Author Archives: Omnitrans

Inland Empire newcomer connects from Omnitrans to Metrolink with ease

Moving to a new town can be overwhelming. You seek to get quickly acclimated to new surroundings, find the best nearby food and shops, and Yelp away to find the perfect stylist who can be trusted with your hair.

For Omnitrans rider Maria, not only was moving to the Inland Empire from Los Angeles a major adjustment in and of itself, she also needed to learn an entire new transit system that would get her where she needed to go.

“It’s a different atmosphere compared to Los Angeles,” says Maria, reflecting on the past year living in San Bernardino. “Transit is very different. Here, when you board, the drivers wait for you to sit down before taking off. Back in L.A., they don’t have time to do that for every rider! Life is a lot more tranquil out here.”

Being a transplant to the IE who chooses to leave her car at home, familiarizing herself with Omnitrans was at the top of Maria’s checklist. She was pleased to learn from her daughter that the official Omnitrans mobile app was a resource that would help her embark on this new journey.

“The Trip Planner on the app provided me with step-by-step routing information to reach my favorite destinations, such as the Inland Center mall and San Manuel Casino. A fellow rider also tipped me off about the Bus Book and taught me how to view the maps and read the schedules,” says Maria.

She goes here, she goes there, she goes everywhere. Maria even rides on dates with her boyfriend, who takes advantage of the veteran discount rate offered by Omnitrans.

Although I can drive a car, I prefer not to. Omnitrans moves me and gets me wherever I would like to be. Truth be told, the timing is nearly always accurate to what the schedules state. I enjoy the day pass, because I can ride the local routes as well as the sbX Green Line. It’s very comfortable and the drivers are very nice.”

As a busy freelance worker who does embroidery on wedding gowns, Maria  commutes five to six days as far as Pasadena for work.

The extension of Metrolink to the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC) from the Santa Fe Depot has been a valuable service enhancement to people like Maria who commute west into Los Angeles.

“I feel much safer at the transit center, especially at night time, because there is brighter lighting. I’m surrounded by others who are riding the bus and the train, and there is more security staff patrolling here. I also save time by not having to ride a second bus to the depot to catch my train. Now, I can just walk a few steps to the train platform from my bus stop!”

Maria’s livelihood requires great attention to detail – meticulously placing rhinestones on gowns, sewing bustles that add the right amount of volume to a train, and making alterations to perfect a bride’s special day. It’s a great thing to be able to relax and wind down on the way to work with an easy commute.

“Omnitrans bus service is very reliable and hassle-free. For example, yesterday, I walked to the store with my daughter for a couple of things. When we checked out, of course we’d gotten more things than we’d originally set out to,” says Maria with a laugh.

“Because of all the groceries, and the heat that day, we looked for the next bus arrival on the app and quickly were on our way back home, in the air-conditioned bus, instead of walking.”

Buses not in service on Labor Day

In observation of Labor Day, Omnitrans buses will not be in service on Monday, September 3, 2018. Our administrative buildings and customer service call center will also be closed on this day. Regular office hours and bus service will resume on Tuesday, September 4.

Omnitrans Employees Give Back

Omnitrans Coach Operator, Daniel Hernandez.

The Omnitrans community banded together last month to help a mother in need after her son suddenly passed away after suffering a severe asthma attack.

The 11-year-old boy was the best friend of Omnitrans Coach Operator Daniel Hernandez’s granddaughter. Both children graduated from Curtis Elementary School in Rialto a week prior to the incident, and looked forward to commencing sixth grade at their new middle school together.

Daniel shared the tragic news among his colleagues, and word quickly spread around the Omnitrans team. “Without asking for anything, donations started to pour in,” says Daniel. “Of their own will, they volunteered to donate toward the related expenses. Drivers, trainers, field supervisors, maintenance workers, and even a driver from Mountain Transit, who I’d never met before, all dug into their wallets to help lay the boy to rest.”

The financial assistance during the single mother’s unexpected loss was much appreciated. “When I presented the funds to the family, I was in shock,” shares Daniel, who unknowingly collected over $360 in cash gifts. Omnitrans staff also contributed to the family’s GoFundMe online fundraiser.

The generosity of these selfless individuals echoes Omnitrans’ broader mission to connect our community. “A few of us have children with asthma, so this tragedy hits close to home,” says Daniel. “At Omnitrans, we take care of each other like extended family, and I am grateful and thank everyone for rallying behind this boy’s family in their time of need.”

