Western Maine Transportation Services bus driver David Webster of Wales recently took fourth place in the tightly-contested 2013 Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) National Transit Roadeo in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Held as part of the annual CTAA Expo conference, the event attracted 61 of the nation’s top transit bus drivers. The top five contestants were separated by only 31 points. Webster collected a total of 865 points for his efforts, which resulted in a tie with the fifth place finisher, but Webster took fourth place honors because he had a faster elapsed time on the driving course.
A 21-year employee of Western Maine Transportation Services of Auburn, Webster won the right to represent the state in the National Roadeo by winning the Maine Transit Association/MaineDOT Roadeo for the ninth time on Saturday, May 3 at Owl’s Head Transportation Museum in Thomaston.
In past National Roadeos, Webster has placed 22nd in 2004, 19th in 2005, 1st in 2006, 11th in 2007, 2nd in 2008, 5th in 2009, 5th in 2010, and 4th in 2011. In 2012, Webster’s Western Maine Transportation teammate, Jim Lee, represented the state and took 10th place in the national event.
This year’s CTAA Roadeo was held under bright, clear skies in 90-degree heat at the University of New Mexico- Lobos’ University Stadium parking lot. The competition consisted of a 25-question written exam, a pre-trip inspection to find four well-hidden vehicle deficiencies, a wheel chair safety tie-down test, and ten precision driving elements based on skills drivers use on a daily basis.
Webster learned at the awards ceremony that he had missed one of the hidden vehicle deficiencies – inoperative interior lights – on the pre-trip inspection, costing him 25 points and a likely second place finish.
Webster says that as much as he enjoys the challenge of the competition, he also enjoys spending time with the drivers, officials and organizers for the Roadeo, many of whom he has come to know from past years.
Western Maine Transportation Services serves Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties with open-to-the-public, wheelchair-accessible, “green” paratransit bus service in and around the more populated regions of its service area. WMTS provides limited volunteer rides for state and agency contracts and operates the LATC Citylink bus service in Lewiston/Auburn and the seasonal Sunday River Mountain Explorer and Sugarloaf Explorer bus services.