The two-day event was sponsored by the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA), the Florida Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and the Florida Association of Coordinated Transit Systems (FACTS), and hosted by LeeTran. The event drew fixed route and paratransit bus operators and maintenance technicians from cities throughout Florida to engage in safety training and some challenging, but fun, competition with the vehicles they operate on a daily basis.
Lampkin works for Maruti Fleet & Management, which is under contract with Ride Right Transportation and Lake County Public Transportation to provide transit services throughout Lake County.
"'Do it Right, Do it Safe' is our philosophy," according to Nita Parikh, president and founder of Maruti Fleet Management, who was present at the roadeo to cheer on Lampkin and the rest of her transit operators.
You may wonder just what exactly is a bus roadeo. As a fixed route operator, Lampkin's performance at the event was judged by a written test of his knowledge of the rules of the road, his personal appearance and professional demeanor, his ability to spot defects and hazards prior to beginning a route, and his ability to maneuver a bus through a challenging obstacle course.
According to Lampkin, the course was not only an excellent opportunity to learn, but also to build fellowship with transit professionals throughout Florida. This was Lampkin's second year participating in a bus roadeo. Each year he has returned from the roadeo experience with a renewed spirit and enhanced skills to provide a safer journey for his Lake County passengers.