Getting the Omnitrans sbX safety message out to the thousands of students attending corridor schools and their parents is a top assignment for the project’s outreach team.
Two years ago the message was staying out of the construction zones. With construction substantially complete on the new bus rapid transit corridor, Omnitrans has reached out to San Bernardino High School, Shandin Hills Middle School, Arrowview Middle School and Jones Elementary school to send a new set of targeted messages about sbX safety during operational testing of the 60-foot vehicles.
When testing began in early February, the agency sent letters to parents of students attending the four schools within walking distance of Kendall Drive and E Street in San Bernardino, advising motorists, pedestrians and those who use existing bus service to use caution by recognizing corridor changes, specifically the presence of the silver coaches (which are now running daily), staying out of dedicated lanes and being aware of new signage, striping and signals and obeying traffic laws at all times. The letters were accompanied by fliers in both English and Spanish and distributed by each of the four schools.
Public Outreach staff also had an information table at a March 8 event at Loma Linda Academy, attended by nearly 1,000 parents, faculty, staff and students, to familiarize them with the station platforms on both sides of Anderson Street near the K-12 school. Academy administrators also e-mailed an electronic version of the flier to parents, displayed posters on campus and showed a safety video produced by Omnitrans on school monitors.
Safety outreach will continue at these schools beyond the start of passenger service April 28, with the distribution of educational curricula at the Academy and at all San Bernardino City Unified School District campuses. The focus will be on how to walk right, ride right, drive right and park and ride right.
– David Rutherford