Category Archives: sbX construction

sbX Construction Activities Coming to A Close

Major roadway construction is now complete as streets have been paved and striped along the sbX corridor.

The New Year brings great excitement for the Omnitrans sbX team. Just under two years since the start of construction, major roadway construction is complete. Final work on the construction crew’s to-do list includes installation of station artwork, map cases and graphics of the new system, station seating, plus final landscaping and sign installation to make navigating the corridor easy. We’re so close to start of service that next month you will begin to see buses being tested on the road. With this new activity, it is especially important for motorists to pay close attention to the new rules of the road and to stay out of the dedicated bus lanes.

-Robert Chevez

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Civic Center Park & Ride Helps Business Patrons

Businesses like Kore Skate Shop, 199 N. E St. – which has limited parking in the rear accessible from 2nd Street – will benefit from the addition of a park-and-ride lot on the third floor of the Civic Center parking structure to offset the elimination of curbside parking on E Street.

Two hundred public parking spaces have been made available with the dedication of a park-and-ride lot on Level 3 of the Civic Center parking structure to offset the removal of spaces on E Street for the creation of a transit corridor.

Motorists can enter the structure from the east side of E Street between 2nd and Court streets; the north side of 2nd Street between E and D streets; and the west side of D Street between 2nd and 3rd streets.

A newly dedicated park-and-ride on Level 3 of the Civic Center parking structure will benefit patrons of Big 5 Sporting Goods, Minuteman Press and other E Street businesses.

The use of center-running lanes on E Street for the sbX bus rapid transit (BRT) service has eliminated left turns in and out of driveways between intersections.  Southbound vehicles entering the E Street entrance to the parking structure can make a u turn at 2nd Street or a left turn on 2nd and a left at the 2nd Street entrance.

Left turns in and out of driveways between intersections have been eliminated throughout the center portion of the BRT corridor, from E Street and 10th street north of downtown to Hospitality Lane and Waterman Avenue. To compensate for the loss of left turns, a total of 19 u-turn signals will be added to the corridor. Hospitality Lane between Waterman and Tippecanoe followed these traffic-flow patterns prior to the addition of center-running bus lanes.

–  David Rutherford

Major sbX testing to begin in January

In preparation for the start of service in April 2014, early testing has begun and will increase through the New Year. In January and February, the public will see the 60-foot articulated sbX XN60 buses being tested daily on the road – and keeping you safe is a top priority for Omnitrans.

The testing phase is needed so that operations management can simulate operating conditions and test communication systems such as the traffic signal prioritization system. With new rules of the road comes a great responsibility for Omnitrans and we encourage all motorists and pedestrians along the corridor to “Be a Safety Xpert” and “Xpect Changes.” This starts with learning our top three safety tips to follow during testing:

1. Pay attention. sbX buses will be on the road daily.
2. Don’t cross the double-yellow line. That is a dedicated bus-ONLY lane.
3. Watch for new signs and obey at all times.

Safety education does not stop at 1,2,3 – for more information about how to stay safe during the testing phase, please click on the detailed Safety Infographic below.

Check out our latest public education piece – an infographic to keep you safe during the testing phase!

– Kelly Koehler

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sbX Project Nears Substantial Completion

Crews worked hard to finish the roadway paving and restriping at the Tippecanoe station before the holiday season. One step closer to substantial project completion!

This holiday season, Omnitrans sbX gives you the gift of substantial construction completion. Throughout the month of December, our crews will be working hard to finish all of the major roadway work such as paving and restriping along E Street and major structural work at all of the station locations. Once complete, this will mark the end of major construction along the 15.7-mile bus rapid transit corridor from San Bernardino to Loma Linda.

After the New Year and up to service launch in April 2014, crews will test electrical components and buses, hang new corridor signage, install community-themed art at the stations, replant landscape, and wrap up other odds and ends to complete the project.

– Kelly Koehler

Eye-catching sbX station art installations

Art installations have begun at several of the sbX rapid transit stations. Here’s a look at a few of the striking pieces you’ll see along the E-Street corridor.

First free-standing public art installed on the E-Street corridor is a structural monument at the sbX station at North Mall Way, a tribute to the National Orange Show Events Center, by artist Kyung-Mi Shin.

Stainless-steel sculptural marker referencing proton therapy and orange blossoms awaits mounting at Anderson Street at Prospect Street. — at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Red and white stripes adorn a blue pole at sbX southern terminus station at Benton Street and Barton Road. Eventually stars will be added, along with dog tags streaming down the pole as a tribute to our veterans. — at VA Loma Linda Healthcare System.

Artist Leticia Huerta designed the art for the Kendall Drive stations (theme: Natural Histories) — in San Bernardino, CA.

SBPD SWAT team gets familiar with sbX

Special Weapons and Tactics team members from the San Bernardino Police Department survey the inside of a five-door sbX bus to prepare emergency-response strategies.

The mission was short and simple: learn more about the new five-door, 60-foot vehicles that will soon grace the E Street corridor; strategize what to do in the event of a dangerous situation on board; and execute drills to assure the safety of passengers.

Those goals were accomplished November 6, 2013 by the San Bernardino Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team near the police shooting range at Perris Hill Park. The event was put together by Omnitrans’ Operations and Safety and Security departments.

San Bernardino SWAT team rehearses a drill designed to storm a sbX bus under siege. The training was facilitated by Omnitrans’ Operations and Safety & Security departments in preparation for a transit emergency on a 60-foot vehicle.

“This is a coordinated effort between Omnitrans and the San Bernardino Police Department to partner with local first responders on emergency response,” said Security and Loss Prevention Supervisor Mark Crosby.  “We wanted them to become familiar with the new sbX buses and its features so they are prepared to respond to  potential life-and-death situations.”

The elite law enforcement team was shown locations of surveillance cameras, points of entry and other intricate details so they could assess various scenarios, from armed passenger threats to terrorist activity to hostage situations.

“In the end, if lives can be saved and injuries avoided, anything we can do to help first responders become familiarized with Omnitrans equipment and services is beneficial to the passengers we serve,” Crosby said.

–  David Rutherford

Rapid Transit to Help People with Disabilities

Levy Johnson, who uses a walker to get to the temporary transfer center in Downtown San Bernardino, rides in the wheelchair section of southbound Route 2 on his way to the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System for his daily weekday therapy to treat neuropathy, which causes numbness in his legs.

Levy Johnson finds it increasingly difficult to lift his walker on board Route 2 to his daily appointments at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System to treat his neuropathy disorder. The San Bernardino resident is looking forward to the day when he can just wheel himself on board the new sbX service from the platform at E Street and Court Street.

“The ease of access will help,” Johnson said. “The walker feels heavier every time I lift it up the stairs.”

Johnson is one of many people with disabilities who will benefit from rapid transit service on Kendall Drive, E Street, Hospitality Lane and Anderson Street, which is scheduled to begin early next year. Platform-level boarding on express service is the alternative to lifting an accessory such as a walker, or using a ramp to board on a wheelchair, because the height of the platform is even with the floor of the vehicle.

Johnson boards Route 2 on weekdays at the temporary transit mall on 4th Street between F and G streets to attend physical therapy courses at the VA. The retired veteran has suffered from neuropaty ever since his days as a cook at Fort Ord, in 1967 and ’68. He said he experiences numbness in his legs, which has become progressively worse over time. Neuropathy is a nerve disease which can cause painful cramps, muscle loss and bone degeneration.

“I rely on Omnitrans to get around because I don’t have any other transportation,” he said. “It’s very dependable and now it’s going to become more convenient.”

–  David Rutherford

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