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.”