CARTA celebrates drivers with Celebrity 'Roadeo'

Tessa Spenser takes the wheel (Scott Garrand/WCIV)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- You may be used to seeing CARTA buses all the time, but have you ever stopped to think about how difficult it is to drive them?

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority hosted a bus rodeo in North Charleston Saturday to give some local celebrities a chance to see what it's like.{}{} {}

Each contestant went through a series of challenges like parking close to a curb and speeding between cones.

CARTA officials say the event brought attention to safety and the talent of their drivers. "They're really talented. They get an awful lot of training, but they're also dealing with the public," said CARTA Executive Director Christine Wilkinson. "They're dealing with weather conditions and road conditions and I think a study not to long ago found that being a bus driver is the fifth most stressful job in the United States."

Celebrity participants included Mark Bryan of Hootie & the Blowfish, County Council Vice-Chairman and CARTA Board Chairman Elliott Summey, Magic 107.3's General Dee Jay Cass, and Starr 99.7's Baby Jay.

ABC News 4's Tessa Spencer gave it a try but didn't finish in the top three. The top three finishers got to pick a charity to receive a donation from CARTA.

WCSC Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh placed first, donating $2,000 to the Ronald McDonald House.{} Dee Jay Cass placed second, donating $1,000, also to Ronald McDonald House.{} Rob Concannon followed close in third place, donating $500 to Pattison's Academy.

After the celebrity competition,{} a dozen real CARTA drivers got down to business.{} Those winners will go on to compete in the state competition.