Meet Sheila – Count on this 23-year veteran County Connection Bus Operator to always get you where you need to go. As a protection driver, Sheila knows every County Connection route and is ready to hop aboard any bus that unexpectedly needs a driver and she does it with a smile. What keeps her so cheerful? She says her passengers make her laugh and giggle all the time.
Meet Hack – As a County Connection Customer Service Representative, Hack serves as a vital resource to riders. Most days he can be found at his desk on the phone with County Connection customers offering advice and information about our bus services. For over seven years Hack has been interacting with customers and says he always appreciates honest feedback and suggestions. As a primary point of contact, one of Hack’s favorite things about his job is helping people get to their destinations.
Meet Pablo – For 29 years Pablo has been part of the team that keeps County Connection’s bus fleet in top condition. As a Service Worker, Pablo is responsible for preparing buses for daily service and for keeping the interior and exteriors clean. Pablo enjoys the people he works with and takes pride in providing passengers, especially those that depend on public transportation as their only means of travel, with well cared for County Connection buses.
Meet Tanny – Tanny is a LINK driver and helps people with an array of conditions and disabilities get where they need to go. LINK is County Connection¹s paratransit service contracted through First Transit that offers specialized, door-to-door transport service to people with disabilities unable to ride fixed-route public transportation. Tanny is also a trainer and instructs other LINK drivers how to secure wheelchairs and make passengers as safe and comfortable as possible. Often at work before sunrise, Tanny says taking good care of his passengers and helping them has kept him on the job for over 19 years.
Meet Charlotte – If you come to County Connection headquarters, chances are the first person you will meet is Charlotte. As the County Connection receptionist, she welcomes and directs visitors and responds to inquiries. Charlotte will also answer or refer calls to appropriate personnel. One of her favorite front desk responsibilities is to help people purchase discount bus passes and obtain Senior Clipper Cards — the reloadable contactless smart card used for electronic transit fare payments for riding BART and other large transit systems . She especially enjoys the senior visitors that come in and brighten her day with anecdotes and funny stories.
Meet Mathilda – Mathilda loves her independence, and goes out of her way to make sure that her friends, neighbors, and even strangers in the senior community, know how to use County Connection buses to maintain an active and independent life. In fact, Mathilda says she’s gained confidence and freedom by eliminating the stress and anxiety that comes with driving. She goes somewhere just about every day of the week, and since the reintroduction of the free fare program for seniors from 10AM to 2PM, she often encourages someone in her community to come along for the ride to see how easy it can be to get around. Mathilda knows many of the bus operators, and they appreciate her dedication to helping others.
Meet Jeremy – A skilled and experienced mechanic, Jeremy starts his County Connection day at 4:00 a.m. Responsible for heavy repairs, he is part of the team that keeps County Connection’s diverse fleet running smoothly. What’s his favorite aspect of his job? The people he works with. ‘It’s like a family,” he says. “Everyone has been here a really long time.” For 11 years, Jeremy has been a part of County Connection working in the bus maintenance facility. Once and a while, he goes on road calls enjoying the challenge to see if he can fix a sidelined bus well enough for it to be driven back to the bus yard.
Meet June – If you ask June why after 29 years she is still happy to be a County Connection driver she’ll answer, “It’s a joy to me to get people from point A to point B without any harm coming to them.” She also wants to make life a little easier for those she comes in contact with. Having been a bus rider, June knows what it is like to rely on the bus as a primary means of travel and hasn’t forgotten how important a bus ride can be, whether it is picking up kids from school, going to the grocery store, or to a medical appointment. She tries to help new drivers know too. As a trainer she teaches new bus operators not only the equipment they are responsible for, but also a little about the people they will be responsible for too.
Meet Ruthie – As the early shift bus driver supervisor, Ruthie starts her workday at 4 a.m. She gives direction and supervises 100 County Connection operators. Ruthie oversees the operators that are in the field by communicating with them at dispatch and helping them by responding to daily questions and with occasional encountered difficulties. She knows what it’s like to be a driver in the field; 29 years ago she was among the very first County Connection bus operators. A supervisor for 27 years, Ruthie says, “I enjoy people. Wouldn’t be here if I didn’t!”
Meet Sunny – After driving school buses for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District for 16 years, Sunny thought long and hard about making a move to join the County Connection team. Ultimately the prospect of full time work tipped the scales. Since making the move a little over a year ago, Sunny has had no regrets. “The people here are truly awesome, caring people – this makes me so proud of the work I do in the community where I live with my own family.” Since leaving the school district Sunny is pleasantly surprised to see so many of the children she used to transport now riding the County Connection buses as adults. “Watching them grow from children to adults has been neat to watch. I’m a people person and I love what I do.”
Meet Albert – If you look up “public service” in a dictionary your may see Albert’s name. He’s devoted the past 17 years to serving residents of Contra Costa. When Albert first came on board as a County Connection operator, part-time work was all that was available. While driving a route that served a local hospital Albert learned they were looking to fill several part-time positions. So for the past 17 years he helps his passengers during the day and patients during the evening. When you meet Albert you’ll understand how his gentle, easy going manner can help ease the tensions of a hectic day. Albert is a Bay Area native who by his own admission is a remote control car junkie. Although hearing how he uses his latest “toy” helicopter for landscape photography – I wouldn’t call it a “toy”.
