Tharanga Jayasinghe will represent RTA at international contest
Tharanga Jayasinghe is Riverside Transit Agency’s (RTA) top cowboy after dominating the competition during the Agency’s 2017 Bus Roadeo.
The coach operator’s driving skills earned him a first-place victory at the annual contest last Saturday at the Agency’s Hemet facility. The win gave Jayasinghe his first crown and a chance to represent the Agency at regional and national contests.
Jayasinghe, who has worked with RTA for three years, currently drives routes 10, 18, 27 as well as RapidLink Gold Line. He will represent RTA at the American Public Transportation Association’s International Bus Roadeo next spring in Tampa, Florida.
He has big shoes to fill. Last year’s winner, Kyle Jones, ended up taking a first-place victory at the international contest. During that contest, Jones competed against drivers from transit agencies across the United States and Canada, giving RTA its first international victory in 40 years.
“This victory means a lot to me,” Jayasinghe said. “RTA drivers take this competition seriously so winning the whole thing is a pretty big deal. I’m ready to go head to head against other transit agencies and bring home another victory for RTA.”
During the recent event, Jayasinghe 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.
So what’s behind Jayasinghe’s success?
“This competition gives me and other drivers a chance to show off the pride we take in our work,” he said. “It’s all about safety and being calm under pressure ---- and, of course, the determination to be the best.”
In the Coach Operator Division, Walter Aguirre and Yolanda Martinez took second and third place, respectively. In
the Maintenance Division, Ignacio Sanchez and Raymond Mancera took first and second place, respectively. In the Administration Division, Jessica Adams took first place. The contest also featured several RTA Board members, the fastest of which was Barry Busch, who represents the County of Riverside District V.
“RTA prepares its drivers to handle a variety of challenges on the road while maintaining world-class customer service and safety,” said RTA Chair Linda Krupa. “These contests reflect that commitment. We are so proud of Tharanga and wish him the best of luck as he represents RTA against the best drivers in the world.”
RIVERSIDE, CA — October 23, 2017