Community bus routes attract more students.
(San Bernardino, CA)— OmniGo hometown shuttle routes serving Chino Hills, Grand Terrace and Yucaipa are more crowded these days, with September ridership up 44 percent compared to the prior year, mostly attributed to more middle school and high school students climbing aboard.
“We made a concentrated effort to reach out to potential student riders at the beginning of the school year,” explained Omnitrans Director of Marketing Wendy Williams, “and it paid off. August ridership was up nearly 10 percent ahead of last year, but things really took off in September. ”
||Sept. 2013 Ridership
||Gain from Sept. 2012
OmniGo routes travel to major destinations in each community, connecting residents to schools, civic centers, senior centers, medical facilities and shopping destinations. OmniGo utilizes 16-passenger buses that can more easily maneuver residential streets than typical transit buses. Each OmniGo route meets up with traditional Omnitrans bus routes at transfer hubs to reach destinations throughout the Inland Empire. OmniGo route and schedule information is available at: http://www.omnitrans.org/services/omnigo/
Conflicting family work schedules and limited transportation is challenge for many families these days, especially with getting teens to school. “I just started taking OmniGo as a freshman last year,” said Jessica a student at Chino Hills High School. “Most of my friends ride too. Both of my parents work so it’s the only way I can get here.”
Her friend Yahaira agreed. “It gets really full sometimes but, aside from that, it’s not bad. It’s a short bus, so it’s kind of fun. My mom works at a store in Chino and has to drive to work early in the morning, and there’s no one else to give me a ride. Since the school is 2 or 3 miles from my house, I just take the bus.”
“It’s great that students are taking advantage of OmniGo’s convenient connections at our schools,” said Chino Hills Vice Mayor and Omnitrans Board member Ed Graham. “Fewer cars on the road benefit all of us.”
In Grand Terrace, OmniGo attracted more than two thirds additional riders this year. “Route 325 was designed to serve Grand Terrace High School, even before the campus opened,” explained Grand Terrace Mayor Walt Stanckiewitz and Omnitrans Board member. “This year, student ridership has blossomed. OmniGo also is a great resource for our senior citizens.”
Lee Roy Simmons
Lee Roy Simmons, a resident of Blue Mountain Senior Villas in Grand Terrace, is a familiar face on Omnigo Route 325. “I ride the loop most mornings,” he says. “I like the drivers. Most of them know me, and we talk during stop layovers.” Lee is also a former Marine Sergeant who fought in Vietnam. “I ride to the VA hospital in Loma Linda all the time for treatments.”
With three shuttle routes, (308, 309 and 310) operating in the city, Yucaipa generates the most OmniGo ridership. Route 310 boardings nearly quadrupled in September versus the same month in 2012.
OmniGo fares are the same as on regular Omnitrans buses: $1.50 for a one-way trip or $4 for a one-day pass. Regular riders can save with 7- and 31-day passes. Discounts are available for youth age 18 and under, persons with disabilities and seniors age 62 and up. Personalized trip planning is available at www.omnitrans.org or 1-800-966-6428.