Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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July 2006 Local Metroadeo

Safety and skills emphasized at transportation roadeo

Photo: Roadeo competition

With steady hands and nerves of steel, veteran and novice road warriors gathered in Tukwila this past weekend for a contest to determine which King County Department of Transportation (KCDOT) employees have the best on-the-job driving skills.

Metro Transit held its annual "roadeo" on Saturday, July 15. KCDOT roadeo competitions are contests that test the skills and knowledge of Metros bus drivers. The contests challenge employees to keep their skills current, encourage continued mastery of all aspects of equipment operation, while setting an example for the best safety practices.

"The bus roadeo is designed to promote excellence and professionalism in transit operations," said Metro Transit Operations Manager Jim ORourke. "The type of skills on the course are very similar to what is required for safe operation of a bus in traffic on a city street or highway."

Photo: Measuring distance from curb For bus drivers, the "Metroadeo" competition is three part: driving a 40-foot bus through a closed-course with various skill stations; boarding a passenger with disabilities; and an uniform inspection to judge the contestants professional appearance.

The transit course contains 13 problems that test a drivers ability in negotiating left and right forward turns, left and right backing turns, passenger stops, and judgment problems. At some stations, the score is determined by a matter of inches as in smoothly stopping a 31,000-lb. bus traveling at 20 mph within six inches of a traffic cone.

Photo: 2006 winner Don Brady

In addition to taking home trophies, certificates and the admiration of the peers, the roadeo winners also get to represent King County at bigger venues. The winner from the transit competition now advances to the state roadeo, which will be hosted by Metro in August.

Don Brady, North Base operator, placed first in the Operator Division and has won the Metroadeo on eight previous occasions. Tom Ponischil, Central Base operator, placed second. Fred Sambrano, Atlantic Base operator, took third. Ryan Stringfellow, North Base mechanic, was victorious in the Maverick division. And, Paul McKillop from South Base had the best score for a first-time competitor.

Updated: Jul. 18, 2006