Bus Roadeo FAQs

NOTE: Questions and answers are provided to assist Roadeo contestants with familiarization of the Roadeo competition. On-course officials are responsible for interpretations and decisions during competition.

General Questions   Bus Operator Questions    Pre-Trip Inspection Questions    Maintenance Technician Questions


1.  Where is registration and its hours?
     Registration will be at the Hyatt Regency Portland. Registration hours can be found on the Roadeo Schedule

2.  Can I attend Mobility Conference sessions?
     Yes, all registered Roadeo attendees will have access to the mobility sessions.

3.  When can I expect my name plate and monetary winnings?
     You can expect your monetary winnings within six weeks from the awards banquet.

4.  Will I need to pay taxes on the money I win?
     Yes, you will need to include your winnings in your yearly income.

5.  Can I bring my family with me on stage if I win?
     No. We kindly ask that only winners come on stage to accept their award.

6.  Can I register for the roadeo onsite?
     No. Teams, including all participants, must be registered by Friday, April 12, 2024.

7.  Can I buy tickets for guest to attend the International Bus Roadeo Awards After Party once onsite?
     Yes, you can buy tickets for the awards celebration onsite. Awards celebration tickets are included with the purchase of a personal guest registration, but additional tickets can be purchased in advance during the online registration process and on-site for $150.

8.  Will I be provided with a certificate of completion after participating in the bus operator and maintenance technician workshops?
     Yes, you will be awarded a certificate of completion for attending any IBR bus operator or maintenance technician workshop.

9.  Will I be able to pick up a hard copy of the handbook on site?
     No. The handbook is only available as a pdf. (2024 IBR Handbook)

10. Where do I ship my items for the swap meet?
       Ship your items to the following address:      

       (Add Guest's Name)
       2024 International Bus Roadeo/Swap Meet
       Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center
       375 NE Holladay Street
       Portland, OR 97232

11. Where do vendors ship their items?
       The following address will be available to receive vendor items starting April 19, 2024.
        c/o APTA Int’l Bus Roadeo
        3556 NW Front Ave
        Portland, OR 97210


1.   Can I ride with another contestant?
      No. Each contestant is only allowed to ride/drive the course once.

2.   Can someone ride with me?
      Yes, on course orientation day only, as long as they are not disruptive. On competition day, no

3.   Are you going to guide me through the course?
      No. You will be provided with a diagram of the course and it is your responsibility to negotiate the obstacles in proper order.

4.   Do I have to use the horn and turn signals?
      Yes. If you fail to use your horn and/or signals, you will lose points from the on-board safety judge.

5.   Am I allowed to go outside the line of perimeter cones?
      No. You must stay within the course lines. Each course marker or perimeter cone touched will count as a penalty.

6.   May I take off my jacket when I compete?
      Yes. Make yourself comfortable after the personal appearance inspection.

7.   Can I use the mirrors that I am used to?
      No. You must use the mirrors provided on the host property buses.

8.   Will I be driving the same type of bus that I drive in my system?
      You will be driving the vehicle provided by the host property a 2024 40+' GILLIG low floor bus. Vehicle information is provided in the Host property information appendix.

9.   On practice day do I have to wear my uniform?
      No, However, proper footwear is required.

10. Can I go through the course more than once on practice day?
      No. Time permits only one trip on practice day (10-minute max. time limit).

11. Do I have to be on time for practice and competition?
      Yes. Everyone is scheduled for a certain time and the schedule must be maintained. You must report to on-site registration at least 60 minutes before competition time and to the starter no later than 30 minutes before the competition time listed in the official schedule.

12. Will there be transportation from the Hotel to the Roadeo site?
      Yes. Refer to the Roadeo Schedule, or APTA website for the shuttle schedule.

13. Do I have to take a safety quiz?

14. Do I go through the defect bus?
      Yes. The Bus Operator competition includes a scored pre-trip inspection. The Pre-Trip Inspection takes place on Saturday.

15. Do I get a personal appearance inspection?

16. May I adjust my mirrors?
      Yes. You are responsible for adjusting your mirrors.

17. Do I lose points if I back up?
      Yes. In all course events, except for the first backup in the left and right reverses, you will lose points each time you reverse.

18. If I hit the same cone twice, do I lose double points?
      No. Once you are charged with hitting a cone you are not charged for it the second time.

19. If I touch the base of a cone, does it count against me?
     Yes. Hitting or even touching any portion of the cone counts as a hit.

