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NJ TRANSIT’S BEST ADVANCE TO INTERNATIONAL BUS COMPETITION

Operators and Mechanics Head to Atlanta to Showcase Skills

NJ TRANSIT’S annual Bus Roadeo was held on June 12 at the Howell Bus Garage in Monmouth County. Three bus operators and a team of mechanics will head to Atlanta to compete in the annual American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Bus Operators and Mechanics Roadeo on October 7-10.

Dubbed the “Bus Olympics” among participants, the annual competition attracts top bus operators and mechanic teams from various countries including Canada, Australia and Puerto Rico. More than 120 bus operators and up to 40 mechanic teams throughout North America will participate.

NJ TRANSIT’s mechanic team from the Meadowlands Garage in North Bergen will be heading to this year’s international competition. Team members include Larry Moore of Jersey City, Ron O’Neil, Jr. of Bloomfield and Mike Clifford of Jackson. This is the team’s eighth trip to the international competition in the last 11 years.

Bus operator winners representing the northern, central and southern divisions include – Corey Green of Paterson, representing Wayne Garage; Daniel Bruey of Hammonton, representing Egg Harbor Township Garage; and Edwin Negron of Kearny, representing Big Tree Garage in Nutley.

“Competing at the local and international level is a great sense of pride for NJ TRANSIT bus operators and mechanics,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “Preparation for the Bus Roadeo is a year-long endeavor that requires bus operators and mechanics to have clean driving and attendance records to compete in the local event.”

More than 600 people attended NJ TRANSIT’s annual Bus Roadeo in Howell to cheer the 30 bus operators and nine mechanical teams, as they showcased their skills in an attempt to advance to the international competition.

During the bus operators contest, drivers were challenged to successfully complete an 11‑part obstacle course within seven minutes to tests their talents on lane changing, passenger stops, turns and backing up. The course is designed to measure each competitor's safety, execution and everyday driving skills.

In the mechanical contest, teams were required to identify and repair various defective bus systems. The test consists of a brakes test, engine test and a bus defect competition. Mechanics were also required to complete a written mechanical quiz .

Ed Dombrowski of Fanwood, representing Ironbound Garage in Newark, won the written mechanical quiz. The Meadowlands Garage team of Clifford, O’Neil and Moore won the Powertrain competition. The Newton Avenue (Camden) Garage team of Victor Guerrero of Pennsauken, Daniel Karnuk of Erial and Orlando Perez of Deptford won the airboard and defects competition.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 161 rail stations, 49 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.