Kyle Jones is first driver in RTA history to take top spot
RIVERSIDE, CA — May 10, 2017 — Kyle Jones is the first driver in Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) history to conquer the international bus roadeo.
The coach operator’s driving skills earned him a first-place victory this week at the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) International Bus Roadeo in Reno, Nevada. Jones competed against drivers from transit agencies across the United States and Canada, giving RTA its first international victory in 40 years.
“Winning the whole thing is a personal achievement for me, and I’m so proud to bring home the trophy to RTA,” said Jones, who has competed in the contest three times.
Though a rodeo may conjure images of drivers tossing lassos on buses, it’s really just an elaborate obstacle course. Speed, timing and precision all matter. During the two-day event, 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.
Jones earned a spot at this year’s international roadeo after winning local and regional contests. In fact, he has won RTA’s annual bus roadeo the past three years, gaining a reputation as RTA’s undisputed cowboy. His international driving victory is the first ever for Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and Southern California as a whole.
“I just love to compete,” he said. “I take a lot of pride in my job, and it’s a big thrill to go against the best in the business.”
Jones has worked with RTA for 11 years and drives Route 22, as well as CommuterLink express routes 204, 210 and 216.
“Congratulations to Kyle and RTA who represent the best of our industry,” said APTA Acting President and CEO Richard White. “This event defines who we are as an industry and what we do. It highlights how we excel at delivering safe, reliable transportation to the public every day. These bus operators and maintenance professionals provide access for people to earn a living, to connect with their community and contribute to the economy.”
RTA Chair Linda Krupa applauded Kyle for his success in the contest, adding that his victory reflects RTA’s commitment to driver training and safety.
“These events are a great way to showcase the skill it takes to handle a variety of challenges on the road, from traffic congestion to inclement weather,” Krupa said. “Taking first place in this contest is a testament to our commitment to safe driving and our passion for excellence on the road.”