Category Archives: sbx bus rapid transit

Zimbabwean student talks transit & sbX

Hunts Station photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

Cal State student Simbarashe Peresch at the sbX Hunts Lane station

Grand Terrace resident Simbarashe Peresch has been riding Omnitrans and sbX since he first arrived here from Zimbabwe on September 17th. He is currently enrolled at Cal State University San Bernardino where he is majoring in biology. Thanks to the Go Smart program, Simbarashe is able to get unlimited bus rides using his student ID. We caught up with him at the Hunts Lane station and asked what he thought about the sbX rapid transit line.

He told us he liked how quickly sbX gets him to campus. He was also impressed by the roominess, air conditioning and onboard Wi-Fi.

“It’s very different from Zimbabwe,” Simbarashe explains with a broad smile. “where I come from, we have much smaller buses that only hold about 15 people.  And it costs only 50 cents to ride!”

“Also I’ve noticed here that there is not that much of a distinction between cities,” he continues. “You can pass from Redlands into Loma Linda without knowing it. In my country there are vast lands of field between cities that separate them. You know immediately when you are out of town.”

He points to the art glass on the station windscreen beside him. “The designs of stations here are very beautiful too,” he grins. “Traveling here has been a very different experience for me. I very much like riding sbX.”

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Friends Ride Free Fridays on sbX

Friends Ride Free Fridays on sbX

Every Friday in October and November, paying sbX passengers can bring a friend along for free! Why? Because riding is always more fun with two!

It’s the perfect opportunity to grab a quick lunch along Hospitality Lane with a co-worker, take in a matinee with your child at the Regal Cinema , or do a little shopping with your best friend at Inland Center Mall.  Best of all, you don’t have to worry about traffic or parking.  You and your friend can simply relax and have a great conversation while enjoying the luxury interior of our sbX coach.

Pedro is a student and part time DJ, and his friend Lexy works at a local restaurant. They regularly travel together on sbX and say that it’s a very different experience from the normal Omnitrans coaches.

“You get a different type of rider on sbX,” says Pedro. “There’s a lot of professionals and students. It’s also fast. We save hours in travel time each day between all our trips.”

friends ride free fridays on sbx

Lexy nods, “True. It’s convenient because it stops close to most of the places we go to. And I like the outlets and free Wi-Fi.” She laughs. “I’m always looking for a place to charge my phone!”

So how does “Friends Ride Free Fridays” work?  It’s simple.

  • The free rider must be accompanied by an sbX passenger with a valid pass or proof of payment.
  • Both riders must board and exit together.
  • The offer is exclusively for our sbX Green Line service, and not good on Omnitrans, OmniGo or Access buses
  • Friends Ride Free Fridays runs through October and November 2014

So grab a friend next Friday and treat yourselves to a first class trip aboard sbX. You both deserve it! For more information visit our sbX page at http://www.omnitrans.org/services/sbx/ 

sbX BRT stations before and after

Here’s a quick look at the development of our sbX BRT stations before and after with photos and artist renderings. We’ve definitely come a long way!

Have you ridden sbX yet?  Tell us what you think.

 

Do you like this story and want to share it on your blog or newsletter?  All of our articles may be freely shared with others!

Special needs class learns about sbX BRT

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) class at Colton High School recently chose the sbX Green Line as their field trip destination. The class, which concentrates on teaching life skills to special needs students, is made up of nine boys ranging in age from 14 to 22-years-old.

Omnitrans bus stop - autistic class from Colton High

Teacher Kim Snyder has been working with special needs kids for more than 30 years. The boys thrive under her care, reassured by her calmness, firmness and sense of humor. She loves spending time with them and is fascinated by how their minds work. Her goal is to teach them the social and practical skills needed to help prepare them for life as young adults.

Omnitrans bus stop - autistic class from Colton High

“Because they can’t theorize well, they can’t always apply what they are taught in a classroom to real life situations beyond the classroom,” says Ms. Kim. “We have to actually teach these students in the community. If they have the opportunity to learn through actual hands-on experience, it is easier for them to understand and retain that information. Riding sbX was a great opportunity to them to see firsthand how that transit system works and what destinations are along the route.”

sbX VA Hospital Station

The boys were very excited by their first ride on the rapid transit system. The level boarding was both a surprise and immense relief.

“Steps make them a little nervous,” explains Ms. Kim. “Some of them are a little unsteady on their feet and one of them only walks on tiptoes. It can be difficult to deal with the steepness of a step, and they naturally worry about their balance. Having no steps to deal with was a huge bonus for us!”

autistic class from Colton High aboard sbX BRT

The little group sat together at the back of the bus in a semi-circle, which allowed them to see each other’s smiling faces. When they learned about the on-board power outlets and free Wi-Fi, the boys broke into cheers and clapping. They were also amazed to see that people could bring their bikes on board and secure them in the interior bike racks.

sbX center seats

As they rode along, they had a chance to see some of the sbx station platforms, and Ms. Kim pointed out familiar destinations.

