Hopi Senom Transit System operator defends state title; places 13th nationally
Posted in the Flagstaff Forum
Since: May 11
#1 Jun 21, 2011
Hopi Senom Transit System driver Shawn Silas captured first place in the Arizona Rural Roadeo, a statewide competition for transit drivers. The win, marking his second-consecutive Arizona championship, qualified him for the National Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Roadeo in Indianapolis, where he placed 13th.
The national competition featured 57 of the best public transportation drivers across the country. This was Silas’ second appearance at the national event.
Both the Arizona and the national roadeos consist of a written test, an obstacle course and safety skill demonstration. Contestants are judged on their maneuvering, backing-up and braking abilities.
“The most important part is the verbal portion of the competition, then knowing how to control your vehicle on the course,” said Silas, who is in his third year with the Hopi Senom Transit System.“I think people let their nerves get in the way, but I just relax and have fun with it.”
Judy Polingyumptewa, transit administrator for the Hopi Tribe, praised Silas’ accomplishments.
“Two years in a row means a lot for our reservation,” Polingyumptewa said.“The roads here are really different than those in the city.(Silas) is a dedicated and skilled driver who can improvise on our roads, making him very unique.”
Hopi Chairman LeRoy N. Shingoitewa said Shawn’s professionalism is a reflection of Judy’s leadership of the Hopi Senom Transit System.
“The Hopi Tribe is proud of Shawn’s work,” Shingoitewa said.“He is an excellent example of how hard work and dedication can pay off. This casts a positive light not only on Shawn, but on all of the Hopi people.”
Silas, who has been honored with various luncheons, looks forward to next year’s competition.
“You never know, maybe someone will step in next year and beat me. But that’s how I play it – it’s a great experience.”
The Hopi Senom Transit System operates two fixed routes servicing medical, employment, commercial, human service programs and low income or public housing locations to and from Keams Canyon, Moencopi, Flagstaff, Tuba City and Kykotsmovi. The transit service also provides vanpool type service between Flagstaff and Kykotsmovi.
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