B.C. Transit sending Victoria-area team to compete in bus roadeo challenge

Veteran driver Keith Yeo will represent Victoria in international bus competition

B.C. Transit driver Keith Yeo feels right at home in a bus operator's seat. Yeo is the local bus roadeo champion and will compete in an international driving skills competition in California in May.

Let him sit in the driver’s seat of anything with wheels that’s longer than 10 metres, and Keith Yeo feels right at home.

The B.C. Transit bus driver, who has driven practically every route in the Capital Region over the past 25 years, has earned the right to compete at the 2012 International Bus Roadeo.

The Brentwood Bay resident out-performed nine drivers Saturday on an obstacle course set up at B.C. Transit’s Langford yard.

“I think it’s that experience that got him that (win),” said Randie Johal, a B.C. Transit service delivery manager who regularly works with transit operators.

Andrew White of Langford finished in second and will spend the next month training as Yeo’s understudy.

The pair will volunteer their time over the next month practising for the Bus Roadeo, set for May 4 to 8 in Long Beach, Calif. They will be coached by seven-time local roadeo champion, Ron Brown, B.C. Transit’s safety and training officer.

“A lot of these obstacles are what drivers face on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “It’s great to be able to go back down to (the U.S.) again. That’s where you really get challenged. You’re dealing with some of the top drivers in North America.”

Drivers who competed last Thursday and Saturday have impressive driving records. Yeo has never had a traffic accident and has driven more than one million miles in his career.

Yeo said his calm nature likely gave him a competitive edge on Saturday. It’s a quality, he said, that proves useful when he drives bus during the often-rowdy Canada Day festivities. It also helps him in his work as a Central Saanich volunteer firefighter.

“Nothing gets me rattled,” the soft-spoken driver said Monday while navigating his bus along a Victoria-Oak Bay route.

Still, he is somewhat nervous about one aspect of the upcoming competition. If he makes the final cut while in California, his customer service skills will be tested by actors in front of a large crowd.

“It’s the public speaking,” he said with a smile.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Did you Know?

• Last week’s local bus roadeo marks B.C. Transit’s return to hosting the annual regional qualifier after many years.

• For the first time, the bus company is also sending a maintenance team to compete in California.

Just Posted

Rebels season over after loss in Cullen Cup Final

Westshore had won ten straight games prior to championship game

West Shore fireworks courses start next week

Course required for mandatory permit

More than 900 new units planned for Langford Lake development

Council still has to sign-off on rezoning application

Hey Amazon, the bid’s in the mail: Langford mayor

The City of Langford has officially submitted its bid to become the home of Amazon HQ2.

Art has become a lifestyle for local resident

Coast Collective’s latest exhibit celebrates all things late fall

Sooke fudge company on Dragon’s Den Nov. 2

Fudge in A Round appearance on Dragon’s Den celebrated with a viewing party at the local Legion Nov. 2

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

EDITORIAL: It’s time to change the sexual assault conversation

The words “Me Too” are taking social media by storm this week,… Continue reading

Pumpkins’ versatility goes beyond Halloween

Linda Geggie For the Saanich News Get this. My 13-year-old just came… Continue reading

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Event puts pets in the picture for Halloween

Pets West holding Halloween party Oct. 29 at its Broadmead Village location

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read