Author Archives: Omnitrans

Avila to Lead Omnitrans Board, Dutrey New Vice Chair

Omnitrans Board of Directors Chair Rudy Avila

Yucaipa Mayor Pro Tem David Avila (left) will become new chair of the Omnitrans Board of Directors in July 2019.  Montclair Mayor Javier “John” Dutrey was elected to fill the Vice Chair position. Both will serve a two-year term.

Avila succeeds outgoing Board Chair Ron Dailey, a Loma Linda Council Member. The 19-member Omnitrans Board consists of elected officials representing each of the 15 cities Omnitrans serves and four San Bernardino County Supervisors.

“Omnitrans plays vital role in our community, transporting thousands of people to work, school, shopping, medical appointments, recreation and safely back home again,” said Avila. “As Board chair, I want to ensure that we continue to meet customer needs while also being fiscally responsible.”

Avila joined the Omnitrans Board in January 2017 and has served on the Board’s Administrative & Finance and Executive Committees.  He also represents Yucaipa on the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) Board of Directors.

A 30-year resident of Yucaipa, Avila has served on the City Council since 2014. He had a 32-year career with Cal Fire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) before retiring as a battalion chief.  He received his Associate of Science degree from Crafton Hills College and his BA from California State University, Fullerton.

Omnitrans Board of Directors Vice Chair Javier “John” Dutrey

Dutrey (left) was appointed to the Omnitrans Board in 2017 after serving as an Alternate since 2003.  He joined the Montclair City Council in 1996 was and elected Mayor in 2018.

“I look forward to helping set the course for Omnitrans to adapt to our evolving multi-modal transportation landscape,” said Dutrey.  “An effective, integrated transportation network is critical for our growing region.”

Dutrey also represents Montclair on the SBCTA Board and serves on the Tri-City Gold Line Joint Powers Authority Committee.  He holds a BA in Political Science and a Master’s in public administration, both from California State University, San Bernardino. He is employed with the City of Rialto, serving as a Project Manager in the Development Services Department.

CONTACT: Wendy Williams, Director of Marketing & Planning
Office: 909.379.7151
E-mail: wendy.williams@omnitrans.org

Omnitrans buses not in service July 4, 2019

In honor of Independence Day, Omnitrans buses will not be in service on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Our administrative offices in Montclair and San Bernardino, as well as the customer service call center, will be closed on this day.

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

Local Volunteers Team Up for a Community Bus Stop Clean-Up Day

Whether we are transporting our San Bernardino Valley residents from point A to point B, or coming together for a beautification day of service, “connecting our community” is not just an Omnitrans slogan – it’s what drives us.

Last month, Omnitrans has the pleasure of partnering with We Are The Change and their dedicated volunteers for a community bus stop clean-up day. More than 20 volunteers of all ages gathered on Saturday, May 18th with the shared goal of improving the cleanliness of the city.

A total of 12 bus stops were cleaned by the end of the day, with all trash picked up in the area surrounding the Waterman and Baseline intersection in San Bernardino.

“The volunteers were enthusiastic and worked hard to make the area look great,” said Omnitrans Development Manager Anna Jaiswal. “We are very grateful to We Are The Change San Bernardino and their leader, Luis Ojeda, for recruiting volunteers and organizing a successful clean-up day.”

We Are The Change is a grassroots project started by Luis Ojeda, a San Bernardino resident whose commitment to his city sparked a movement to take action for the betterment of our community.

“Thank you to all who participated, and to Omnitrans for providing water, snacks, and trash bags,” said Luis. “The volunteers were very motivated, and they all did a great job. This is a result of the love that we have for our city, and I invite everyone to be a part of the change.”

To get involved, follow We Are The Change on Facebook to stay up to date on future involvement opportunities. Local organizations and businesses may also become “Trash Busters” and formally join our Adopt-a-Stop program.

