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CATA Operator to Compete in National Small-bus ‘Roadeo’

Friday, May 20, 2016

Categories: General, Community Event

Laurie “Lolo” Robison, Director of Marketing
Email: lrobison@cata.org
Direct: 517-367-7252
Mobile: 517-896-1873

Lansing, Mich. — The pressure mounts as Capital Area Transportation Authority Bus Operator Mike Beech prepares to compete in the 27th Annual Community Transit Roadeo in Portland, Ore., this weekend. The event is regarded as the Summer Olympics of the public transportation industry.

Beech was part of a three-person crew from CATA that placed first in the August 2015 Michigan Roadeo team competition, held in Frankenmuth. He took top honors in the individual competition.

“You never know going into it who you’re going up against,” Beech said. “I’m going to do the best I can, like I do every day, and I’ll hope for the best. There are a lot of seasoned bus operators throughout the nation. Competition is humbling. I am honored to have made it this far.”

CATA CEO/Executive Director Sandy Draggoo couldn’t be prouder.

“He talks a good talk, but I’m happy to say that he also delivers the goods,” she said. “I am so glad that Mike is part of the CATA team. He has been one of ours for 23 years now. He truly is one of the best.”

Beech will be practicing from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. this afternoon in Lot 205, just east of the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education.

The Roadeo reinforces safe-driving habits and operator professionalism behind the wheel. There are four test components:

Written Test – 125 points/12.5 percent of the overall score. The test will be taken Saturday, May 21. It includes 24 multiple-choice and one short-answer questions. All focus on basic transit-driver training.

The following tests are timed and must be completed within 7 minutes. They will administered Sunday, May 22.

Pre-trip Inspection – 150 points/52.5 percent. The detection of safety defects; application of a logical and systematic inspection approach.

Passenger Assistance – 200 points/20 percent. Assesses the operator’s verbal and non-verbal interactions with a passenger.

Driving Course – 150 points/15 percent. Contestants are judged on driving performance based on turns, driving in reverse, stopping, navigating through a serpentine obstacle course and smooth vehicle operation.

The National Community Transit Roadeo is the only national venue to honor and celebrate the value of rural and community transit operators, the backbone of the Community Transportation industry. This exciting event draws drivers from around the country to compete for top scores on a course that tests skills on every level of a driver’s abilities. The event features the best community and public transportation drivers in the nation, followed by a banquet in their honor and awards to top competitors.

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