Category Archives: sbx bus rapid transit

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!

 

 

sbX Bus Rapid Transit Marks 5 Years!

Five years ago, Omnitrans launched the sbX Green Line serving Loma Linda and San Bernardino on April 28, 2014, as one of the first bus rapid transit (BRT) lines in the nation. It was the first of its kind in the Inland Empire.

Ridership on sbX has grown from an average of just under 42,000 passengers per month in 2014 to nearly 70,000 per month so far in 2019. In all, over 3.4 million trips have been taken aboard the silver sbX 60-foot articulated coaches.

“We’re proud of the success of sbX,” said Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham.  “It demonstrates that investing in speedier transit options and enhanced station amenities will attract customers.”

To take a ride on sbX, visit Omnitrans.org for Green Line map and schedule of operations.

Enjoy Free Transportation, Prize Drawings, and Tickets to CSUSB Basketball Fun!

This month, sbX is partnering with Cal State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) Basketball to support the Coyote women’s and men’s teams – and you are invited to join in on the fun!

Free game tickets and free direct transportation to campus on sbX are available to Military Appreciation Night Presented By The US Army & Omnitrans on Saturday, January 26, 2019. Additionally, there are some exclusive opportunities available to Omnitrans and sbX riders to enhance the fan experience!

Women’s Team vs. Sonoma State at CSUSB Coussoulis Arena, 1 p.m.

Directly followed by:
Men’s Team vs. Sonoma State at CSUSB Coussoulis Arena, 3 p.m.

Free tickets to the game can be obtained at the San Bernardino Transit Center customer service window on a first come, first served basis (8 maximum per person) starting today. sbX rapid transit is free on Saturday, January 26th and provides direct service to the CSUSB campus so you don’t need to worry about driving or paying for parking.

As if that weren’t enough, you have the chance to participate in some very cool activities and win prizes! Here are the details:

High Five Tunnels
10 kids for each team (Home & Away) for both games. Kids attending are welcome to participate as the teams enter the court.

Half-Court Shot Contest
Shoot a basket for a chance to win free Raising Cane’s for a year during the women’s game, or $1,000 during the men’s game. If you make the shot, you’re a winner! Sign-up for this contest at the Omnitrans table the day of the game. Participants will be randomly selected and contacted via phone when the game kicks off.

VIP Experience – 1/23/19; This drawing has now closed.
Enjoy free food and beverage at your courtside seat! This is limited to 50 guests, so please enter for a chance to be upgraded to the Coyote Club VIP On Court Experience. We will randomly select 10 winners of 5 VIP seats and notify them prior to the game. Click here to enter the drawing! 

See you at the game. GO COYOTES!

Try New sbX Saturday Service Free!

Saturdays are about to get a little more Xceptional this month! Along with scheduled service changes taking effect Monday, January 7, 2019, sbX rapid transit will begin service on Saturdays, every 20 minutes from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Omnitrans is pleased to begin offering Saturday service on the rapid transit line for the first time ever, and we are celebrating by offering you FREE unlimited rides on sbX on the following Saturdays: January 12, 19, and 26! To take advantage of this offer, all you need to do is simply board on any of the three free ride Saturdays.

Connect to San Bernardino and Loma Linda, or beyond. sbX provides seamless connections in Downtown San Bernardino to Metrolink (access into Los Angeles and Orange Counties) and neighboring transit agencies (such as Mountain Transit for access to the mountains, or Riverside Transit Agency, serving Riverside and Anaheim).

sbX Route Map & Saturday Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sbX your quick and convenient weekend solution for school, work, or play!

Because of the increased rapid transit service on sbX on Saturdays, Route 2, which runs parallel to the sbX Green Line, will now run every 55 minutes on Saturdays, and every 30 minutes on Sundays. For free step-by-step directions, use our online Trip Planner.

Guide to January 2019 Service Changes

To complement your resolutions for the New Year, Omnitrans is riding into 2019 with better connections, enhanced routing, and “eXpanded” service as part of the usual January service changes, taking effect on Monday, January 7, 2019.

Since its launch in 2014, the sbX Green Line has serviced a 16-mile corridor through San Bernardino and Loma Linda, only on weekdays – until now! Beginning January 7th, the bus rapid transit line will begin operating on Saturdays for your weekend school, work, or entertainment needs. Hours of service on Saturdays will be 7 a.m. through 9 p.m., with buses running every 20 minutes.

