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Career Opportunity

Lead Train Control Project Engineer - Transit Division - SF Municipal Transportation Agency (1377)

Recruitment: RTF0146988-01156386

Published: June 05, 2024


Keaney Chan -

Apply using SmartRecruiters, the City and County of San Francisco's application portal Learn More

Department: Municipal Transportation Agency
Job class: 1377-Special Assistant XVIII
Salary range: $193,544.00 - $235,274.00
Role type: Temporary Exempt What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time


Application Opening: April 23, 2024
Accepting applications until: June 5, 2024
Recruitment ID: TEX-1377-146989, RTF0146988
Vacancies: 1

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA or “the agency”) connects San Franciscans with their communities to enhance the economy, environment and, ultimately, the quality of life in the city. As an agency within the City and County of San Francisco, the SFMTA is responsible for managing the city’s transportation network. The agency has more than 6,000 employees who are responsible for the management of all ground and some underground transportation in the city. The SFMTA has oversight over public transit, as well as bicycling, paratransit, parking and curb management, street operations, walking, and taxis.

The Transit Division is currently in the process of developing and procuring a new train control system, as well as streamlining operations at the new Transportation Management Center (TMC). The Transit Program Delivery unit within the Transit Division was created in 2018 to oversee capital program and project budgets, manage vehicle and onboard equipment projects, testing and acceptance of rolling stock and technology projects that will deliver high-quality, cost-effective solutions which improve safety and the Agency’s ability to deliver quality transit service. Within the Transit Program Delivery unit, the Transit Technology Group handles the procurement, delivery, acceptance, and management of technology systems which are critical to transit operations.

The Train Control Upgrade Project is a 9-year, multimillion dollar project with the goal of modernizing the existing Automatic Train Control System in Muni’s subway as well as expanding the supervision and limited control aspects of a Communication-Based Train Control System to the entire Muni light rail system.

APPOINTMENT TYPE: Temporary Exempt - Full Time not to exceed three (3) years – This position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.

Division: Transit Division
Section/Unit: Transit Program Delivery; Transit Technology
Work Location: 1455 Market Street, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
Work Schedule: Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Role description

Position Description
Under the general direction of the Train Control Upgrade Project Manager and Train Control Upgrade Project Engineering Manager, the Lead Train Control Project Engineer is the senior engineer on the train control project and acts as the SFMTA lead for the overall system design. The Lead Train Control Project Engineer assists the Train Control Upgrade Project Engineering Manager with oversight duties related to project design and scheduling to facilitate the procurement, development, and maintenance of the future train control system. Additionally, this position is responsible to the Train Control Upgrade Project Manager for ensuring that the future train control system design meets the SFMTA’s objectives for the project, and that the system design conforms to all applicable SFMTA, state, local, and federal technical regulations as well as the technical standards identified in the Train Control Supplier Contract.

The Train Control Upgrade Project will be delivered through a series of contracts with the technology vendor (Supplier) and other firms providing installation, construction support, technical expertise, and professional services. The Lead Train Control Project Engineer will act as the SFMTA design review authority for the project by supervising the production of technical documentation from the project contractors, leading technical coordination between the department and Supplier, and ensuring the future system meets the performance metrics and technical specifications laid out in the Supplier contract(s).

In addition, the Lead Train Control Project Engineer will act as the SFMTA technical representative to review, accept, or when necessary audit technical project submittals and deliverables provided by the Supplier and other project contractors related to system design. As the SFMTA technical representative, the Lead Train Control Project Engineer will have a strong understanding of the project contract requirements and be able to identify key project staff and agency stakeholders for review when evaluating submittals and project deliverables.

