The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority of Philadelphia, PA won the Grand Champion Award at the 38th International Bus Roadeo. Held in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Bus and Paratransit Conference in Indianapolis, IN this week, it was hosted by IndyGo and took place at the Allison Transmission Test Track. The Grand Champion Award recognizes the system with the highest combined bus operator and maintenance team combined score. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Los Angeles, CA) took second place overall achievement honors, while the team from Orange County Transportation Authority (Orange, CA) won third place overall achievement honors.
"I want to congratulate the winners of the 2013 International Bus Roadeo," said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. "All the winners are model examples of excellence in the public transportation industry."
In the 40-foot bus competition, which is the ultimate test of a bus operator’s driving skills, Paul Klimesh of Ames Transit Agency (Ames, IA) was named best driver in North America, beating out fifty other competitors to win first place. Taking second place in the 40-foot bus competition was Daniel R. Schmidt of Ben Franklin Transit (Richland, WA). Third place was claimed by Zenon Rinylo of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia, PA).
In the 35-foot bus competition, Gabriel Beliz of Ben Franklin Transit (Richland, WA) won first place as the best bus operator in North America, beating out seventeen of other competitors. Taking second place was Julian Carranza, Jr. of Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority (Corpus Christi, TX). Claiming third place in the competition was Howard Yoder of Central Ohio Transit Authority (Columbus, OH).
Thirty two teams competed in the Maintenance Competition, which tests mechanics’ abilities to troubleshoot mechanical problems and fix them quickly. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia, PA) won first place in the maintenance competition. The team from Orange County Transportation Authority (Orange, CA) earned a second place finish and the team from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Los Angeles, CA) received third place honors.
Bill Webb of Delaware Transit Corporation (Wilmington, DE) was the first place winner of the Customer Service Challenge Awards, which was also held at the conference. This competition judges professionalism, customer service skills, and problem-solving creativity.
Competitors in this year’s Bus Roadeo represented twenty eight states and three Canadian provinces.
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.