Category Archives: sbx bus rapid transit

Ceremony To Celebrate Big Win for sbX

sbx completion ceremony

sbX PROJECT PARTNERS CELEBRATE COMPLETION
On April 22nd, Omnitrans and project partners from San Bernardino and Loma Linda will come together  to celebrate the completion of the sbX Green Line – the Inland Empire’s first-of-its-kind bus rapid transit (BRT) service. The 15.7-mile line between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda marks the start of a new era of intermodal public transit for the region. Launching sbX is a big W-I-N for Omnitrans!

PUBLIC INVITED TO RIDE FREE DURING LAUNCH WEEK
Don’t miss out on being one of the first to ride sbX! Mark your calendar for Start of Service April 28, 2014! Service will run from 6:00 a.m. to 8:50 p.m. and Omnitrans sbX ambassadors will be at station locations along the corridor during the first few days to help you Get on Board!

Kelly Koehler
kkoehler@westboundcommunications.com 

Construction Ends, sbX Service Launches April 28

Whether you have been following sbX construction since the groundbreaking or are new to learning about the service, we’ve got great news to report! The Omnitrans sbX Green Line Bus Rapid Transit Service launches this month, connecting riders to key destinations between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. To prepare for start of service on April 28, 2014, construction crews and project management have been busy finalizing items such as fine-tuning electrical components at station locations and at intersections with Traffic Signal Prioritization, keeping up with landscape maintenance, installing various safety features such as railings to prevent jaywalking, and restriping select roadway along the corridor.

For the most part, minimal construction activities are limited to daytime hours between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Traffic control has been lifted along the corridor and you may notice some 60-foot sbX buses driving alongside you at times. As a reminder, buses are being tested and are on the road daily. Important to note, even though construction is winding down, public outreach representatives are still available via the project helpline at (855) SBX-NEWS (729-6397). We’re on board to answer your construction and service related questions until May 2014.

– Kelly Koehler
kkoehler@westboundcommunications.com

sbX goes back to school with safety message

Getting the Omnitrans sbX safety message out to the thousands of students attending corridor schools and their parents is a top assignment for the project’s outreach team.

Two years ago the message was staying out of the construction zones. With construction substantially complete on the new bus rapid transit corridor, Omnitrans has reached out to San Bernardino High School, Shandin Hills Middle School, Arrowview Middle School and Jones Elementary school to send a new set of targeted messages about sbX safety during operational testing of the 60-foot vehicles.

When testing began in early February, the agency sent letters to parents of students attending the four schools within walking distance of Kendall Drive and E Street in San Bernardino, advising motorists, pedestrians and those who use existing bus service to use caution by recognizing corridor changes, specifically the presence of the silver coaches (which are now running daily), staying out of dedicated lanes and being aware of new signage, striping and signals and obeying traffic laws at all times. The letters were accompanied by fliers in both English and Spanish and distributed by each of the four schools.


Public Outreach staff also had an information table at a March 8 event at Loma Linda Academy, attended by nearly 1,000 parents, faculty, staff and students, to familiarize them with the station platforms on both sides of Anderson Street near the K-12 school. Academy administrators also e-mailed an electronic version of the flier to parents, displayed posters on campus and showed a safety video produced by Omnitrans on school monitors.

Safety outreach will continue at these schools beyond the start of passenger service April 28, with the distribution of educational curricula at the Academy and at all San Bernardino City Unified School District campuses. The focus will be on how to walk right, ride right, drive right and park and ride right.

– David Rutherford
david.rutherford@omnitrans.org 

The Latest on The sbX Corridor

Work continues to progress on the Omnitrans E Street Corridor sbX Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT) and we are one month closer to start of service in April 2014. Major construction was completed in January 2014, so throughout the months of February and March the sbX construction management team is meeting with property managers and business owners to conduct site checks and close out any remaining maintenance items along the corridor. Work to test the electrical components at stations and the traffic signals at interscetions continues, and you may notice some construction workers executing various landscape maintenance activities.