Examples of Important and Essential Duties

  • Leads a team of SFMTA engineers assigned to the project, including vehicle engineers, electrical engineers, civil engineers and signaling engineers; Manages the project-related tasks of engineers assigned to the project from outside the SFMTA, including SF Public Utilities Commission (SF PUC), SF Public Works, Department of Technology (SF DT) and others.
  • Responsible to the Project Manager for ensuring the train control system design meets the project objectives as well as applicable SFMTA, state, local and federal technical, regulatory, and design standards;
  • Acts as the lead SFMTA design authority for the project, provides technical review and recommendation to the Project Manager for approval/acceptance of technical project deliverables (CDRLs);
  • As assigned by the Engineering Manager, the Lead Train Control Project Engineer represents the SFMTA in preparing, reviewing and approving technical submittals prepared by project staff as well as reviewing, approving  and auditing technical submittals provided by the Supplier and other project contractors and consultants;
  • Leads the SFMTA technical team during project design reviews and prepares technical comments on behalf of the SFMTA;
  • Reviews all technical documents and correspondence from the Train Control System Supplier and other project contractors;
  • Prepares engineering surveys in preparation for train control project design; directs and supervises supporting work by SFMTA and other City departments as well as contractors to prepare field surveys of railway and communications infrastructure relevant to the project;
  • Prepares and supervises staff and project Consultants in the preparation of technical documents, including technical specifications, engineering reports, contract documents, advertisement for bids, instructions to potential bidders, detailed project specifications, technical manuals, and contract bonds;
  • Assists Project Manager in negotiating contracts and contract modifications by providing technical expertise;
  • Assists the Resident Engineer in the execution of infrastructure contracts;
  • Responds to technical RFIs from contractors, resolves clarifications from vendors and addresses their requests by issuing addendums;
  • Works with the Technical Program Manager and Technology Department engineers on communications infrastructure design and technical coordination between the Supplier and supportive infrastructure installers;
  • Works with Real Estate department, Maintenance of Way staff, facilities project team and engineers on ensuring SFMTA facilities are prepared for train control equipment installation;
  • Reviews proposals from vendors and evaluates bid documents for conformance with project specifications;
  • Observes train control system component installation and ensures installation is occurring according to plans;
  • Ensures smooth communication, and when necessary, mediates technical disputes between the train control system Supplier and installers;
  • Supervises the train control system testing program and assists the project QA team in assessing the quality of delivered and/or installed components; React to problems with quality control (QC) and help the Resident Engineer implement and execute a corrective action plan.
  • Tracks completion of technical requirements and evaluates the system and individual subsystems and components for acceptance;
  • Participates in the Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) demonstration and verifies that the system as designed and delivered meets the project performance metrics;
  • Communicates with Train Control System Supplier for technical support as needed to address system issues under warranty and support agreements;
  • Works with Supplier, SFMTA operations and maintenance staff to ensure both the designed and finished train control system meets operations and maintenance needs and works within their stated constraints;
  • Reviews and manages workload assignment to consultants, SFMTA engineers, and interns as required;
  • Works as needed during off-hours, including weekend and nightwork.
  • Performs other duties as required.

How to qualify

Minimum Qualifications

  • Seven (7) years of verifiable experience working on train control or rail signaling projects . Three (3) years of this experience must have been in an engineering capacity and two (2) years must have been  in a supervisory role on train control or rail signaling projects; AND
  • Possession of a baccalaureate, master’s or Ph.D. degree in Engineering.


  • A Master's Degree in Engineering may substitute for one year of the overall work experience listed above. A Ph. D. in Engineering may substitute for two years of the work experience.  The three (3) years of engineering experience and two (2) years of supervisory experience are required and cannot be substituted.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Leadership experience and/or experience managing a team of engineers on a project;
  • Additional years of train control or train signaling systems supervisory, engineering or technical experience beyond those stated in the minimum qualifications;
  • Experience designing and integrating train control system equipment onboard rail vehicles;
  • Experience managing train control testing and commissioning activities on an active railway;
  • Experience working with public transit agencies or as an employee of a public transit agency;
  • Experience managing contracts, working with third-party vendors and contractors, and overseeing the design and delivery of public sector procurement projects on-time and on-budget, especially for rail transit agencies;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to communicate with diplomacy and conduct meetings with stakeholders throughout the agency;
  • Ability to work well with a multi-disciplinary, diverse workforce, including operations staff, maintenance technicians, technical professionals, contractors, executives and elected officials, and stakeholder groups.
  • Technical writing and editing experience; experience writing technical specifications and/or manuals;
  • Experience with CAD software or other computer-aided design tools;
  • Experience with P6 Primavera, Microsoft Project, or other project management software applications;
  • Experience with Microsoft Office products such as Excel, Outlook, and Word;
  • Experience interpreting and analyzing telematics data, using Python, SQL, Tableau or other tools to perform calculations and visualize data;

What else should I know?

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. More information can be found at: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

Selection Process:
Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Additional screening mechanisms may be used to determine candidates' qualifications.  Only those applicants who most closely meet the needs of the Agency will be invited to move forward in the selection process.

For questions or inquiries, please contact: Keaney Chan, Human Resources Analyst at

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.