New Mexico public transportation drivers put their skills to the test in annual competition

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A unique competition on Sunday pit the best public transportation drivers in the state up against each other to test their skills. 

Dozens of them descended on Santa Fe from all over the state.

You likely see them on your daily commute and often don’t think twice about the skills public transportation drivers need to get through their route every day. 

“We have a big responsibility, we got to get people from where we pick them up to where they’re going safely,” explained Steven Romero, a driver with RTD. 

Sunday, dozens of drivers put their skills to the test. The goal was to get through a course full of cones with the fewest number of mistakes. 

“I’m getting anxious to try it,” Romero said. 
 
It is all part of the annual New Mexico Transit Association Road-eo, where drivers take on a variety of challenges. 
 
“Like a serpentine, backing up, right turns, curb parking, passenger pickup,”  explained Joe Hardin with the New Mexico Transit Association. “Just different things they do in their daily life driving a bus and we judge how well they do it.” 

Ramon Trujillo is a veteran competitor.

“The serpentine, you’ve got to get around a certain middle cone,” he explained. 

He has won the New Mexico Road-eo three times, landing him a spot in the national competition.

“What I get out of these competitions, is talking to other drivers who do the same thing I do every day just they run into different situations in different towns, in different cities,” Trujillo said. 

Drivers say while it may seem easy, getting behind the wheel and having your every move scrutinized is a little nerve-wracking. 

“It’s way harder than it looks,” explained driver Matthew Henderson. 

However, it is also a good time. 

“It’s just a fun gathering, getting the drivers from the throughout the state together,” Romero said. 

Win or lose, these drivers say what they do is important. 

“We take pride in what we do,” explained Henderson.

The first-place winners will represent New Mexico at the national competition in Pittsburgh in June. 
 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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