While sbX is an express service, bus fare costs just the same as Omnitrans local bus fare. For reference, that’s only $1.75 for a one-way full-fare ride on sbX! Your Omnitrans pass is also valid on sbX.

Because of the increased rapid transit service on sbX on Saturdays, the Route 2, which runs parallel to the sbX Green Line, will now run every 55 minutes on Saturdays, and every 30 minutes on Sundays.

Additional service changes include minor timepoint adjustments to improve transfers and connections. For those changes, see the list below, and don’t forget to check the Bus Book and plan ahead before travel!

January 2019 Bus Book Preview

sbX Green Line: New Saturday service added.

Route 1: Minor time adjustments on weekdays.

Route 2: Service frequency has changed to 55-minute service on Saturdays, 30-minute service on Sundays.

Route 8: New timepoint at Redlands Blvd. and Bryn Mawr Ave. replacing timepoint at Redlands Blvd. and Mountain View.

Route 10: New timepoint at Baseline and Medical Center Dr. replacing timepoint at Baseline and Mt. Vernon.

Route 14: Minor time adjustments on weekdays.

Route 15: Minor time adjustments, every day.

Route 20: Minor time adjustments on weekdays.

Route 67: Afternoon tripper to Etiwanda High School eliminated.

Route 83: Minor time adjustments, every day. Route realigned to run on 16th/Baseline to Carnelian.

Route 84: Minor time adjustments, weekdays.

Route 86: Minor time adjustments, weekdays.

New buses in East Valley equipped with USB charging ports, enhancements made to sbX fleet

Every now and then, you’ve got to freshen things up a bit. At Omnitrans, we are doing so by welcoming new coaches to the East Valley fleet, and doing a couple of touch ups to the sbX fleet.

A few weeks ago, 24 New Flyer Xcelsior buses, numbers #1341 to #1364, were made service-ready by our maintenance team and are now out on the road. On the rapid transit front, sbX sports a new interior look and new bike racks. You may have already noticed these enhancements while riding in recent weeks.

The new buses come equipped with USB charging ports between/below seats, which riders may use to charge their mobile devices (cords not included). This is convenient for all, but especially for riders who travel long distances and are looking for ways to keep busy during their commute to and from work or school. Feel free to binge watch your Netflix shows or stream your favorite new album (don’t forget your earbuds, please) without fear of your mobile device battery dying!

New buses equipped with USB ports are identified by a USB decal on the rear.

Not only do our passengers benefit from these enhancements – so does the environment! The near-zero engine on the new vehicles is a game-changer for cleaner air quality. Though our entire fleet has been fueled with natural gas for many years, this further underscores our commitment to improving the quality of the air we breathe.

“This is our first build that has come with the ISL G Near Zero natural gas engine,” says Maintenance Manager Omar Bryant. “It is the latest and greatest engine with the least amount of emissions, exhausting 90% less than the standard.”

Not to be outdone, the sbX rapid transit fleet has recently undergone an interior facelift. Riders will notice new seat upholstery with a brand new color and design. “After regular wear and tear since the sbX launch in 2013, it was time to re-do the seats,” says Omar.

Upgraded upholstery in sbX buses has transitioned from the original red seat covers to a bright blue pattern fabric.

Bike riders are also enjoying more reliable onboard bike securement racks, conceptualized and created in-house by our very own employees last spring. All sbX buses have now been retro-fitted and feature the new bike racks, making commuting by bike and bus simpler and safer for all onboard passengers.

The bike’s rear tires are positioned between the slots on the rack, and a lever bar is pulled up, then tightly secured on the rear tire. The original Velcro straps remain for added support in the center of the bike.

Omnitrans is proud to usher in these enhancement to our local-route and sbX fleet to better serve transit passengers in the east side of the San Bernardino Valley. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Employees of the Quarter, Keith Lembach and Dan Olaru

sbX Field Supervisor Keith Lembach believes that safety is not just the Coach Operator’s job – it should be everybody’s priority. It is his commitment to passenger safety that earned him the recognition of the Omnitrans Board of Directors as our Employee of the Quarter, in partnership with Body Shop Technician Dan Olaru.

“I always ask people, ‘How many people do you want to see injured today?’ says Keith. “If the answer is more than zero, you need to go home. It’s all of our jobs to promote safety.”