Hop on Omnitrans and Celebrate National Ice Cream Day!

Omnitrans celebrates National Ice Cream Day

It’s summertime and one of our favorite ways to cool down is by enjoying some ice cream! This month, we celebrate #NationalIceCreamDay on July 15th, but who says you need a special holiday to indulge in a frosty treat? Ice cream is best enjoyed all summer long! And, with the Omnitrans Summer Youth Fare promotion, those under 18 can get to the ice cream parlor for only a buck each way!

Places with special offers to help you celebrate:

Baskin Robbins – For National Ice Cream Day, download the Baskin-Robbins Mobile App to receive exclusive offers, like a BOGO Cone offer, a BOGO 99-cent sundaes offer and $2 off a medium Milkshake offer. Additionally, on July 31st, Baskin Robbins celebrates 31. In a tribute to their original 31 flavors (by the way, have you ever noticed the pink 31 hidden within their logo?!), all scoops are only $1.50 all day long.

Yogurtland – The popular self-serve dessert spot has a buy-one, get-one free offer from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. After introducing ice cream to its lineup last summer, Yogurtland continues to swirl up delicious handcrafted ice cream flavors for its fans. For National Ice Cream Day, Yogurtland will be serving five ice cream flavors as well as “other frozen yogurt and sorbet flavors, giving fans a variety of options to create a celebratory treat as unique as they are.”

Afters Ice Cream – Top your ice cream with ice cream this #NationalIceCreamDay at all Afters Ice Cream locations for free! Get a FREE mini cone with any flavor mini scoop when you make any ice cream purchase this July 15th.

Cold Stone Creamery – Celebrate by joining the Cold Stone Creamery eClub! By signing up, you get a Buy One, Get One FREE Creation coupon loaded to your account for simply joining. Plus, members of the eClub receive 25 bonus points, earn points on purchases, receive a Buy One, Get One FREE Creation coupon on your birthday, other prizes throughout the year, exclusive members-only offers and sneak peeks at new products and upcoming promotions.

To easily plan your trip step-by-step this Sunday, July 15th, visit our online Trip Planner!

Meet the Omnitrans summer interns!

In between pool sessions this summer, these four individuals can be found interning at Omnitrans! We are proud to provide these driven students with an enriching experience that will give them job skills that only can be obtained outside the classroom, setting them up for career success.

Get to know our interns:

Cynthia C., Rail Operations Intern

Cynthia C., Riverside, CA
Rail Operations Intern
Biochemistry major at University of Redlands

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Omnitrans?
So far, I enjoy how willing to help everyone is. I feel like everyone around me genuinely wants me to succeed, learn, and help me move forward. There is a strong community here at Omnitrans.

What are your career goals?
I plan on staying involved with business administration throughout my career.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
This internship is exposing me to the administrative office and the working world on a professional level.

Gabby S., Marketing Communications Intern

Gabby S., Beaumont, CA
Marketing Communications Intern
Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations at California State University, San Bernardino

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Omnitrans?
I enjoy working alongside the Marketing team: Nicole, Janice, and Jose. Their willingness to teach me new things everyday has made this experience very rewarding. Working at Ominitrans has helped me learn to network and overcome obstacles in the marketing field.

What are your career goals?
My goal is to start as an Event Marketing Specialist and work my way up to a Senior Marketing Manager. I also have plans to attend graduate school and obtain my Master’s Degree in Business Marketing after a few years of work experience.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
Interning at Omnitrans has allowed me to get my foot in the door for marketing and has allowed me to network with other organizations/businesses with confidence. This internship has helped me understand communication practices intertwined with marketing and how to properly execute an idea and make it come to life. Daily, I take on new tasks and get the most out of this experience with the quality events and materials being produced here at Omnitrans.

Kathryn L., Transit Planning Intern

Kathryn L., San Bernardino, CA
Transit Planning Intern
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) major at San Bernardino Valley College

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Omnitrans?
I appreciate working alongside the dedicated professionals in the Planning department. Each of them have taught me something unique to their position and I enjoy learning from them.

What are your career goals?
My goal is to work in planning, specifically transit or city planning.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
This internship is allowing me to learn and grow in more ways than I expected. I’m finding new and creative ways to fine-tune my GIS skills with the transit planning tasks given to me which I know will prove beneficial in the future. Thank you, Omnitrans!

