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SEPTA's Best Compete At Bus & Maintenance Roadeo; Winners To Defend World Championship Title

Andrew Busch & Manny Smith
SEPTA Media Relations

The SEPTA Bus and Maintenance Roadeo is always a highlight on the annual SEPTA calendar - a chance for employees to show off their talents and skills in front of co-workers, family and friends.

This year's event, which was held on Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Cornwells Heights Park and Ride Lot, also served as a warm-up for a big title defense. The SEPTA Roadeo winners go on to compete against other transit agencies at the APTA International Bus Roadeo, of which SEPTA is the reigning Grand Champion. That puts the winners crowned Saturday at Cornwells Heights in position to win SEPTA back-to-back international championships.

One SEPTA employee who was part of the team that brought SEPTA the APTA International championship will be part of the effort to defend the title. Zenon John Rinylo once again recorded the top score in the operator competition, adding to the two dozen victories he has recorded throughout his career in SEPTA, state, national and international competitions.

"It's very difficult," said Rinylo, a 35-year SEPTA veteran. "When you get behind the wheel, it's a humbling experience."

During the roadeo, bus operators compete on an 11-obstacle driving course, which must be finished within seven minutes. The course is designed to test safety skills, such as use of turn signals, and overall smoothness of operation. Operators are also judged on elements that are part of their everyday responsibilities when serving the riding public, such as pre-trip bus inspection and their personal appearance.

On the mechanical side, the competition is done in teams, and includes events such as two engine/transmission modules, HVAC module, air brakes, bus inspection, doors, multiplex electrical system and written testing.

"This event is an opportunity for our bus operators and maintenance personnel to showcase the skills they use on the job every day," said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. "SEPTA is proud of its talented workforce."

The Bus and Maintenance Roadeo is not all competition. SEPTA employees, their families and other guests also come out to the annual event, held at the Cornwells Heights Station Park and Ride Lot, to enjoy food and plenty of fun. This includes attractions such as a dunk tank and other kids games and attractions, such as face-painting, a moon bounce and a rides on kid-sized buses and trains. SEPTA's past and present is also on display at the event - with the parking lot filled-out with vintage buses and some current vehicles in the SEPTA fleet set-up for tours.

As always, though, the main event is the competition. The following individuals and teams recorded the highest scores in this year's event:

Bus Operators:
1. Zenon John Rinylo - Southern Depot (First Place)
2. Carl Porter - Allegheny Depot
3. Mike Murray - Callowhill Depot

Maintenance - Top Five Overall Finishers:
1. Courtland "Misfit Toys" Don Heim, Joe Borie , Marc Duerr; Alternate-Don Heim Jr. (First Place)
2. Midvale "Mud Dogs" Bill Beirn, Joe Miller, Gene Bonner; Alternate-Jerry Chau
3. Midvale "Luzerne" Mike Westerfer, Michael Westerfer, John Lugrine; Alternate-Gerry Sheeron
4. Southern Team 2 Mike Martin, John Barnard , Binh Nguyen
5. Southern Team 1 Ron Hebner, Anselmo Espiritu, Joe Roccuzzo; Alternate-Bernard Johnson

Individual Event Winners
Brake Board:
1. Midvale "Mud Dogs": Bill Beirn , Joe Miller , Gene Bonner; Alternate-Jerry Chau (First Place)
2. Southern 2 Mike Martin , John Barnard , Binh Nguyen
3. Courtland "Misfit Toys" Don Heim, Joe Borie , Marc Duerr; Alternate-Don Heim Jr.

Cummins Engine:
1. Courtland "Misfit Toys": Don Heim, Joe Borie, Marc Duerr; Alternate-Don Heim Jr. (First Place)
2. Berridge "AATTT": Jeff Campbell, Fred Helbig, Carlos Herco; Alternate-Pete Kocotis
3. Callowhill "Callowhill Team 2": Mark Buehler, Eric Dudley, George Mouzone; Alternate-Charlie Evangelista

HVAC:
1. Courtland "Misfit Toys": Don Heim, Joe Borie, Marc Duerr; Alternate-Don Heim Jr. (First Place)
2. Midvale "Luzerne": Mike Westerfer, Michael Westerfer, John Lugrine; Alternate-Gerry Sheeron
3. Southern Team 1: Ron Hebner, Anselmo Espiritu, Joe Roccuzzo; Alternate-Bernard Johnson

Bus Inspection:
1. Southern Team 2: Mike Martin, John Barnard, Binh Nguyen (First Place)
2. Berridge "The Postremo": Chris Coston , Mike Turizo , Tom Tarpy; Alternate-Robert Krupa
3. Southern Team 1: Ron Hebner, Anselmo Espiritu, Joe Roccuzzo; Alternate-Bernard Johnson

MPX - Multiplex:
1. Midvale "Luzerne": Mike Westerfer, Michael Westerfer, John Lugrine; Alternate -Gerry Sheeron (First Place)
2. Midvale "Mud Dogs": Bill Beirn, Joe Miller, Gene Bonner; Alternate-Jerry Chau
3. Courtland "Misfit Toys": Don Heim, Joe Borie, Marc Duerr; Alternate -Don Heim Jr.

Vapor Doors:
1. Midvale "Mud Dogs": Bill Beirn, Joe Miller, Gene Bonner; Alternate-Jerry Chau (First Place)
2. Courtland "Misfit Toys": Don Heim, Joe Borie, Marc Duerr; Alternate -Don Heim Jr.
3. Callowhill "Boys From The Hill": Troy Maiese, Tyrone McClary, Khang Nguyen

Written Test:
1. Midvale "Luzerne": Mike Westerfer, Michael Westerfer, John Lugrine; Alternate-Gerry Sheeron (First Place)
2. Courtland "Misfit Toys": Don Heim , Joe Borie, Marc Duerr; Alternate -Don Heim Jr.
3. Midvale "Mud Dogs": Bill Beirn, Joe Miller, Gene Bonner, Alternate-Jerry Chau


The 2013 SEPTA Bus and Maintenance Roadeo was held at the Cornwells Heights Station Park and Ride Lot on Saturday, September 7, 2013.



The Grand Champion Winners with (from left) SEPTA Deputy General Manager Jeff Knueppel; Assistant General Manager of Operations, Ron Hopkins; and Mike Liberi, Chief Officer of Surface Operations.



The dunk tank is always a big hit at the Roadeo.



A bus operator navigates the course.



Vintage buses were on display at the Roadeo.