Minnesota Now with Cathy Wurzer

Bus driver represents Metro Transit as first woman to compete in International ‘bus roadeo’

Metro Transit employees at the International Bus Roadeo
Metro Transit employees and supporters of bus driver Jeanne (second from the left) joined her at the International Bus Roadeo in Portland, Ore.
Courtesy Jeanne O.

The best bus drivers in the country are currently competing at the international level, and that includes Minnesota Metro Transit driver Jeanne. She is in Portland, Ore., for the American Public Transportation Association’s International Bus Roadeo.

Metro Transit said Jeanne is the first woman from the organization to compete in the international competition and became the first woman to ever win the Metro Transit Bus Roadeo last year.

Jeanne has been working for Metro Transit for 24 years. She did her first roadeo in 2006, and immediately, she was hooked. At the international level, there are 11 different obstacles where the drivers are timed. The idea is to weave and attempt not to hit anything.

“It’s definitely very fun, but very challenging,” she said. “It is a fun, friendly competition between our co-workers, and it just keeps you coming back because you want to do better.”

In 2014, Jeanne was the first woman to place at state. She set a goal for herself — she wanted to be the first woman from Metro Transit to go to the international competition. Ten years later, she accomplished it.

A woman in a cowboy hat
Metro Transit driver Jeanne is in Portland, Ore., for the American Public Transportation Association’s International Bus Roadeo.
Courtesy photo

She has seen a few other women at the competition, but says she feels like they are “definitely still a minority” and she looks forward to helping fix that.

The award ceremony is Tuesday evening, but Jeanne isn’t sure if she will need to make space in her suitcase for a trophy this time.

“It’s tough, tough competition. I think I messed up a couple things on the course,” she said.

Metro Transit hosts the local roadeo in May. Jeanne is hoping to secure another international invite.

Editor’s Note: Jeanne requested MPR News not use her last name for privacy reasons.

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