Category Archives: Student Riders

Cal State Students Get Free Ride to College

Omnitrans Go Smart Program Returns to CSUSB for 2013-14

San Bernardino, CA – Students at California State University, San Bernardino can get a free ride to college thanks to the Go Smart program that offers them unlimited rides just by swiping their college IDs on Omnitrans’ buses.  Beginning Wednesday, September 11, students enrolled for the fall quarter can climb aboard any Omnitrans bus route for free.

The campus currently is served by four Omnitrans bus routes, 2, 5, 7, 11.  Coming in April 2014, the new sbX bus rapid transit line will provide frequent weekday service to the CSUSB station located at the University’s main entrance. 

“We are proud to be partnering with Omnitrans on the sbX line to bring rapid transit service to our campus,” said Bob Gardner, CSUSB vice president of administration and finance. “When the San Bernardino Transit Center project is completed in 2015, the direct connection between sbX and Metrolink will greatly expand commuting options for our students.”

The new Omnitrans sbX BRT station at Cal State University San Bernardino

CSUSB participated in the Go Smart pilot program in 2011-12.  During that year, over 194,000 bus trips were tallied by more than 3,000 students who used the program, which represented about 17 percent of enrollment.   But funding challenges kept the University from continuing Go Smart the following year.

“The Associated Students Inc. are partially responsible for bringing the Go Smart program back to CSUSB students again this year,” Gardner said. “We’re thankful for ASI’s funding support and valuable partnership with Omnitrans and the university.”

“We applaud ASI and the Administration at CSUSB for supporting a program that saves students money and saves our environment,” said Omnitrans Director of Marketing Wendy Williams. “Just one student riding one day on transit instead of driving eliminates 20 lbs. of carbon emissions.  Plus, students can expect to save over $2,800 per year in auto, fuel, and parking expenses by switching to transit.”

Students can use their college ID card to ride Omnitrans at any time on any route, not just trips to and from campus.  ID cards are swiped in the fare box on board buses which allows the agency to capture usage data by school, by route and even individual ID.

Without Go Smart college students would have to pay $1.50 per trip or $4.00 for a one-day pass to ride the bus; 7-day passes are $15 and 31-day passes are $47.

Other area colleges participating in the Omnitrans Go Smart program include Art Institute of California – Inland Empire, Chaffey College, Crafton Hills College, and San Bernardino Valley College. During the 2012-13 academic year, students at these partner schools took over 1.4 million bus trips.

Omnitrans offers personalized trip planning at 1-800-9-OMNIBUS or online at www.omnitrans.org.  Information about the sbX project is available at: www.omnitrans-sbx.org.

Meeting student transportation needs

Conflicting family work schedules and limited transportation is a big issue for many families these days–especially those with teens who need to get to school. We recently stopped by Chino Hills High School and talked to a few of the students who rely on OmniGo Route 365 to help them get to their classes.

“My mom works at Cedar Sinai,” says 14-year-old Elena. “She has to be at work really early and isn’t out in time to pick me up from school. So I ride OmniGo.  I don’t mind, really. A lot of my friends take the bus too so it gives us a chance to hang out.”

Her friend Yahaira agrees. “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.”

“I just started taking OmniGo as a freshman last year,” says Jessica. “I love it. Most of my friends ride too. Both of my parents work so it’s the only way I can get here.”

Brandy, who is finishing up her senior year, says this is her 4th year riding OmniGo. ” I don’t have my own car, so I pretty much rely on the bus to get where I need to go. I’ll probably still be using it once I graduate.”

Youth Pass to replace Student Pass


FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Why is Omnitrans replacing Student passes with Youth passes?
A:  Any person age 18 and under will qualify for the Youth pass.  This age based discount is similar to what most neighboring transit agencies offer and helps minimize on board fare disputes.  Many older students who attend one of our “Go Smart” partner schools still get a discount. 

Q:  When will the new Youth pass take effect and the Student pass be eliminated?
A:  The Youth fare effective date is September 3, 2013. Any Student pass activated on board prior to September 3 will still be accepted.  Old Student passes may still be used for the first time after September 3, but only by persons 18 and under.

Q: How much will the Youth pass cost?
A:  The Youth pass will be the same price as the current student pass.

  • A 7-Day Youth pass will be $11.
  • A 31-Day Youth pass will be $35

Q:  How old do you have to be to use the Youth pass?
A:  The Youth pass is designated for persons ages 18 and younger. Proof of age may be requested by the driver.

Q: What type of ID is acceptable for proof of age?
A:  A driver’s license, an official California ID card or an elementary, middle or high school ID card are all acceptable. Persons obviously under 18 will not be challenged.  However, teenagers should be prepared to provide proof of age or current high school ID.

Q: Will I still be able to use the Student passes I’ve already purchased?
A: Any Student pass activated on board prior to September 3 will be accepted.  Only persons 18 and under may activate (use for first time) an old Student pass beginning on September 3.  You may exchange unused Student passes through September 30th at Omnitrans headquarters, 1700 West 5th Street, San Bernardino. Call  909-379-7100 for information.

Q: Can I exchange passes on the bus or at a pass outlet?
A: No. Passes may only be exchanged at the Omnitrans San Bernardino office.

Q:  Will discounts still be available for older students over 18?
A.   Many older students who attend one of our “Go Smart” partner schools still get a discount.   In the Go Smart program, students and/or schools pay a per student transportation fee to Omnitrans that allows them unlimited free rides with their student ID. Schools that currently participate in Go Smart:

  • San Bernardino Valley College
  • Crafton Hills College
  • Chaffey College
  • The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire

Q:  Why isn’t my college listed as a Go Smart participant?
A:
  The Go Smart program requires a fee agreement between Omnitrans and the school. Let your school officials know that you are interested in having your school adopt the Go Smart program and ask them to contact Omnitrans marketing director Wendy Williams for more information at wendy.williams@omnitrans.org or 909-379-7151.

