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.”

 

 

Omni Team Effort Reunites Missing Man with Family

Sixteen-year veteran Omnitrans Coach Operator (CO) Derman Redman was taking break one recent day at the San Bernardino Transit Center, and stopped to catch up with fellow CO Urbanita Ramon. She mentioned a flyer that she’d seen, asking for help finding a missing local man with developmental disabilities. He’d been away from home for two weeks.

“It lay heavy on my heart,” said Urbanita. “My brother is physically and mentally disabled, and I feel a kinship to people who live with disabilities. That’s what made me share the information with my fellow drivers – I even posted it online to help get the word out.”

The story also captured Derman’s attention, and he asked what the man looked like so that he could keep an eye out for him. Urbanita’s description sounded familiar; when she showed Derman the photo from the missing person flier, he couldn’t believe it.

“I know that guy!” said Derman. He recognized Roger, a regular passenger from his days driving Route 10. “But two weeks, wow. That’s a long time. Who knows what could have happened by now?”

                                               Derman Redman

Derman went on his way, but the story stayed with him all day, through his shift, and that night at home. Roger rode Derman’s bus for almost 10 years, and they had developed a good rapport.

“He was always friendly and nice,” Derman remembered. “Very quiet, but he would give you the shirt off of his back if you asked him.”

At work on his route the next morning, Derman pulled up to a stop and opened the doors as usual. There was a man waiting who looked a bit the worse for wear – his socks were muddy, and his hair was long and unkempt. But Derman thought he recognized him. He did a double take. Yes, he was pretty sure – the man was Roger!

“To be honest, the thought crossed my mind, ‘Did I summon this guy?’” Derman said. “I couldn’t move at first. Then I went up to him and asked, ‘Roger, is that you?’”   

Roger simply said, “Yes,” as if all was normal.

“Are you lost?”

“No.” Very firm.

“Are you sure you’re not lost?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”

“When was the last time you went home?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you sure you’re not lost?”

“I’m trying to get home right now,” Roger said. But Derman realized that he was at the wrong bus stop.

At that point, Derman decided to take action. Asking his bus full of passengers to “please wait, I’ll be right back,” Derman told Roger to “sit tight, and don’t move.”  Trusting Derman, Roger stayed put. Derman ran as fast as he could into the transit center, to find Supervisor Ricky Williams. He burst into the break room, out of breath, shouting “Ricky, I found that guy! The missing guy!”

Running back out to his stop to check on Roger and his passengers, Derman saw the missing person flyer on Roger hanging from the fence.

“I kept looking at the flyer and at the man. Could it really be him? And it was,” said a relieved Derman.

Ricky contacted Roger’s caregiver, Brigette Flowers, who drove all the way from Riverside to pick him up. She and her husband had been out looking for Roger every night for 12 days. He now is reunited with his family and recovering well from his ordeal.

“We got lots of calls during that time from people who said they saw Roger, but we never could pin him down,” Brigette said. “It’s drivers like Derman who see people like Roger every day, and care about them.”

Brigette isn’t Derman’s only fan. When he arrived home that night, he told his family about what had happened during his eventful day. “Daddy, you’re like a hero!” his daughter said.

“No, we just do a lot of things out there,” said Derman, trying to play down his role. But she wasn’t having it. “No, Daddy, anything could have happened to that man. You did a good thing.”

Invasion of the Omnitrans Interns!

by Jasmine Rolf, Marketing Intern

Omnitrans is proud to introduce its new intern program! We have hired 14 enthusiastic young professionals from our community, eager to gain real-life experience in their fields of study. Omnitrans recently was awarded the Federal Transit Administration Innovative Transit Workforce Development Grant, allowing departments to create fun and challenging projects to provide interns with exposure they cannot get just by sitting in a classroom.

The Director of Internal Audit Services, Samuel Gibbs, believes interns are valuable to Omnitrans because, “they are able to complete projects departments otherwise would not have time for, which helps improve resources for our Omnitrans riders.”

What is especially unique about Omnitrans interns is that they all come from local colleges and universities, which is vital for the upward development of San Bernardino.  Our interns are composed of graduate and undergraduate students and the program provides awareness of the opportunities available, relevant to their degree within the city of San Bernardino, so that once they graduate they can come back and help the community to thrive.

