King County Metro of Seattle, Wash. won the Grand Champion Award at the 36th International Bus Roadeo held in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) Bus and Paratransit Conference in Memphis, Tenn. this week. The Grand Champion award recognizes the bus operator and maintenance team that has the highest combined score.
Via Metro Transit of San Antonio, Texas garnered second place, and third place went to the team from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Los Angeles).
"Congratulations to the 2011 International Bus Roadeo winners! They are models of excellence as they showcased professionalism and top-notch skills during the competition," said APTA president William Millar. "Their public transit systems and the communities they serve should be very proud that they have the best bus operators in North America."
Pablo Perez of LYNX (Orlando, Fla.) was named best driver in North America, beating out 39 other competitors to win first place in the 40-foot bus competition. This is the ultimate test of bus operators' driving skills. Second place was awarded to Donald Tucker of Regional Transit Authority/Veolia Transportation (New Orleans) and Michael Grady of King County Metro Transit (Seattle, Wash.) received third place honors.
Julian Carranza, Jr. of Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, (Corpus Christi, Texas) won first place as the best bus operator in North America in the 35-foot bus competition out of 16 bus operator competitors. Lloyd Eisenman of Jefferson Transit Authority (Port Townsend, Wash.) received second place honors, and Arthur Murillo of Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Austin, Texas) earned third place.
Twenty-seven teams competed in the Maintenance Competition, which tests mechanics' abilities to troubleshoot mechanical problems and fix them quickly. VIA Metropolitan Transit (San Antonio, Texas) won first place in the maintenance competition. The team from King County Metro, (Seattle, Wash.) earned a second place finish and the team from Fort Worth Transportation Authority (Fort Worth, Texas) received third place honors.
The fifth annual Customer Service Challenge Awards, which judges professionalism, customer service skills and problem-solving creativity, were also held at the conference. Brian Ursery of the Missoula Urban Transportation District (Missoula, Mont.) was the first place winner in this competition. John M. Deschner of the Regional Transportation Authority, (Denver, Colo.) earned a second place finish.