In addition, new elements are being installed to keep motorists and pedestrians safe while traveling throughout the corridor and at station locations. Safety railings are being installed on the sidewalks at center-running lane stations located on E Street and Hospitality Lane. You’ll also notice candlesticks, orange posts with reflectors, being installed to the top of yellow safety barriers located at t-intersections within the center-running lane areas. The candlesticks serve as an added visibility feature to prohibit drivers from crossing into Bus Only lanes, also marked by double yellow lines. As a reminder, motorists entering the Bus Only lanes run the risk of getting hit by a bus – and a hefty fine of $341.

As a reminder, bus testing and driver training has commenced. Please remember to:

  1. Pay attention! Buses will be on the road daily.
  2. Stay out of the dedicated Bus Only lane.
  3. Watch for signs and obey them at all times!

Still have questions about the project? No worries! Although major construction is complete, a public outreach team is available until start of service. Our toll-free helpline is operational 24/7. Give us a call at (855) SBX-NEWS (729-6397).

Be a safety “Xpert” & win a free lunch!

Enter for a new chance to win! 

Think you know what do as a motorist, pedestrian or transit rider on the new bus rapid transit corridor in San Bernardino and Loma Linda? Take the safety challenge – you might win a free lunch.

Omnitrans will launch passenger service of the sbX Green Line in late April, and there are many exciting new changes along the corridor. Are you ready? Here’s a chance to test your sbX safety savvy and be rewarded with a $25 gift certificate to one of the many fine eateries along the route! Omnitrans wants to test your knowledge of sbX safety on the Green Line and will conduct weekly drawings on Fridays through April 4th. Who’s eligible? Residents of San Bernardino County who correctly answer the safety trivia questions appearing on its project Facebook page.

One question will be asked each week on the project Facebook page related to the corridor safety of pedestrians, motorists and/or transit riders. The questions will vary in nature, from true/false, multiple choice or simply filling in the blank. The goal is to make sure people who use the sbX route become familiar with the new changes and make proper decisions on the road.

On four consecutive Fridays (March 14, 21, 28 and April 4) the name of a lucky contestant will be drawn for a $25 gift certificate to one of a variety of eateries on the sbX corridor. Winners will be notified by e-mail. One entry per person per contest. Contestants may enter each contest until selected a winner.

Good luck and be safe!

Be an sbX safety expert

San Bernardino barber believes in sbX, city’s future

Guadalupe “Lupita” Plascencia owns Barber Shop 215, near the sbX station on E Street at Rialto Avenue, near the future San Bernardino Transit Center. Her commute between home and work using rapid transit will allow her to leave her car at home on weekdays.

Guadalupe “Lupita” Plascencia plans to make sbX her weekday commute.

The owner of Barbershop 215, located at 181 N. E St., works one-half block from the sbX station on E Street at Rialto Avenue (near the future transit center). She also lives within walking distance of the sbX station at Hospitality Lane and Tippecanoe Avenue.

She came across the opportunity to work on the bus rapid transit corridor by chance.  A friend of hers, a fellow barber, wasn’t returning her phone calls so Lupita finally decided to pay her a visit. The shop was closed and mail was piling up inside the door. She became concerned and then contacted the building manager, who told her that her friend was seriously injured in an automobile accident and was on long-term disability.

Lupita’s friend’s daughter, who worked with her mother, was unable to continue making the rent payments and was forced to close the shop. Several months passed with no new tenant. Finally, the building manager contacted Lupita and asked if she was interested. The commute from Fontana after working long hours was taking its toll on her and she decided to make the move.

Hairstylists at Barber Shop 215 specialize in a variety of cuts, including fades, tapers, business cuts, mowhawks and flat tops. Shop hours are 9-6 Monday through Saturday.

Passenger service begins April 28 and Lupita said she can’t wait to start using the new express line “so I can give up my parking space to one of my customers.” She also believes the new transit line will help the city rebuild once it connects with other rapid transit and rail lines.

