2009 Bus Roadeo!

Some of Capital Metro’s finest will be competing in our local 2009 Bus & Paratransit Roadeo this weekend in Leander. The annual competition for mechanics and bus and van operators is part skills showcase, part learning exercise, and reinforces Capital Metro’s emphasis on safety and customer service.

The local competition is the precursor to the State Roadeo and then the International Bus & Paratransit Roadeo. The top two winners in each division move on to the next competition.

Three teams of Capital Metro mechanics competed today in various timed challenges in which they diagnosed and fixed various engine problems. On Sunday, twenty-three operators will complete an obstacle course of nine challenges that test the operators’ technical abilities, as well as the use of safe driving techniques and good customer service. The fun begins around 8 a.m. Sunday at the Leander Park & Ride.

The local bus roadeo also includes an amateur competition. The criteria for being an amateur: you’re a Capital Metro employee but you’ve never had a commercial drivers license. Amateurs participate in teams, splitting up the nine challenges among the members. I’m participating on a team called “Death on the Yard,” and I’ll have you know I only ran over one curb at the Leander Park & Ride last weekend during our practice session! Wish me luck.

Driving a bus is hard. After the practice session, I had a renewed appreciation for this major portion of our workforce who transport people safely all over the city, all hours of the day and night.

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