Oh, there's not really a crown, per say.
METRO Operator Walt Young Jr. snagged top honors at a recent driving competition between METRO and Stark Area Transit Authority (SARTA). Walt placed first among METRO operators and first overall in the wheel-to-wheel challenge Sunday, June 12.
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 blue barrels set apart just wide enough to let the buses pass through.
METRO winners – First Place: Operator Walter Young; Second Place: Operator Marshall Preston, last year’s champion and overall winner, and; Third Place: Operator Lloyd Melton
SARTA winners – First Place: Operator Dana Featheringham, SARTA’s first-ranking operator from last year; Second Place: Debra Franklin, and; Third Place: Operator Michael Ross
First place finishers from both transit authorities will compete in the 2012 APTA Bus Roadeo in Long Beach, California.