RCTA team earns third place in annual Small Bus ‘Roadeo’
Drivers on the team were Jim Smith, Mark Griffith and Dave Putman.
They represented one of 15 public transit systems from around the state who participated in competitions for individuals and teams. Drivers competed in Roadeo events designed to test the skills and knowledge of Michigan public transit bus drivers.
The return champion in the team competition for four years running was Clinton Area Transit, with drivers Dan Miller, Rick Hopkins and Pete Soliz. Second place went to Gladwin City/ County Transit, with drivers Deanna Hughes, Angela Lyon and Les Bennett.
“Isabella County Transportation Commission (ICTC) is proud to have hosted the Michigan Small Bus Roadeo in recognition of the vital role that public transit bus drivers play in the delivery of transportation services across the state,” Dennis Adams, director of marketing and public relations for ICTC, and event coordinator, said. “This is both a training event and an opportunity for small bus drivers to show their professionalism behind the wheel.”
There are more than 3,600 buses on Michigan streets daily, serving 102 million passengers.
First-place honors in individual competition went to Dan Miller of Clinton Area Transit System in St. Johns. Deanna Hughes of Gladwin City/County Transit won second place. Third place went to Bob Richardson of the Isabella County Transportation Commission. Each driver competed for points based on a written test, driving skills on an obstacle course, a test to load and unload a wheelchair passenger and a pre-trip vehicle inspection.
The top three individual winners are eligible to compete in the national competition next spring at the Community Transportation Association Annual National Bus Roadeo held in Baltimore during its annual Expo.
The title of “Rookie of the Year” went to Pete Soliz of Clinton Area Transit. The Q’straint Michigan Driver of the Year (for highest score in wheelchair securement) went to Troy Lowe of the Branch Area Transit Authority in Coldwater. The highest score on the written test went to Barb Fry of the Greater Lapeer Transportation Authority.
Top winners received cash prizes and trophies donated by the Michigan Association of Transportation Systems (MASSTrans) and the Michigan Public Transit Association (MPTA). The expenses for the trip to compete in the National Small Bus Roadeo are provided through federal training funds.
Sponsors of the event include MASSTrans, MPTA, and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).