Rancho Cucamonga Resident Benefits from Lyft Ride Program

Written By: Ruby Sulca, Travel Trainer

The Special Transportation Services Department offers a variety of programs for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Richard F. (pictured left) is a thriving senior living in Rancho Cucamonga. He has participated in one of these programs, the Lyft Ride Program, for several years. The program gives Richard access to Lyft service to get to medical appointments, run errands, and visit family and friends at half the regular cost.

Richard has spent over 15 years teaching fellow visually impaired individuals how to use technology. He has taught computer courses, both in English and Spanish, throughout Southern California, and serves as an advocate for people with disabilities. Recently, Richard spoke at Capitol Hill on behalf of the visually impaired regarding fair pay for individuals with disabilities.

As a long-time public transportation user, Richard learned how to ride independently at age 15. He first found out about the Lyft Ride Program about three years ago, and became very interested in the discount offered to qualifying residents in our service area. Soon after, he began using Lyft to travel to various destinations.

Richard expresses a high level of satisfaction with the service provided by Client Relations Coordinator Cindy Inclan, and the rest of the Special Transportation Services team. He enjoys the independence and freedom he has gained through the Lyft Ride Program, which gives him the ability to come and go as he pleases at any time or day of the week.

“The Lyft Ride Program is a valuable tool that enhances the quality of life of individuals with disabilities,” says Richard. “You have to put forth the effort to keep your independence and succeed as an individual with a disability.”

The Omnitrans Ride Program offers credit for seniors and individuals with disabilities for both traditional taxi and Lyft service. Available service credit denominations are available up to $150 per month and are sold at a 50% discount. For more information about the Ride Program, please contact Special Transportation Services at (909) 379-7341 or email at ctsa@omnitrans.org.

$1 Summer Youth Fare Returns with an Additional Month of Summer Fun!

This summer, the sun will shine bright, and the rides will be cheaper. With more free time on your hands, Omnitrans makes it easy to get out and explore with $1 bus rides! Due to rising popularity among young riders, the Summer Youth Fare deal returns during June, July, and, new this year, August.

Riders 18 and under may take advantage of the summertime promotion on any Omnitrans route, including: Freeway Express, sbX, or OmniGo community circulators (regularly $1.75 for one-way rides) from June 1 through August 31, 2019. That’s one extra month of discounted rides to summer fun than in prior years.

The discounted fare is also available on smartphones using Token Transit mobile ticketing. To get started, download the free Token Transit app and go paperless. Pay using a debit or credit card then flash your activated pass on your smartphone to the driver when boarding.

Riders should be ready to show bus drivers proof of age or school ID card to confirm eligibility for discount, if asked. To plan your ride, use our online Trip Planner, type in your origin and destination, and you’re off to a summer adventure!

Click here for a list of fun summer destinations you can get to with Omnitrans!

Omnitrans Earns Top Industry Honors in Transit Safety and Security

Omnitrans accepts APTA Bus Safety & Security Gold Awards in Louisville, Kentucky. From left: Omnitrans Director of Operations Shawn Brophy, Director of Maintenance Connie Raya, Safety & Regulatory Compliance Specialist Terry Morocco, Fleet Safety & Training Instructor Kimberly Perkins, Maintenance Supervisor Victoria Chesney, APTA President & CEO Paul Skoutelas.

Omnitrans snags the gold! We are proud to be recognized by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for improvements made to the safety and security of our customers and employees. The Bus Safety & Security Excellence Gold Awards were presented in a ceremony held in Louisville, Kentucky on May 21.

“These awards recognize our team’s efforts to build a strong safety and security culture through constant vigilance and continual innovation,” said Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham. “The public entrusts us with transporting them safely and securely wherever life takes them, and that remains our top priority.”

Winning transit agencies were selected by APTA based on four criteria: project effectiveness; benefits accrued directly from the positive impact of the program; innovation; and project transferability that allows other transit systems to replicate the success.

