DART took the top spot this year and was crowned the Grand Champion at the 41st Annual International Bus Roadeo. The Grand Champion Award recognizes the system with the highest combined bus operator and maintenance team score. The event was held in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Bus and Paratransit Conference in Charlotte, NC this week.
“Rain or shine those bus operators and maintainers strive to do their job to make getting around town safe and enjoyable for all their riders,” said APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall. “Going above and beyond to give the best service to their riders isn’t something they do occasionally, but what they wake up and do every day.”
In the 40-foot bus competition, which is the ultimate test of a bus operator’s driving skills, Jesus Rodriguez driving for DART was named best driver in North America. He beat out 39 other competitors to win the first-place award.
The International Bus Roadeo is comprised of bus operators and mechanics from public transit systems across North America who participate in separate competitions, which showcase their skills in safe driving and vehicle maintenance. The Operator Competition includes events such as judgment stops, turning, and clearing obstacles. The Mechanic Competition requires skills in the identification of defects in engine, transmission, brake, and HVAC modules. The pre-trip inspection for operators and multiplex troubleshooting for mechanics are incorporated as scored events.
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