By Elaine Tran, Internal Communications Specialist
Following the SamTrans JVC Memorial Bus Roadeo in April, the winners – bus operator Ariel Hale and maintenance team – Juan Villanueva, Sim Bedi and Anthony Singh – had the opportunity to head to Tampa, Florida to represent SamTrans and compete in American Public Transportation Association’s 43rd Annual International Bus Roadeo that took place May 4-8.
A total of 87 bus operators and 43 maintenance teams participated in the Roadeo, which was hosted by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) and the International Bus Roadeo Competition itself took place on the premises of PSTA.
For the bus competitions, the operators had the option to compete in either the 35-foot bus or 40-foot bus competition. Out of the 87 bus operators that competed, Hale came in as one of the top 25 operators.
The maintenance team competed over a course of two days, which tested the teams’ abilities to quickly identify, troubleshoot and repair mechanical problems. Out of the seven modules that had to be solved, the SamTrans maintenance team was awarded 1st place for the “Custom Training Aid Air Brake Board” module. They were recognized at the International Bus Roadeo Awards Banquet held in the evening on the last day of the Roadeo.
And as an added bonus, both Bedi and Singh were given the news of their promotion to Mechanic “A” on the day of the Roadeo competition.
“Being that this was my first time at the International Bus Roadeo for SamTrans, it was a good experience for everyone,” said David Harbour, Deputy Director of Bus Maintenance. “This trip was a great learning and networking opportunity that our crew can take with them and share their experiences with everyone else at the base. Overall it was really exciting to be at this competition.”
Hale and the maintenance team received full support by the Bus Maintenance and Training staff who were also in attendance. Congratulations to the winning team!