This week, Omnitrans was proud to honor Coach Operator Jeffrey Wardlow for his outstanding first place achievement in the agency’s annual Roadeo event which was held on Saturday. He was presented with a check for $350 and will go on to represent the agency in the both the Southern California Regional Bus Roadeo and the American Public Transportation Association’s International Bus Roadeo.
In the agency competition, fifteen coach operators were scored on the safe, smooth and efficient navigation of a challenging obstacle course which included serpentine turns, rear dual tires clearance, a left and a right hand reverse, diminishing clearance, and customer stops and more. The entire course had to be completed in under 7 minutes. Each participant was also judged on their professional appearance plus a safety quiz.
Winning the Roadeo competition is especially meaningful to Jeffrey because of his family history.
“My grandfather was actually a driver as well, and the name of his bus was the “happy bus.” He would always greet his passengers and be nice to everybody on his bus and talk about the Lord. And he would just give them a pleasant ride. He would tell people about all the scenic areas and tourist stops. This was back in the 60s. I feel very honored to be carrying on the family tradition. My grandfather was also a Roadeo winner, so this is like full circle for me.”
Although Jeffrey has been with Omnitrans for just over a year, he is a seasoned coach operator with 13 years of experience driving for the Chicago Transit Authority. He moved to the Inland Empire region after he married, because his wife already had a home here. His first job was with Durham School Bus services, which gave him a little experience with California streets. Then he was hired on at Omnitrans. “It feels good to be back in the seat again as a public bus driver,” said Jeffrey with a smile. “This is a great place with awesome people, and I’m just happy to be here.”
When he’s not driving a bus, Jeffrey is concentrating on his music. He’s a gospel jazz drummer and even has his own CD out now called Jeffrey Wardlow: My Life is in God’s Hands. You can listen to a sample of his music at:
– Juno Kughler Carlson
Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!