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.


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

Victoria Grizzlies’ goalie will honour friend in all he does

Kurtis Chapman lost his best friend earlier this month

Saanich teen helps save three people from the Gorge

53-year-old male who was submerged is expected to recover

Large fire destroys home on McClure Street in Victoria

Fire crews dispatched to the 1100-block shortly before noon Monday

Spencer Middle School enjoys jumps in sports enrolment numbers

Program gives students a sense of belonging, school pride

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Comox Valley Valley lotto ticket worth $2 million

Someone who purchased a lottery ticket in the Comox Valley was chanelling… Continue reading

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Man dies in crash on Island Highway

Man thrown from his vehicle, alcohol believed to be a factor in accident near Parksville

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Most Read