Guide to September Service Changes

School is back in session, the leaves will be changing color soon, and the new Bus Book is here!

With service changes effective on Tuesday, September 6th comes long-awaited direct service into Ontario International Airport. Taking into consideration the feedback received from riders and operators, Route 80 will now make two stops directly in front of Terminals 2 and 4. To preserve travel time, Route 80 will no longer be traveling west on Holt Blvd. to Euclid and Sultana Aves. in downtown Ontario (please see the updated map below).  Not to worry, though! Route 61 will continue providing service westbound to downtown Ontario.

Rt080_sept16

While there aren’t any major changes to report for our other routes, minor adjustments have been made to the following routes, so be sure to check your schedule before you travel!

Route 14:  Weekday and Sunday schedules have been adjusted for A.M. transfers with Route 61 in Fontana.

Route 19:  Weekday schedule adjusted for improved transfers with Route 8 at Crafton Hills College.

Route 67:  Early AM tripper service to Etiwanda High School has been eliminated. The 3:32 PM tripper will remain.

Route 80:  Service has been added to Ontario International Airport, via Holt and Airport Drive.  Service has been discontinued to downtown Ontario.

Route 82:  Weekday schedule has been adjusted to help serve Summit High School.

Route 290 Freeway Express: Service has been expanded to include more mid-day trips.

In other exciting news, Pass Transit, serving Beaumont, Banning, Calimesa, Cherry Valley and Cabazon, will offer service to the San Bernardino Transit Center beginning September 14! You can get more info here.

Minor changes also have been made to the following routes:

Weekdays:  Routes 8, 11, 14, 19, 80, 82, 83, 84 and 325.

Saturday: Routes 80, 83 and 84.

Sunday:  Routes 14, 80, 83 and  84.

Get a preview of the September Bus Book here.

Celebrating the San Bernardino Transit Center’s 1st Anniversary


It seems like it was only yesterday that the SBTC opened its doors for the first time. Now we’re gearing up for its one year anniversary and we want you to help us celebrate!

Join us on Saturday, September 10th at the SBTC for a fun Community Day of music, giveaways, food and the special “Green Scenes” Sidewalk Chalk Contest. If you’ve got a vision in mind that fits with our environmental theme, come on down and show off your chalk art skills. $250, $100, and $50 Visa gift cards will be awarded to our first, second, and third place winners in the adult contest. All kids 13 and under receive a prize just for entering!

To enter the contest, please use our easy registration form to sign-up today! More details on the contest and its rules can be found on our Rules page. The contest is open to the first 30 entrants, so don’t delay!

The celebration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the contest will be from 9 – 11 a.m. At noon, the Green Scenes chalk art contest winners will be announced! There will be refreshments, and live music entertainment will be provided by San Bernardino Teen Music Workshop. In addition, all attendees will receive a free refillable water bottle to take home along with other giveaways. We hope to see you and your family there to celebrate the SBTC’s 1st anniversary!

The San Bernardino Transit Center is located at 599 W Rialto Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92410.

Drive with the Best! Apply at Omnitrans

Are you looking for a career with stability and great benefits, including paid training, paid vacation, and a pension program? Consider becoming an Omnitrans coach operator!

We’re currently looking for candidates to join our professional team of coach operators. If you’re 21 or over and have a clean driving record and work history, you’re just who we need. No professional driving experience is required to apply – five weeks of training takes place once you’re hired. Of course, if you already have a Class B driver’s license, you may be eligible for a $300 signing bonus!

What’s it like to be part of the Omni team? We asked one of our newest coach operators to explain. Myiesha said, “There are people working here that have been here half of their lives! That says something about the agency.”

If getting people to where they need to go, safely and with a smile, sounds like something you’d be interested in, click here for full job details. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tell Us About Our Stops for Your Chance to Win!

Every trip on Omnitrans begins at one of our 3,000 bus stops. Maybe you even visited one today! We’d like to hear your feedback on our bus stops, and amenities like shelters, benches, and solar lights, to help us plan for the future and continue to improve your trip.

Please click on one of the links below to complete a brief bus stop survey (mail-in copies also are available onboard buses).

In addition to helping to improve bus stops and amenities, you might be a winner! Everyone who completes a survey online will be entered in a drawing to win one of five prize packs, which include a 31-Day Bus Pass and a $10 Chipotle gift card!

The survey deadline is Monday,August 1, so please take a few minutes to fill the survey out today!

English Survey

Spanish Survey

We value your opinions. Thank you!

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Route 80 Public Meetings

Omnitrans is hosting two public meetings in early July to gather feedback on a proposed service change to Route 80, which travels through Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga.

The agency is proposing a change to the south end of the route in September, which would serve Ontario International Airport (ONT). Essentially, Route 80 would be unchanged north of Holt Ave., but instead of heading west on Holt Ave. to the Ontario Civic Center Transfer Center, the route would turn east to serve ONT, as shown in the maps below. A connection to downtown Ontario would be provided by Route 61.

For more information, please attend one of Omnitrans’ public meetings at the following dates and times:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016
6:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Ontario Civic Center Transfer Station, Sultana and Holt Aves.
Take Routes 61, 80, 83, or 86

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Ontario Senior Center, 225 East “B” St.
Take Routes 61, 80, 83, or 86

Wednesday, July 6, 2016
2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Ontario Civic Center Transfer Station, Sultana and Holt Aves.
Take Routes 61, 80, 83, or 86

Public comments also may be submitted by mail to Omnitrans, 1700 West Fifth Street, San Bernardino, CA 92411, phone at 909-379-7150, or email at publiccomments@omnitrans.org. The deadline for comments is July 8, 2016.