“San Bernardino is my home,” she said. “I raised my five kids here. I believe in this city. I have to. Anyone who points fingers about what’s wrong with it has to look in the mirror if they want to make it right. Change starts with you.”

– David Rutherford
David.Rutherford@omnitrans.org 

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San Bernardino Transit Center unites sbX BRT and Metrolink extension

Metrolink Extension and New Transit Center will enhance the connections between Inland Empire transportation systems 

The Metrolink passenger rail extension and the Omnitrans sbX rapid transit service provide new public transit options to Inland Empire residents.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA  – Changing the way people travel throughout the Inland Empire is the goal of two projects that started construction on Tuesday, February 25, following a groundbreaking ceremony in downtown San Bernardino.

The first project is the Downtown San Bernardino Passenger Rail Project (DTSBPRP), which will extend the Metrolink line from the historic Santa Fe Depot one mile east, where it will join with the second project,  the future San Bernardino Transit Center, to be constructed at Rialto Avenue and “E” Street in the city.

These two projects represent a partnership between the Federal Transit Administration, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), Omnitrans, Metrolink, and the City of San Bernardino.   Speakers at the groundbreaking included Leslie Rogers, Regional Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration, California Transportation Commissioner Joe Tavaglione, SANBAG President Bill Jahn, County Supervisor James Ramos, Omnitrans Chairman Alan Wapner, and Patrick Morris, who is both Metrolink Chairman and City of San Bernardino Mayor.

View more photos from the groundbreaking ceremony on Flickr.

Mayor Patrick Morris welcomed the crowd by stating,  “This marks the culmination of many years of work to bring these transformative projects to construction.  These two projects are examples of how creating intermodal connections between commuter rail, bus rapid transit, and local and regional bus service can provide enhanced benefits to current transit uses and make these travel modes more attractive to future riders in the region.”

Officials at the groundbreaking of the San Bernardino Transit Center

Officials pose with a punch card at the groundbreaking of the San Bernardino Downtown Passenger Rail Project and the San Bernardino Transit Center

Some major changes will occur at the historic Santa Fe Depot, currently the end of the line for the Metrolink commuter train service.  “Modifications at the Depot will create a beautiful grand entrance on the south side of the Depot and a new rail boarding area on the north side of the building,” explained Mayor Morris.  “A tall pedestrian bridge over the tracks will provide safe access for passengers boarding the trains going in either direction. The DTSBPRP will feature the addition of double tracks from the Santa Fe Depot  to the new Transit Center, along with roadway improvements.”

The Transit Center will be a multi-modal transportation hub where  13 local Omnitrans bus routes, the new sbX Bus Rapid Transit service, Victor Valley Transit Authority (buses from the high desert), Mountain Area Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) bus service, and Metrolink trains will all meet when the projects are completed.  The public can transfer from one mode of transportation to another at this hub and go in various directions.  Commuter rail service will eventually be extended nine miles further to the east via the future Redlands Passenger Rail Project. That project is still going through environmental studies.

“This is a great project, which will offer greater convenience and connectivity for the community,” stated Omnitrans Chairman of the Board Alan Wapner.  The Transit Center project represents more than a decade of visioning partnership between Omnitrans and SANBAG.

Members of the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce

Members of the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce are all smiles at the groundbreaking event.

The Transit Center will include a 7,500 sq. ft. building, 22 bus bays, customer service and pass sales office, security, restrooms, seating,  and shelter.  These amenities have not been available to transit customers in the past at one location.

“Combined costs for the two projects total $128 million, with funds derived from federal  sources ($37 million), state sources ($26.9 million), and local sources ($64.7 million),” stated SANBAG President Bill Jahn.  “Of the local funds, $27 million came from Measure I, the ½ cent sales tax approved by San Bernardino County voters for transportation improvements.”

The Transit Center is expected to be completed in Early 2015, while the Metrolink extension and Santa Fe Depot modifications should be completed by Summer 2016.

To follow the progress on these projects, please refer to the websites of SANBAG or Omnitrans:  www.sanbag.ca.gov   or   www.omnitrans.org.

