Transit Planning
CATS Operators Showcase their Skills in Annual Bus Roadeo Competition
Immediate Release - March 28, 2013

Bus Operators from Charlotte Area Transit System’s (CATS) Bus Operations Division will showcase their safe and tactful driving skills in its Annual Bus Roadeo competition on Saturday, March 30. The Roadeo will begin at 8 a.m. at the Charlotte Vehicle Operations Center, located at 2725 Beam Road.

“We take a lot of pride in the skills that our bus operators put on display at the CATS Bus Roadeo,” said CATS Chief Planning and Operations Officer Larry Kopf. “Our training stresses safety and customer service, and these operators are the best of the best. I know the drivers enjoy the competition of the Roadeo, but it’s also a treat for those of us who come out to watch.”

Join CATS to watch the competition of 22 drivers from CATS Bus Operations Division (BOD) and Special Transportation Service (STS) and two drivers from Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) put their driving and safety skills through a series of challenging tests. BOD operators will navigate a 40-foot long bus and STS and DSS operators will navigate a paratransit vehicle through an obstacle course of passenger stops, winding turns and reversing maneuvers. Each participant is judged on how safely and quickly they complete the course, their professional appearance, pre-trip inspection and a written safety test.

The Bus Roadeo compliments the safety initiatives of CATS as it tests the skills drivers use daily on the job. CATS operators undergo a five-week session on the do’s and don’ts of the road and Smith System defensive driving and road training before they are able to drive a CATS bus. Operators also experience year-round retraining. 

The bus accident rate for CATS services was 0.44 preventable accidents per 100,000 miles in FY2012. Last year CATS operators drove over 15 million miles and handled over 26 million rides. To learn more about CATS and its services, please call 704-336-7433 or visit us on the web at www.ridetransit.org.