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Omnitrans GoSmart a boon for Crafton students

Crafton Hills College GoSmart bus

At the Omnitrans bus stop at Crafton Hills College, students are listening to music, reading and chatting in small groups under the shade trees. Many of them are freshman who are taking advantage of the GoSmart program for the first time. The discount fare program, which is funded by student fees, provides them with unlimited rides on any Omnitrans fixed route using their student ID.

Crafton Hills College GoSmart student bus

Heather uses GoSmart to get to her college classes

Redlands resident Heather is just coming back to school after having taken a year off from classes. She has no idea what she wants to do yet, so she’s focusing on basic credits she needs and courses that interest her—like philosophy. Heather’s taking the bus because she doesn’t yet have her license.

Omnitrans bus at Crafton Hills College

“Both my parents work for the school district,” she explains. “So they can’t really give me a ride. GoSmart works great for me. One of the beauties of the bus is that you don’t have to look for campus parking. Plus I get exercise.”

Crafton Hills college GoSmart student

Kat, a Zoology major, relies on GoSmart as her main transportation

Kat, a  Zoology major, agrees. “I’m in the same situation. My dad lives in Calimesa and my mom lives with me in Redlands. I actually started riding the bus last year because my boyfriend lived in Mentone. It’s easy transport and convenient for me.”

Crafton hills College student

GoSmart rider Aaron Davis studies Kinesiology at Crafton Hills College

Aaron lives in Mentone. He’s studying Kinesiology at Crafton.  “I think the bus is actually helpful for a lot of students. My parents work, and this definitely makes it easier for me to get back and forth to school.”

Crafton Hills go smart student

Gerson Cisneros saves $50 a week by riding the bus to and from school

For Business Administration major, Gerson, GoSmart is all about the savings. “I live in Highland, and it takes me about an hour and 20 minutes by bus to get to campus. I use the time to do homework. Gas is really expensive since I have a truck. I would rather spend a bit more time riding the bus than spend $10 in gas every day. That’s $50 a week I can put towards something else.”

omnitrans student riders

Having the ability to access unlimited rides with just the swipe of a student ID isn’t merely a convenience. It also opens up educational opportunities for many students previously restricted by limited finances and lack of transportation. Together, the Omnitrans GoSmart program and Crafton Hills College are making it possible for students to achieve a quality education and pursue their career dreams.

crafton hills college students catch bus

Buses not in service on Labor Day

omnitrans - no bus service on labor dayOmnitrans offices will be closed and buses will not be running on Monday, September 1st for the Labor Day holiday. Our offices will reopen and buses will resume operation on Tuesday, September 2nd.

Please keep in mind that Omnitrans new fares and service changes go into effect on September 2nd. You can plan ahead with our Guide to September Service Changes which features the new bus book, detailed route information, and frequently asked questions.

Service changes: Online store closure, NexTrip info

omnitrans busNew fares and service changes go into effect on Tuesday, September 2nd.  Maps and schedules, as well as the bus book, will be updated on our website early that morning. Please see below for details on how the switchover will affect NexTrip and our online store.

NEXTRIP
For the first couple of weeks, NexTrip real time bus arrival information may appear to be off in some cases. This is because the technology is based upon historical route information which tells the system how long it takes for a bus to travel from one location to another.  It will take a few days for routes that have undergone significant changes to establish a historical pattern upon which NexTrip can accurately base its arrival predictions. Thank you for your patience as we work through the adjustment.

ONLINE STORE CLOSURE
If you would like to take advantage of the current fare prices and buy passes in advance, you still have a few days left to do so. In order to make the necessary fare updates, our online store will close at 12:00 noon on Friday, August 29th. It will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 2nd with the new pricing.

Interested in a career as a Coach Operator?

Job career opportunity as a bus driverScroll down
for signup form

Thanks to a Workforce Development Grant, Omnitrans is introducing a series of FREE 1-week training programs to prepare  participants for a career as a transit driver with a regional transit agency!

The selection process to become a coach operator can be very stringent, and initial testing has proven to be a big hurdle for many. The Bridge Training Program will teach various topics to provide candidates with the tools they need to successfully apply for  and pass the first phase of the hiring process.