Kevin B., Rail Operations Intern

Kevin B., Claremont, CA
Rail Operations Intern
Master’s in Transportation Science at UC Irvine

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
I enjoy being able to work in the field in which I hope to have a career someday. It’s great to be surrounded by people who share my passion and to absorb the knowledge they share. I’m glad to be able to work on a start-up railroad to see first-hand what goes into such a large project.

What are your career goals?
This fall I’ll be attending UC Irvine for their Transportation Science Master’s program and following that I plan to complete San Jose State’s Transportation Management Master’s program. I hope to have a career within a public transportation agency where I can work to enhance and expand public transit.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
My internship is a fantastic way to get my foot in the door in the transportation industry. It’s especially exciting to be working on the Arrow project and being able to see what it takes to start a railroad from scratch. This experience is invaluable to me.

To apply for open internship positions or full/part-time jobs, visit our Careers page.

Stay cool while riding Omnitrans this summer

If you’ve spent some time in the Inland Empire, you know that the heat can be pretty unforgiving this time of year. This July is no exception, with the first heat wave of the summer about to hit, pushing temperatures into the triple digits.

It’s important to take precautionary measures in this type of weather, especially while riding public transit. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you ride Omnitrans this summer:

  • Stay hydrated – Walking to the bus stop, or even waiting at the bus stop, when it is blistering hot can dehydrate you. Be sure to drink plenty of water before you travel, and carry a water bottle with you. If connecting at the San Bernardino Transit Center, the lobby provides water refilling stations. Contrary to popular belief, iced teas or iced coffee beverages dehydrate you. Water is your best best!
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure – Shade is your friend! Direct contact with the sun will not only overheat you, it can also cause painful sunburns or heat-related illnesses. Wait for the bus under the shelter if possible, and if not, create your own shade by wearing a hat, visor, or carrying an umbrella to shield you from the rays. Applying a protective coat of sunscreen to your skin will also help you avoid sun damage.
  • Dress lightly – In more than one sense of the word, dress lightly. Light colors help block the sun’s radiation, whereas darker clothing absorbs the heat. Lightweight fabrics are also the best option when it’s scorching hot over non-breathable synthetic fabrics, so opt for comfort over style.

Additionally, take advantage of NexTrip for real-time bus arrival information or plan your trip ahead of time with our Trip Planner to reduce your wait time at the bus stop. Below are local cooling centers in the inland region that welcome you to cool down.

Bloomington
Bloomington Branch Library
Served by Route 29

Chino
Chino Senior Center
Served by Routes 81, 85, 88

Chino Hills
James S. Thalman Chino Hills Branch Library
Served by Routes 88, 365

Colton
Hutton Community Center
Served by Route 1

Luque Center
Served by Route 19

Fontana
Don Day Neighborhood Center
Served by Route 82

Heritage Neighborhood Center
Served by Route 67

Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Center
Served by Route 82

Fontana Lewis Library and Technology Center
Served by Route 14, 67, 82

Grand Terrace
Grand Terrace Branch Library
Served by Route 325

Highland
Highland Sam J. Racadio Library
Served by Route 15

Highland Senior Center
Served by Routes 3, 5

Loma Linda
Loma Linda Senior Center
Served by Route 19

Mentone
Mentone Senior Center and Library
Served by Route 8

Montclair
Montclair Senior Center
Served by Route 85

Ontario
Ontario Senior Center
Served by Route 61, 86

Westwind Community Center
Served by Route 81

Ovitt Family Community Library
Served by Route 61, 86

Redlands
Joslyn Senior Center
Served by Route 19

Redlands Community Center
Served by Route 8, 15

Rialto
Carter Branch Library
Served by Route 22

San Bernardino
Ruben Campos Community Center
Served by Route 14

Rudy C. Hernandez Community Center
Served by Routes 1, 7, 15

Norman F. Feldheym Central Library
Served by Route 2

Howard M Rowe Branch Library
Served by Route 7

Paul Villasenor Branch Library
Served by Routes 3, 14

Fifth Street Senior Center
Served by Route 14

Upland
Upland Public Library
Served by Route 83, 85

Yucaipa
Yucaipa Community Center
Served by Route 310

Omnitrans Hires Suzanne Pfeiffer as HR Director

(San Bernardino, CA)  Suzanne Pfeiffer has joined Omnitrans as Director of Human Resources, bringing over 30 years of human resources experience in both the private and public sectors.  She fills a vacancy created by Marjorie Ewing, who is retiring after 19 years at Omnitrans.

