by Pat Walsh, Lane Transit District
Long-time LTD bus operator Justin Martin placed second in the regional ‘Bus Roadeo’ held in Spokane, Washington, during the Washington State Transit Association’s annual conference.
Martin competed against bus operators from throughout the Northwest.
During a roadeo, competitors test their driving skills while negotiating courses containing various obstacles within a set time limit. They also perform a series of turns, stops, lane changes, and backups, oftentimes within inches of a curb or a cone.
All drivers were scored based on their driving precision and the time it took for them to complete the various tests on the obstacle course.
Martin advanced to the Spokane competition after winning the LTD Bus Roadeo held earlier this year.
“The LTD Bus Roadeo is a really fun competition with co-workers,” said Martin, who has been an LTD bus operator for more than 21 years.
“The winner always gets to move on to compete with other drivers from across the region. The competition is tough and fierce! In the end, you build great friendships with drivers from all over America,” he said. “The true champions are the volunteer judges that make this special event possible.“
Before an LTD bus operator drives a 40-foot bus on one of the district’s 30 fixed routes, they participate in several weeks of intensive classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction.
Their education and bus operator skill-set building include mastering many of the techniques tested in a bus roadeo.