Phoenix, AZ – Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Los Angeles, CA, won the prestigious Rail Transit Team Achievement Award at the 24th annual American Public Transportation Association (APTA) International Rail Rodeo held June 15-19 in conjunction with the 2016 APTA Rail Conference in Phoenix, AZ. The Rail Transit Team Achievement Award is given to the system with the highest rail operator and maintainer team combined score. The winning team members are Saul Sanchez, David Wilson, Ezequiel Garcia, Marcos Martinez, and Rafaele Mastrangelo, Jr.
“Rail transit operators and those who maintain these systems are the unsung heroes who keep rail systems running safely and efficiently,” said APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall. “I congratulate the winners who represent the best of the best. Their hard work and technical skills were on full display as they achieved one of the rail industry’s highest honors.”
“Those who operate and maintain our rail systems strive to make these systems among the safest and convenient forms of transportation in the world,” said APTA Acting President and CEO Richard White. “I am so appreciative of the work all our competitors put into being the best public transportation providers they can be.”
The Operators Competition measures professional skills, including train operation, knowledge of safety regulations, train equipment, and track right-of-way rules and procedures. Narciso Garcia and Robert Dennis, on behalf of The Regional Transit District (Denver, CO), won first place in the Operators Competition while Harsvinder Dhaliwal and Kuljinder Bath of the Santa Clara Transportation Authority (San Jose, CA) placed second. The team of Saul Sanchez and David Wilson of The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority took third-place honors.
In the Maintainers Competition, participants are evaluated on their ability to troubleshoot maintenance problems. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (Oakland, CA) team of Gary Crandell, Andre Trujillo, and Darrell Johnson were named winners in this category. The Hampton Roads Transit (Hampton, VA) team of Christopher Mertz, Robert Johnson, and Joseph Atkins placed second. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Los Angeles, CA) maintainer team of Ezequiel Garcia, Marcos Martinez, and Rafaele Mastrangelo, Jr. won third place.
The APTA International Rail Rodeo Competition encourages excellence and professionalism in rail transit operations. This years’ competition included 21 teams with 42 rail operators and 51 mechanics from the United States, Canada and Japan. The competition was held at the Valley Metro Operation and Maintenance Center.
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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.