Author Archives: Omnitrans

Celebrating art and community at the San Bernardino Transit Center

Over 100 people came together at the San Bernardino Transit Center on Saturday, October 14, 2017 for a day of art and community fun (and snowcones!) at the 2nd Annual SBTC Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest.

Chalk art interpretations of this year’s “Connecting Our Community” theme by 15 entrants(including two groups of three and two couples) adorned the sidewalks of the transit center as spectators enjoyed a live music performance by Jose Banuelos, courtesy of the San Bernardino Teen Music Workshop, and refreshments by Kona Ice.

Four judges from the local arts community (including the City of San Bernardino Fine Arts Commission, Arts Connection, The Arts Council of San Bernardino County, and The Art Institute of California—Inland Empire) came together and chose the three winners, which was admittedly no easy task! After much deliberation, the three winners chosen were:

  • 3rd Place: Alicia Rubios, winner of $100, whose art showed how people connect through music.
  • 2nd Place: Dana Devereaux and David Mir, winners of $150, whose impressive art featured a man and a woman talking on the phone. The image of the world and various countries’ flags between the two individuals signified the distance between them and the importance of connecting with others, no matter how near or far.
  • 1st Place: Arlette Ramirez, winner of $300, created a colorful chalk art homage to Omnitrans. She drew our mascot, Buster the Bus, greeting passengers at one of our bus stops and handing out balloons to symbolize the welcoming and friendly Omnitrans riding experience.

Our first place, second place. and third place winners.

“We are pleased that the sidewalk chalk art contest has become a true community event, combining local art talent and community partnerships at our regional transit center,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams. “There are some exciting things coming to the transit center in the following months, including Metrolink extended service and a Riverside Transit Agency connection, and we look forward to integrating the transit center’s growth into next year’s contest.”

View more photos of the event on Flickr. Keep an eye out for information on next year’s event – we’d love to see your art grace the competition!

Stress-free traveling with Omnitrans bus service to ONT airport

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 shares.

Currently, Michael is employed by the County of Riverside in the Environmental Health Department, HAZMAT Division.  He has worked there for the last decade and is a retired Naval Officer. “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.

He has a rolling suitcase and a briefcase, maneuvers it with ease when the bus arrives at the airport terminal, and heads home after his flight. Here’s to many more happy travels aboard Omnitrans in the next stage of your life, Michael!

Detours scheduled due to Rendezvous Back to Route 66

Due to the 5th Annual Rendezvous Back to Route 66 event in Downtown San Bernardino on Saturday, October 7, 2017, several Omnitrans routes will be detouring between 8 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Please plan ahead as your bus stop locations may be affected!

Route 1
Northbound from the San Bernardino Transit Center:
Continue on Rialto
Left on Mt. View
Right on 2nd St.

Southbound from Sierra Way:
Right on 2nd St.
Left on Mt. View
Right on Rialto

Route 2
Northbound from the San Bernardino Transit Center:
Continue on F St.
Left on 2nd St.
Right on G/H St.
Right on 5th St.
Left on E St.

Southbound from E St.:
Right on 5th St.
Left on H/G St.
Left on Rialto

Route 3
Eastbound from the San Bernardino Transit Center:
Right on Rialto
Left on Sierra Way
Left on 5th St.
Right on Arrowhead
Left on E St.

Route 4
Westbound from Arrowhead:
Left on 5th St.
Right on Sierra Way
Right on Rialto

Route 10
Northbound from the San Bernardino Transit Center:
Left on Sierra Way
Left on 5th St.

Route 11
Northbound from the San Bernardino Transit Center:
Right on Rialto
Left on Sierra Way
Left on 5th St.
Right on D St.

Southbound from D St.:
Left on 5th St.
Right on Sierra Way
Right on Rialto

Route 14
Eastbound from 5th St.:
Right on Sierra Way
Right on Rialto

Westbound from the San Bernardino Transit Center:
Right on Rialto
Left on Sierra Way
Left on 5th St.

Route 15
Eastbound from the San Bernardino Transit Center:
Right on Rialto
Left on Sierra Way
Right on 3rd St.

Westbound from 3rd St.:
Left on Sierra Way
Right on Rialto

Compete in the 2nd Annual SBTC Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest!