Pfeiffer most recently served as Chief Human Resources Officer at C-TRAN, the public transit agency in Vancouver, Washington.  At Omnitrans, she will oversee a department of 11 employees and is responsible for the agency’s personnel policies, recruitment and training, benefits administration, labor relations and Workers’ Compensation management.

“I’m really excited to be here and look forward to continuing my career in transit at Omnitrans,” said Pfeiffer.

Prior to working in the transit industry, Pfeiffer held HR positions at Foothill-DeAnza Community College District, Antioch Unified School District, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, and Attorney’s Title Insurance Fund, Inc.

Pfeiffer attained an MBA with an emphasis in HR from Columbia Southern University.  She earned a BA in Business Administration and Management with an emphasis in Personnel Administration from California State University – East Bay.  Her professional certifications include PHR (Professional in Human Resources), SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional) and CBP (Certified Benefits Professional).

Pfeiffer is also an adjunct professor for the College of Online and Continuing Education at Southern New Hampshire University teaching Human Resource and Organizational Development courses.

Hide, Lock, Take: Fighting Auto Theft with Awareness

Many of our transit passengers leave their vehicles parked at one of our many Park & Ride locations before hopping on sbX or the bus to complete their trip. The Omnitrans Safety & Security team is taking action to help Omnitrans passengers avoid being victims of vehicle burglary by following three easy steps: Hide, Lock, Take.

Every two minutes, a car is broken in to in the United States, resulting in a reported 721,000 auto thefts nationwide each year. Of those thefts, over 80% had the keys left in the car. To combat this problem, Hide Lock Take (HLT) was started in 2004 with the Dallas Police Department and the Central Business District. Since then, those organizations with “Hide Lock Take” awareness have lowered vehicle crimes 40-90%.

New signs installed in Omnitrans parking lots remind passengers to practice these vehicle theft-prevention methods.

FACTS:

  • Every year there are 721,000 auto thefts nationwide.
  • It’s illegal to leave your car running unattended 80% of auto thefts occur when keys are left in the car.
  • Criminals will watch a car for days before acting.
  • Criminals look for shopping bags, electronics, & purses. Most cars can be opened in 3 minutes with a coat hanger.

TIPS:

  • Park your car in well-lit areas and nearest to street or entrance.
  • Remind yourself and others to Hide Lock Take.
  • Identify your valuable by making it with a number on it.
  • Always call security and never approach a suspicious person.

Vehicle crimes are at an all-time low but the criminals are not. The reason is you! As you become aware of your belongings and lock your cars, you prevent vehicle related crimes. Take part of the Hide Lock Take program at work, home, and everywhere else!

Omnitrans buses not in service July 4th

In honor of Independence Day, Omnitrans buses will not be in service on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Administrative offices in Montclair and San Bernardino, as well as the customer service call center, will also be closed on this day.

Service and regular office hours will resume Thursday, July 5th. Omnitrans wishes you, your family, and friends a safe and happy holiday!

Premium Shelters Successfully Installed in East Valley

Premium bus shelter installed in San Bernardino.

The shelters are located at the eastbound and westbound Route 14 stops on 5th Street @ Medical Center Drive in San Bernardino, just outside the Omnitrans East Valley administrative building and bus yard.

Thanks to your feedback about what would enhance your Omnitrans riding experience, we are excited to unveil the first premium bus shelters! Two shelters have been successfully installed by our Stops & Stations team adjacent to the East Valley facility on 5th Street @ Medical Center Drive.

Last year, Omnitrans awarded a contract to Tolar Manufacturing of Corona, Calif. to provide premium bus shelters that enhance the passenger experience by providing additional amenities.

Premium bus shelters include solar-powered lighting, a digital clock and real-time arrival sign, bench, large trash can, branded windscreen, advertising kiosk, and a bicycle rack. The new shelters were purchased using capital funding obtained by the agency, to be specifically used on bus stop enhancements.

“The premium shelters are designed to enhance the customer’s experience at the bus stop,” says Omnitrans Development Planning Manager  Anna Jaiswal. “They are unique because unlike our standard shelters, they have electronic signage telling customers when the next bus will arrive, a larger trash can to help keep the stop clean, and a bike rack to improve bike-to-bus connections.”

Additional premium shelters will be installed at high ridership bus stops as funds become available.