SARTA Operator James Weir - who was, we should note, formerly a METRO bus driver- earned top honors at a driving competition between METRO and SARTA. Operator Walt Young placed first among METRO operators and first overall in the wheel-to-wheel challenge Sunday, June 24.
In the first test, contestants had to drive the right rear wheels of the bus between narrow rows of tennis balls set to a diminishing tire clearance of less than three inches. The goal was to make it through without touching the tennis balls. Next was a series of winding turns and back-up maneuvers made through tight-set rows of orange traffic cones.
To finish out the course, operators gathered speed and drove between a gauntlet of barrels set apart just wide enough to let the buses pass through.
METRO winners – First Place: Operator Walter Young, last year’s champion and overall winner; Second Place: Operator Terrance Flowers, and; Third Place: Operator Dana Emerick
SARTA winners – First Place & Overall Winner: Operator James Weir; Second Place: Operator Micheal Ross, and; Third Place: Operator Markita McCraney
First place finishers from both transit authorities will compete in the 2013 APTA Bus Roadeo in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Pictured left to right are: METRO Operator Walt Young & SARTA Operator James Weir