Current Route 80

 

Proposed Route 80

Who’s Riding The Freeway Express?

When asked how often he rides Omnitrans, Rodney James, Jr. had to pause. 

 “Wow, a lot. Definitely more than three times a week” said Rodney. 

After moving to San Bernardino from New York 10-15 years ago, the 41-year-old began using the bus to commute to work, take care of shopping, and attend school.  His route of choice:  The 215 Freeway Express Route.

He moved from New York to San Bernardino initially to be with family.   Why San Bernardino?

“I was thinking about moving to Rancho Cucamonga, but San Bernardino felt a lot more like home.”

The convenience of a friendly transit system was something that played into Rodney’s decision.

“The people are really nice, and the bus stations are really close,” said Rodney.

Rodney attends San Bernardino Valley College in San Bernardino and is studying to be a nutritionist. His dream is to have his own start- up dedicated to helping improve the nutrition and health of others.

“But you will never guess what I was doing before -“I worked for Nintendo!” he exclaimed.  Rodney’s job as a “debugger” was to test new games video games before they hit the market. Nintendo 64, Gameboy, Virtual Boy, Gameboy Advanced -consoles that would make any gamer from the 90’s jealous.

“I tested games for all kinds of devices,”  said Rodney. He was also one of the first to try out Donkey Kong Country before it was released.

 Although he smiles upon the days he used to work for Nintendo, Rodney is looking forward to the future he has ahead of him.

“I want to help other people get healthy” says Rodney, an excited grin taking over his face.  

Nutrition is his passion and he is firmly focused on achieving his dream.  We’re happy that Omnitrans is helping Rodney achieve his goals by getting him to school, home and around town.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not His First Roadeo

by Janice Kuhn, Marketing Specialist

This not his first Roadeo.  It’s only his second.  However, Coach Operator Benito Zavalza has proved he can handle the heat of the competition.

During the American Public Transportation Association’s International Bus Roadeo, an event which tests a bus operator’s driving skills, Zavalza placed a historic second at the event – Omnitrans’ highest ranking in the history of the competition, which typically pits an average of 40 drivers from transit agencies all over the United States and Canada. 

Benito at the International Roadeo

Zavalza’s path to international success started on home turf, so to speak, at the Omnitrans Bus Roadeo in October 2015.  To even qualify to participate, drivers must have a good attendance and safety record.  Drivers are given 7 minutes to complete an obstacle course that puts them through the paces of completing right and left turns, backing up and cornering, all within the narrow lanes of strategically placed orange cones.   Judges are placed throughout the course to score each portion of the competition.  And if that’s not stressful enough, there are judges onboard each competitor’s bus, recording the driver’s actions.

A category for non-Class B driver’s license holders, and for Maintenance staff, is also held, and a friendly competition amongst office staff is an annual thing, with everyone coming out of it with a stronger appreciation for the skill that driving a bus demands.  However, the driver’s portion is the one to watch, since the winner proceeds on to the Regional competition.  Zavalza placed first in the agency competition, and went on to compete in the Regional competition in April, where he placed second.

 “Some people might say that the Regional doesn’t matter, since drivers are guaranteed a spot in the International if you win first place” said Zavalza, “I saw it as a chance to so see what I could do under more pressure.”

Although he was pleasantly surprised by his second place victory in the Regional, he vowed to do better.  He spent hours studying the results of the Regional competition, analyzing his score, cone by cone.  Traveling over 50 miles each way from his home in Yucaipa to the Montclair bus yard, Zavalza regularly put in 3-4 hour practice sessions, calling upon whomever was willing to help set up the course, and give advice.

Advice from experienced Operators, as well as new ones, was also something he vigorously sought. 

“I was very open to feedback, good and bad,” said Zavalza.  “Rick Alvarez (a former long-reigning agency Roadeo champ), and our training and safety staff really helped me to hone my skills.”

His mission to improve his skills oftentimes came at odds with his desire to spend time with his family, which Zavalza says is just something he has learned to juggle.

“My father had a saying, if you do something, do it right,” recalled Zavalza, with tears in his eyes.  He recalls that his late father often worked 2-3 minimum wage jobs at a time to help make ends meet for his family of nine.  “Now that I have my own family, I try to do the best I can in whatever I do for my family.”

Benito Zavalza and family

On the day of the final International competition in North Carolina, he learned that his daughter, who had stayed at home with family, had a fever.  He and his wife Heidy monitored the situation and determined it was not serious, but he admits his first reaction was to leave.

“I almost said, ‘I can’t do this, I need to go home,’” said Zavalza.  “But I remembered a driver who competed last year who had just lost his mother during the competition.  He kept going, and I admired his dedication.”

After his win, Zavalza could not wait to get back home to his family.  “I just wanted to get home and hug my babies,” said Zavalza.

Five days after his win in North Carolina, he was out on the road in San Bernardino, patiently instructing a group of coach operator students.

“I’m taking the things I have learned and paying it forward,” said Zavalza.  “I think you can learn from anyone.”