Category Archives: San Bernardino Transit Center

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!

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!

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.

Celebrate Bike Month with IE Biking Alliance Community Ride, Plus, Bike Hubitat Service Expands to Weekends!

Omnitrans and the Inland Empire Biking Alliance invite the community to celebrate Bike to Work Day with a “Try Your Bike” ride on Wednesday, May 24. The 9:00 a.m. ride is part of National Bike Month, an annual event designed to encourage people to experience the health, financial and environmental advantages of bicycling.

“It’s well known that using public transit benefits environmental, economic, and physical health,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams. “Biking to transit only enhances those benefits, and we’re pleased to partner with IEBA to introduce the community to the advantages of alternative commuting.”

The “Try Your Bike” ride will begin at the Caltrans office in San Bernardino, located at 464 West 4th St. It will travel a prescribed route around the downtown area, and will stop at the San Bernardino Transit Center at 599 W. Rialto Ave. for information on transit connections, refreshments, and a special FREE gift!

The San Bernardino Transit Center is home to the Bike Hubitat for cyclists, which offers consultation with IEBA volunteers and low-cost repair supplies on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. The Hubitat has been a popular success with riders that it will be extending its hours beginning in May, serving customers on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Also in celebration of National Bike Month, Omnitrans is sponsoring a photo contest. Anytime during the month of May, participants simply can take a selfie of themselves with their bike, including the hashtag #BikeNBus, to be eligible for gift card prizes.

Omnitrans merchandise now on sale!

This spring, travel in style with Omnitrans transit essentials on sale now, only at the San Bernardino Transit Center! By popular demand, we’re making it easier to get around town using our system with Omnitrans swag to enhance your experience.

Items include: reusable sbX Tote Bags, Omnitrans Ear Buds, Omnitrans Refillable Water Bottles, and 40th Anniversary Commemorative Drawstring Backpacks. 

Stay hydrated on a warm day while listening to your favorite tunes with Omnitrans refillable water bottles and standard plug earbuds.

Carry your items after a shopping trip or your books to class with the sbX tote bag.

For a more casual approach, carry your items in our commemorative 40th anniversary drawstring bag, complete with a mesh water bottle pocket.

Items may be purchased at the customer service window for the prices listed below:

  • sbX Tote Bag: $4
  • Omnitrans Ear Buds: $5.00
  • Omnitrans Refillable Drinking Bottle: $3.50
  • 40th Anniversary Commemorative Drawstring Bag: $5.00

The San Bernardino Transit Center is located 599 W. Rialto Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92401. Customer service hours are 7:00 am-6:00 pm on weekdays and 9:00 am-5:00 pm weekends.

Classical musicians play the San Bernardino Transit Center

Every day, an average of 5,000 passengers come through the San Bernardino Transit Center as they travel to work, home, health care appointments, and other destinations throughout the region. On Wednesday, February 22nd, however, customers were in for a special treat as the transit and classical music worlds collided for a special afternoon.

San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Ana Maria Maldonado and violinist Laura Rosky-Santori brought a taste of the arts and local culture to the transit center for two hours as they performed for riders, staff, and passers-by as part of the Fine Arts Lunch program.

“This was made possible through a two-year grant from the James Irvine Foundation,” says Anne L. Viricel, executive director of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra. “The grant seeks to test whether public perception of San Bernardino may improve through its fine arts community.”

Through the following months, musicians will conduct intimate public performances such as this at least three times each month in well-traveled areas around the city. 

Ana, who began playing the cello in the sixth grade, has been a performer in San Bernardino since 1980 after relocating to Southern California to attend graduate school at USC. She decided to make this home and now teaches at cello lessons and music theory classes at different universities including Cal State San Bernardino and Chaffey College.

“The symphony here has really fine players and Southern California is a really good place for classical musicians. We’re so glad we got this grant, so that we could get out and perform for the community,” says Ana.

