There were plenty of cones, barrels and fancy maneuvering at a recent CDTA “roadeo,” but no bulls, horses or clowns as organizers crowned a repeat winner.
On Tuesday, June 10, at Crossgates, 22 veteran drivers made their way through 11 different obstacles at the 29th annual CDTA Bus Roadeo, but it was Robert Rzeszuto of the Schenectady division, who has been driving buses for CDTA for 28 years, who came out on top.
The top three winners of the event go on to the state competition and battle it out with other top bus drivers in the state.
“It builds camaraderie and stimulates a lot of trash talking between the divisions. Even though it is an individual competition, we are winning it for the division,” said Alton Ming, who has been driving for CDTA for eight years.
If a driver is interested in competing, they first have to qualify. In order to qualify for the competition, drivers need to be high quality employees that excel at their job.
“They have to meet certain criteria,” said CDTA Communications Manger Jaime Watson. “They have to actually qualify. They have to have a safe driving record — no accidents out on the road, no employee problems, basically have to have a clean record all around.”
The obstacles in the are designed to be similar to situations the drivers may face on the congested, sometimes narrow streets of a city in the Capital District, although some are just for fun.
“Some of the obstacles are very near to real-life situations. We obviously put a spin on some of these just for the rodeo — as far as going through the barrels, obviously, that’s not going to be a real-life situation — but some of them, like backing up (in tight spaces) or going through the narrow cones. These are situations drivers run into out on the roads, like bad weather, snow particularly,” said Watson.