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2010 Bus & Maintenance Roadeo: A Day of Milestones and Competitions

The 2010 Bus and Maintenance Roadeo pitted SEPTA's best operators and mechanics against one another in a friendly contest of talent and skill.

So it was only fitting that a company helping advance all-things-bus-related was honored for their work, especially two recent achievements made possible by their long-standing partnership with SEPTA.

New Flyer Inc. of America proudly showed off its two newest deliveries to SEPTA's fleet during the Bus Roadeo, which was held at the Cornwells Heights Station parking lot on September 11th. And while both of these clean, green diesel-electric hybrids will assume the usual workhorse roles that are expected of all SEPTA buses, in addition to passengers, they'll also carry a bit of history with them. Bus No. 8411 is the 1,000th New Flyer bus to be added to SEPTA's fleet. And right on its heels, No. 8450 is the 30,000th bus to be manufactured by New Flyer, a Minnesota-based company that builds buses for transit agencies throughout North America.

"This is a very fitting event - we're showcasing our outstanding bus employees and showing off the best of our bus fleet," SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey said during a special ceremony at the Bus Roadeo honoring New Flyer. "SEPTA congratulates New Flyer on meeting these impressive milestones in manufacturing, and we hope the partnership between SEPTA and New Flyer continues for many years to come."

SEPTA took delivery of its first New Flyer bus in October 2001. This partnership has grown over the last decade, and has been a major catalyst in developing and promoting cutting edge bus technology - most notably, a shift from traditional diesel buses to cleaner burning, environmentally friendly diesel electric hybrids. By next year, SEPTA expects that more than one-third of its massive bus fleet to consist of New Flyer's diesel-electric hybrids.

Joel Abraman, New Flyer's Director of Eastern U.S. Sales, said SEPTA has been instrumental in the move to a greener mass transit industry.

"SEPTA's passion, excellence, commitment to customers and enthusiasm for embracing emerging technologies has driven many of our initiatives, and contributed to our success," Abraman told hundreds gathered at the Bus Roadeo. "SEPTA helped establish New Flyer as a leader in hybrid bus manufacturing."

"SEPTA has also made us a better company," Abraman added. "SEPTA's high standards, commitment to excellence and support has taught us much about what leadership looks like."

New Flyer buses were featured in all phases of the Bus Roadeo competitions. Operators and maintenance teams engaged in heated - yet friendly - contests throughout the day, and several took home bragging rights.

Coming in first in the operator competition was Mike Shepard, from Elmwood District, followed by Victor Tarver of the Callowhill District and Wilbert Carr from Southern District.

The top Maintenance Team was the "Wiz Kids," from the Midvale District (Bill Beirn, Joe Miller, Norm Gartner and Gene Bonner Jr.). Second place went to "Victory," also from Midvale (Mike Westerfer, Mike Westerfer, Jr., Chuck Foti and Joe Portone). And third place was "We Do It All," from the Courtland Utility Shop (Heim, Marc Duerr, Anwar Magras and Thomas Herrschaft).

The District Operator winners are as follows: Marcus James; Allegheny; Kevin Fitts, Callowhill; Keith Jackson, Comly; Kenneth Jurgelewicz, Frankford; Joseph Schier, Frontier; Lamont Oakman, Midvale; Waller Lamont, Southern; Shawn Jackson, Victory; Aaron Murphy, Elmwood.

Bus 1,000. From left: AGM for Operations Luther Diggs; GM Joe Casey, New Flyer Marketing Director Amy Miller; Joel Abraman, New Flyer's Director of Eastern U.S. Sales.

New Flyer's 30,000th bus, which also joins SEPTA's fleet.

GM Casey at the Bus Roadeo.

The two SEPTA New Flyer milestone buses on display.

An operator navigates the Bus Roadeo course at Cornwells Heights.