AC Transit won the 2019 Grand Champion Award, recognizing the system with the highest combined bus operator and maintenance team score.
The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District took the top spot this year and was crowned the Grand Champion at the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 44th Annual International Bus Roadeo. A total of 78 operators and 38 maintenance teams participated in the Roadeo. The Grand Champion Award recognizes the system with the highest combined bus operator and maintenance team score.
The Intercity Transit (Olympia, Washington) team took second place overall achievement honors, while the team from Dallas Area Rapid Transit won third place. The event was held in conjunction with the APTA Mobility Conference in Louisville this week.
“The Roadeo highlights the dedication of our incredible professionals as they provide safe and reliable transportation to their riders every day. I congratulate the winners and all the participants who displayed excellent skills, precision and dedication to their work,” APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said.
In the bus operator competition, Robert Wood, driving for Intercity Transit was named best driver in North America. He beat out 78 other competitors to win the first-place award. Taking second place in the bus competition was Caleb Suttle driving for Ben Franklin Transit (Richland, Washington). Third place was claimed by Abniger Chan driving on behalf of the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (Denver).
Thirty-eight teams competed in the Maintenance Competition, which tests mechanics’ abilities to troubleshoot mechanical problems and fix them quickly. Orange County Transportation Authority won first place. The team from Central Ohio Transit Authority (Columbus) earned a second-place finish and the team from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority received third place honors.
In addition to recognizing excellence among bus operators and mechanics, APTA also awarded Misti El-Shabazz of Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (Indianapolis) as the champion of the Customer Service Challenge Award. This competition judges professionalism, customer service skills and problem-solving skills.
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.
This release originally appeared on the APTA website. You can view it here.