Our operators are the best when it comes to handling large vehicles in tight spaces, but how do you determine the “best of the best?” You hold a “Roadeo!!”
In June, some of King County Metro’s top operators came to Metro’s South Base for our “Metroadeo,” the annual transit Olympics for some of Metro’s most skilled drivers.
Operators maneuver their buses through left and right turns, passenger stops and tight spaces, taking care to adjust speeds and set up just right to perform each maneuver. It’s all scored by judges with a sharp eye and high expectations for precision. Operators also must pass an inspection test where they have to find a variety of operational defects on the bus within 8 minutes.
Tammy Klein is a veteran Metroadeo contestant, the first woman to win the competition, and after winning her first trophy, she hasn’t stopped! Tammy reclaimed her title this year, defeating 2022 champion Steven Banham for her ninth championship!
Tammy has been an operator for close to three decades, and even with all the Roadeo trophies she’s collected, still enjoys the challenge of being in the competition. “I like the competitiveness and the personal challenge to beat my own score.”
Sandy Dodge is a Safety Administrator at Metro and one of the organizers of the Roadeo, and said Tammy and Steven want to improve every year they compete. Dodge said being part of the event makes those who participate better operators. “Roadeo competitors are better drivers on the road with all the challenges they come upon in their daily driving. When it comes to tight turns and limited clearances on the road, they are better prepared to be successful.”
As the winner of the competition, Tammy will represent Metro at the State Roadeo in Vancouver, Wash. later this summer. She will be joined in Vancouver by Steven. In 2024, Tammy will represent Metro at the International Roadeo in Portland, Ore.