BART takes top honors at 2017 APTA International Rail Rodeo

Posted on June 14, 2017

The Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) of Oakland, Calif., won the prestigious Rail Transit Team Achievement Award at the 25th annual American Public Transportation Association (APTA) International Rail Rodeo held June 8 to 11 in conjunction with the 2017 APTA Rail Conference in Baltimore. The Rail Transit Team Achievement Award is given to the system with the highest rail operator and maintainer team combined score. The winning team members are Mike Gross, Gary Crandell, James Moon, Tenikia Jackson, and John O'Connor.

The overall second place finisher was the Dallas Area Rapid Transit team consisting of John Bailey, David Jit, Carlos Garza, Antaeus Chandler, and Christopher Kress. Meanwhile, third place was won by Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority team of Adam Rooney, Joel Ramirez, Troy Jollimore, Christopher Ramsdell, and Herly Augustin.

"Our maintainers and operators strive to make our rail systems among the safest and most convenient forms of transportation in the world," said APTA Acting President/CEO Richard A. White. "The accolades they have received this weekend are the result of years of hard work and training."

The Operators Competition measures professional skills, including train operation, knowledge of safety regulations, train equipment, and track right-of-way rules and procedures. Rick Fredriksz and Pedro Diaz, on behalf of San Jose, Calif.'s Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, won first place in the Operators Competition while BART's Tenikia Jackson and John O'Connor and the Utah Transit Authority's team of Logan Packer and Tom Claxton taking second and third place, respectively.

In the Maintainers Competition, participants are evaluated on their ability to troubleshoot maintenance problems. BART's Mike Gross, Gary Crandell, and James Moon were named winners in this category, with Phoenix's Valley Metro team of Michael Dechant, Luke Aboud, and Alex Caron taking second place and LA Metro's Ezequiel Garcia, Marcos Martinez, and Parker Rounds taking third place.

The APTA International Rail Rodeo Competition encourages excellence and professionalism in rail transit operations. This year's competition included 14 teams with rail operators from 16 transit systems and 15 mechanic teams from the U.S. and Japan.

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