Employees of the Quarter Keith Lembach (center left) and Dan Nelu (center right) are recognized by (from the left) CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham and Board of Directors Chair Ron Dailey at May’s meeting.

Prior to joining Omnitrans two and a half years ago, Keith had acquired 37 years of valuable transportation experience. This includes years driving private charter buses and trucks. As a trucker, he accumulated two million accident-free miles – a remarkable feat in safe driving.

Just prior to Omnitrans, Keith served as safety manager for a transportation company. Seeking to turn around their dissatisfactory safety record, the company asked him to takeover as director of the program.

A desired change in career led Keith to Omnitrans, where he enjoys being out in our service area and interacting with our drivers and passengers. “I enjoy that every day is different. You can’t script this job. Every driver is different, every passenger is different,” he shares.

While driving sbX one day, Keith heard a loud crash near the back of the bus. Immediately, he paused the bus and noticed that a bike had slid all the way to the front of the bus from the bike holding area.

“I walked back and told the passenger that the bike had to be secured onboard. He said that it had been strapped in properly, but that the Velcro straps weren’t strong enough to hold the bike and that it fell out of the storage area,” he explains.

sbX Field Supervisor Keith Lembach begins his day at 5:30 a.m., helping to start the coaches and monitoring bus pullouts as service begins for the day. He checks for mechanical and farebox issues and helps them get resolved as service on the street is a time-sensitive matter.

Keith methodically assessed the bike straps and noticed that they were worn out and unable to hold the bike in any way. During subsequent ride checks, he noticed bikes tipping, falling, or coming completely unstrapped out of the metal racks. He saw the potential danger to passengers and to their property, and took a proactive approach to mitigating the hazard.

“Keith came into the Maintenance office in the body shop and talked to the supervisors about the trouble that he’d run into on sbX with bike racks,” says Body Shop Technician Dan Olaru.

“They asked him to come see me. From there, we walked the bus and he told me what he wanted to achieve. About a week later, I started work on a prototype, which I finished in the same day. We installed it on a bus, and about a month and a half later we were ready to create bike racks for the entire sbX fleet.”

By trial-and-error, Keith and Dan determined the exact measurements of the new sbX bike storage racks. They readjusted heights several times to ensure bikes of all sizes fit without issue. Once the final prototype was tested, no matter how fast the bus accelerated or stopped, the bikes were not going anywhere.

Dan, a 20-year employee of Omnitrans and now two-time Employee of the Quarter, methodically employed his creativity and self-taught skill to design, build, weld, and install a new solution to better serve our bike-riding passengers. He used existing parts from the old bike racks and implemented them into the design of our new, unique bike racks, minimizing the cost of the project.

Dan works to repair minor damage caused to a panel on the rear side of the bus. After sanding the area, he will fill the dents and scrapes, smooth them, and prime the panel before adding a fresh coat of paint.

“In 1989, I was approved for a visa to move to the United States from Romania which was under communist rule,” reveals Dan. “When I arrived, I worked for an asphalt company and then was hired at Omnitrans in 1997. I knew a little bit about body work from doing that on the side, but this is where my skills got much better.”

Now one of two body shop employees, Dan recalls a time in which there were six workers in the body shop. “Whenever we had a little downtime, I used to practice,” he recalls. “I learned a lot of what I know over the years by observing others and asking the right questions.”

“Dan’s ability to install the new racks with minimal changes to the bus is a work of art,” says Maintenance Supervisor Keith Hunt. “Each time, Dan goes above and beyond what was asked of him. We truly appreciate his work ethic and can-do attitude!”

“It’s a different thing to take on every day – challenging things,” says Dan. “But I like that. The challenges are why I am where I am in my career today. I like to see things that I’ve created with my own hands be implemented and approved of by the people around me and by our passengers.”

Comfort Dogs Train Aboard sbX Rapid Transit

sbX riders in San Bernardino and Loma Linda were accompanied by some uncommon, but pleasant fellow passengers last week –  well-behaved comfort dogs who just wanted to brighten up someone’s day. And they did, for passengers and drivers alike!

A dozen adorable comfort dogs of all sizes, along with their handlers, met at the sbX Park & Ride on Palm and Kendall in north San Bernardino to explore the public transit environment. The ride took them to the south end of the sbX Green Line at the VA hospital to help the volunteer dogs become familiar with different scenarios that they may encounter in their work.