“This is totally awesome!” one of them exclaimed.  “It feels like a roller coaster.”

sbX BRT

“The seats are really comfortable, and I like the driver,” said another.

The students had fun trying out the seats in the articulated middle section of the bus which spun whenever the vehicle made a turn. Big grins lit up their faces as they hung onto the armrests.

sbX BRT VA Hospital Station - Colton High Autistic Class

Along the way, they stopped at the VA Hospital station in Loma Linda, where they learned about features like the blue emergency call box, the live customer service help button at the side of each map case and the ticket vending machine where they could buy passes. They even had a visit from Field Supervisor Rick Alverez who took the time to answer a few questions. The class was impressed to discover that Rick had won several awards for driving buses in roadeo competitions and wanted their photo taken with him.

sbX VA Hospital station

The field trip was a huge success, and the boys can’t wait to ride again. Because sbX is so fast, the class can now plan field trips to destinations like Cal State San Bernardino. That was not an option for them before, because the travel time by regular bus was much longer.

But, as Ms. Kim points out, sbX has an even greater impact on her students. It is a valuable resource for them as they enter the job market.

riding on sbx BRT

Many of her students work well in fast food cleanup, doing tasks like wiping down tables and cleaning windows. These fast food restaurants spend a lot of money training high school kids to do these jobs, but they tend to leave after only a short time. Students like those in Ms. Kim’s class, however, will go through the training, be excited and proud to earn their official badge or uniform and go on to work for that company for 50 years. But one of the first things the employer asks about is their transportation needs and whether they can travel independently. The ability to use public transit like Omnitrans and sbX opens up many more opportunities for them.

riding sbX BRT

“Many of our students have employable skills,” says Ms. Kim. “They desire employment but are hampered by their lack of transportation.  Public transportation makes it possible for our students to continue into adulthood with a sense of independence and, as a result, live a higher quality of life.”

See more photos from the class field trip on Flickr!

- Juno Kughler Carlson
 juno.carlson@omnitrans.org 

sbX

Do you like this story and want to share it on your blog or newsletter?  All of our articles may be freely shared with others. Do you have a great Omnitrans story to tell?  Let us know!

sbX rapid transit gearing up for week 2

omnitrans sbX passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Thanks to everyone who came out this week to try out the new sbX Green Line. We had a chance to chat with many of our Omnitrans regulars and had the opportunity to visit with a few new faces as well!

sbx passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

It’s been an exciting first week.  We are still working through some of the timing and technical issues that we had anticipated with launch of service. Everything is being monitored closely, and each day it’s getting a little better. Our coach operators have been doing their best to keep things rolling on schedule. We appreciate your understanding as we work out the kinks and get a little history under our belts.

sbx passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Beginning Monday, sbX will begin accepting fares. The cost to ride is the same as for our regular Omnitrans routes, and the same passes will be accepted. Passengers now have the option of purchasing passes at one of the ticket vending machines conveniently located at any sbX station using a credit or debit card.

sbx passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Our friendly sbX ambassadors will continue to be available for one more week to answer questions and guide you through the new service. Monday and Tuesday they will be at the stations during peak service hours (6:00-9:00 a.m.; 2:00-6:00 p.m. NB, 3:00-6:00 SB). On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday they will be on board the buses. They’ll be easy to spot—look for people wearing yellow safety vests and sbX ambassador pins.

sbx passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Do you have the Omnitrans app on your phone? If you do, you can pull up our sbX page, bus book and NexTrip real-time bus arrival information. sbX is listed as route 202 in NexTrip. Please remember that NexTrip is a prediction based technology. By knowing where a bus is on the route, it can predict its time of arrival at the next stop. Because we only have a few days history with sbX, times may be slightly off for now. Accuracy will improve once we have another week’s worth of data to support it.

sbx passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

As a reminder, we do offer free Wi-Fi on board. You can also take advantage of the power outlets above the seats to charge your smart devices. Interior bike racks are available for cyclists.

sbx passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Thanks to everyone who allowed us to take their photo. We’ve had a lot fun talking with you and getting your feedback on sbX. We look forward to serving you again on Inland Southern California’s first bus rapid transit service.

sbx passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

photos by Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Passenger reactions to sbX rapid transit

We’ve met so many terrific people who took advantage of this week’s sbX free rides. We thought we’d share some of their photos and experiences.

Omnitrans sbx girl with bike, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

This young woman ad just taken the sbX to and from her Taekwondo class. She told us she really liked being able to take her bike on board and had enjoyed the ride. She’s going to use sbX as part of her daily routine.

omnitrans sbx father and son batman, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

We loved this little Batman guy. He and his dad came out to try sbX to see how they liked it. “We don’t really have a particular destination in mind,” the father told us smiling. “We’re just going to have a little adventure and see what comes up. He’s really excited about riding.”

mom and daughter omnitrans sbx dinner, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

This mother and daughter don’t normally ride the bus, but thought they’d give sbX a try.”We thought we’d head over to Hospitality and get dinner at one of the restaurants close to the station.” They were excited about their girls’ night out and looking forward to riding sbX.

