The annual APTA International Bus Roadeo took place May 3-7 this year in Indianapolis, Indiana. Sixty transit agencies from across North America participated in this prestigious competition designed to test the skills of both bus operators and mechanics. Awards are given in each area, and there is an overall grand prize for the transit system with the highest combined score for the bus operator and bus maintenance team.
Our maintenance team, Archie Rockwell, Phillip Sanchez and Alex Hernandez earned 6th place in the competition. Coach operator and 14-year veteran Ricardo Alvarez placed 23rd. The combined maintenance team and bus operator scores earned Omnitrans an impressive 10th place overall ranking.
“I am very proud of our team,” said Omnitrans CEO, Milo Victoria. “The competition is fierce, so for us to have placed in the top ten is a real accomplishment. What a great example of our team’s top skills and dedication to excellence!”
“The top ten winners truly are the cream of the crop in our industry,” said Omnitrans maintenance supervisor and APTA Roadeo judge Vicki Chesney. “The competition can be especially challenging because standards and vehicles tend to vary between agencies. For example, in this year’s competition we used 42-foot deisel buses supplied by the host agency, IndyGo. Here at Omnitrans, our guys are used to 40-foot CNG buses. They really have to prepare and be on top of their game for this event.”
In the Bus Operator Roadeo, judges scored competitors on the safe, smooth and efficient navigation of a challenging obstacle course which included serpentine turns, rear duals clearance, a left and a right hand reverse, diminishing clearance, customer stops and more. Drivers also had to pass written test and complete a timed pre-trip inspection by finding 8 equipment-related defects and 1 security hazard that had been planted on and in the bus within 7 minutes.
The Maintenance Competition event included a written test, a Fraser Gauge Vehicle Inspection, an Allison Transmission/Cummins/EMP Power Train Event, an AxleTech/Bendix Air Brake System (ABS) Event, a Cummins/Voith Power Train Event, a Thermo King HVAC IntelligAIRE Event, a MCI Multiplex Module and aVapor Door Systems Exhibition Event.
2o13 APTA INTERNATIONAL ROADEO WINNERS
Grand Champion Award – Highest combined scores of bus operator and maintenance team
- Winner – Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
40-foot Bus Competition
- 1st Place – Paul Kilmesh of Ames Transit Agency (Ames, IA)
- 2nd Place – Daniel R. Schmidt of Ben Franklin Transit (Richland, WA)
- 3rd Place – Zenon Rinylo of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1st Place – Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
- 2nd Place – Orange County Transportation Authority
- 3rd Place – Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
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