Placewinners and volunteers smile in front of a bus

CAMBUS drivers earn two of three top places at state bus driving competition

On Saturday, June 10, CAMBUS co-hosted the Iowa Public Transit Association's State Bus Roadeo. 18 drivers representing 8 transit agencies across Iowa competed in large bus and mini-bus courses in Parking Lot 55 – Hancher in Iowa City. 

Drivers across both the large bus and mini-bus divisions compete in a 10-part obstacle course where they are scored on obstacle avoidance, smoothness, safety, and overall time. Drivers competing in the large bus competition also compete in a timed event to identify planted defects on a bus. Drivers competing in the mini-bus competition also compete in a timed event to safely secure a passenger in a wheelchair. 

CAMBUS drivers Ben Koch and Michael Souhrada competed in the large bus division while driver Lizzie Shockley competed in the mini-bus division. Koch and Souhrada secured first and third place respectively amongst a field of 6 drivers from CAMBUS, CyRide, and DART. 

The achievement marks the first time since 2005 that a CAMBUS driver has earned first place at the state competition and the first time ever two CAMBUS drivers have placed. 

Koch has been driving for CAMBUS since 2017 and has made four previous appearances at the state roadeo, earning second place at the 2022 competition in Cedar Rapids. Souhrada has been driving for CAMBUS since 2020 and made his debut appearance at the state roadeo. Both drivers placed ahead of drivers who have over twice as many years of driving experience.  

Placewinners Ben Koch and Michael Souhrada pose with their awards.

CAMBUS drivers Michael Souhrada (left) and Ben Koch (right)

Large bus results

  1. Ben Koch (CAMBUS)
  2. Brian Grootveld (CyRide) and Cesar Chavez (DART) (tie)
  3. Michael Souhrada (CAMBUS)

Mini bus results

  1. Charles Long (CyRide)
  2. Kurt Mackel-Wiederanders (DART)
  3. Jean Dalsin (Region 8)

Thank you, volunteers

The state bus roadeo is a large event with competitors and spectators from across the state. Over 30 volunteers helped make the event a success, including full-time and student staff at CAMBUS. 

Photo credit: Darshaun Smith