Category Archives: Green energy

Clean Air Award for Omnitrans Go Smart Program

Accepting the Clean Air Award, from left, is Omnitrans Interim CEO/General Manager Scott Graham, Board Chair and Ontario Councilmember Alan Wapner, and Director of Marketing Wendy Williams.

(San Bernardino, CA)— A pilot program that more than doubled the number of local college students using public transit and eliminated an estimated 129 tons of pollution earned Omnitrans a Clean Air Award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, presented on October 4, 2013.

In 2011-12, Omnitrans initiated the “Go Smart” pilot program dedicated to transitioning local college students in the San Bernardino Valley to using public transit rather than driving to get to campus. Omnitrans partnered with California State University-San Bernardino, Chaffey College, Crafton Hills College, and San Bernardino Valley College to offer free, unlimited bus rides to over 50,000 college students. Approximately 1,450,000 trips were made by over 13,500 individual students in pilot year.

Students had unlimited access to the Omnitrans bus system with a simple swipe of their college ID card. During a typical week, 5,100 unique students rode Omnitrans which means that over 10% of students became regular transit riders, up from 4% prior to the program. Over 25% of enrolled students tried the program at least once.  Subsequently, ongoing self-funded Go Smart programs were established at each of the pilot program colleges and student ridership continues to increase over a year later.

“Go Smart helps reduce transportation costs for students and removes lack of transportation as a barrier to education for some,” said Interim CEO/General Manager Scott Graham.  “Gaining familiarity with public transit while a student also makes them more likely to use and support public bus service in the future,”

During the pilot year Go Smart student logged 8.7 million cumulative miles! By taking public transportation instead of driving, this removed an estimated 129.2 tons of carbon monoxide from the air while also reducing the levels of reactive organic gases, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. Side benefits included reduced traffic congestion near the partner colleges and reduced parking demand on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods.

“Each year, we honor businesses and individuals who work unrelentingly to improve the quality of the air,” said SCAQMD Governing Board Chairman William A. Burke, Ed.D. “These inspiring winners have set an example of commitment and determination for all of us.”

The pilot program was funded by partner colleges and each of the 15 cities and county in the Omnitrans service area, using monies earmarked for emission reduction projects.

Ecomotive Prize Drawing winners announced

In our Ecomotive Prize Drawing, we asked people to tell us how they care for the environment and why they do it. Congratulations to our prize winners listed below and thanks to all of you who participated in the drawing. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more contests, giveaways and stories.

Grand Prize Winner – receiving an Apple iPad 3

  • Marice P. from Ontario, CA
    “I care for my environment by recycling, using my reusable bags when I shop, and either walking or catching the bus. I do these things because I want to be an example to my children. I want them to not only care for themselves, but for our planet also.”

Second Place Winners – receiving an Apple iPod Nano

  • Aleta L. from Inglewood, CA
    “I drive a hybrid. I separate out my recyclables from trash. I take dry cleaning bags/hangers back AND make sure they use Earth friendly detergents. Most importantly, I do my part to be a great citizen of this country and human in this world because I care.”
  • Melissa M. from Rialto, CA
    “I have encouraged most of my family and friends by getting them to use energy efficient light bulbs. I use the sunlight during the day as my light and a lamp as my light in the dark. My motivation is a cleaner environment for me, my family and friends .”
  • Allison M. from Los Angeles, CA
    “My husband and I keep reusable shopping bags in our car so we can grab them whenever we go into a grocery store. We have cut down a ton on the number of paper and plastic bags we’ve used!”
  • Robin S. from Yucaipa, CA
    “I recycle bottles and cans, reuse plastic bags and set my thermostat at 72 in summer.”