Jane Dreher, Public Information Officer
San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG)
jdreher@sanbag.ca.gov 

Leslie Rogers of the FTA

Leslie Rogers of the Federal Transit Administration show his support for the groundbreaking ceremony of the future San Bernardino Transit Center.

Take a virtual sbX BRT station tour

(San Bernardino, CA)    Experience a virtual reality walk through of two of our sbX rapid transit stations taken with a camera phone. Enter the station platform, from the sidewalk to the crosswalk and onto the ramp. Safety first! You can zoom in and pan to view details of the newly completed work. Omnitrans will launch the sbX BRT service in April 2014.

Take a virtual tour of the sbX  BRT Civic Center station at E Street and Court Street.

Virtual tour of the Omnitrans sbX Civic Center Station

Take a virtual tour of the Cal State San Bernardino sbX BRT station.

Virtual tour of the Omnitrans sbX station at CSUSB

sbX tips for traffic safety

As testing for the new sbX rapid transit service begins, it’s important for motorists to become familiar with the new street configuration which includes new lane striping, double yellow lines and yellow safety barriers. Below are some of the new traffic signs to also be on the lookout for when traveling along the corridor.

sbX Bus Only
Bus Only signs and roadway markings warn motorists and pedestrians to stay out of the dedicated Bus Only zones. These dedicated bus lanes occur in the 5.4-mile stretch just north of the 10th and E Street intersection in San Bernardino all of the way to the Tippecanoe Avenue and Hospitality Lane intersection.  

Bus Lane Violation – $341
Bus violation signs are posted to warn motorists of the fine for entering a Bus Only lane. The fine is a hefty one. Violators can expect to pay a minimum of $341.
 

No U-Turn
No U-turn signs are posted to prohibit motorists from making unsafe turns into intersections where there are center-running dedicated bus lanes. To navigate this change, motorists need to proceed to the next protected intersection to make a U-turn.

No Left, No U-turn
 No Left/No U-turn signs are posted to prohibit motorists from making unsafe turns into intersections where there are center-running dedicated bus lanes. To navigate this new change, motorists must proceed to the next protected intersection to make a left turn or a U-turn.

Right Turn Only
These signs are positioned at every T-Intersection where a safety barrier is located and indicate that you must turn right (no left) and travel to the next intersection where there is a protected U-Turn.

No Jaywalking
Pedestrians should always use marked crosswalks to avoid being hit. It is never safe to jaywalk across traffic lanes.

 
 

How safety savvy are you? Test your sbX Safety I.Q. here!

 

sbX project enters operational testing phase

Traffic signal priority lights are up and being tested along the corridor.

Major construction of the sbX bus rapid transit line is now complete. Traffic controls have been lifted at most locations as the roadway is now paved and striped. New signs are installed along the corridor and traffic-signal-priority lights are installed at the intersections. Landscaping elements, sbX station pylon signs and unique community-inspired artwork bring the project to life and introduce aesthetic elements in the cities of San Bernardino and Loma Linda.

With the end of major construction, the focus shifts to the operational testing phase. Over the next several weeks, 60-foot-long articulated sbX buses will be seen on the road daily (with no passengers on board). Omnitrans Operations must test every facet of the line for the start of service in April 2014. A big part of this is driver training. In addition, electrical components – such as traffic signal priority lights, ticket vending machines and station emergency phones – will undergo testing. With these new elements introduced along the corridor, our goal is to help educate the public so that motorists, pedestrians and bus drivers will be safe. Please remember to:

  1. Pay attention. Buses will be on the road daily.
  2. Stay out of the dedicated bus-only lane.
  3. Watch for signs and obey them at all times

Still have questions about the project? Although major construction is complete, our website (www.omnitrans-sbx.com) is still a go-to source for helpful information. In addition, our toll-free helpline is operational 24/7. Give us a call at (855) SBX-NEWS (729-6397).

– Kelly Koehler
   kkoehler@westboundcommunications.com 

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Visit Omnitrans sbX on Facebook
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx