SEPTA’s Drivers and Mechanics have proven to be the world’s best – again! For the second year in a row, SEPTA’s four member team bested dozens of competing transit agencies from the United States and Canada to win the Grand Champion Award at the 2014 International Bus Roadeo, held this week, in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Bus and Paratransit Conference in Kansas City, MO. SEPTA was also crowned Grand Champion during the same event in 2013.
SEPTA teams achieved overall top scores in the contest, which is defined as the “ultimate test” of a bus operator’s driving skills, and mechanics’ ability to troubleshoot problems and fix them quickly. “We already know that our operating personnel bring their outstanding skills and efforts to work each day to deliver superior transit service for our riders,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. “SEPTA could not be more proud of our team, who once again earned world-class recognition of their talent.”
SEPTA’s team members included bus operator Zenon John Rinylo, who works out of the Southern Bus Depot and Courtland Shop mechanics Don Heim, Joe Borie, and Marc Duerr. Before heading to international competition, the team had to earn the right to compete by winning SEPTA’s annual Bus Roadeo, held each summer, which features competition between operators and mechanics from our own depots and operating locations.
“I congratulate the competitors for an impressive display of skill in this year’s Bus Roadeo,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “These drivers and maintenance professionals are dedicated to ensure that buses are in top form and driven with care and precision.”
APTA’s Grand Champion Award recognizes the system with the highest combined bus operator and maintenance team score. SEPTA celebrated last year’s team accomplishments with lobby-sized banners at our 1234 Market Street Headquarters. Plans to mark this year’s back-to-back win are still being finalized.