Meet Pam – Pam works in the transportation department, keeping track of operator attendance, time sheets, vacation accruals, and payroll tracking. With over 150 operators, that’s no small task. Pam also performs a myriad of special assignments that involve anything from uniform purchases to billing for services provided during emergencies. “Before coming to work at County Connection I didn’t think much about public transportation – it was just there. Now I see buses everywhere, wherever I go, and can even tell the difference between a bus and other large vehicles when I hear them outside my home.” What has amazed her most about working at County Connection is the amount of planning, expertise, and dedication that goes into putting our buses on the road.
Meet Manuel – As a bus operator for County Connection for the past 13 years, Manuel takes pride in all aspects of his job and his service to the community. Pride source #1 – his commitment to safety. Manuel recognizes that above all, safety always comes first. He doesn’t leave the bus yard without performing the pre-trip inspection with an eagle eye. Pride source #2 – his commitment to his passengers. He states that it’s his passengers that truly make his work a great experience every day. He’s come to know most of them – where they get on and where they get off. Pride source #3 – his commitment to the County Connection team. Manuel is not only committed to his passengers, but also to the entire County Connection team. He brings the same level of courtesy and professionalism to his co-workers that his passengers see every day. Professional service with a smile is what everyone gets – every day. Manuel wouldn’t have it any other way.
Meet Sayed – When Sayed began his career as a County Connection bus operator, he was excited to have a job that offered variety and a sense of freedom and that catered to his genuine love of people. During his 26 year tenure, Sayed has been a “protection” operator – meaning he is prepared to drive any route, and any shift. His dedication to County Connection and his passengers is reflected in his impeccable safety and attendance record. Sayed has spent most of his life in the community he serves, raising his family and enjoying all that the area has to offer (you might see him on the trails on his days off). When asked what keeps him motivated, “it’s my passengers…I know most by name, and they know mine.”
Meet Malissa – Malissa, assistant manager of customer service, makes sure the department runs smoothly and is equipped to give riders real time information about bus service. One of the things she likes best about her job is that no day is the same. Each one brings a different situation or event that is an opportunity to help passengers. At the end of Malissa’s day, she knows that her department has made a difference in people’s lives, and this makes her happy.
Meet Bruce – Bruce has been a mechanic at County Connection for 21 years, beginning at the entry level and rising through the ranks. With a last name of Voltz it’s not surprising that he specializes in electrical systems. But Bruce is also skilled in all aspects of fleet maintenance and repair.
The role of a diesel mechanic has changed over the years from being a nuts and bolts mechanic, to being a technician. “Today, you can’t even diagnose a problem without a laptop”, which makes recruiting for diesel mechanics more difficult. Bruce sees the biggest challenge in the industry as keeping up with emission regulations – but, these challenges are good for the community and the environment. Today’s buses run so clean the emissions are down to nearly zero. Bruce is looking forward to receiving our first four electric buses, and with a name like Voltz, do you wonder why?
Meet Robin – There are two sides to Robin. He is a hard core, professional driver who has been with County Connection for 20 years and is committed to professionalism and safety. As one of our licensed DOT (Department of Transportation) trainers he enjoys molding new recruits into professional drivers. This side of Robin is precise and methodical.
The other side of Robin is wild and creative. He has a sense of humor fostered during his youth by his father who played Captain Satellite, a character on an afternoon children’s program that aired on Channel 2 during the 1960’s. Robin brings humor, music and animation to his training materials to better engage the students. Twice a month bus operators are allowed to dress casually, and you’ll see Robin in his famous wild print slacks (that’s the golfer in him). According to Robin “you have to bring some humor into what you do – if not, what’s the point?”
Meet Oscar – Before joining County Connection nearly 25 years ago Oscar worked at the Port of Oakland as a truck driver/owner/operator. He liked his job, but felt something lacking. When he became a County Connection bus operator he realized it was interaction with people that was missing. “My passengers bring me joy every day”. Oscar grew up in El Salvador and had a sister with special needs. This instilled in him a great sense of compassion for passengers that may need a little extra assistance, time, or patience.
Oscar’s top priority has always been the safety of his passengers, and feels that his perfect safe driving record is his greatest accomplishment here at County Connection. After nearly 25 years Oscar should be thinking of retirement – but his head and heart are in a tug of war at the moment, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Meet Kandi – Kandi is a recent addition to the County Connection administrative team, and is proving her worth. She has an extensive background serving as the administrative “right hand woman” for several Fortune 500 companies ranging from retail and high tech to branding and packaging. “I feel like a chameleon that can fit in anywhere.”
As the assistant to County Connection’s Civil Rights Administrator, Kandi is active in recruitment and employment outreach, but also assists the Human Resources department with new hire processing. Everyone she works with appreciates her effervescent personality and permanent smile. Kandi is a results-driven woman who sets both professional and personal goals – something tells us she’ll meet them all.
Meet Gary – Gary began driving for County ten years ago, and is still grateful each day for the opportunity he has to make a difference in the lives of his passengers. He grew up locally and remembers taking the buses every day. Now when he sees a mom at the bus stop sending her kids off to school it reminds him of his humble roots, and keeps him keeps him grounded and focused on doing the best job possible. “One day one of those little kids could be me – I need to show them how it’s done”.
Things are bright for Gary and he aspires for more. He hopes to one day become a transit supervisor. We’re sure he’ll get there.
Meet Sophia – When Sophia came to County Connection 15 years ago she was amazed to learn that many of her co-workers had been here for 15 years or more. She thought this must be a great place to work. Now here it is 15 years later and she knows her first impression was right.
Customer service is #1 with Sophia. “I feel like I have a good way with people so that even if they’ve had a bad day, I can usually coax a smile out of them”. She truly enjoys her job and people she serves, and it shows all over.