Concord, Calif. – County Connection bus operator Aline Carroll was named as the top ranked female operator in the 34th annual American Public Transportation Association (APTA) bus roadeo last week. The national competition was held in conjunction with the association’s annual bus and paratransit conference in Seattle, WA. Ms. Carroll placed 11th overall in the competition that tests a bus operators driving skills. Seventy eight contestants participated in the competition in both the 35 ft. and 40 ft. bus categories. Ms. Carroll competed in the 40 ft. category.
Bus operators are chosen to represent their transit agency at the national event through a series of local and regional competitions. “Aline has represented County Connection for the past three years, getting stronger with each competition”, said Rick Ramacier, County Connection General Manager. “We’re all extremely proud of her accomplishment. Aline represents the professionalism and top notch driving skills that all our operators strive for.”
In the competition bus operators are given seven minutes to complete the 11 obstacle course which includes passenger stops, serpentine turns, sharp right and left turns, maneuvering through diminishing clearance obstacles, and blind judgment stops – all while providing a smooth ride for the judges on board evaluating their safety skills.
“My reverses were smoking. I could tell it was going well,” said Ms. Carroll. “This is the first time I wasn’t nervous.” She said she enjoyed the competition as well as the camaraderie. Representatives from Bay Area agencies all rode each other’s buses during the one practice run they were allowed. At the competition, the number ten spot finished only five seconds ahead. “Next year I am shooting for the top five,” she said.
County Connection operates a fleet of 29 ft., 35 ft., and 40 ft. fully accessible fixed-route buses, and a fleet of 63 paratransit vehicles, carrying over 5,000,000 passengers each year.