METRO driver takes top honors at bus rodeo

HOUSTON Frank Gonzalez, a 19-year veteran at Houston's METRO, took the top spot at the American Public Transit Association's (APTA) 2010 International Bus Roadeo competition.

There's no bull-riding at this rodeo, rather an obstacle course carefully constructed to put bus drivers' skills to the test. The drivers are given seven minutes to complete the maze. Points are deducted if cones are knocked down or barrels toppled over. Gonzalez bested the roughly 75 competitors with a time of 6 minutes, 42 seconds, and a score of 600 out of 700 points.

Gonzalez also took first place honors in the Customer Service Challenge competition. A team of mechanics from METRO also competed at the annual APTA event, winning ninth place, which catapulted the agency to second place in the overall competition.

Every year METRO, along with other transit agencies across the US host local rodeo competitions. The winners go on to compete at the annual International Bus Roadeo.

Gonzalez won first place in 2008 and 2010 at METRO's annual rodeo competition. This is the third time Gonzalez has competed at APTA's International Bus Roadeo competition.

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