Rim of the World Comfort Pets, based out of San Bernardino County, is an organization that aims to promote health and improve the quality of life for individuals through animal-human interactions, animal-assisted activities, and therapy. Certified therapy animals work to “help heal individuals, elevate the professional standards in the therapy animal field, and promote the general cause of volunteerism,” according to the organization’s website.

“None of us in this group have been on the bus before. It has been about four years since we’ve been on Omnitrans. This is new to us, and we’re really excited and thankful that Omnitrans has allowed us to do this.” said Catherine Walker, a volunteer with the group who coordinated the training. “Those already certified to do work at the VA hospital currently park at the Park & Ride lot on Redlands Blvd. and ride sbX, so this is great practice for that.”

To become a certified comfort animal, dogs go through a training process in which they are familiarized with all environments where they may practice their work, including elevators, around statues, and of course, on buses. This exercise helped put the dogs at ease in large moving vehicles and around new people.

Ginger, a miniature Schnauzer, received the Pet Hero award in 2017 by the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley. This year, another Rim of the World Comfort Pets dog was named Pet Hero 2018 – a golden retriever named Chelsea.

“This is great training because the environments that we go into have people on crutches, or wheelchairs, or making noises, so this teaches the dogs to not be scared by that because it’s not something that they may otherwise be exposed to every day,” explains Philip G. who was accompanied by his one-year-old labradoodle, Beau. Beau has already been certified, but still joins trainings – just for fun!

This was Beau’s first time on a bus, and he was a natural! “He loves to go for rides in the car, and this is basically a larger, noisier car!” said Philip.

The dogs and their handlers can be seen visiting veterans at local hospitals, in nursing homes for the elderly, and in elementary school classrooms throughout San Bernardino County, where they help children hone their reading skills by reading to a dog. This eases the pressure of reading to a teacher or a parent.

“Kids read more freely,” explains Catherine. “They’re more interested when reading to a dog versus an adult who may interject and correct their reading. From the kids’ programs, to working with the men and women who serve our country, there is a wide range of people that we interact with.”

For Beatrice’s owner, Deborah B., volunteering with Rim of the World Comfort Pets is a way of giving back after having moved to Rancho Cucamonga from New Hampshire. When her daughter was sick in the hospital, she recalls comfort dogs coming to visit and noticeably enhancing her child’s mood and quality of life during a taxing time.

Beatrice, a Basset Hound, is undergoing training to become a certified therapy dog in the coming weeks. Those puppy dog eyes will melt any dog lover’s heart!

“Our daughter would light up when the dogs came to visit,” says Deborah. “Ever since then, we’ve wanted to get involved. Beatrice has the right energy for this type of work, and we knew she was the right fit to help make a positive impact on sick children. We’re looking forward to going out and working with kids once Beatrice is certified.”

“The best part has been seeing Beau mature and be able to participate,” says Philip G. “We go to a lot of nursing homes where the elderly look forward to holding the dogs as well as to the VA where the vets really appreciate the dogs. To watch the people light up when we visit is pretty special.”

View more photos of the comfort dogs on the bus on Flickr. To support or learn more about Rim of the World Comfort Pets, visit them online.

CSUSB Coyotes ride Metrolink and sbX to class!

With Metrolink now connecting to Omnitrans and sbX in Downtown San Bernardino, Cal State University San Bernardino Coyotes have a seamless new way to get to class!

Check out the video below to see how Cody the Coyote and Maya, third-year biological psychology major, connect to sbX for a straight shot to campus after riding Metrolink into the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center.

They avoid traffic, parking permit fees, and squeeze in some extra studying time as they ride along and let Metrolink and sbX do the driving!

Visit MetrolinkTrains.com for train arrival times at the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center.

Omnitrans Extends sbX Service Hours

The sbX Green Line, the bus rapid transit line serving San Bernardino and Loma Linda, now begins service a little earlier in the morning, starting at 5 a.m., with extended service through 10 p.m. on weekdays!

The increased span of service makes commuting possible for those who work earlier shifts during the week, or for people who like to catch a late-night movie screening downtown.

“Longer hours on sbX help those working in the hospitality, healthcare and logistics industries,” said Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham. “Students taking evening classes and families wanting to take in a ball game or movie downtown will also benefit.”

Click here for updated route map, service frequency, and full schedule.