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Release date: SFMTA Rail Operators Place First at APTA International Rail Rodeo

*** Press Release ***

Monday, June 2, 2008

Today, Monday, June 2, during the Rail Conference Opening General Session, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced that the Operator Team for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), placed first at the 16th Annual APTA International Rail Rodeo, held Saturday, May 31.

The Rail Rodeo competition kicked off at 7:00 a.m. Saturday with rail operators and maintenance teams from across the United States and Canada vying for the title of champion.  The Rail Rodeo was held at the SFMTA’s new Muni Metro East (MME) light rail storage and maintenance facility, which will open this fall.

Throughout Saturday morning, the Rail Rodeo participants demonstrated their skills and expertise. The SFMTA Operator Team, Chi Ki Hau and Jason Lao, scored 973 points and beat out 18 other teams to win the Operators Competition. Both team members are Muni light rail operators and were proud to represent their outstanding colleagues at the Rodeo.

“The Operators at Muni are indeed some of the best in the country and I am very proud that Mr. Hau and Mr. Lao rose to the top of this impressive field of competitors,” said Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr., Executive Director/CEO of the SFMTA.

The Rodeo maintenance and operating teams arrived in San Francisco on Wednesday, May 28 to register and begin preparations. Twenty transit properties from throughout North America participated this year. On Thursday and Friday, the teams participated in orientation and practice in preparation for the competition. The Rail Rodeo includes competitions for both Operators and Maintainers and both competitions include a written exam.

The highest honor at the Rail Rodeo, the Rail Transit Team Achievement Award, was won by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro). LA Metro took second place in the Operators Competition and third place went to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

The winners of the Maintainers Competition were, in rank order, LA Metro, BART, and Metro St. Louis.

The Rodeo marked the beginning of APTA's Rail Transit Conference, the largest and most comprehensive learning experience for the rail industry in North America. The conference provides tools and strategies for enhancing a transit system’s effectiveness.

More than 1,200 attendees, including transit executives, general managers, chief operating officers, chief construction officers as well as business and government leaders, have converged on San Francisco for the conference.  All of the sessions offer the latest information on critical topics and innovative ideas influencing the transit rail industry today. For complete details on the conference visit the APTA Web site.

The conference is open to registered attendees only.  

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