Category Archives: sbx bus rapid transit

sbX BRT stations before and after

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

 

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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

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sbX rapid transit gearing up for week 2

omnitrans sbX passengers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!”

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.”

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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

 

sbX Security Drill Passes Muster

Local law enforcement and public safety participate in live station scenario

Omnitrans and local SWAT participate in an sbX security drill

What if a disturbed man carrying a suspicious package and threatening to blow up government offices is onboard an sbX bus rapid transit vehicle?  That was the scenario for a security drill conducted April 24th at the sbX station on E Street at Rialto Avenue.

A small section of E Street was closed for about 90 minutes as local law enforcement and public safety agencies took part in the live drill which lasted about 45 minutes.  Along with the “bomber”, played by a San Bernardino Police Department employee, five Omnitrans employees were on the bus as driver and passengers.

The live drill followed a table top exercise the prior week and fulfills a requirement by the Federal Transit Administration for the sbX Safety and Security Certification Plan.  Going forward, table top sbX security drills are required annually and live drills may be scheduled at the request of law enforcement.

 sbX security drill with local SWAT

During “negotiations” with the suspect, law enforcement could see what was happening through a live feed from security cameras on board the bus.  A SWAT vehicle approached the bus and “passengers” were released a few at a time and transported a short distance for “treatment” by paramedics.  Eventually, the suspect exited the vehicle and was safely apprehended.

“Drills like these help our police and sheriff departments become familiar with our equipment. We put Omnitrans systems and procedures to the test. In the process, everyone learns something from the experience so we are better prepared to work together in the unlikely event that a similar situation arises,” said Mark Crosby, Omnitrans Security & Loss Prevention Supervisor.

Approximately 40 people total participated in the security exercise including representatives from San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino Fire Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Loma Linda Station, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department – Bomb Squad, American Medical Response and Omnitrans staff and consultants.

The sbX rapid transit line begins service on Monday, April 28th, beginning at 6 am. Omnitrans is offering free rides on sbX during the first week of service between Monday, April 28th and Friday, May 2nd.

 sbX security drill with local law enforcement

Pep Rally Celebrates sbX Completion

New Omnitrans Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Service Launches April 28

sbX vehicle delivers riders to a pep rally celebrating the completion of the Omnitrans new bus rapid transit line.

sbX vehicle delivers riders to a pep rally celebrating the completion of the Omnitrans new bus rapid transit line.

With band playing, cheerleaders chanting, banners waving and over 200 people cheering, Omnitrans celebrated the completion of the sbX bus rapid transit line pep-rally style on April 22 in a ceremony adjacent to the line’s civic center station.   The new 16-mile BRT line begins passenger service on Monday, April 28, offering free rides through May 2nd.

sbX vehicle delivers riders to a pep rally celebrating the completion of the Omnitrans new bus rapid transit line.The sbX Green Line includes over five miles of dedicated lanes, 16 station locations, and four park-and-ride lots. It serves major activity centers in Loma Linda and San Bernardino including two hospitals, two universities, numerous trade schools, city and county government centers, and employment centers, along with major shopping, hospitality and entertainment venues.

FTA Region IX Administrator Leslie Rogers prepares to cut into a custom cake celebrating the completion of the sbX rapid transit line as local dignitaries look on. (From left, Loma Linda Councilmember Ronald Dailey, San Bernardino Councilmember Benito Barrios, event Emcee Lacey Kendall, Rogers, San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis, Omnitrans CEO Scott Graham.)

FTA Region IX Administrator Leslie Rogers prepares to cut into a custom cake celebrating the completion of the sbX rapid transit line as local dignitaries look on. (From left, Loma Linda Councilmember Ronald Dailey, San Bernardino Councilmember Benito Barrios, event Emcee Lacey Kendall, Rogers, San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis, Omnitrans CEO Scott Graham.)

“Transit is about more than just getting around: it maps a community’s priorities,” said Leslie Rogers, Regional Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration, at the event. “It’s also a ladder of opportunity that connects people to jobs. In fact, just building this project put hundreds of local residents to work in the throes of the recession, and we’re especially proud of that fact.” Approximately 220 jobs were generated during construction.

The crowd joined the San Bernardino Cardinals Cheerleaders in the cheer "sbX 2014!"

The crowd joined the San Bernardino Cardinals Cheerleaders cheering “sbX 2014!”

The 14 articulated vehicles manufactured by New Flyer for the sbX line, are the first five-door, compressed natural gas (CNG) powered, 60-footers ever built.  Omnitrans CEO/General Manager Scott Graham noted, “the sbX coaches feature our first rear-facing, self-securement wheelchair positions, our first interior bike racks, and our first on board Wi-Fi and power outlets.”

#sbx2014

Graham also commended the corridor contractor, Griffith/Comet, for completing the project on time, within budget, and with a perfect safety record of no lost-time accidents in over 400,000 hours worked.

#sbx2014 Omnitrans CEO Scott Graham and San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis

Omnitrans CEO Scott Graham and San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis

The BRT line utilizes TSP (traffic signal prioritization), so sbX vehicles can advance through busy intersections. Dedicated station platforms offer real-time arrival displays, ticket vending machines, emergency telephones, customer call boxes and public art.  To enhance security, the multiple video cameras at each station are monitored 24/7.

#sbx2014

The Omnitrans sbX launch is the culmination of over 10 years of planning, design, construction and system testing.  Parsons Transportation Group helped initiate the project in 2004, taking it from alternatives analysis through final design.  Jacobs Engineering handled construction management and related activities.

#sbx2014

Project partners included Omnitrans, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA), San Bernardino Associated Governments, the City of San Bernardino and the City of Loma Linda. Of the total $191.7 million project budget, 96 percent came from federal, state and county funds designated for transit projects, including $75 million from the FTA Small Starts Program. The project includes three elements: vehicle purchase, corridor construction and vehicle maintenance facility upgrades.

#sbx2014

More Information available at:

#sbx2014