CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Your average driver may underestimate the amount of skill required to operate a bus, but not Dr. Kelly Quintanilla, Interim President and CEO of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Quintanilla had a chance to drive a public transportation bus during the 35th annual Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority (CCRTA) “Bus Roadeo” on March 5, at the CCRTA’s Operation Facility on Bear Lane.
“I have always had a great deal of respect for bus operators,” said Quintanilla. “But now that I have driven a bus myself, my admiration is off the charts! The amount of skill required is extensive.”
Every year, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) hosts the International Bus “Roadeo” competition, which includes events for both bus operators and mechanics. The bus operator portion of the competition included drivers navigating 35-foot buses through an obstacle course. CCRTA also invited local celebrities to try navigating the obstacle course and to understand that driving a bus is not as easy as it looks.
“Terry Mills, President of the Corpus Christi chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and CCRTA invited Dr. Quintanilla to be a celebrity driver because we know she is incredibly passionate about ensuring her students have a safe, efficient and reliable way to get to the University,” said Kelly Coughlin, CCRTA Director of Marketing and Governmental Affairs and Islander alumna. “TAMU-CC is a wonderful partner to the CCRTA, and we hope that partnership will continue to thrive.”
CCRTA has a close relationship with the Island University. In fact, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi students account for more than 12 percent of the bus riders in Corpus Christi and can ride for free with a valid SandDollar$ ID. To learn more about the CCRTA and get a schedule of bus routes to the University, visit http://www.ccrta.org/.