Transit Systems 2019-04-02 2019-05-07

Senior Communications Specialist

Company: Virginia Railway Express View more listings
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Job Status: Full-time
Job ID: 112214

Immediate Availability

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE), a rapidly growing commuter rail operation connecting Washington, DC with Northern Virginia and surrounding counties, is in need of an experienced professional who will perform multiple roles in the areas of customer communications and commuter rail operations: Monitors train operations and proactively addresses issues such as delays, disruptions, or crisis. Coordinates communication with train crews, host railroads, partnering agencies or other entities; provides information to staff and the public. Assists with a variety of public events and initiatives.

Work experience in a transit operating environment and familiarity with VRE is highly desired. A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and at least 3 years of related operations and communications experience is required. Must be able to work flexible hours demanded by a transit operation environment. Must attain/renew Rules Certification on CSX, NS and Amtrak Railroads within one year of start date. Must also possess a valid driver’s license, current auto insurance, and maintain a safe driving record at all times during employment with VRE. For the complete job description, please see our website: Full time position with great benefits. Projected hiring range: $51,450 - $75,000, depending upon prior experience and education.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Veterans are encouraged to apply. Background checks are performed on all new employees. No inquiring phone calls will be accepted in response to this ad. Qualified candidates interested in applying should submit by e-mail or mail a professional styled cover letter, resume, salary history and three confidential references (to include their address, phone & e-mail) by close of business, April 21, 2019, to:

Human Resources Administrator
1500 King St. Suite 202
Alexandria, VA 22314


GRADE: P [SALARY RANGE $51,427.47 - $85,369.60]

Reports to the Director of Rail Operations. Performs multiple roles in the areas of customer communications and operations monitoring: Monitors train operations and proactively addresses issues in operations such as delays, disruptions, or crises. Coordinates communication with crews, partnering agencies or other entities; provides information to staff and the public. Responsible for an assigned area of customer communications such as newsletters, reports, or website content. Assists with a variety of scheduled public events and initiatives.


  • Monitors daily or nightly train service via TRIP and CSX/NS screens and updates staff and host railroads on any potential issues. Coordinates with host railroads, VRE and contractor staff during service disruptions.

  • Works to identify the causes of delays and acts as primary point of contact in case of service disruptions.

  • Performs full system check prior to each morning or afternoon service. Contacts necessary parties to clear/report deficiencies.

  • Disseminates information to passengers regarding issues such as fare and ticket prices, schedules, the status of trains, commuter trip planning and connecting services, station locations and directions over the phone, via email and in person. Answers phones and screens incoming calls to ensure they are answered promptly. Handles customer crisis communications as required.

  • Coordinates VRE schedule information with outside agencies.

  • Monitors fare collection system status and reports outages to senior Rail Operations staff members.

  • Collects data for VRE reports such as the General Overview Report presented to the VRE Operations Board on a monthly basis.

  • Pays and monitors VRE cell phone bills.

  • Creates maps and other graphics for the VRE Website.

  • Coordinates IVR Information.

  • Works with IT Department during schedule and fare changes.

  • Authorizes payment of invoices for services such as external web hosting.

  • May create, maintain and manage VRE website content. Send out notifications to passengers and facilitate the selling of tickets for VRE events such as Santa Trains. May also coordinate information dissemination via other channels (Train Talk, Twitter, VMS, IVR, etc.).

  • May manage and maintain VRE’s presence on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Wikipedia.

  • Manages email responses of GoTrains. May act as an administrator, assigning duties and forwarding information to various staff, collecting comments and complaints from riders.

  • May be in charge of creating and distributing weekly electronic and monthly paper VRE newsletters. Duties include assigning articles to staff, writing, editing, designing and formatting the newspaper layout.

  • Participates in and provides support as needed for special events such as Surveys, Operation Life Saver Trains, Manassas Rail Festival, Clifton Day, Meet the Managements and service disruptions.

  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

  • Knowledge of applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations.

  • Knowledge of customer service principles.

  • Knowledge of basic HTML coding as well as ADA image compliances.

  • Ability to accurately organize and maintain paper documents and electronic files.

  • Ability to communicate in order to interact with coworkers, supervisor, and the general public at a level sufficient to exchange or convey information and to receive work direction.

  • Ability to type and use a variety of office machines.

  • Ability to work well with different types of people and at all levels of the organization.

  • Ability to respond courteously to customer needs.

  • Ability to remain calm during stressful events and to make decisions in the best interest of the passenger, VRE, and the railroads.

  • Ability to work independently, know limits and meet deadlines.

  • Ability to learn layout of CSX/NS screens (i.e., VRE station locations, basic understanding of railroad switch and signal operation, understanding insignias of other trains present on the board).

  • Ability to use a computer and related software applications.

Bachelor Degree in a relevant field and at least 3 years of related experience. Additional years of directly related experience can substitute for educational requirement.

Must possess a valid driver’s license, current auto insurance, and maintain a safe driving record at all times during employment with VRE.

Ability to work the flexible hours demanded by a transit operation environment.

Physical Abilities: Ability to safely lift and move boxes, equipment and other items for short distances weighing up to 40 lbs. Must be able to effectively use hands and fingers in the manipulation of various pieces of office equipment.

The statements in this job description are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by incumbent(s) assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.

VRE is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. VRE is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunities for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment.

Transit Job Listing - Senior Communications Specialist