Program classes will be held Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. beginning in October.

Each program  will culminate with a job fair, where the graduates will have the opportunity to interview with several regional transit agencies. 

A career in transit can be both lucrative and rewarding.

Possible benefits might include:

  • $12 – 15 an hour average starting pay
  • Medical/Dental/Vision Plans
  • Retirement Program
  • Tuition Assistance Program
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • Paid Vacation
  • Paid Holidays
  • Employee Wellness Program

Interested in more information?  Use the form below to sign up by September 3rd for our introductory orientation.

job training as a bus driver

 

 

Back to School with GoSmart

Students at participating schools, colleges and universities in the San Bernardino Valley enjoy unlimited rides on Omnitrans fixed routes thanks to the GoSmart Student Pass Program. Students with a valid student ID from participating schools, colleges and universities can get unlimited rides on any Omnitrans fixed route. The free rides are funded by a small transportation fee which is included as part of their student fees each semester.

GoSmart students save on gas and car expenses and avoid parking hassles. And they are not just limited to traveling back and forth to school. Unlimited rides means exactly that. They can travel anywhere, anytime with a simple swipe of their student ID card.

GoSmart transportation services available:

Unlimited rides are available to GoSmart students on all Omnitrans fixed route buses, OmniGo buses and our new sbX express service.

Students who are prequalified for our Access ADA service get a 20% discount on the purchase of Access one way base fare tickets. A student must be actively enrolled in one or more units to qualify. Contact our Pass Sales office at 909-379-7100 for details.

Participating GoSmart Schools:

  • California State University San Bernardino
  • Chaffey College
  • Crafton Hills College
  • San Bernardino Valley College
  • Art Institute of California-Inland Empire
  • Academy of the Inland Empire
  • Alternative Learning Center/Destination Diploma/San Andreas High School
  • ASA Charter School
  • Youthbuild

Not a GoSmart student but still interested in saving money?
Riders ages 18 and under qualify for a discount on 7-day and 31-day passes with a proof of age or high school ID. Students over age 18 must pay full fare rates, unless they are enrolled at a school, college or university that is participating in the Omnitrans GoSmart program. Click here to view our fare table.

OmniGo expands coverage in Chino Hills

Now serving Butterfield Ranch!
Beginning August 25th, Chino Hills residents will enjoy expanded OmniGo bus service thanks to the addition of a new tripper connecting Butterfield Ranch and Chino Hills High School.

About OmniGo Service
Count on OmniGo to get to school, work or wherever you need to go in Chino and Chino Hills. OmniGo Route 365 connects you to Ayala and Chino Hills High Schools, Chaffey College Chino Campus, and community locations like Chino Hills City Hall, Chino Hills Marketplace, Ayala Park, and The Shoppes at Chino Hills. It also provides direct access to service throughout the San Bernardino Valley at the Chino Transit Center. For safe, reliable, affordable service, go with OmniGo. Route 365 runs every 60 minutes seven days a week.

Click here to view OmniGo maps and schedules.

OmniGo Fares
OmniGo fares are the same as regular Omnitrans fares and may be used on all Omnitrans fixed routes.  On September 2nd, Omnitrans fares will increase for the first time in five years.

Once the fare change goes into effect, the price of a one-way bus trip will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 while the 1-day pass rate will rise from $4 to $5.  A 31-day pass will go from $47 to $55.  See the fare table for full rates and details. Passes purchased before the before the rate increase will still be honored, so stock up now and save later!

Chino Hills Schools served by OmniGo
Conflicting work schedules and limited transportation is a big issue for many families these days–especially those with teens who need to get to school.  Not only does OmniGo get students to their classes safely and reliably, it’s a comfortable way to travel and hang out with friends. OmniGo Route 365 serves the following Chino Hills Schools:

  • Chino Hills High School
  • Ruben S. Ayala High School
  • Townsend Junior High School

Bike Racks:
All OmniGo vehicles are equipped with bike racks. Bring your bike at no extra charge. Bike and bus are the perfect combo!

Wheelchairs or mobility aids:
All OmniGo buses are lift-equipped for the safe loading and unloading of passengers with wheelchairs or mobility devices.