For two years now, not only has the San Bernardino Transit Center averaged 5,000 daily trips, it also has become a point of pride for Omnitrans and a true community space.  This year, we are celebrating the center’s growth and momentum with the 2nd Annual SBTC Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest!

Join us on Saturday, October 14th at the SBTC for a day of fun, art, and community! There will be live music, giveaways, refreshments, and a “Connecting our Community” sidewalk chalk art themed contest. We invite you – no matter your artistic skill level – to participate and express your interpretation of “community” with an impressive chalk creation!

$300, $150, and $100 Visa gift cards will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners in our Adult category (14 and older). All kids 13 and under are welcome to participate, and will receive a movie ticket as a prize just for entering!

REGISTER TO COMPETE TODAY!
Please use our online Registration Form to reserve your spot in the contest. We only have space for 30 entrants, so the sooner you sign up, the better. More details and contest rules can be found on the Official Rules page.

Our 2016 winners!

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. for registration. We will provide chalk for those 13 and under. Adults (14+) should supply their own chalk. The contest will be from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., and winners will be announced shortly after a brief judging period.

In addition, all event attendees and contestants will receive a FREE Omnitrans item to take home along with other giveaways and information.

Think you have what it takes to snag the top prize? We’ll see you at the SBTC!

The San Bernardino Transit Center is located at 599 W Rialto Ave, San Bernardino, CA 92410.

A faster way for UCR students to get to class from San Bernardino on public transit

If you’re a University of California, Riverside (UCR) Highlander commuting from the San Bernardino region, you may have an easier, faster way to get to school this quarter!

Omnitrans Freeway Express Route 215 departs toward Downtown Riverside from the San Bernardino Transit Center every 20/30 minutes on weekday mornings. You’ll arrive at the University and Lemon stop in Downtown Riverside in just 25 minutes – perfect for finishing up a last minute assignment or squeezing in some extra studying for that midterm!

Once in Downtown Riverside, connect to RTA’s new RapidLink Gold Line heading northbound, which takes you directly to the UCR campus. The new RapidLink line runs every 15 minutes Monday-Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. if you have afternoon or evening classes. Travel time to UCR from this point is 17 minutes.

You might already know that UCR students ride RTA FREE with the U-PASS program. But did you know that Omnitrans offers fare savings with 7, and 31 day passes available for students? Click here for details!

Welcome back to school, and have a great start to the new year!

Employee of the Quarter, April-June 2017

Getting passengers who face challenges and obstacles every day to trust you is no easy task. Elizabeth White has learned that her gateway to building a trusting relationship with clients is to initiate a sincere connection with a genuine smile. There is always a common bond that you have with another human being,” she says. “You have to find that link and use that to relate to somebody.”

The Omnitrans Board of Directors recently presented the Employee of the Quarter award to Elizabeth, who has “has excelled as primary Travel Training bus presenter, promoting special transportation programs and the entire Omnitrans family of services to senior citizens and people living with disabilities in a way that is easily understood and generates interest.”

This quarter, Elizabeth has been an exemplary employee, receiving numerous commendations for her success in connecting with diverse groups of people. She conveys the passion she has for empowering her Travel Training clients to ride the bus and reclaim independence in their daily lives. This has resulted in increased ridership and pass sales revenue for Omnitrans, and a fruitful manifestation of our agency’s mission to connect our community.

Employee of the Quarter Elizabeth White (second from left) with (from left) Board of Directors Chair Ron Dailey, Board of Directors Vice Chair Pat Gilbreath, and CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham.

Elizabeth has been with Omnitrans for a year and three months as a member of the newly established Special Transportation Services (STS) department. Previously, she was employed by Vtrans, a defunct agency that operated special transit programs in the region.

Her experience spans far beyond this, however, with years of professional and personal understanding of her client base. “I’ve worked with people living with disabilities for over 20 years,” she reveals. “When I was in high school, I was part of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), where I was involved with the Special Olympics. I have grown up around cousins who are disabled, so it’s always been a passion of mine to help people with disabilities.”

Working with a cause that is near and dear to her heart, it is no surprise that Elizabeth has achieved positive results in her job. In her daily work, Elizabeth is able to channel her genuine desire to help people unlock their potential as lead presenter of the Travel Training bus, a program started by the Marketing department in 2012 to introduce new riders to public transit in a controlled but realistic environment.

