Champion Operator Honored At METRO Board Meeting
December 21, 2005
If you ride METRO routes 5 Kashmere Gardens/Southmore or 77
Liberty/MLK, chances are good that you have met champion bus operator
A METRO operator for 15 years, Kennedy took second
place in this year's International Bus Roadeo in Dallas - beating out 68
other top-notch operators from around the country and Canada. To get to
Dallas, Kennedy won first place in the local competition. This is the
second time Kennedy has stood on the winner's podium at the
international level having taken first place in 2003 in Las Vegas.
To honor Kennedy's accomplishment METRO has
assigned him his own bus, which bears his signature and a sign on the
side of the vehicle.
METRO's President and CEO Frank Wilson acknowledged
Kennedy's most recent accolade in December's meeting of the Board of
Directors and presented him with a certificate signed by Houston Mayor
"While most of us were busy preparing for Hurricane Rita, Charlie was in route to Dallas to become a hero," said Wilson.
The American Public Transportation Association's
(APTA) International Bus Roadeo took place September 22 - 25. The Roadeo
competition is designed to test safe bus operating skills. To win the
challenging event, Kennedy drove his METRO bus thru several obstacle
courses. One of them is set up with two lines of tennis balls only
inches apart, and the operator must drive the rear wheels between them.
Obstacle courses also address routine operations like the simulated bus
stop, where the operator who comes closest to the curb without actually
touching it gets the highest rank.
"I learned everything about bus driving here in
METRO," said the 15-year veteran operator. Asked about how he honed all
his safe driving skills, Kennedy humbly replied: "I have to give all the
credit to our training department."