“These award-winning public transportation programs are models of excellence in the areas of safety and security,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “The implementation of these initiatives demonstrates the ongoing commitment to improving safety and security for their passengers, employees, and communities in the public transit industry.”

On the security front, Omnitrans was lauded for its innovative creation of an amateur radio service that ensures our ability to communicate with emergency responders throughout our service area during emergency events, when cellular/mobile and landline telephone services are lost.  The Inland Valley Emergency Communications Service HAM radio group has grown from 8 members in 2015 to 22 members in 2019.

On the safety side, Omnitrans was commended for implementation of technology, equipment, and training program improvements which contributed to a 32% reduction in preventable accidents since 2012.  Efforts included the addition of audible turn signals on buses and new-generation mobility device securement equipment to all buses. Currently, Omnitrans is also piloting automated collision-avoidance technology.

Safety training innovations include a state-of-the-art bus driving simulator used by coach operator trainees to supplement classroom and behind-the-wheel training.  Omnitrans also employs two Fleet Safety Trainers who are DMV Certified Examiners, which streamlines the process to complete mandated DMV required testing needed to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License.

Omnitrans is appreciative of all the dedicated employees whose contributions have led to this prestigious industry recognition! Below is a video highlighting the improvements that garnered us this “nation’s best” award.

Jeremiah Bryant to Lead New Strategic Development Department

After 12 years of increasing responsibilities at Omnitrans, Jeremiah Bryant has been promoted to Director of Strategic Development at the transit agency.

Functions of the newly-formed Strategic Development Department will include service planning, development planning, stops and stations management, grant writing, and business intelligence analysis to help us better serve riders.

“We believe Jeremiah’s skills and experience will help Omnitrans strategically adapt to a rapidly changing landscape within transit and in the San Bernardino Valley,” said Omnitrans CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham.

“I appreciate the investment Omnitrans places in its employees,” said Jeremiah. “Nearly 12 years ago, I joined Omnitrans and hoped to use my analytical abilities to aid the agency. Over the years, Omnitrans has invested in training, development and provided opportunities for growth.”

Bryant began his career at Omnitrans as a Marketing Analyst in 2007 and was promoted to Planning and Scheduling Manager in 2010.  He has represented Omnitrans on numerous regional committees and served as the Agency’s primary contact with the American Bus Benchmarking Group, a national industry peer group. He recently graduated from the inaugural Omnitrans Leadership Development Academy.

“I look forward to leveraging the investment the agency has made in me by leading the Strategic Development Department as we move to enhance Omnitrans’ service in the future,” said Jeremiah.

Employee of the Quarter Jannet Villaseñor

The daughter of a mechanic, naturally Parts Clerk Jannet Villaseñor grew up in the shop with all things automotive inculcated in her mind since she was 10 years old. So, when Jannet arrived at the Omnitrans West Valley facility parts warehouse only eight months ago, she was ready to take on the challenge of tidying up a place in dire need of reorganization.

“I revised and updated all these catalogs,” Jannet says, proudly pointing at the shelves displaying neatly stacked, color-coded binders with inventory of the agency’s mechanical parts. “If I am not organized, I am not able to work to my fullest potential. I had to make things better for us, to better help everyone in the mechanic shop.”

Jannet performed a thorough deep clean of the tool room, going well above and beyond her job duties to scrub and mop the floors herself. She spearheaded a team effort, employing the knowledge and experience of other clerks, to label, categorize, and rearrange the warehouse to positively impact the efficacy of the parts department.

“We had a gallon-sized bag of O-rings of all types, which is essentially four drawers’ worth of O-rings,” Jannet explains as she displays four methodically organized drawers filled with the gaskets (pictured above). She has taken brown paper bags, cut the top halves off, and placed them in the compartments of each drawer. Each compartment is well-stocked with O-rings sorted by size for quick identification.

“I found these paper bags in a cupboard, so I was able to put them to good use,” she shares. It’s this resourcefulness and willingness to take initiative that has garnered Jannet the Employee of the Quarter award, presented to her at the Omnitrans Board of Directors meeting this month.