We are very excited to introduce this group of interns to you!

Michael Crawford, Cal Poly Pomona – Internal Audit Intern

What do you like best, so far, working at Omnitrans?

Learning about the transit industry in general has been very enjoyable for me. I’ve had the chance to visit every department in the agency and get a rudimentary understanding of how each department operates.

 What are your career goals?

My ultimate career goal is to work in investment banking:  managing stocks for companies, helping with mergers and acquisitions, and managing investments for clients.

How does Omnitrans fit within your educational and career goals?

Omnitrans is fitting in with my educational/career goals perfectly; I go down to the finance department at least once a week to learn about how the agency runs its finances. A lot of what I learn here at Omnitrans applies directly to what I am learning in the classroom.

Julie Nguyen, Cal State San Bernardino – Human Resources Intern

What do you like best, so far, working at Omnitrans?

What I like best so far working at Omnitrans is being able to develop and improve professional skills that will be beneficial for my future career goals, while also being in a very positive work environment.

What are your career goals?

My ultimate career goal is to become an occupational therapist working in the mental health or pediatrics field. An occupational therapist helps rehabilitate individuals recovering from mental and physical illnesses by performing activities required in their daily lives.

How does Omnitrans fit within your educational and career goals?

Being a wellness intern at Omnitrans is beneficial to my future career goals because if I become an occupational therapist, my role may also include educating patients on healthier lifestyle practices that would aid in recovery for various treatment plans. Omnitrans fits with my educational goals because I am able to experience a professional working environment that many of my college courses have prepared me for.

Mary Bucayu, Cal State San Bernardino – Finance Intern

What do you like best, so far, working at Omnitrans?

I like how I am able to learn new things about public transit. I love working with the people in my department. They have been really generous with their time and efforts in providing me with projects that would help me instill more understanding of the overall functions of the Finance department.

What are your career goals?

I’d like to be an accountant or a financial analyst. I would also like to become a CPA.

How does Omnitrans fit within your educational and career goals?

Omnitrans helps develop my career and enhance my professional experience in the business field. It is always satisfying how I get to translate the knowledge I learn from school and apply it to my internship. The experience I acquire provides me with a clearer perspective with the career I want to pursue.

Diana Iwais, Cal State San Bernardino – Safety & Security Office Intern

What do you like best, so far, working at Omnitrans?

The collaborative environment among employees and Omnitrans’ overall safety and security.

What are your career goals?

To work for the government in the Emergency Management or Policy Making or Planning areas.

How does Omnitrans fit within your educational and career goals?

Interning at Omnitrans provides me with the required experience to align my educational background with my career goal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customers Love the SBTC Bicycle Hubitat!

by Ondrian Yeung, Marketing Intern

The grand opening of Bicycle Hubitat at the San Bernardino Transit Center was a great success! We had a number of community members from different parts of the city come down to learn how to fix their bikes. Everyone had fun spinning our prize wheel, and more importantly learned a lot about bike repair, and went home with a newly tuned up bike!

 “I appreciate it, I’ll be back!” said Levi King, a daily Omnitrans rider who uses the bus to get to school and back. Mark Friis of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance helped Levi fix the brakes on his bike. Levi shared that he’d known for a while that his bike had a problem, but he couldn’t afford to get it fixed. With the Hubitat’s requested $5 donation per session, Levi was able to get his bike fixed and pick up some knowledge for future repairs!

In fact, all of the customers  were eager to learn more about how to fix different parts of their bikes, whether it be the brakes, the tires, or even the chain.

“I wasn’t going to stop, but he [Mark] saw right away what was wrong with my bike as I rode by!” said Furnando Herrera, who uses Omnitrans to get between his home near San Manuel Casino and work, and whose alignment is now fixed and straightened.

“Fixing a bike is like surgery sometimes,” Mark explained as he fixed an intricate part of his client’s bike. “Every tiny piece has its own little spot. We supply the tools and help you figure out how to take care of things yourself.”

Special thanks to our partners at the Inland Empire Biking Alliance and San Bernardino Generation Now for making the Hubitat possible. Don’t forget to check out the Bicycle Hubitat every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:00-6:00pm at the San Bernardino Transit Center!