroad operations one attains by serving as a Rail Flagger is an important prerequisite for advancing to a Rail Operator position, which requires even more extensive training and qualifications --a standard that allows CTA to maintain the highest safety standards for both riders and employees.

During the upcoming Career Fair, in addition to the information sessions, CTA is offering an application workshop and the chance to connect with members of its Operations, Recruitment and Benefits teams. 

Last year, CTA hosted more than a dozen in-person and virtual job fairs with a cumulative attendance of over 3,800 interested applicants. For a complete list of available positions including trade, management, and administrative positions, please visit and apply online at: www.transitchicago.com/careers.  


Friday, January 26th

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Malcom X College

1900 West Jackson Blvd.

Information Sessions: 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Registration: www.transitchicago.com/careers


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