Linux Systems Administrator - OCC

Boston, MA
Operations Control Center – OCS /
Full time /
At the Technology Innovation Department (TID), our mission is to apply modern principles of research, design, and technology to make our transit system easy for all riders to use. Effective and equitable public transit is essential to the social, economic, and environmental progress of Greater Boston.
The MBTA Technology Innovation team is working to transform how people get around the Boston area.
We are a team of designers, engineers, product and content specialists charged with bringing novel ideas, modern standards and a user-centered approach to technology at the T. As the MBTA works to reinvent itself, we have a rare opportunity to craft the future of transportation for Boston and communities all around Eastern Massachusetts, as well as pioneer innovations for other transit agencies around the country.
Do you want to improve the daily transportation experience for 4.7 million people in the Boston region? Ready for the challenge? Then read on.

At the MBTA, we envision a thriving region enabled by a best-in-class transit system.  Our mission is to serve the public by providing safe, reliable, and accessible transportation.  MBTA’s core values are built around safety, service, equity, and sustainability and each employee that works for the MBTA performs their roles based on our vision, mission, and values.  This includes attendance, participation, and contribution in local safety committee meetings as needed.

Purpose and scope:

    • The OCS System Administrator is responsible for the Linux administration of the MBTA Operations Control System (OCS). The OCS System Administrator will be responsible for supporting, maintaining, and enhancing the real-time distributed system used to manage the MBTA’s Operations Control Center Train Control System. This role will report directly to the Deputy Director Operations Control System (OCS).

Duties and responsibilities:

    • Support, maintain, and enhance the real-time distributed system used to manage the MBTA’s Operations Control Center Train Control System.
    • Respond to system emergencies (automated and end user identified) twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week.
    • Monitor the functioning of installed equipment/systems in order to detect hazards and the need for adjustments, reallocation, or replacement.
    • Improve the automated system monitoring and problem auto resolution systems.
    • Troubleshoot and document resolutions of failures with computer hardware, operating system, network, and control system.
    • Design/implement/integrate new systems, hardware, and technologies into the Operations Control Center.
    • Read, update, and create detailed documentation such as system schematics, hardware layout diagrams, operating system installation procedures, and maintenance procedures.
    • Create, execute, and analyze database reports and ad-hoc queries.
    • Create, review, and execute system test procedures.
    • Utilize change control and version management procedures.
    • MySQL database setup configuration and maintenance monitoring.
    • Maintain system backups
    • Apache Web Server setup configuration and maintenance monitoring.
    • Configuration of network Firewall, Routers and Switches and maintenance monitoring.
    • Coordinate with Schedules Department on train schedule loading.
    • Perform all other duties and projects that may be assigned

    • Additional responsibilities may include focus on one or more departments or locations.   See applicable addendum for department or location specific functions.

Physical demands and working conditions:

    • The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
    • Available to work all shifts and locations as assigned or directed
    • Available to work as per assignment by the MBTA twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week as directed by supervisory staff for severe weather conditions, emergencies or any other circumstances that may potentially impact service or the safety of service
    • Have the ability to work any and all shifts and/or locations assigned or directed. 

Minimum experience and required skills:

    • Four (4) years system administration experience with Linux/Unix operating systems.
    • Should have working knowledge of: Desktop/Server hardware configuration, real-time systems, general networking (router/switch/firewall configuration), redundant configuration setups, MySQL/MariaDB database and SQL query, Apache web server, RAID Disk array configuration, Experience with shell scripting (sh/bash/csh/Pearl or similar)
    • Have excellent analytical, problem solving, organizational, planning, multi-tasking, time management, documentation, and interpersonal skills.
    • Have the ability to work any and all shifts and/or locations as assigned or directed; be available to work twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week.
    • Ability to provide internal and external customers with a courteous and professional experience.

Preferred experience and skills:

    • Experience with: CentOS Linux, DRBD, NS, Gnome, X server, CUPS, docker/container (Debian chroot), Cisco and Moxa networking equipment, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Adobe ColdFusion

Substitutions include:

    • A High School Diploma or GED with an additional seven (7) years of directly related experience (Linux/Unix operating system) may be substitutes for the Bachelor’s degree requirement 

Job conditions:

    • Adhere to rules, regulations, collective bargaining agreements (if applicable) and policies of the MBTA including the EEO, anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and anti-retaliation policies.
    • Ability to pass a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check, background screening, and the MBTA’s medical requirements, including a physical examination and drug and alcohol screening. 
    • Have a satisfactory work record for the two (2) years immediately prior to the closing date of this posting, including overall employment, job performance, discipline, and safety records (infractions and/or offenses occurring after the closing of the posting and before the filling of a vacancy may preclude a candidate from consideration for selection). 

    • The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and complexity of the work being performed by staff assigned to this job, and do not represent an exhaustive list of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities required of staff assigned to this position.

Minimum education:

    • A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or a related field

This role will be hybrid, and we will need this person to be local to MA.


$111,862.40 annually.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

TID is dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive environment—it’s essential to the work we do. In order to effectively partner with MBTA departments and do our best work for riders, our team must reflect the wide variety of people who use the MBTA’s services. We welcome people with different strengths, experiences, and backgrounds who share a passion for improving people's lives. Our team is deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and continual learning. We strive to foster an environment where each individual is valued, feels a sense of belonging, and is welcomed to bring their best self to work.

Here at TID, we provide equal opportunity for all employees and applicants. We recruit, hire, train, promote, compensate, and manage all personnel without regard to race, color, national origin, cultural identification or expression, socioeconomic background, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, learning style, neurodiversity, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other non-merit based or legally protected grounds. 

Research has shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for roles unless they believe they meet all qualifications. We strongly encourage candidates from marginalized groups to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of the job qualifications listed. We’re committed to maximizing the diversity of our team and want to hear from anyone who is passionate about our efforts and interested in supporting our work for riders.