20. Is my manager allowed to walk behind my bus when I am competing?
      No. Only Roadeo Officials and judges are allowed on the course while competition (or practice) is in progress. Spectators may watch from the spectator areas.

21. Will I be allowed to walk through the course?
      No. Familiarize yourself with the course through the materials provided and your practice trip. You may observe the course from the perimeter on practice day.

22. Does time on the course count?
      Yes. The course time limit is seven (7) minutes. Points will be deducted for every second over seven (7) minutes.

23. Does smoothness of operation count?
      Yes. You will be observed by the On-Board Judge and recorded by the Trackit System.

24. Does speed count?
      Your speed within the diminishing clearance obstacle must be at least 20 mph (32 kph).

25. Do you award dual prizes for a tie score?
      No. The contestant with the lowest time through the course wins.

26. How many prizes are awarded?
      First, Second, and Third prizes in the bus operator and maintenance technician competitions.

27. Do I have to wear my badge or name-plate?
      Only if it's part of your uniform.

28. Can I wear sneakers?
      Wear the same kind of shoes you wear when you are operating in passenger service at your transit system.

29. Will there be refreshments/lunch?
      Refreshments will be available on competition day.

30. Can I bring my family?
      Yes. Come and enjoy the festivities and competition. Spectator areas are available for the Bus Operator course.

31. Do I have to come to orientation?
      No. However, it is strongly encouraged.

32. Do I have to use a seat belt?
      Yes. 5 Points will be deducted for failure to use your seat belt.

33. Is the course set up as shown in the APTA handbook?
      Obstacle configurations are the same, but dimensions and sequence may be different. The course will be set up on practice day in competition sequence.

34. Is the rear cone in the backups fixed or does it vary?
      The rear cone is fixed.

35. Will there be a bus available for familiarization purposes?
      Yes. On practice day a bus will be available.

36. Do I only have to call ADA announcements at the passenger stops?
      Yes. You must call the stop before you start forward movement out of the bus stop.

37. Can I get out of the bus during practice?

38. Do I need to use the P.A. (Public Announcement) System to announce ADA Stops?

39. On the Right and Left reverses do I start at a 45 degree angle?
      You can start at whatever angle you prefer.

40. Do the buses have bike racks?
      Yes, if provided by the host property, the bike racks will remain on the buses.

41. Can I palm the steering wheels on Turns?

42. When do I have to turn on the flashers?
      Before you back your bus at the left and right reverses and any time you back your bus while on the course.

43. Do hazard light have to be on in the passenger stop?
      No. Only the proper turn signals have to be used.

44. Do I practice in the same bus I compete in?
      Yes. Unless a bus becomes disabled, then all the remaining buses will be mixed up.

45. Do I apply the passenger/parking/emergency brake on passenger stops or reverses?

46. Can I shift the bus from drive to reverse without going into neutral?
      It depends on the bus type used.

47. Do I open the doors at passenger stops?

48. On the Right and Left Reverses, does the clock stop when I open the doors?
      You do not open the doors. You will honk your horn when you have completed your backing. The clock will stop until you start a forward movement.

49. Will the time for practice be the same time on competition day?

50. Whenever the bus is disabled, does my time stop?

51. If the doors are open when you drive off, will points be deducted?
      Yes. It is a safety issue. Most buses will not let the bus move when the doors are open.

52. On the right and left reverses, do I need to turn on my flashers and honk my horn before backing?
      Yes. You must use the flashers and horn anytime you back on the course.

53. Do I need to use my turn signals on free turns?
      Yes. Any time you move right or left on the course, you must use your turn signals.

54. On my practice day, may my rider open the emergency window to see how close I am?
      No. The emergency windows are never to be opened while practicing on the course.

55. Will there be judges on board the bus on practice day?

56. Will someone ride with me on the practice day to show me the course?
      No. A course map will be given to you at orientation the night before.

57. Can my support person get out of the bus on practice day?
      No. They must remain on the bus.

58. When I back into the reverses and stop and then continue backing into the reverses, will I be penalized?
      No. You will only be penalized if you pull forward and back in a second time.

59. How will the judges know when I have completed my backing into the reverses?
      You will honk your horn.

60. On practice day will I be told how far I am from the curb?

61. How long may I be on the course on practice day?
      10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you will be asked to exit the course.

