Semcac’s Rolling Hills Transit hosted the 29th Annual Minnesota State Bus Roadeo on July 9th, with co-host Winona ORC who represented the newly added non-CDL class. It was a great event that brought together 20 bussing agencies to the South East corner of Minnesota.
The Roadeo provided an opportunity for bus drivers to be recognized for the jobs that they do every day, while gaining new insights through exciting and challenging competition. Participants had the opportunity to network with other drivers and transit managers from throughout the state and discussed bussing, challenges, shared stories and talked about driving experiences. “It’s kind of fun to get away and talk to other drivers”, Duane Beckman of Rolling Hills Transit said. “You can learn from other drivers and see how they do things.” The competition hosted the best drivers from other transit systems and allowed them to compete for top honors in Large Bus, Small Bus and the Non-CDL category.
The Roadeo sharpened skills in areas that are used every day and included: parallel parking, backing, navigating through tight spots and watching for obstacles. Vehicles extend over twenty-five feet so you can rest assured that this is not for the novice driver.
The driving course was set up at Winona’s MN State College Southeast Technical on a large blacktop area. Cones were placed and a course was created. The competition measured safety and smoothness of operation as judges watched for quick stops, erratic braking and monitored road safety. Judges also scored participants in the area of personal appearance and daily responsibilities.
The annual Roadeo was created as a challenging way to help drivers focus on real situations that occur while performing their jobs. Training sessions were also held to ensure proper loading of passengers and wheelchair securement.
“It sharpens skills of drivers. It makes them more aware of a lot of challenges drivers across the state face,” Rich Anthony of Rolling Hills Transit said.
The drivers of Rolling Hills Transit and other systems are seen every day by the public and they provide the direct front-line service to the clients that are served. Their high level of performance is directly connected to how the community perceives public transit. The Roadeo gave drivers an opportunity to showcase their skills and their own systems.
Semcac has a strong team that works for the transit portion of the Agency. Their skillset, professionalism and strong sense of community help to keep the system rolling throughout the year. Clients enjoy the service, safe ride and caring attitude of the drivers. To learn more about riding the bus or any other service that Semcac provides, visit our website at www.semcac.org.