Employee of the Quarter Ed Cooney

Our dispatchers play a vital role at Omnitrans – they make sure our bus system delivers service by guiding coaches and operators through obstacles from detours to mechanical problems to customer service issues every day!

Dispatcher Ed Cooney’s strong work ethic and problem-solving skills made him stand out among his peers during the October-December 2017, making him the Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter!

Ed describes the award as a surprising honor that he did not see coming. After 25 years working with Omnitrans, he views this place as his second home, where he is simply happy to be of service to his community through our dedicated drivers.

“I like the people and we’re family here, although sometimes dysfunctional, like any other family,” he laughs. “That’s one of the major motivators. I’ve been put in a position where I can help people, and that makes all the difference.”

After almost six years driving for Metro in Los Angeles, Ed’s adventurous side took over and he decided to go to Brazil where he worked for a year. After moving back home to the States and settling in Montclair, he spotted an Omnitrans bus and chatted with the driver about his job. He was persuaded, and decided to give Omnitrans a try. He switched directions and headed east, this time, on I-10 to apply for a job as a coach operator.

“This entire lot was all dirt,” reminisces Ed as we overlook the East Valley bus yard in San Bernardino. “There was a single bungalow that housed human resources, finance, the CEO. Everyone was in that one trailer. I remember the mechanics had dug a trench, and they would drive the bus over the trench to work on bus maintenance.”

Ed Cooney and a new dispatcher in training go over the Trapeze Ops software used for record-keeping.

As Omnitrans progressed, so did Ed’s career. After five years of driving our buses, he was promoted to a dispatching role in which he has served ever since. Last year, when his supervisor retired, Ed selflessly rose above and beyond his required work duties to take on tasks of the vacant supervisor role. While doing research, Ed discovered software configuration errors, and took the initiative to tackle them himself.

With only four days of informal training, Ed took on the task of solving this problem, working 12-hour days and weekends alongside his peers, I.T., and the software vendor. As a result of Ed’s initiative and manual improvements to the process, the agency was prevented from overspending $10,000.

“I still go in everyday and double check for errors,” he explains. “In this job, I’m not obligated to do this. I could’ve asked management to hire someone that could fix this, but I felt a responsibility to the operators so that things were operating as they should.”

This month, the Omnitrans Board of Directors recognized Ed as our Employee of the Quarter for his diligence in ensuring that the necessary improvements were made and tested prior to live implementation of the software.

“Ed is a recognized leader in the dispatch office and is greatly respected by his peers for his loyalty, ability, and willingness to help others in times of need,” says Director of Operations Diane Caldera. “His recognition as Employee of the Quarter is greatly deserved.”

Employee of the Quarter Ed Cooney (center) is congratulated by (from the left) Board of Directors Chair Ron Dailey and CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham.

“When I found out, I thought to myself, ‘Is there another Ed Cooney who works here?’ he recounts. “I think because I grew up in an environment where we didn’t get praise or appreciation, so when you do, it makes you feel a little awkward at first. But I appreciate Diane Caldera for nominating me and individually recognizing every dispatcher’s work. The morale has really been raised since she’s taken over.”

Travel and family time also are huge parts of Ed’s life. He recently visited Hawaii, and often flies to Brazil, which is where his wife hails from. He is a proud father to his two daughters, graduates of University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Santa Barbara.

“I don’t have an R.V. because of tuition bills,” he jokes. “But I was so happy to win this award after 25 years of working here. I knew my loyalty to Omnitrans, which could be best described as canine in nature, would someday lead to this recognition!”

2018 Million Mile Coach Operators recognized for safe driving record

Imagine driving the circumference of planet Earth. Now imagine doing that 40 times without being involved in an accident. That’s what these Coach Operators have achieved to be inducted into the exclusive Million Mile Club at Omnitrans!

Eight coach operators are recognized this year for their achievement in safely driving 25,000 hours without a preventable accident, a feat that is accomplished over the course of 12 years. Three drivers have completed 50,000 driving hours over 25 years without a preventable accident, making them a 2 Million Mile Club member.

Our 2018 Million Mile Club drivers (from left to right): Naomi Bryant, Sidney Rosario, Maria Granado, Fernando Ahumada, Ana Castellon, Lori Ruiz, Harry Castillo. Not pictured: Royce Leech.

Each driver was presented with a special plaque, jacket, hat, belt buckle, certificate of recognition, a silver name plate, a day off with pay, and $500. Our 2 Million Mile drivers also received a bonus five-day cruise to Mexico including paid time off!

Our 2 Million Mile Club drivers (from left to right): Terrence Gipson, David Torres. Not pictured: Rance Hodges.

Our congratulations go to these drivers for setting the standard of excellence. We are grateful for their commitment to safety as they connect our community.

1 Million Mile Coach Operators

  • Fernando Ahumada
  • Naomi Bryant
  • Ana Castellon
  • Harry Castillo
  • Maria Granado
  • Royce Leech
  • Sidney Rosario
  • Lori Ruiz

2 Million Mile Coach Operators

  • Terrance Gipson
  • Rance Hodge
  • David Torres

To view more photos of our 2018 Million Mile Club inductees, click here.

Ride Omnitrans to the Ontario Reign Games!

Riding the bus to Ontario Reign games at the Citizens Business Bank Arena is easy! Let Buster and the Reign’s Kingston show you:

Click here for the Reign’s game schedule, and plan your trip on Omnitrans on our website.

