Behind the Scenes in Planning

Omnitrans Planning team, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The Omnitrans Planning Department is always thinking about the future, and right now one of their biggest projects is the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC). The SBTC will be located on the southwest corner of E Street and Rialto Avenue. It will be the major transportation hub in downtown San Bernardino with connections between the new sbX service scheduled to start early next year, thirteen local Omnitrans routes, other regional transit providers, extended Metrolink service and future Redlands Rail service.

Rohan Kuruppu, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

For Planning Director Rohan Kuruppu, planning is about accomplishing a desired future. “We are one of the fastest -growing regions in the country. It is our responsibility to ensure we have a state-of-the-art transit system that is efficient, safe and reliable while meeting the area’s economic and environmental goals.”

Anna Rahtz, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Project manager, Anna Rahtz, works with cities and developers to ensure we have a good balance  between land use planning and transit planning. It is critical to have the right balance of housing, jobs and activities along our transit corridors. Intensity and density of activities drive ridership. Anna’s current projects include bus stop improvements as well as the San Bernardino Transit Center. She likes the fact that her work has a strong positive impact on her community. Anna is also a frequent bus rider and takes the bus to  local meetings whenever possible.

Scott Begg is a Planner I specializing in mapping and spacial analysis. His day typically centers on Title 6 analysis, Geographic Information System (GIS) work, smart mapping, and statistical and route analysis. Scott believes that mapping and spacial analysis provides an important overview of people, businesses, neighborhoods and other statistical information. His work helps connect people with jobs and other critical destinations.

As a Planner II, Brenda Ramirez analyzes our routes, tackling challenges like realignment, crowding, requests for service and sub-recipient monitoring for human service transportation agencies. Currently Brenda is working on the proposals for Omnitrans fare modifications. She feels the best part of her job is knowing that people can get from their homes to their destinations efficiently and safely.

Jeremiah Bryant is our resident data geek and service planning manager. He uses the statistics, mapping and route analysis provided by Scott and Brenda to analyze geo-spacial relationship demands to see where service needs are greatest. He must balance ridership demands and customer experience with financial constraints and available resources. Jeremiah also does peer analysis, ridership forecasting and responds to customer and city inquiries.

Planning intern Alvaro Gomez works on grants, research and writing projects. He grew up in this area and feels that working at Omnitrans gives him greater insight into the policies, development and economy at work in the San Bernardino Valley.

Administrative secretary, Tembi Morales, makes sure the office runs smoothly. She handles the daily office operations, purchase orders, requisitions, invoices and documents. Tembi also oversees the setup and preparations for meetings hosted by the department.

Omnitrans planning, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Together, the planning team is constantly reviewing the needs of our ridership and looking for ways to continue to grow and optimize Omnitrans service while maintaining  low fares. Each plays an essential role in providing the detailed information and analysis that will maximize our budget and resources.

sbx map and planning department, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

To meet the region’s growing demand for faster and sustainable transit options Omnitrans works to design the most optimal service in partnership with the cities, county and the FTA. As a result, our sbx Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) express service is scheduled to begin early next year along one of the highest volume transit corridors in our system, a 15.7-mile span between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. This sbX corridor will include 16 art-inspired stations at key university, government, business, entertainment and medical centers as well as four park-and-ride facilities.

Rohan Kuruppu, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The sbX 60-foot articulated vehicle is a full 20-feet longer than our regular fixed-route buses. Each will hold 41 passengers and have a standing capacity of 65. Our sbX BRT vehicles with operate in their own dedicated bus lane and offer optimized service with fewer stops and more frequent runs.  For a closeup look at some of  the premium features of the sbX BRT, click here.

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Email Juno Kughler Carlson at  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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