Third Place Winners – receiving an $10 iTunes Gift Card

  • Sir Yankle R.A. from San Bernardino, CA
    “I use only florescent light bulbs & Energy Star compliant electronics as well.  I always recycle my plastics, aluminum & glass.”
  • Gloria E. from San Bernardino, CA
    “I don’t like litterbugs.  Whenever I’m out, I am forever picking up other people’s litter.  My city is my backyard so let’s keep it clean.”
  • Sandra V. from Redlands, CA
    “I ride Omnitrans, compost my kitchen scraps and have a vegetable garden. Riding Omnitrans takes one more car off the streets, and composting my kitchen scraps diverts waste going into my garbage can. My vegetable garden is also good for the environment. I enjoy growing my own vegetables.
  • Patricia S. from Ontario, CA
    “I help the environment by riding Omnitrans.  I recycle and reuse, going green when possible, using batteries and changing to Eco-friendly items.”
  • John C. from Tujunga, CA
    “We retrofitted our office to use low energy light bulbs, installed a setback thermostat, and a low flow toilet.”
  • Jeronda N. from Woodland Hills, CA
    “My ecomotive is a daily routine, not just on Earth Day but every day! I recycle, reduce, reuse, plant trees and flowers and garden. I hold garage sales monthly and donate clothes and furniture. I teach my children earth songs and use earth friendly cleaning products at home.”
  • Robert M. from Rialto, CA
    “I help the environment by turning of lights  and switching to low energy lights.  I also do less driving and more walking.”
  • David M. from Sherman Oaks, CA
    “I air dry dishes and wash only full loads of dishes & clothes. I turn things off when I’m not in the room. I plug home electronics into power strips and turn the power strips off when not in use. Walking to my destination is good for my health, environment & wallet.”
  • Maribel T. from Fontana, CA
    “Recycling is very important to me because, not only does it help the environment, it is also rewarding. That would be my motivation to do it.”
  • Yvonne M. from Rialto, CA
    “I help the environment by riding bus, keeping lights off during the day, using eco-friendly light bulbs,  donating used goods to goodwill, carpooling and making & taking lunch in re-usable containers.”

Fourth Place Winners – receiving a 7-Day Bus Pass

  • Ann F. from Ontario, CA
    “I walk, carpool, ride buses, or bike more often to places.  I recycle and use eco-friendly products like light bulbs, and unplug items when I’m not going to use them for a while.”
  • Donna C. from Rancho Cucamonga
    “I care for the environment by conserving energy by using energy saving products”
  • Brandon L. from San Bernardino
    “I ride the bus and recycle becuse I know it is making a difference for the earth.”
  • Catherine B. from Upland, CA
    “All our lights use energy saving bulbs. All appliances are on power strips, and my granddaughter turns off the power strip when she turns off the TV.”
  • Cassandra P. from Lake Forest, CA
    “I turn off lights, conserve water, recycle and try to walk instead of drive.”
  • Jonathan H. from Riverside, CA
    “I take the bus at least 5-6 times a week to avoid adding to the pollution, and I reduce energy costs by limiting light usage, TV time, and I even unplug power adapters to keep them from pulling anything.”
  • Devon S. from Palm Springs, CA
    “I am very proud to say that even living in Palm Springs, my electric bill is never more than $80 in the summer. Sure I am motivated by saving money, but I also like to brag about it to my neighbors who spend upwards of $200 in the summer!”
  • Deborah W. from San Bernardino, CA
    “We have solar panels on our roof and keep our thermostat set at 78 in the summer and 62 in the winter.  We want to save money and make the world a cleaner safer place for future generations. “
  • Christina T. from Garden Grove, CA
    “My motivation is taking the bus. I like riding the bus because it  is fun and relaxing.”
  • Donna S. from Redlands, CA
    “My girls ride the Omnitrans from Summer School to home. We recycle paper, plastic & glass, use energy efficient light bulbs and turn off lights, TV, radio when not in the room. We are motivated by a cleaner, safer & more energy efficient environment.”

Omnitrans to install 100 new solar lights at bus stops

Omnitrans has purchased 100 solar light fixtures to install at selected bus stops throughout its service area.

The lighting fixture attaches to the top of an individual bus stop pole and illuminates an area of about 6 feet around the base.  No push button activation is required.  It comes on automatically at dusk and turns off in 6 hours.  Each day it recalibrates itself to turn back on about 2 hours before sunrise.

If you know of a particular stop where lighting is need, please let us know by posting the location and stop number in the comments below.