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Press Release

IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             
Contact:  Judy Dellert-O’Keef (704) 432-0477

EARNHARDT RETAINS HIS CROWN FOR THE 13TH TIME
Named Best Bus Operator in Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C., May 16, 2011- Bus Operator Lonny Earnhardt continues his reign at the top as the winner of the Charlotte Area Transit System’s (CATS) 2011 Bus Operators Roadeo.  Earnhardt, a bus operator for 32 years, will represent CATS later this month as he competes in the 2011 International Bus Roadeo in Memphis, Tennessee.
 
Several other repeat winners led the way in the competition as well.  Carmen Aleman and Junior Bush finished second and third in the Bus Operations Division (BOD) Roadeo. Johnny Wilson finished in fourth place. Aleman, Bush and Wilson will represent CATS in the NC State Bus Roadeo competition this month in Wilmington.

Special Transportation Service (STS) driver Henry Minnet was also a repeat winner. Finishing second and third in the STS competition were Janine Miller and Tawanda Buckhalter. They, along with Minnet, will compete at the NC State Bus Roadeo event in Wilmington. STS transports individuals with disabilities certified as eligible according to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).

This year 15 BOD and five STS operators took part in Saturday’s competition where participants put their safe driving skills to the test as they competed for a chance to be crowned the best.  BOD operators navigated a 40-foot bus and STS operators navigated a paratransit vehicle through an obstacle course in a safe and timely manner. The course consisted of different driving elements including passenger stops, serpentine turns and backing maneuvers. Drivers were also judged on their professional appearance, pre-trip inspection and a written safety test.

To learn more about CATS and its services, please call 704-336-7433 or visit us on the web at www.ridetransit.org