Operator, Maintenance Team compete at the American Public Transportation Association event

VIA Metropolitan Transit’s maintenance team finished in 5th place among 46 teams competing in the recent international American Public Transportation Association roadeo held in Portland, Oregon, while veteran bus operator Marcus White secured a 14th-place overall finish against 76 competitors.

White and the maintenance team qualified to compete at APTA after their top finishes at VIA’s local roadeo, held in November. But before heading to the international competition, they put on exemplary performances in March at the Texas Transit Association State Bus Roadeo, also held in San Antonio. White and the maintenance team took home second- and first-place finishes in the TTA roadeo.

The maintenance team is composed of team members Phillip Davis, Marcos Lopez, David Berrelez, and Coach Hugo Villarreal.

At the APTA competition, the maintenance team also earned the highest score in one of the individual competitions, the MCI/New Flyer Multiplex Award.

National Bus Roadeo Winners

Winners at the American Public Transportation Association rodeo included VIA Bus Operator Marcus White (from left) and the VIA Maintenance Team of Marcos Lopez Jr., David Berrelez, coach Hugo Villarreal, and Phillip Davis.

White, who’s worked at VIA for nearly two decades, competed in the 40-foot bus category. This is his second time representing the agency at APTA’s international competition. And this is the third time that VIA’s maintenance team has represented Texas in the APTA Roadeo.

“We’re immensely proud to send a team to compete against the best of the best. And, as we knew they would, our team competed with distinction,” VIA President/CEO Jeffrey C. Arndt said. “The roadeo competitions are an opportunity for our operators and mechanics to highlight the amazing work they do here, day in and day out.”

The APTA International Bus Roadeo serves as an opportunity for transit professionals to test their mettle against the best in the business. Each competitor earned their places in the event through prior local and regional competitions. The international event includes competitions in varied categories, each testing competitors’ skill, agility and knowledge.

In the operator divisions, competitors drove a 40-foot GILLIG low-floor bus, maneuvering it through an obstacle course. They’re scored on time and precision. Mechanic teams, meanwhile, solve various problems presented to them on engine blocks.

APTA is a nonprofit international association of more than 1,500 public- and private-sector member organizations. APTA advocates for federal funding and provides assistance to member agencies on policies, research, technical expertise and consulting services, workforce development programs, educational conferences and seminars, along with 135 subject-matter working committees.

Top photAttached picture from left to right is Bus Operator Marcus White with the Maintenance Team: Marcos Lopez Jr., David Berrelez, coach Hugo Villarreal, and Phillip Davis