Roadeo 2018 Champion Kyle Jones will Represent RTA at International Contest
Kyle Jones is RTA’s top cowboy for the fourth time in five years.
The coach operator’s driving skills earned him another victory at Riverside Transit Agency’s (RTA) 2018 Bus Roadeo on October 20 at the Agency’s Hemet facility. The win gave Jones his fourth crown in five years and a chance to represent the Agency at regional and international contests.
Kyle has worked with RTA for 13 years and currently drives routes 1, 19 and CommuterLink Express Route 205. He will represent RTA at the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) International Bus Roadeo next spring in Louisville, Kentucky.
Winning is nothing new to Jones. Two years ago, he took a first-place victory at the APTA International Bus Roadeo, competing against drivers from transit agencies across the United States and Canada and giving RTA its first international victory in 40 years.
During the recent event, Jones and other drivers steered their 30,000-pound, 40-foot machines through a timed serpentine obstacle course of cones, sharp turns and challenging back-ups. Judges observed the performance of each bus operator and noted how well they completed each element on the course.
“This is an especially sweet victory for me,” Jones said. “I wasn’t able to compete last year and I was hungry to get out there and turn things around. This one felt great.”
So why has Jones won so many times?
“It just brings out the competitor in me,” he said. “We all work so hard to be good drivers on the streets and provide excellent customer service, so it’s always nice to put all those things together and show off our skills.”
In the Coach Operator Division, Alaric Hayes and Fred Allen took second and third place, respectively. In the Maintenance Division, Jonathan Arevalo took first place while Moe Zaman and Porfirio Lewis were second- and third-place winners, respectively. In the Administration Division, Nataly Ambriz took first place. The contest also featured several RTA Board members, the fastest of which was Tom Ketcham, who represents the County of Riverside, District I.
“Driving a 40-foot bus is a lot harder than it looks,” said RTA Chairman Art Welch. “It’s amazing to see how well drivers like Kyle can handle challenges on the road while maintaining customer safety and excellent service. We wish Kyle the best of luck as he represents RTA at the highly competitive, international level.”
The Riverside Transit Agency is the main transit agency for western Riverside County, California, United States. RTA provides both local and regional services throughout the region with 34 fixed-routes, eight CommuterLink routes, and Dial-A-Ride services using 289 vehicles.