Whatcom Transportation Authority workers competed in their annual bus “roadeo” Sunday as part of the bus agency’s employee picnic at the WTA Maintenance, Operations and Administration Building on Bakerview Spur in Bellingham. The event pitted fixed-route bus drivers, paratransit (smaller bus) drivers and other employees against a course designed to mimic actual driving conditions. A coned-off route led contestants through a series of tests – including corners, zig-zags, backing, pulling into simulated bus stops and a diminishing-clearance obstacle that must be tackled at a minimum speed of 20 mph. Paratransit drivers, whose passengers include seniors and disabled people, were required to assist Harley Draven, Miss Wheelchair Washington, onto their bus. Mike Hogan won first for fixed route drivers, and Callie Houk took first among paratransit drivers. They advance to a statewide competition in August.
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