Top performers compete in Metro Bus Roadeo

Operators must negotiate 11 maneuvers on the obstacle course.

Operators must negotiate 11 maneuvers on the obstacle course.

Top performers who operate and maintain Metro’s bus fleet competed Saturday in the 36th annual Metro Bus Roadeo. The event was staged in the massive parking area of the Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia.

Top-scoring mechanics team, from left, Angel Feria, David Klinkenborg and Jose Moya

Top-scoring mechanics team, from left, Angel Feria, David Klinkenborg and Jose Moya

San Gabriel Valley Division Bus Operator Mark Holland, and the downtown L.A. Division 10 mechanics team of David Klinkenborg, Angel Feria and Jose Moya, emerged as champions in the Operators and Mechanics categories. They’ll carry Metro’s flag at the APTA Internationals set for next May in Long Beach.

The annual local competition event showcases the professional skills of Metro bus operators who traverse the 1,433 square miles of L.A. County 24/7 along 183 bus routes and 15, 967 bus stops and the mechanics who maintain the fleet of more than 2,200 buses.

Top operator and returning champion Mark Holland

Top operator and returning champion Mark Holland

The competition puts operators through a precise 11-point obstacle course. In the mechanic’s competition, teams of three raced against the clock to diagnose and repair performance-related bus problems.

Thirty-four operators and 11 maintenance teams vied for championship trophies in this year’s event. The trophies are considered badges of honor at Metro.

11 replies

  1. Yet another disgusting article on wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.

    And how much of our taxpayer money was wasted for this event which again DOESN’T EARN A SINGLE CENT IN REVENUE!?

    And people wonder why they’re angry at Metro.

    The amount of money used to do this event might as well have been put to better use to clean up some of our dirty train stations.

  2. Angry middle class may see this traditional event as waste, but it may be an actual investment in employee moral and development that sees returns in less sick time, better moral and service and better on time service.

  3. If the MTA put as much EFFORT into INCREASING MTA bus service, as they do “rodeoing buses”, the MTA would have a much more favorable opinion by those forced to deal with it!

  4. @the dude abides

    Metro is free to organize any event they want so long as they do it on their own revenue just like any other business out there.

    But so long as this event was organized with my taxpayer money, it’s a wasteful use of taxes that would’ve been put to better use elsewhere.

    Whatever tens of thousands of dollars were wasted on this could’ve been used to hire a janitor to clean up the messy train stations. At least that produces jobs!

  5. If its going to cost over hundreds of thousands of dollars to change a station name, I’d hate to know the overly-inflated taxpayer money that were used to organize this event. o_O

  6. Ummmm Last time I checked Metro is a PUBLIC transit agency that acts both as a Transit Operator and Local Transit Commission. Some of metro tax dollars are not dedicated to funding operations so they can afford to make name changes and host these moral boosting events.

    Also what gives with tax hate. Our country has the LOWEST gas tax amongst other nations in our league even if you include the additional state gas taxes and our country has the lowest tax rate it has ever seen in the past 50 YEARS. I would gladly pay additional taxes if would help our transit infrastructure (not operations so don’t get confused)

  7. Wow honestly, i doubt this rodeo costs as much as you guys are freaking out about. I’m pretty sure they didn’t drive off their routes and use employees during their shift for this. It allows the bus drivers to be proud of their bus driving skills since these are the people that get us where we need to go, let them have a little fun with their job. I’m sure it’s no more wasteful than renaming stations which i think most aren’t really necessary and should wait until the regional connector is finished.

  8. I think the sentiment is that in tough economic times, more people are becoming sensitive to how taxes are being put to use.

    I wouldn’t be surprised that with ever tightening wallets, there would be people that would consider this to be wasteful tax spending just like renaming the stations.

    In that light, this Roadeo event might’ve been a great way to sell public transit to Angelinos by being a ticketed event. An admission fee of $5 or so probably would’ve recuperated at least some portion of the cost for this event and it might’ve actually made some profit through additional sales of bottled water and snacks.

    Seeking sponsorship from the makers of the buses would be a good way to advertise buses too.