Intercity Transit riders can rest easy knowing their drivers and mechanics are the Grand Champions of the 2017 Washington State Public Transportation Roadeo. Ten transit systems competed in the roadeo, held August 5-6 in Everett, WA. This is the third consecutive year Intercity Transit has earned the Grand Championship.
“The roadeo showcases the skills and attention to safety that our diesel mechanics and bus drivers bring to our community and transit customers every single day,” says Ann Freeman-Manzanares, Intercity Transit General Manager. Events simulated every-day work conditions for transit staff, including weaving through traffic, stopping on a dime, backing into narrow spaces with limited visibility, and fixing hundreds of mechanical issues to keep transit buses on the road and on schedule.
Intercity Transit’s Maintenance Team took first out of seven teams. Diesel mechanics Joe Bell, Grant Swideski and James Bush were tested in seven different timed scenarios. Working together, they analyzed and provided solutions for issues in the diesel engine, vapor door, electrical system, AC system, and air systems that range from a single valve to the whole compression braking system. They also completed a bus pre-trip inspection and a written test.
Also competing were Intercity Transit Coach Operators Dave Randall driving a 40’ hybrid coach, Rob Wood driving a 35’ coach, and Eric Wells driving a para-transit van. The driving competition required operators navigate 11 obstacles on a road course with two passenger stops, multiple right and left-hand turns, and weaving through serpentines that simulate daily traffic and road obstacles. Judges both onboard the bus and on the course scored the drivers based on time and faults. Touching a white pivotal cone was a 25- point deduction. Drivers had seven-minutes to complete the course. Intercity Transit Operator Rob Wood took first place in the 35’ coach category, with 621 of 700 possible points.
The agency also won the 2016 Safety Star Award presented at the conference by the Washington State Transit Insurance Pool to honors transit agencies for their dedication to best practices and consistently maintaining an impressive safety record.
Intercity Transit operates a fleet of 71 coaches with 191 operators, 15 diesel mechanics, and another 7 auto technicians. Maintenance operates 24-hours a day, five days a week and 16-hours a day on the weekends to keep the fleet moving. Some transit systems competing at the roadeo were King County Metro Transit, Pierce Transit, Spokane Transit, Grant Transit, Ben Franklin Transit, and Everett Transit.