After the group presentations on the Travel Training bus, individual trainings take place with potential new riders. “We have a waiting list of people interested in one-on-one training. I go out and do an assessment with them during which I make sure they can physically get to and from the bus stop. I also make sure that they are emotionally able to ride the bus; because it can be stressful for someone with disabilities to be inside the bus and feel as if they’re trapped.”

“I do the routing for them, I teach them how to read the bus book, how to use the Omnitrans app to do their own trip planning in the future, how to buy our passes, how to use the passes on the bus, and, once training has progressed far enough,  I make sure they can ride on their own. If they can, then that’s great and we’re finished.”

Elizabeth with fellow team members of the Special Transportation Services department.

STS clients are people who have lost or never had the freedom to self-sufficiently transport themselves. The mission for our Travel Trainers is always to empower the individual to get out and regain the power to ride public transit to school, work, or other destinations.

“I always tell people that STS’ goal is to keep people as independent as possible for as long as possible. We don’t want people to have to depend on someone else, so if they can ride the bus and get where they need to go, they regain the independence that they may have lost after an accident, when they lost their car, or whatever their situation may be.”

Although the ability to ride the bus may seem insignificant to some, it is infinitely noteworthy to others. Travel Trainers like Elizabeth are positively impacting lives every day. To their clients, learning to ride the bus or regaining that ability gives them a sense of autonomy and accomplishment, which to Elizabeth, is the most rewarding part of her job.

“[Passengers] feel so appreciative that they’ve figured out how to ride the bus because we helped them. To know that I changed someone’s life, even if just a small aspect of their lives – transportation – that is something that can open up an entire world of possibilities for someone who is disabled or a senior.”

Of late, Elizabeth has been instrumental in working with a four-complex senior housing development in Fontana. After presenting to 70 residents, they learned that Route 82 provided a one-seat ride between any of the four complexes and the Social Security Administration office in Fontana, a popular destination for them.

As a result of these presentations, seniors that participated in travel trainings have begun riding the bus and managers have invested in monthly bus passes for residents. Her work in the field has generated a new source of pass sales revenue, increased bus ridership, and an expanded network of opportunities to partner with other organizations to promote Omnitrans.

The work Elizabeth does for the STS Team and Omnitrans is valued,” says Director of Special Transportation Service Doug Stanley.  “As evidenced by the numerous commendations I receive from those she gives group bus demonstration presentations to, she is not just well thought of by the seniors and persons with disabilities we serve, but they are also appreciative of her attitude, demeanor and ability to connect. The key is to know your audience – and she does.

People who are not familiar with Omnitrans’ fixed route system do not realize how simple it can be to ride the bus to reach common destinations in our service area. It is our duty to disseminate that information and to make people aware. Then, they realize how easy it has been all along to reach their destinations via Omnitrans.

“That’s what our presentations do,” explains Elizabeth. “My goal is always to inform people and change negative perceptions that people may have about riding the bus. We want them to know that we care that their riding experience is pleasurable and that it’s a success for everyone when they ride the bus.”

Visit Buster and Old Blue at the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion! Plus, Event Route Detours

Come hang with us this weekend in Downtown Ontario! Team Omnitrans will be back at this year’s Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion Friday-Sunday with Buster the Bus and Old Blue, our 1958 vintage GMC transit coach. Take a selfie with Buster and step inside for a throwback experience in our classic bus!

Omnitrans will be located at Euclid Ave. and B Street. The free, family-friendly event encompasses a large stretch of Downtown Ontario’s historic Euclid Avenue as the center of vintage automobiles and motorcycles, and a wide range of food and entertainment.  See you there!

EVENT DATES AND TIMES
Friday, September 15, 2017 – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, September 16, 2017 – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, September 17, 2017 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

BUS DETOUR INFORMATION
Detours for Routes 83 and 86 will be in effect during this event, along with several stop closures. See below for details.

Route 83
Northbound from Holt:

  • Left on Campus
  • Left on 4th
  • Right on Euclid, resume regular route

Southbound from 4th/Euclid:

  • Left on 4th
  • Right on Campus
  • Right on Holt
  • Left on Euclid, resume regular route

Route 86
Northbound from Holt/Campus:

  • Continue north on Campus
  • Right on 4th, resume regular route

Southbound from Campus/D Street:

  • Continue south on Campus, resume regular route