62. Do I have to compete in my uniform?
      Yes. If applicable, you may remove your tie and coat to become more comfortable.

63. Do I have to wear my uniform on practice day?

64. Can I register more than one operator for the competition?
      Yes, you can register another operator as a backup in case something happens to your main operator. However, they cannot both compete. Only one of them may compete. As the second registered operator they can attend all roadeo events. But they will not be able to compete unless the other operator backs out.


1.   Was 2008 the first year that the Pre-Trip event counted towards our score?

2.   How early should we check-in before our scheduled pre-trip time?
      Check-in at the pre-trip inspection no less than 15 minutes before your assigned time.

3.   At the Pre-Trip Inspection, will we get a count down on our time left? 
      Yes. 2 minutes, 1 minute, and 30-second warnings will be given.

4.   At the Pre-Trip Inspection, can we walk around the bus and then record the defects?
      Yes. Any way you want to do it is acceptable.

5.   Will a judge be writing down the defects for us as we find them?
      No. You must write them down yourself in as legible a manner as possible.

6.   Wheels are under the bus aren’t they? Then we don’t have to check them?
       Just don’t crawl under the bus.

7.   Will there be a similar bus to check out ahead of time?
      Yes. There will be a display bus for you to become familiar with.

8.   Will the Pre-Trip Inspection be performed on a 35-’ or 40+’ bus?
      A 40 foot bus will be used for the pre-trip inspection.

9.   Does checking the bus windows mean opening the windows?
      No. Keep the windows closed.

10.  Why don’t we have the Pre-Trip on Roadeo competition day before the contestant drive?
       Scheduling the Pre-Trip prior to driving on competition day might impact the timing of the driving competition. As we have more experience with the Pre-Trip, the Roadeo committee may decide to change it, but at this time it remains on the practice day.


1.   Can my team’s competition be videotaped?
      No. There will be absolutely no video cameras or video recording in the competition area.

2.   Can photos be taken of the events?
       Yes. Still photos may be taken, but anyone taking photos must not interfere or distract the contestants.

3.   What type of ABS system is used in the Roadeo?
       Wabco ‘D’ 45/4M

4.   How many members can a Maintenance team have?
      The standard maintenance team is made up of three (3) technicians. Two-person teams may compete, but no special compensation will be made for them.

5.   Can all team members participate in each of the Maintenance Technician problems?
      All members can work on all problems. Each team must decide the best use of team members and not create a safety issue due to space constraints.

6.   Are the Saturday maintenance technician training sessions mandatory?
      No. They are not mandatory but strongly encouraged. Teams that attend are brought up to date on the latest information regarding the maintenance tasks and are provided important information about the competition modules.

7.   Do I have to come to orientation?
      No. You are strongly encouraged to come to orientation, but it is not mandatory.

8.   Why was driving removed from the Maintenance Roadeo?
      The Roadeo Committee determined that the amount of time to complete the Roadeo was creating a safety and fairness issue. They also wanted to keep the focus of the Maintenance competition on primary maintenance skills.

9.   Will the defects be revealed after the event is completed?

10. Will there be transportation from the Hotel to the Roadeo site?
      Yes. The shuttle schedule will be posted online as soon as available.

11. Do I get a personal appearance inspection?
      No. You must wear safe clothing, including proper shoes, ear, and eye protection.

12. Can I bring my family?
      Yes. Come and enjoy the festivities and competition.

13. Are my family, manager, friends allowed with the team while we compete?
     Only if space allows. Some years there isn’t room for spectators in the Maintenance events. Your team manager(s) will be allowed in the area. Note: We cannot hold up the competition waiting for anyone to arrive.

14. Will there be refreshments/lunch?
      Refreshments will be available on competition day.

15. Will there be a bus available for familiarization purposes?
      Yes. A competition bus will be available.

16. What time should I arrive to compete?
      Contestant teams must arrive at the on-site check-in 60 minutes before competition time and must arrive at the maintenance holding area at least 30 minutes before their scheduled competition time. Teams arriving late may be disqualified from the competition.

17. What if I am late to the competition?
      Teams who report late to the Maintenance check-in may be disqualified from the competition. You must allow yourself enough time to arrive at the Roadeo site early.

18. Can I go to the Roadeo site before the Sunday competition?
      No. Maintenance team members are not allowed at the Roadeo site before the day of the competition. Any violation of this policy may cause your team to be disqualified from competition.

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