After two decades of service, Senior Transit Operator Sheila Neville retired from Chapel Hill Transit on March 31.
And according to Brian Litchfield, the director for CHT, Neville valued her job's significance.
“She was just there to serve the community and help folks get to where they needed to go and was willing to be patient with folks and answer questions," he said.
Neville was a CHT leader for a decade, including eight years as the chairperson of the transit employee forum — a team that works to identify challenges or issues that CHT employees might face in their daily work.
She explained that the forum prioritized making the jobs of transit employees easier, often serving as a mediator for issues with CHT employees and management.
“She would listen to the concerns and worries and fears and challenges that her fellow operators were experiencing,” Litchfield said.
During Neville’s time as the chairperson, Litchfield said the two were able to work together and accomplish many things. He said Neville was active in working to support pay adjustments for frontline operators and mechanics.
As an operator, Neville said her day typically started at 5:25 a.m., and she drove the S route until 2 p.m.
“It was by the grace of God that I was able to drive for 20 years without having an accident,” Neville said. “It wasn't always easy, but you have to drive for yourself and the other people, too. You just had to keep your head on a swivel watching everything and just pray you get through the day without an accident.”