Mary, an Omnitrans rider, was pleasantly surprised to arrive at the transit center to the live performance. “I’m a classical music devotee, so this is a real treat,” she enthused.

For Santiago, another Omnitrans passenger, the soothing sounds of the cello and violin took him back to a pleasant moment in his childhood. “It brings back memories of my uncle who used to play music for me and my family when I was six or seven years old,” he said. “This is beautiful.”

A sizeable crowd gathered over the two-hour period, with transit regulars and local community members stopping by during their lunch hour to enjoy the talents of our local artists. Omnitrans had a promotional booth with information and giveaways, much to the attendees’ delight.

“Omnitrans is always happy to partner with wonderful organizations like the San Bernardino Symphony to bring positive experiences to our community. Our goal has always been for the SBTC to be a true community space, so this event was a great fit,” explains Omnitrans Marketing Manager Nicole Ramos.

Guide to January 2017 Service Changes


The new year will welcome Omnitrans riders with new service enhancements and more connectivity! Beginning on Sunday, January 8th, Route 215 customers can expect changes implemented by Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) as part of a project that will introduce new and upgraded bus stops at more than 20 central locations. The project is designed to deliver world-class service to popular destinations as the Riverside area continues to grow and expand.

The existing Riverside Downtown Terminal will shut down and Route 215, our Freeway Express route traveling from the San Bernardino Transit Center to Downtown Riverside, will make adjustments to better serve our riders traveling to the area. The new stop for Route 215 will be located at University and Lemon, with one additional connecting stop at the Metrolink Station in Downtown Riverside on Vine Street (see map below). This change will be effective on Sunday, January 8th


Additional adjustments to local Omnitrans routes go into effect on Monday, January 2nd as listed below.

Please refer to the January 2017 Omnitrans Bus Book, which can be previewed online here, for details.

Route 66: Three additional Saturday PM trips have been added.

Route 80: 7:02 AM trip time adjusted for Vineyard Jr. High School.

Routes 81, 83, 84, 85 and 88: Improved transfers at Chino Transit Center.

Route 215 Express: New connection to downtown Riverside Metrolink, with a new stop at University and Lemon.

Route 290 Express: Runtime adjustments have been made for transfers at the San Bernardino Transit and Montclair Transit Centers.

Minor changes have also been made to the following routes:

Weekdays: Routes 3, 4, 8, 15, 19, 80, 81, 82, 83, 215 and 365.

Saturday: Routes 83, 84, 85, 88, 215 and 365.

Sunday: Routes 83, 84, 85, 88, 215 and 365.

Please be mindful of multiple service change dates, and be sure to check your schedule before traveling. For real-time bus arrival info, be sure to download the official Omnitrans app, available FREE in the iTunes and Google Play app stores!

Single Dad and Family Thrive on Freeway Express Service

We met Vincent and his family one morning while riding Route 215, one of Omnitrans’ Freeway Express routes, to Downtown Riverside. He and his two children, Jeremy and Destiny, ages 3 and 2, respectively, board the bus every morning to head from home in San Bernardino to Riverside, where he drops them off at daycare before he goes about his day.

“My car has been down for about a month now, so we ride Omnitrans every morning to Riverside and back to San Bernardino when [the kids] get out at 4 p.m.,” Vincent tells us as he holds Destiny in his lap and her brother, Jeremy, looks out the window. “It’s an efficient and quick way to get where we need to go.”


Route 215 has been a bit of a life saver for their family. In just a few weeks of riding, they have become acquainted with the drivers and grown to enjoy the experience of making the bus part of their daily routine.

“The drivers on this route are awesome and reliable. They do a great job and we never feel unsafe riding the bus,” Vincent tells us. “Not only that, but I love that the freeway express route is timely. I know exactly when the bus will depart from the San Bernardino Transit Center and I don’t have to wait around for it to arrive.”

Timeliness is key, especially when connecting to two other routes during your trip, like Vincent and his children do. All in all, they make it to daycare in about an hour, thanks to the Freeway Express route’s limited stops.

