Daily life

On board metro driver Naïma’s cab

Naïma, a driver on line 4 of the Île-de-France metro network, takes up the microphone every day to inform passengers and brighten up their journeys. We meet a woman who puts words at the heart of her job.

For four years, her alarm has sounded at the crack of dawn. Naïma is in her cab by 5:10 a.m., where she prepares to make four return trips on line 4 to deliver her passengers safely to their destinations. A job she loves, particularly when she has the opportunity to interact with travelers. On line 4, which is in the process of being automated, with the installation of platform-edge doors, "the only real interaction with travelers is by voice," explains the driver. For her, making announcements on the metros is a key part of her job.

Naïma

Employees trained in making announcements

For several years, training and awareness-raising actions have been carried out with employees to assist them when making announcements on their metro, tram, bus, or RER. The aim? To ensure that station staff, drivers and conductors have all the keys to communicate seamlessly with customers, especially in the event of an incident on the line. “There are interconnections at each station on line 4. I suggest alternative solutions, or I direct customers to the station staff depending on the nature of the incident," says Naïma, who can sometimes be struck with mild stage fright when pressing the button and making her announcement. “The secret is to focus on the information you’ll be sharing. When I speak to travelers, I do so as if I were speaking to my family.”


In her announcements, Naïma endeavors to be as concise as possible so as to comply with the regulatory ten seconds per announcement because, as she believes, “too much information kills information”: “Sometimes I might stammer even though I'm pretty confident. I don't get embarrassed; I apologize and then I start again.”


She continues: “We transport passengers, not freight! The essence of our work is to communicate information”. 


The microphone isn't just used at difficult times.  The return to school, scorching temperatures or simply wanting to wish your passengers a nice day are all ways to establish a rapport with them. “Announcements are more personalized. I’m really happy to have been trained in making announcements on the metro. This is in line with my idea of my job,” enthuses Naïma, who is already ready to get back on the track. “It’s like being on stage except the people are behind you.” Perhaps you might be lucky enough to take Naïma’s metro in the coming days...

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