Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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June 2001 Metroadeo

Metro safety competition

Safety takes a front seat at the Metro Roadeo. As drivers carefully wind their way around a meandering course (above), volunteer judges Jason Barney and Keely Johann score their efforts at one of 11 different performance stops.

Metro 'Roadeo' showcases safe driving skills

On Saturday, June 23, more than 50 bus drivers and mechanics from King County Metro Transit converged on the Safety and Training Center in Tukwila to participate in the 2001 Metroadeo. This year's Roadeo winners are Bus Driver Michael Grady and Mechanic Ryan Stringfellow, both of Metro's East Base in Bellevue.

Each year, the Roadeo gives coach operators an opportunity to demonstrate their daily driving skills in a competitive environment. The Roadeo course is designed to test every phase of operation that a bus driver will encounter in normal driving situations, including tight turns, serpentine curves and quick stops at 25 mph. Besides the performance course, drivers are tested on safety procedures, professionalism, personal appearance, pre-trip coach inspection and wheelchair lift operation.

"At the Roadeo, drivers face a course with tighter turns and tighter schedules than what they would normally encounter," said Safety Supervisor Terry Compton. "Here, their daily driving skills are put to the test under a microscope. In spite of this, Metro drivers at the Roadeo excel on a course that is more difficult than almost any real-world situation."

Metro Transit has some of the best and safest drivers in the business. Operator Don Brady of North Base and Mechanic Stringfellow have both won multiple international Roadeo competitions.

Given the narrow, hilly and often crowded streets in King County, the abilities of Metro Transit operators are put to the test every day, and their prowess as skilled drivers shows on the Roadeo course. Operators who finished in the top 10 at the Metroadeo will go on to compete at the Washington State Roadeo later this summer. Here are this year's top bus drivers:

  1. Michael Grady, East Base Operations--previously won in 1998
  2. Don Brady, North Base Operations--seven-time Metroadeo winner
  3. Steve Stangeland, Atlantic Base Operations
  4. Jay Ackerman, North Base Operations
  5. Chai Kunjara, Atlantic Base Operations
  6. Walter Radke, East Base Operations
  7. Tammy Klein, South Base Operations
  8. Kendall Carson, Ryerson Base Operations
  9. Dennis Maguire, Bellevue Base Operations
  10. Chet Genther, Bellevue Base Operations

Special awards were presented to Frank Nerocker of South Base for "Most Improved Performance from a Previous Metroadeo" and Rick Smith of Ryerson Base for "Best First Performance at a Metroadeo."

Ron Phillips of Bellevue Base Maintenance and Leonard Emry of North Base Maintenance took second and third place, respectively, in the vehicle maintenance team competition.

With seven major awards from the American Public Transportation Association in the past 10 years, Metro Transit's Safety and Training Center has led the way in giving the public a safe ride.

Updated: Jul. 21, 2006