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Awards Are Highlight of Sunday Gala Banquet; LA Metro Takes Top Rodeo Award

Los Angeles Metro received the prestigious Rail Transit Team Achievement Award at the 24th annual APTA International Rail Rodeo, held June 19 in conjunction with the Rail Conference.

“I’ll bet every person who took part in the Rail Rodeo or who competed for a safety or security award learned something,” said Acting President & CEO Richard White. “Take all that you experienced here in Phoenix and use it to achieve even more success for your agencies and your communities.”

APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall and Vice Chair Doran Barnes presided at the awards presentations and are pictured on the far left and far right of the winners’ photos.

The top award goes to the competing public transit system with the highest combined score for rail operators and maintainer team. Los Angeles Metro’s teams placed third in both categories.

Narciso Garcia and Robert Dennis, representing Denver’s Regional Transportation District, placed first among operators, with Harsvinder Dhaliwal and Kuljinder Bath of the Santa Clara Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA, in second and Los Angeles Metro’s Saul Sanchez and David Wilson in third. Operators are judged on professional skills, including train operation and knowledge of safety regulations, train equipment and track right-of-way rules and procedures.

In the maintainers’ competition, where participants are evaluated on their ability to troubleshoot maintenance problems, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District team of Gary Crandell, Andre Trujillo and Darrell Johnson took top honors. The team from Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA—Christopher Mertz, Robert Johnson and Joseph Atkins—placed second and the Los Angeles Metro team of Ezequiel Garcia, Marcos Martinez and Rafaele Mastrangelo Jr. won third place.

A record 21 teams competed in this year’s rodeo, including teams from Canada and, for the first time, Japan. A total of 42 operators and 51 mechanics took part.

First place among rail operators went to the Denver Regional Transportation District team. BART General Manager Grace Crunican joined her agency’s maintenance team to accept the first-place award.

Los Angeles Metro CEO/General Manager Phillip Washington and agency employees accepted the Team Achievement Award for the team with the highest combined score. Metro’s operators and mechanics each placed third in their categories.
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