Recently, five Los Angeles County municipal transit agencies — Culver CityBus, Gardena Municipal Bus Lines, Montebello Bus Lines, Torrance Transit Systems and Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus — joined forces for the first time in the region’s history to hold the “Five Stars Bus Roadeo.”
Forty-eight contestants endured what was called Southern California’s worst winter rain storm to take on the challenge of maneuvering 40-foot buses through the Roadeo course set at Gardena Municipal Bus Line’s new state of the art transit facility. The competition allowed contestants to show off their defensive driving skills to co-workers, family and friends.
In addition, it provided a platform for continuous improvement that would ultimately result in safe service being provided to passengers. Many of the participating agencies had not held a Roadeo in several years due to budgetary constraints.
Operators from each agency received first, second, and third place trophies. First place awards went to Juan Blandino (Culver CityBus), Charles Nichols (Gardena Municipal Bus Lines), David Ruiz (Montebello Bus Lines), Salvador Hurtado (Torrance Transit Systems) and Oscar Mayen (Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus).
Respective second and third place awards were given to the following operators: Rolando Lopez and Charles Boswell (Culver CityBus), Ramona Pinkney and Johnny Thymes (Gardena Municipal Bus Lines), Omar Contreras and Edgar Murana (Montebello Bus Lines), Martin Guerrero and Azim Said (Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus), and Jorge Gonzalez and Jaime Martinez (Torrance Transit Systems).
Montebello Municipal Bus Lines received the Best Overall Transit Property Award based on receiving the best team score.
The first place winners will represent their agencies at the upcoming Southern California Regional Bus Roadeo in April hosted by Foothill Transit, and at the Annual American Public Transit Association’s International Bus Roadeo in May hosted by Long Beach Transit.