A Day At The MTA Roadeo Competition
Last year my mother in law invited my family and me to an event called “Roadeo” held by the MTA of NYC.
I don’t work for the MTA or care for the delays their services gives us at times so waking up early for an event like this was a no go at first. I had no expectations for this and I learned I was wrong when we arrived late afternoon last year missing almost all of it.
My kids were upset and so was I, I vowed to make it early this year and we did just that on Saturday, Sept 16th!
The Roadeo Dad Moment
It’s a 2-day event but we usually only attend one day.
The Roadeo is held by the MTA as a competition here in NYC to find the best bus driver in NYC. It isn’t a simple course with multiple stops like a day of work. They actually put them to the test with challenges most of us would fail to do with a Honda Civic.
As soon as we walked in, I headed past all the free stuff to see what the course looked like this year. While standing there another dad came by and asked if he could take a picture of my shirt!
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I knew it was going to be a good day! Always dope to run into other dads that gets it, they need us out here!
The Roadeo Day Outside Of The Course
Even though it’s a competition, it’s more like a friends and family day. They had free food and lots of free MTA stuff for the kids to take home. We always look for these signs to represent the train stops we grew near!
They also have old school buses there so you can see how far we have come along in regards to public transportation. You get to tour the bus at your own pace, there are usually no lines and you can ask the people there for info if you want! No pressure at all and no one is there harassing you to move along!
We saw a new double-decker bus with wifi and USB connections. You know that was our favorite one.
I showed my kids a bus from the late 80’s that had a drawstring that people would use to request a stop and they looked at me like my life truly sucked growing up.
Kids these days don’t know how good they have it and I had to remind my kids that all of this cool technology didn’t exist back them. Growing up we didn’t even have AC on a bus sometimes, that would killllll my kids now!
The Roadeo Competition
We got lucky and found out that we could actually sit inside the bus while a driver was competing. You know we couldn’t say no to that.
It’s one thing to watch a bus driver try to avoid cones while navigation a tight turn but actually sitting inside while doing so will make you respect their skills.
The amount of effort it takes them to complete each obstacle is no joke. They have to be super focused while our kids are screaming like lunatics on the bus. After the 1st couple of obstacles, you start feeling like a big part of the driver’s team. People start clapping at each obstacle and the noise level diminishes a bit so the driver can focus. You want your driver to win, even if you don’t know the driver.
Overall the event was a great time. It let us teach our kids the history of our transit system while they hopped on buses from all generations. We were well fed and had tons of fun with the competition and everything they had for families to do together.
I hope our driver won the contest, but if he didn’t, I hope he knows he brought a smile to my kid’s face. That experience alone was a win!
If you know an MTA employee make sure you go next year! If you don’t know one, you have a year to do so! Make it happen!
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