Veteran Bay Transit bus operator Ronnie Ryals placed first in the 2019 Community Transportation Association of Virginia’s (CTAV) annual Paratransit ROADEO held April 13 in Williamsburg.
The annual competition among operators from across the state tests skills on every level of the drivers’ abilities, with a primary focus on safe operations and passenger sensitivity.
On May 19, Ryals will represent Bay Transit and the Commonwealth of Virginia at the 30th annual National Community Transportation Roadeo in Palm Springs, Calif. The National Community Transportation Roadeo is the only national venue to honor and celebrate the value of rural and community transit operators, the backbone of the community transportation industry.
Ryals, who drives the larger, “body-on-chassis” style buses, was understandably thrilled to win the competition.
“I’m humbled to have won this year. There are so many fine drivers at these competitions, it is a real honor,” Ryals said. “I’m really excited and honored to represent Bay Transit and the Commonwealth of Virginia at the national competition next month.
“Thanks for all of the support from my Bay Transit family, my Bay Aging family and my wife,” he said.
Bay Transit director Ken Pollock was equally excited with Ryals’ accomplishment.
“We are all thrilled for Ronnie. He takes safety and customer service very seriously and is the embodiment of Bay Transit’s commitment to excellence,” Pollock said.
“Bay Transit operators have been competing at the CTAV Paratransit ROADEOs for years so are well aware of the level of commitment it takes to win overall first place honors,” said Bay Aging president and chief executive officer Kathy Vesley-Massey. Bay Transit is a division of Bay Aging.
“Ronnie has been with us since 2002,” said Vesley-Massey.” He is a fantastic driver and truly caring person who will do us proud at the national competition.”
Since 1996, Bay Transit has provided public transportation services throughout the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck and New Kent and Charles City counties.
Bay Transit provided 138,504 safe, reliable and affordable rides last year. While four in 10 Bay Transit riders are commuting to work, riders also depend on Bay Transit to access health care services, education, shopping, dining and recreation.
At $2 per ride, Bay Transit provides a safe, economical way for people to address their transportation needs.
To schedule a ride in Essex, Lancaster, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties, and in Colonial Beach, call 250-2011. In Gloucester and Mathews, call 693-6977. In Charles City, King and Queen, King William and New Kent, call 966-8743.