On this sunny day in October, Michael W. has just arrived in Ontario from Charlotte, North Carolina after visiting his 92-year-old father. Rather than drive his car to the airport from his house, which is less than 5 miles away, he decided to take Omnitrans, now serving Ontario International Airport every 15 minutes, seven days a week.
“The bus stop is located just steps from my front door in Rancho Cucamonga,” he tells us. “The location offers perfect commute opportunities for both my wife and me, for both work and pleasure.”
Although Michael does travel to and from LAX, just under 60 miles away from home, he prefers the ease of connecting to Ontario International Airport via Omnitrans public transit. When he chooses to travel out of LAX, he starts out riding Omnitrans to the Montclair Transit Center, connects to Metrolink, and rides to Union Station where he hops on the Flyaway shuttle to the airport.
When he and his wife flew to Hawaii on vacation last year, this was how they traveled. “It was one of the most stress-free beginnings to a vacation that I’ve ever had,” he fondly remembers.
Currently, Michael is employed by the County of Riverside in the Environmental Health Department, HAZMAT Division, where he has worked for a decade. “I love my job, and can’t believe that they pay me to do what I do,” he says.
His wife currently attends pharmacy school in Claremont, and is completing an internship in Thousand Oaks. On the weekends, he will meet her for lunch, using public transit the entire distance. His favorite thing is to catch Omnitrans Route 66 and connect at the Montclair Transit Center. There, he boards the Metrolink to complete his trip.
He often connects to popular L.A. destinations using the Metro Expo Line. He mentions the Museum of Natural History and the annual book fair. “There’s so much to do in L.A. and it’s so easy to get to,” says Michael. “I look forward to exploring even more destinations.”
Michael has two months left until he transitions into retirement. He has his sights set on achieving two goals: auditing as many classes as possible at Chaffey College, getting there by riding Omnitrans (of course!) and selling his car and relying completely on public transit.
It is Michael’s sense of curiosity has led him to enroll in a philosophy class at Chaffey College. “The reason I chose Chaffey College is because it has excellent bus service to and from the college,” said Walling. “I don’t want to get to retirement and be disappointed. I want to continue learning and exploring the world.”
He is lugging a large, rolling suitcase with a backpack, but maneuvers it with ease. Our conversation comes to an end when the bus arrives
“Here’s my ride,” he grins as he climbs aboard Route 61. Walling’s dreams, like his suitcase, may seem big, but he clearly has a handle on them. We wish you luck in all your transit adventures, Michael.