Daliscia Nunn has been driving a shuttle at the Lab for over 10 years averaging about 60 miles a day on her route. She enjoys interacting with the passengers and getting to know them and their stops. She also enjoys the end of her shift at 2:30 p.m., which gives her time to go walking at the Marina in San Leandro to look at the water. She has turned her walking time into participating in power walking marathons.
Q: What is the best thing about having new shuttles at the Lab?
A: Definitely it is the new car smell. Nothing smells like that, and we have that with the new shuttles. The suspension is better so we won’t be having such a bumpy ride anymore. And most of all, working air conditioning. I’m in the shuttle all day and AC matters. The new shuttles are going to make a difference for the drivers and the passengers.
Q: What are the challenges that come with driving a shuttle in an urban area?
A: Pedestrians, bikers, skateboarders, cars, trucks — you name it — they provide a challenge. You have to be 100 percent focused on driving, which is why we ask that you don’t try and chat with us. I like to say hi, but much past that my attention needs to be on the road. The first time I drove I had a skateboarder fly out of nowhere and go right in front of me.
Q: How can shuttle passengers make it easier for you to do your job?
A: Our passengers play a part in keeping us all safe. I need them to pay attention to where we are. Put down the phone. Anticipate your stop; not yell out as I’m passing by it. Go ahead and pull that stop cord. And when you have a bike in the rear, let me know as you get off. Look at me and tell me you have a bike to unload so I don’t drive off with your bike.