Denise is a Go Smart student at CSUSB where she is studying accounting. She is married with three older boys who are her biggest supporters. “I’m proof that it’s never to late to go after your dreams,” she laughs. She loved her experience with sbX and hopes that it will cut down on her commute time between school and home.

This father and son enjoyed joking with the ambassadors at the VA hospital station and were looking forward to their first ride on sbX.

mom and kids on sbx

This mom and her two daughters went for a ride on sbX and had a great time. They particularly liked the stations and the artwork. “We thought it could be fun to make a video at each station, do a little dance or something.  Then people could try to guess what station we were at. You could invite everyone to share videos. Maybe even turn it into an sbX contest!” We thought that was a brilliant idea. What about you?

sbx rider at station

Quneisha loves softball, knitting–and sbX! She was at the Kendall and Shandlin Hills station waiting to take her first sbX trip over to Hospitality Lane.  ”I enjoy going different places and take the bus everywhere.  I’m really excited about sbX and am curious to see how fast it will be. I’ll probably use it a lot to get to Costco or out to Hospitality Lane. I love the idea of free Wi-Fi too!”

sbX passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Bob and Barbara Bennecke have lived in the San Bernardino area since 1949. They feel sbX is an important part of history and came out to be a part of it. “It’s so much nicer than I expected!” said Barbara. “It’s so roomy!” Bob agreed. “This is going to help a lot of people.”

This is one of our first sbX wheelchair passengers. In fact, his whole family rode along with him! His favorite part was the rear-facing wheelchair system. It allowed him to face  his children and goof around with his young grandson during the ride.

boxer sbx

“I just rode the sbX to the gym and back,” this man told us. “I’m a boxer, so working out is part of my daily routine. I liked sbX. It was fast and spacious–really nice inside. I’m definitely going to be a regular rider.”

photographer janice kuhn

The Garcia family tried out sbX for a lunchtime excursion. They had so many choices for lunch, but were thinking of Napolis or Hometown Buffet, close to the Redlands Park n Ride station. This was their daughter’s first bus ride.

sbx passengers, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

This very sweet couple was all smiles as they headed out for a date night on sbX. “We’d read about sbX and wanted to try it out. We’re going over to Hospitality for dinner together.”

Jake and son, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

 

Jake told us he rode sbX the first day of service to get to his job. It cut his commute time from 1 and 1/2 hours to 25 minutes! That means more family time with his son, always a good thing.

sbx girl passenger, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Can you tell this little girl just got off sbX? She was so excited we could hardly get her to stand still for a photo! “It was fun!” she grinned. “I got to try out the different seats. My mom’s going to take me again.”

Her favorite seat? “The one in the middle that spins!”

This is Martin, who works as a library volunteer. He was transporting some artwork to one of the elementary schools near Marshall & E station, in preparation for the Latino Book Festival they will be having at CSUSB this weekend.

sbx family, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

This little family was ready for an sbX adventure! The kids were really excited about climbing aboard with mom for free ride.

sbx family, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Hop aboard sbX! Free rides April 28 – May 2

Omnitrans New sbX Service Starts April 28

It’s finally here! Our new sbX rapid transit service starts on Monday, and you can ride FREE  between April 28th and May 2nd. Ambassadors will be on hand at every station to answer questions and guide you along the way. It’s a fast, fun, first class transit experience you will love.

Hours of Operation:

  • Hours of Operation:  Monday thru Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.
  • Service runs every 10 minutes during peak hours, (6:00-9:00 a.m.; 2:00-6:00 p.m. NB, 3:00-6:00 SB)
  • Service runs every 15 minutes during non-peak hours, (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

sbX Fares and Payment Options

  • sbX fares are the same as for Omnitrans fixed routes.
  • To speed up boarding, passengers are encouraged to buy a pass in advance at a pass outlet or at a ticket vending machine at the sbX stations. Ticket vending machines accept credit or debit card payments only.
  • Cash customers should board at the door closest to the front and pay the exact amount at the fare box by the driver.
  • Prepaid passes can be activated and swiped at fare validators located at all doors. Be prepared to show proof of payment while on board.

Vehicle Amenities:

  • Spacious interiors: enhanced seating for 38  plus 65 standee capacity
  • Each vehicle can accommodate two wheelchairs or mobility devices, including one new rear-facing, self-securement position.
  • On-board Wi-Fi and convenient power outlets make it easy to surf the web or charge your smart device.
  • Bikes roll directly on board to secure safely and easily in one of our 4 convenient interior bike racks.
  • Passengers know exactly when and where to get on or off with our visual and audible stop announcements.

sbX Station Features

  • Platform-level boarding allows easy entry and exit.
  • Ticket vending machines enable riders to purchase passes using a credit or debit card.
  • Digital signs display arrival times
  • Closed circuit cameras monitor platform security 24/7.
  • Inspired art designs capture the culture and heritage of the communities served
  • Canopies and wind screens offer protection from wind, sun and rain