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Bus Drivers Saddle Up For Roadeo 2008

Media release

Bus Drivers Saddle Up For Roadeo 2008

October 2, 2008


Our top bus drivers plus a few from across the Tasman are busy perfecting their manoeuvring skills and swatting up on road knowledge in preparation for the 2008 Bus Roadeo.

The Tranzqual Australasian Bus Roadeo is to be held at the Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton on October 18 and 19. It is being hosted by Hamilton-based bus company Go Bus, with support from the Bus and Coach Association.

During the weekend, about 25 of our nation's top bus drivers plus three competitors from Australia will compete in events testing driving skills, customer service, road knowledge and ability to detect bus faults.

The competing drivers are chosen by their companies because of their skills, low complaint and accident rates, great customer service and professionalism.

This is the second year a bus roadeo has been held in New Zealand. The inaugural event, held in Christchurch last year, proved a major success. Last year's winner, Mike North of Red Bus, will be defending his title of Bus Driver of the Year.

Raewyn Bleakley, CEO of the Bus and Coach Association, said the roadeo was the chance for drivers to practice and hone their skills outside of the normal work arena.
"Plus it gives recognition to the wide range of skills bus drivers need to acquire to be the best in their field. Celebrating excellence in an informal way like this makes for a great occasion."

Tranzqual CEO Wayne Smith said Tranzqual was delighted to sponsor such a unique event in New Zealand.

"The roadeo emphasises the importance of driver training and shows how industry training can create professionalism in our driving force, of which this country can be very proud. Last year set an impressive benchmark so we're looking forward to seeing some brilliant performances this month."

Bus roadeos are hugely popular in the United States and have been held there for more than 40 years. Australia held its first event in 1991 and a team from Red Bus were the first New Zealanders to compete in the Australian National Bus Roadeo in 2006.



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