APTA | Passenger Transport
May 7, 2010

In This Issue

The classifieds in this issue include three chief executive officer positions!

State of Florida Wins Top Honor at Bus Roadeo

Award presentations are a major component of the APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference, recognizing the top operators and maintenance teams, the agencies with the strongest safety records, and the leaders in superior customer service. Here is a roundup of the award winners.

International Bus Roadeo
The State of Florida (Broward County & LYNX) earned the Grand Champion Award for its overall performance at the 35th International Bus Roadeo held May 2 in Cleveland, presented at the May 4 Roadeo Banquet. This award recognizes the bus operator and maintenance team that has the highest combined score.

Contributing to the overall win for the State of Florida were the first-place LYNX maintenance team from Orlando, consisting of Chris Balroop, Hemo Harnanan, and Harryram Mootoo. In addition, Rendol Whidden of Broward County in Pompano Beach ranked second among drivers in the 40-foot bus competition.



Representatives of the State of Florida (Broward County & LYNX) accept the Grand Champion Award at the 2010 Bus Roadeo Banquet. From left are APTA Chair M.P. Carter; APTA Vice Chair-Bus and Paratransit Operations Joyce Eleanor; LYNX Maintenance Trainer Brian Ruppert; Broward County Transit Supervisor Carmen Arnoni; LYNX Chief Operating Officer Lisa Darnall; Broward County Transit Operator Rendol Whidden, who placed second among drivers of 40-foot buses, and his wife; Colen Mootoo; Avi Mootoo; Harryram Mootoo, a member of the first-place LYNX maintenance team; Dianne Balroop; LYNX maintenance team member Chris Balroop; Sai Balroop; LYNX maintenance team member Hemo Harnanan; Pooran Harnanan; LYNX operator Pablo Perez; and APTA President William Millar

The LYNX maintenance team placed first in roadeo competition. From left are Carter; Eleanor; Lisa Darnall, LYNX chief operating officer; Pooran Harnanan; LYNX Maintenance Trainer Brian Ruppert; team members Harryram Mootoo, Chris Balroop, and Hemo Harnanan; and Millar.

Frank Gonzales of Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County beat out 38 other competitors to win first place in the 40-foot bus competition. Third place went to Zenon John Rinylo of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia.

Among operators of 30-foot buses, Abdel Kadar Tenouri of StarTran/Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin, TX, took first place, followed by Howard Yoder of the Central Ohio Transit Authority in Columbus, and Julian Carranza Jr. of the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, TX. Fifteen bus operators competed.



Houston’s Frank Gonzales, fourth from right, received the first-place honor among operators of 40-foot buses. From left are Carter; Eleanor; Houston Metro Manager of Transportation Training Santiago Osorio; Mark Anderson (in back), president of Vigil Systems; Metro Senior Director of Transportation Tangee Mobley; Metro Superintendent of Transportation Jo Ann Petitt; Millar; and Vigil Systems Chief Executive Officer Ian Haynes.

First place among operators of 30-foot buses went to Abdel Kadar Tenouri of StarTran/Capital Metro, third from right. He is shown with, from left, Eleanor; Carter; Mark Anderson of Vigil Solutions; Dottie Watkins, director of transportation for StarTran Inc.; Brian Whelan, StarTran director operations staff development; Millar; and Ian Haynes of Vigil Solutions.

The maintenance competition tests mechanics’ abilities to troubleshoot mechanical problems and fix them quickly. Of the 25 competing teams, VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, TX—Phillip Davis, Marcel Longmire, and Hugo Villarreal--earned a second-place finish and Steve Hanks, Joe Hulett, and Howard Evans, representing Community Transit in Snohomish County, WA, placed third.

Houston Metro’s Gonzales also took first place in the fifth annual Customer Service Challenge Awards, which judges professionalism, customer service skills, and problem-solving creativity. Raymond Robertson III of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, TX, earned a second-place finish.


Frank Gonzeles, winner of the Customer Service Challenge, participates in a scenario to test his customer service skills.

Bus Safety Awards
Joyce Eleanor, APTA vice chair-bus and paratransit operations and chief executive officer of Community Transit, announced the recipients of the 2010 Bus Safety and Security Awards during the May 3 Opening General Session. Before calling the winners to the stage, she said: “New this year, we’ll be presenting excellence in security and safety programs. It is not enough that our systems be economical, lean, and convenient. We must first be safe.”

The awards, presented in three categories determined by annual ridership, recognize public transportation organizations for their safety and security programs and dedication to improving safety and security. The top honor is the Gold Award, given to organizations with the best overall bus safety or bus security program. Organizations in recognition of exceptional achievement in safety or security receive a Certificate of Merit.

The following public transit agencies received awards for 2010:

Category I, bus systems with fewer than four million passenger trips annually: Gold Award for Safety, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, Burnsville, MN; Gold Award for Security, Go West Transit, Macomb, IL; Certificate of Merit for Security, SouthWest Transit, Eden Prairie, MN.

Category II, bus systems with more than four million and fewer than 20 million passenger trips annually: Gold Award for Safety, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Nashville; Certificate of Merit for Safety, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, Cincinnati, OH; Gold Award for Security, Community Transit, Snohomish County, WA.

Category III, bus systems with 20 million or more annual passenger trips: Gold Award for Safety, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; Certificates of Merit for Safety, Connecticut Transit, Hartford, CT, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit; Gold Award for Security, Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange, CA.

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