By the time we reach the second and last stop of Route 215 at the Riverside Transit Center, the two young kids are getting antsy and ready to play. “If only we all woke up with this much energy and didn’t need energy drinks or coffee in the morning!” jokes Vincent. They wave as they hop off the bus to catch their RTA connection for last leg of their trip.

Omnitrans currently operates two different freeway express routes, Route 215 from San Bernardino to Riverside via I-215, and Route 290 from San Bernardino to Montclair via I-10.

San Bernardino Transit Center photo tour

The San Bernardino Transit Center will open in September, and crews are hard at work on all the final details. Here’s a behind-the-scenes photo tour of this new facility so far.

San Bernardino Transit Center - Photographer Janice Kuhn

Solar panels installed on the roof of the San Bernardino Transit Center power the building. Omnitrans is applying for LEED Gold status of the facility.

The San Bernsardino Transit Center - Photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The transit center will include connections between the sbX Green Line and 12 of Omnitrans’ other bus routes (including the new 290 freeway express route), as well as other regional services such as MARTA Over-the-Mountain routes and the VVTA BV-Link.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Lobby entrance. Public hours for the Transit Center building will be 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The customer service window will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Meridian fencing and designated crosswalks are in place at the transit center to prevent bus-pedestrian accidents.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Seating outside the lobby entrance

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Lobby with view of the customer service desk. The lobby will have TV screens featuring customer information for all routes as well as Metrolink, MARTA, and VVTA information.


The customer service desk, located in the lobby, will be open from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

View of outside of the security monitoring station from the lobby

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Inside the security monitoring station, security guards have a full view of most of the grounds. Cameras placed throughout the transit center property are monitored 24/7.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Patrons can enter the L-shaped lobby from multiple directions. They also have access to public restrooms.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Public water fountains in the lobby offer purified water as well as a dispenser to fill up water bottles.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The public men’s bathroom off the lobby

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The public women’s bathroom off the lobby

The San Bernardino Transit Center - Photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The drivers’ bathrooms are very similar to the public bathrooms. In addition to sinks and toilets, these bathrooms include lockers and a shower.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The drivers’ break room, still under construction. The area beyond the glass is a small patio with a zen garden

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The sink area in the drivers’ break room

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

A Zen garden on the patio outside the drivers’ room features bubbling, recirculating fountains and drought resistant plants

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Back patio outside drivers’ room. The slotted awning and dividers run all along the side of the building.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The serene outdoor areas around the building feature seating as well as drought tolerant plants and trees.

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Plaza in front of the building

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Large walkways are lined with tall lights that keep the property well lit in the evenings. Omnitrans hopes to partner with a developer for transit-oriented development in the vacant field at the corner of E Street & Rialto

San Bernardino Transit Center - photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

One of the art features of the transit center is a large, working sundial sculpture .

The San Bernardino Transi Center - photographer Janice Kuhn

Brilliantly colored drought tolerant plants brighten the landscape

San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG)  oversaw the design and construction of the project. The constructions manager is Parsons Brinckerhoff and the contractor is Kemp Brothers.

By late 2016, SANBAG is expected to complete the extension of Metrolink service to the Transit Center site. The Metrolink platform will be adjacent to and accessible from the Omnitrans bus waiting areas. Future Redlands Rail will also connect to this transit center around 2021.

For more photos of the San Bernardino Transit Center visit our Flickr page.

San Bernardino Transit Center Update

See more photos of the San Bernardino Transit Center on Flickr.

 View artist renderings of the finished project here.

Construction is moving along on schedule and on budget for the San Bernardino Transit Center. The project, which is managed by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), will be complete in July 2015. The facility is LEED Gold, with solar panels on the roof, drought-tolerant landscaping, and a highly efficient heating and cooling system in the building. It will include a customer service/pass sales office, public restrooms, and shelters with real-time bus arrival signage.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is the construction manager, Kemp Brothers is the contractor, and HDR was the designer. The $21 million project is being paid for through a combination of federal transit, federal highway, and state and local funds. The majority are federal transit grants that were awarded to Omnitrans for Bus Facilities.