Additionally, Jannet has separated and categorized extra parts from rebuild kits so that they could be repurposed and used in other repairs, helping to reduce the cost of buying parts that may already be in our arsenal of tools.

“Before, we had to dig through bags to find a part. If you couldn’t find it in the pile, you had to order it, which created an issue because then we were down buses needed to transport our passengers,” Jannet says of the trickle-down effects of a disorganized warehouse. “Now, things are easier to locate and keep inventory of.”

Board of Directors Chairman Ron Dailey, Materials Manager Rick Barone, Parts Clerk Jannet Villaseñor, her father and Equipment Mechanic Sergio Villaseñor, and CEO/General Manager Scott Graham at the May 1, 2019 Board meeting where Jannet was recognized as Employee of the Quarter for January-March 2019.

“Because of Jannet’s ingenuity, the efficiency of the Procurement-Parts Department has increased, allowing our mechanics to return buses to service quickly and avoiding dropped service. Jannet’s actions are an excellent example of outstanding customer service, communication, and leadership skills,” says Materials Manager Rick Barone.

Jannet has been building those skills since she was 18, when she began her career working for AutoZone. After five years, she became an assistant manager at O’Reilly Auto Parts. Her retail experience has helped shape her as a leader and given her invaluable customer service skills, which she utilizes daily as a parts clerk.

“This morning, a mechanic walked to the counter asking for a part that he needed, and I automatically replied ‘Sure, what type of car are you working on?’ she laughs. “It’s hard to shake off the retail voice sometimes.”

“I would like to thank my peers, Victor, Ray, and Alan, for being open to my suggestions, everyone at the East Valley facility for training me, and my dad for shaping my automotive mind,” says Jannet. “It’s a nice feeling to be able to contribute to the efficiency of our department, but it has not been without the help of a team.”

Buses not in service on Memorial Day 2019

To remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country, Omnitrans buses will not be in service on Monday, May 27th in observance of Memorial Day.

Omnitrans offices and the customer service call center will also be closed on this day. We will reopen on Tuesday, May 28th and buses will return to normal operating weekday schedules.

Omnitrans Celebrates Bike Month with Free Rides on Saturdays and a Bike Pit Stop!

This May, it’s all about the bikes! That’s correct – it’s National Bike Month, and Omnitrans is offering FREE rides to passengers on bicycles every Saturday in May. To take advantage of this offer, simply board with your bicycle.

Not only does a multi-modal commute integrating bicycling contribute to a more active lifestyle, it also benefits the environment and the air we breathe. Per the EPA, commuting by car produces nearly a pound of pollution for every mile, whereas riding a bike produces none. You do the math.

Omnitrans 40-foot buses hold two or three bicycles in the securement racks attached to the front exterior of the bus. The 60-foot sbX rapid transit vehicles will hold up to four bikes inside the rear section of the coach. Every year, Omnitrans transports approximately 250,000 bicycles, connecting cyclists from Omnitrans to Metrolink trains and neighboring transit agencies.

The free ride offer is subject to bike rack space availability and is applicable to all 35 Omnitrans bus routes including Freeway Express, sbX rapid transit, and OmniGo community shuttles. It is not applicable to Access paratransit service riders. To learn more about riding with your bike, visit Omnitrans.org.

Bicycle Pit Stop Event

Within Bike Month, there is Bike to Work! This year it is celebrated May 13-19, 2019. We invite bike commuters to pedal past traffic and swing by the Omnitrans “pit stop” on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 between 7-9 a.m. at the San Bernardino Transit Center!

The Inland Empire Biking Alliance (IEBA) and IECommuter will join Omnitrans in offering bike resources, refreshments, and swag to celebrate Bike to Work Week. The SBTC Bike Hubitat will also open up shop during the event to provide low-cost bike repairs and tune-ups. We look forward to seeing you (and your bikes) there!