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Intense Competition & Fun Highlight the 2012 SEPTA Bus & Maintenance Roadeo

Andrew Busch
SEPTA Press Officer

Intense competition set amid a festive atmosphere.

That was the scene on and around the course of the 2012 SEPTA Bus and Maintenance Roadeo, which was held at the Cornwells Heights Station on Saturday, September 15th.

The event is one of the highlights of the year for SEPTA, as employees test their driving, safety and maintenance skills in front of family, friends and colleagues - surrounded by food, fun and festivities.

But the Roadeo offers more than just bragging rights and accolades for participants. The training operators and mechanics perform - both in preparation and on the day of the event - helps them enhance skills that are critical to their jobs, and therefore can help them improve their everyday performance.

Qualifying operators compete on an 11-obstacle driving course, which must be finished within seven minutes. The course is designed to test safety skills, and overall smoothness of operation.

Operators are also judged on elements that are part of their everyday responsibilities when serving the riding public, such as pre-trip bus inspection and their personal appearance.

Mechanics compete as teams in events such as two engine/transmission modules, HVAC module, air brakes, bus inspection, doors, multiplex electrical system and written testing.

"All of the transportation and maintenance events focus on real, everyday items or tasks that transit professionals deal with while doing their jobs," said Mark Catenacci, SEPTA's senior project designer. "Although the Roadeo is a one day event, the skills honed and the knowledge gleaned carry over the remaining 365 days of the year, which makes the benefits of a Roadeo immeasurable."

Winners will compete and represent SEPTA in the 2013 International Bus Roadeo (IBR) to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana in May, 2013.

SEPTA's winners, by category, for the 2012 Bus and Maintenance Roadeo are listed below.

Bus Operator Winners: First Place Grand Champion - Zenon Rinylo, Southern; Second Place Grand Champion - Victor Traver, Callowhill; Third Place Grand Champion: Michael Torrence, Victory.

Maintenance Winners: First Place Grand Champion, Midvale "Mud Dogs" - Bill Beirn, Joe Miller, Gene Bonner, Jerry Chau; Second Place Grand Champion, Midvale "Luzerne" - Michael Westerfer, John Lugrine, Gerry Sheeron; Third Place Grand Champion, Courtland "We Do It All" - Don Heim, Joe Borie, Marc Duerr, Don Heim Jr.

District Winners: Allegheny - Carl Porter; Callowhill - Parnelli Johnson; Comly - Frank Byrne; Frankford - Kenneth Jurgelewicz; Frontier - Kenneth Natton; Midvale - Trina Marrow; Southern - Will Carr; Victory - Shawn Jackson.

A bus operator navigates the course during the 2012 Bus & Maintenance Roadeo.

The Bus Roadeo Robot welcomes guests.

SEPTA General manager Joseph M. Casey exits a bus after taking a ride around the Roadeo course.

Michael Liberi, SEPTA's Chief Surface Transportation Officer, served as master of ceremonies.

Cotton candy was among the treats served up at the event.