Service Animals
Designated service animals with proper harness may ride with you.

Get The App
Wondering when the next bus will arrive at your stop? The Omnitrans app features NexTrip real time bus arrival information as well as important news, rider alerts, special promotions and more. The app is available for Android, iPhone and Kindle. Get it now!

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter: sbX dispatcher Robert Avant

Omnitrans sbX dispatcher Robert Avant

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter Robert Avant is a man of many talents: artist, writer, musician, coach operator, coach operator instructor and relief dispatcher. But with our BRT launch last April, he claimed a new title for himself as the “Maestro” of sbX.

One look at the sbX dispatch monitor, and it’s easy to understand the musical reference. A symphony of 60-foot coaches moves in sequence along the route, carefully guided by the dispatcher to ensure proper rhythm and flow. If the vehicles start to bunch in one area or a gap begins to separate them, the dispatcher must coordinate their movements to bring them back into balance.

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter Robert Avant

Robert Avant with Director of Operations Diane Caldera

“sbX is based on frequency rather than on time points, and there are many factors that come into play to affect the system,” points out Robert. “Traffic patterns and passenger load can change the timing of a vehicle. A coach operator who is transporting two wheelchair passengers, for example, will need extra time for loading and unloading. Traffic backed up at an intersection or unexpected detours can also cause delays. Every day is something different, but that keeps it interesting.”

Robert’s skills were put to the test during the initial launch of the sbX BRT service, when the system faced several unexpected challenges. The Traffic Signal Prioritization (TSP) system did not work as expected, delaying many articulated coaches along the corridor. In addition, not all Global Positioning Systems (GPS) were functioning correctly. This caused coaches not to appear, or appear inaccurately, on the dispatcher’s corridor map monitor.

Omnitrans sbX dispatcher Robert Avant

This made Robert’s job as sbX dispatcher incredibly difficult. He maintained clear communication with coach operators, field supervisors, management and other departments to keep them apprised of the issues. He worked as best he could with dispatch’s GPS tracking system and radio to locate and track each coach along the corridor. When he identified a delay or coach bunching, he quickly coordinated with Operators to put them back on time to meet the riding public’s expectations.

Robert also helped create a monitoring system within a detailed sbX Dispatch Daily roster form to track and maintain service reliability and to ensure that shift exchanges and meal breaks occurred as expected. Once the system was up and running, Robert quickly and effectively cross-trained other dispatchers on these sbX dispatching procedures, broadening the department’s flexibility and reliability in coverage and increasing efficiency when dealing with unplanned absences, illnesses or emergencies.

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter Robert Avant

A few members of our wonderful dispatch team: Ed Cooney, Mark Bueche, Robert Avant and Ronnie Davis

“Before this system was put into place, we were trying to track information on seven different forms,” explains Robert. “There was no centralized resource for information. Now everything is recorded in one place so we can quickly see what needs to happen and what availability is at any given time.”

“Robert played an important role in jump starting the sbX system when it went live in April,” says Omnitrans Director of Operations Diane Caldera. “His contributions and problem-solving abilities helped ensure that the sbX service we provide is the sbX service that was advertised. We are so proud to honor him as Employee of the Quarter.”

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter Robert Avant

Although he loves the variety and demands of dispatch, Robert also enjoys the personal connections he makes as a coach operator instructor. “I like helping people build their confidence and develop their skills. I try to create an atmosphere of trust where they feel comfortable learning. My policy is what happens on the bus during training stays on the bus. I’m not going to yell at anyone or later tell a supervisor that they asked a stupid question. There are no stupid questions.”

Creativity and spirituality are a huge part of Robert’s life. In his private time, he sketches portraits and paints still-life scenes. He’s also working on a self-help book, “Becoming The Best You.”

“I believe any challenge can be overcome,” says Robert. “It just takes dedication, discipline and the desire to succeed.”

Omnitrans sbX dispatcher Robert Avant

Do you like this story and want to share it on your blog or newsletter?  All of our articles may be freely shared with others.

Have a great Omnitrans story to share? Email Juno Carlson at juno.carlson@omnitrans.org