Top bus drivers named in Small Bus Roadeo competition

Contact: Carrie Thompson, Cadillac/Wexford Transit Authority, 231-942-7801,
Michael Frezell, MDOT Office of Communications, 517-281-6519

Fast facts:

  • Sixteen Michigan public transit systems competed in the 43rd 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.

April 22, 2019 -- Sixteen public transit systems from around the state competed in the 43rd Annual Small Bus Roadeo that was held at the Michigan State Police Precision Driving Facility on April 13. Drivers competed in individual and team competitions designed to reinforce safe driving habits and professionalism behind the wheel while ensuring passenger safety.

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, third place went to Deanna Hughes of Gladwin City/County Transit, fourth place went to Barb Mosher of Roscommon County Transportation Authority, fifth place went to Dallas Abbot of Isabella County Transportation Commission, and sixth place went to Douglas Ross of Huron Transit Corp.

Gladwin City/County Transit won first place in the team competition, with drivers Roberta Keast, Harold Smith, and Deanna Hughes. The title of "Rookie of the Year" went to Dallas Abbott of Isabella County Transportation Commission.

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 six winners will represent Michigan by competing in the National Bus Roadeos held at the Community Transportation Association of America's (CTAA) annual expos. First, third, and fifth place winners will compete in the 2019 CTAA Roadeo in Palm Springs, Calif., while second, fourth, and sixth place winners will compete in the 2020 CTAA Roadeo in Louisville, Ky.

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.