Enter to win a pair of NASCAR Auto Club 400 tickets!

This contest ended on 3/15/18 at 8:00 a.m.

Start your engines! The NASCAR Auto Club 400 is coming to Fontana this weekend and Omnitrans is giving you the chance to attend Sunday’s race.

The Auto Club Speedway is our newest community partner, and we look forward to working together to connect, engage and inspire elementary school children at the track and in the classroom through Lefty’s Kids Club and literacy program – Lefty’s Reading Challenge.

To celebrate our partnership, we will be giving away three pairs of free tickets (valued at $85 each) to Sunday’s race! To enter, you must leave a comment on this blog post, sharing:

  • Who your favorite driver is, whether it was your school carpool driver as a child, your favorite NASCAR driver or Omnitrans bus driver. Take the freedom to be creative!
  • Your name
  • A valid e-mail address. Winners will receive our free monthly e-newsletter.

If selected, you must be able to pick up your tickets at our East Valley facility located at 1700 W. Fifth Street, San Bernardino, CA 92411 by Friday, March 16, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Winners will be contacted via e-mail, so please check your inbox to claim your prize.

Good luck, and may the best person make it to the finish line!

Public meetings scheduled for proposed route changes in 2018-2019

Para información en español, por favor haga clic aquí.

Omnitrans has proposed routing and scheduling modifications to several routes later in 2018 and 2019. Because these changes impact you, our route planning team will be holding public meetings in April to obtain your valuable feedback.

Up for discussion are a wide spectrum of proposals including:

  • Adding Saturday service on sbX in San Bernardino and Loma Linda with a corresponding reduction on local Route 2 weekend service
  • Modifying Route 14 service in Downtown San Bernardino to reduce duplication, improve transfer connections, and improve on-time performance
  • Extending Route 83 service in Upland to include a loop to better serve the Colonies Crossroads
  • Rerouting Route 86 service in Ontario to serve Bon View Avenue including the Dorothy A Quesada Community Center and Baldy View Regional Occupation Program (Baldy View ROP) instead of Campus Avenue between Francis Avenue and Mission Avenue
  • Eliminating the regular acceptance of pennies as a form of payment on board
  • Adding the ability to purchase 10-packs of single-ride fares on the mobile payment platform

Click here for details and maps.

These proposed changes are part of Omnitrans’ continuous efforts to meet the needs and priorities of our passengers and evolve as our communities grow. Additionally, Omnitrans is seeking funds to install racks that hold three bikes instead of two on all of our buses, as well as secure bicycle parking at transit centers. Tell us what you think!

Your participation is encouraged at any of these public meetings:

San Bernardino
Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
San Bernardino Transit Center
599 W. Rialto Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92401

Monday, April 9, 2018 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Omnitrans East Valley Facility
1700 W. 5th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92411

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 6 a.m.-10 a.m.
San Bernardino Transit Center
599 W. Rialto Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92401

Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 6 a.m.-10 a.m.
Ontario Civic Center Transfer Station
Holt Blvd. & Lemon Ave. (one block east of Euclid Ave.)

Thursday, April 12, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Dorothy A. Quesada Community Center
1010 S. Bon View Avenue, Ontario, CA 91761

If you are unable to attend our public meetings, you may submit your comments via e-mail to planning@omnitrans.org or by phone at 909-379-7150 through Monday, April 16, 2018.

CSUSB Coyotes ride Metrolink and sbX to class!

With Metrolink now connecting to Omnitrans and sbX in Downtown San Bernardino, Cal State University San Bernardino Coyotes have a seamless new way to get to class!

Check out the video below to see how Cody the Coyote and Maya, third-year biological psychology major, connect to sbX for a straight shot to campus after riding Metrolink into the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center.

They avoid traffic, parking permit fees, and squeeze in some extra studying time as they ride along and let Metrolink and sbX do the driving!

Visit MetrolinkTrains.com for train arrival times at the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center.

Omnitrans Employee of the Year 2017

Employee of the Quarter John Steffon (left) is presented with his award by CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham (right) and Board of Directors Chair Ron Dailey (center) at February’s board meeting.

As he prepares for retirement in just a few months, East Valley Transportation Manager John Steffon is definitely going out on a high note as Omnitrans recognizes him as the Employee of the Year for 2017!

Throughout the last year, John played a crucial role in keeping Omnitrans operations flowing smoothly during a time when numerous management positions were vacant in his department. John postponed his retirement as he took on duties of the West Valley Transportation Manager, East Valley Assistant Transportation Manager, and Dispatch Supervisor in addition to his own.

During this time, the operations department was able to increase our part-time driver roster to ensure that bus service needs were met for our community and to prevent our current coach operators from working overtime on their days off. John was instrumental to these efforts and the successful onboarding of new drivers as he managed many of the day-to-day functions of the department.

“Time management was tough,” admits John. “Some of your own work has to take a backseat to what really needs to be done then and there. This was the biggest challenge – trying to keep everything up to date from attendance, to handling all ATM duties, making sure all dispatch supervisor duties were being handled, and covering at West Valley if we needed to handle any disciplinary issues.”

Although John looks forward to retiring soon, he remains fully committed to our mission of connecting our community while he is still here. “It’s coming to an end and it’ll be time to move on in a few months. Omnitrans has been very good to me, and I come here every day with a smile on my face.”

Congratulations, John! Your dedication to your employees and to our passengers is valued and appreciated.