Q:  I’m a student but am not eligible for either Go Smart or a Youth pass. Will I still be able to get a discount?
A:  If you are over 18 years-old and not attending a Go Smart school, you will have to pay full fare.  Save compared to the $1.50 cash fare by purchasing a 1, 7 or 31-day pass.

  • 1-Day full fare pass: $4
  • 7-Day full fare pass: $15
  • 31-Day full fare pass: $47

 

Get on board for the future sbX, win $25

Hey, Cal State San Bernardino students – Omnitrans sbX service is less than a year away. We know you’re getting excited about it and we’re giving you three more reasons: A drawing every Friday during the month of April for a $25 Coyote Bookstore gift card.

Students can go to http://bit.ly/10tfDOX to become eligible for as many as three weekly prize drawings to Coyote Bookstore.

During the month of April, CSUSB fans of the Omnitrans sbX Facebook site can qualify for the three remaining drawings each Friday (April 12, 19 and 25). Entrants must be currently enrolled at Cal State San Bernardino and winners will be asked to verify their current enrollment.

For more information on the sbX project, stay tuned to our Omnitrans sbX Facebook site or visit our website at http://Omnitrans-sbx.com.

Omnitrans Launches Live Bus PredictionTechnology

(San Bernardino, CA)— Wonder when the next bus is due to arrive at your bus stop? Up-to-the-minute, accurate answers are at your fingertips with Omnitrans’ new NexTrip technology!  Now you can text, click or call to access real-time information.

Riders can access NexTrip real-time bus information via mobile web browser, desktop computer, SMS/text, or calling 1-800-9-OMNIBUS and selecting the NexTrip option. Online, customers can view buses and stops on a route map with real-time tracking. They even can sign up for automatic alerts, such as notification when the bus is five minutes away!

Omnitrans CEO/General Manager Milo Victoria was instrumental in bringing the new technology to Omnitrans. “We introduced this in D. C., while I was at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and our riders absolutely loved it. So, I promised our Board we would implement it at Omnitrans,” he said.

To use NexTrip, customers simply provide their bus stop location information by bus route, direction and intersection or an Omnitrans bus stop number, located on all bus stop signs. GPS-enabled phones can automatically provide information for the closest bus stop.  Omnitrans will install new signs with complete NexTrip contact information in mid-2013.  The signs will feature a QR code riders can scan, providing yet another option to access arrival times.

A small group of Omnitrans customers tested the system in early January and gave NexTrip rave reviews.  “I like knowing almost exactly when the next bus was coming to my stop.” said hospice volunteer Krystal Wheeler of San Bernardino.   “The text system is very easy to use. It helps me pace my walk after work so I’m not spending a lot of time standing around at the stop,” said Chaffey College student Marcus Garcia of Chino Hills.

In 2014, Omnitrans will roll out NexTrip electronic message signs on all 23 station platforms on the agency’s sbX bus rapid transit line, now under construction in San Bernardino and Loma Linda.  Real-time information signs will be added to major transfer centers in the Omnitrans system as well.

The NexTrip system uses Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking satellites and advanced computer modeling developed by Nextbus, Inc. of Emeryville, California to provide accurate arrival information for all 2,500 bus stops in the Omnitrans fixed route bus system.  Taking into account the actual location of the buses, their intended stops, and the typical traffic patterns, NexTrip estimates arrivals with a high degree of accuracy.

For more information go to: www.omnitrans.org/nextrip

Prefer a mobile app? You can also find NexTrip information by downloading  the “My Nextbus” app to your android device or “iNextbus” to your Apple device.

Questions?  Email Wendy.Williams@omnitrans.org

sbX To Make Students “Choice” Riders

For the past three weeks, Ontario resident Brian Kennedy has gotten on board Route 2 from E Street and Highland Avenue to get to his classes at California State University, San Bernardino, after catching a ride from his stepmother who works in another part of town.

Brian Kennedy

Now that he’s through with finals for the fall quarter, the 19-year-old freshman is seriously considering making public transit to campus a regular habit – especially once the future Omnitrans sbX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service begins operations in 2014.

“It makes so much more sense,” he said. “To pay for a parking permit, only to circle around the lot trying to find a place to park is not very efficient. Omnitrans saves me time and money.”

The additional convenience and time saved with sbX will be realized by frequent service (every 10 minutes) and fewer stops (once a mile, on average), which will cut Brian’s commute time nearly in half. To learn more about sbX BRT, visit the project website at www.omnitrans-sbx.com.

– David Rutherford
David.Rutherford@Omnitrans.org

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Go Smart website for Chaffey College students

Good news for Chaffey College students who are taking advantage of the Go Smart College Pass program!

Chaffey’s Admissions & Records Department has established an online resource to field any questions or concerns you may have regarding Go Smart. Although the college has no specific person or telephone line dedicated to the program, the web page does provide a contact email and an online problem report form to help resolve any issues that might arise. Emails and problem reports are monitored daily.

You can visit the Chaffey College Go Smart page at:
http://www.chaffey.edu/gosmart/index.shtml

About GoSmart
With the Go Smart program, students at participating colleges pay a $7.50 transportation fee as part of their college fees at the beginning of each semester which allows them to ride the bus for free with their student ID throughout the year.