Sundial art installation at the San Bernardino Transit Center

 View artist renderings of the finished project here.

See more photos of the San Bernardino Transit Center on Flickr.
Photos by Janice Kuhn

Behind the Scenes in Planning

Omnitrans Planning team, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The Omnitrans Planning Department is always thinking about the future, and right now one of their biggest projects is the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC). The SBTC will be located on the southwest corner of E Street and Rialto Avenue. It will be the major transportation hub in downtown San Bernardino with connections between the new sbX service scheduled to start early next year, thirteen local Omnitrans routes, other regional transit providers, extended Metrolink service and future Redlands Rail service.

Rohan Kuruppu, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

For Planning Director Rohan Kuruppu, planning is about accomplishing a desired future. “We are one of the fastest -growing regions in the country. It is our responsibility to ensure we have a state-of-the-art transit system that is efficient, safe and reliable while meeting the area’s economic and environmental goals.”

Anna Rahtz, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Project manager, Anna Rahtz, works with cities and developers to ensure we have a good balance  between land use planning and transit planning. It is critical to have the right balance of housing, jobs and activities along our transit corridors. Intensity and density of activities drive ridership. Anna’s current projects include bus stop improvements as well as the San Bernardino Transit Center. She likes the fact that her work has a strong positive impact on her community. Anna is also a frequent bus rider and takes the bus to  local meetings whenever possible.

Scott Begg is a Planner I specializing in mapping and spacial analysis. His day typically centers on Title 6 analysis, Geographic Information System (GIS) work, smart mapping, and statistical and route analysis. Scott believes that mapping and spacial analysis provides an important overview of people, businesses, neighborhoods and other statistical information. His work helps connect people with jobs and other critical destinations.

As a Planner II, Brenda Ramirez analyzes our routes, tackling challenges like realignment, crowding, requests for service and sub-recipient monitoring for human service transportation agencies. Currently Brenda is working on the proposals for Omnitrans fare modifications. She feels the best part of her job is knowing that people can get from their homes to their destinations efficiently and safely.

Jeremiah Bryant is our resident data geek and service planning manager. He uses the statistics, mapping and route analysis provided by Scott and Brenda to analyze geo-spacial relationship demands to see where service needs are greatest. He must balance ridership demands and customer experience with financial constraints and available resources. Jeremiah also does peer analysis, ridership forecasting and responds to customer and city inquiries.

Planning intern Alvaro Gomez works on grants, research and writing projects. He grew up in this area and feels that working at Omnitrans gives him greater insight into the policies, development and economy at work in the San Bernardino Valley.

Administrative secretary, Tembi Morales, makes sure the office runs smoothly. She handles the daily office operations, purchase orders, requisitions, invoices and documents. Tembi also oversees the setup and preparations for meetings hosted by the department.

Omnitrans planning, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Together, the planning team is constantly reviewing the needs of our ridership and looking for ways to continue to grow and optimize Omnitrans service while maintaining  low fares. Each plays an essential role in providing the detailed information and analysis that will maximize our budget and resources.

sbx map and planning department, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

To meet the region’s growing demand for faster and sustainable transit options Omnitrans works to design the most optimal service in partnership with the cities, county and the FTA. As a result, our sbx Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) express service is scheduled to begin early next year along one of the highest volume transit corridors in our system, a 15.7-mile span between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. This sbX corridor will include 16 art-inspired stations at key university, government, business, entertainment and medical centers as well as four park-and-ride facilities.

Rohan Kuruppu, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The sbX 60-foot articulated vehicle is a full 20-feet longer than our regular fixed-route buses. Each will hold 41 passengers and have a standing capacity of 65. Our sbX BRT vehicles with operate in their own dedicated bus lane and offer optimized service with fewer stops and more frequent runs.  For a closeup look at some of  the premium features of the sbX BRT, click here.

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