Top bus drivers named in Small Bus Roadeo competition

Contact: Michael Frezell, MDOT Office of Communications
 frezellm@michigan.gov
517-335-7176
Agency: Transportation

Fast Facts:
- Eighteen public transit systems competed in the 41st Michigan Annual Small Bus Roadeo.
- First-place individual honors went to Roberta Keast, Gladwin City/County Transit.
- First-place team honors went to Gladwin City/County Transit.
- There are more than 3,700 buses on Michigan streets daily, serving 100 million passengers annually.

August 4, 2016 -- Eighteen public transit systems from around the state competed in the 41st Annual Michigan Small Bus Roadeo in Frankenmuth on July 28, with individual and team competitions. Drivers competed in Roadeo events designed to test the skills and knowledge of Michigan public transit bus drivers.

"Public transit bus drivers play an important role in delivering transportation services to Michigan citizens across the state," said event coordinator Jill Drury, manager for Charlevoix County Transit. "this event showcases the professionalism of small bus drivers and their skills behind the wheel. Transit passengers can be at ease knowing they are in good hands every day."

First-place honors in individual competition went to Roberta Keast of Gladwin City/County Transit. Harold Smith of Gladwin City/County Transit won second place, and third place went to Troy Lowe of Branch Area Transit Authority.

Drivers competed for points based on a written test, driving skills on an obstacle course, a test on passenger assistance, 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's National Bus Roadeo held during its annual expo.

Gladwin City/County Transit won first place in the team competition, with drivers Roberta Keast, Harold Smith, and Jon Greer. Second place went to Huron Transit Corp. in Bad Axe, with drivers Chris Ruth, Shawn Chambers, and Doug Ross. Third place went to Isabella County Transportation Commission in Mt. Pleasant, with drivers Marilyn Griffith, Steffanie Hunt, and Todd Kotecki.

The title of "Rookie of the Year" went to Jack Lewis of Cadillac/Wexford Transportation Authority. The highest score on the written test went to Harold Smith of Gladwin City/County Transit. The highest score on the driving course went to Roberta Keast of Gladwin City/County Transit.

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 Bus Roadeo are provided through federal training funds.

Sponsors of the event include MASSTrans, MPTA, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and commercial vendors.

Small Bus Roadeo photo gallery: http://bit.ly/2aA7cQr

MDOT: Working with our partners at airports, bus systems, marine and rail to find innovative solutions for Michigan's transportation systems.