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Interested in a career as a Coach Operator?

Job career opportunity as a bus driverThanks 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

OmniLink service ends in Chino Hills and Yucaipa

OmniGo bus serviceFormer OmniLink riders are switching to OmniGo

Omnitrans will cease operations of its OmniLink demand response transportation in Chino Hills and Yucaipa after August 29.  Ridership on the general public dial-a-ride service has declined in recent years as customers have shifted to OmniGo community shuttle routes launched in 2010. 

OmniLink provides on-demand, point-to-point transportation through advance reservation on weekdays only, while OmniGo operates on regular routes seven days a week.  Omnitrans also provides regular “big bus” service to Chino Hills and Yucaipa as well as Access demand response service to transport qualified persons with disabilities.

Before Omnitrans launched OmniGo routes in 2010, over 45,000 trips were tallied on OmniLink annually.  By fiscal year 2013-14, fewer than 18,000 OmniLink trips were booked, a decline of 61 percent.  In contrast, OmniGo ridership is up 45 percent since 2011.  In the past year, OmniGo routes in Yucaipa provided 72,055 trips and in Chino Hills, 51,912.

“Of all OmniLink trips taken in the past year, about 80 percent them start and end within a short walk of an OmniGo route,” explained Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams, “and with the subsidized cost of a passenger trip on OmniLink more than triple that of OmniGo, it was time to make the change.”

OmniGo Route 365 expands service in September 2014

This map of the OmniGo route 365 expanded coverage area takes effect August 25th.

OmniGo route 365 in Chino Hills will expand its coverage area to include trips to the Butterfield Ranch area effective August 25th.   “We had several students in that area using OmniLink to get to Chino Hills High School and Townsend Junior High, so we added morning and afternoon OmniGo trips to provide that connection,” said Service Planning Manager Jeremiah Bryant.

Benefits to using OmniGo compared to OmniLink include lower fares, weekend service and no need to make a reservation.  Omnitrans will notify current OmniLink customers through on board flyers and a mailing which includes a free one-day pass for OmniGo.

The Omnitrans Board of Directors approved elimination of OmniLink service in May, following public hearings held in March, as part of a package of service changes and a fare increase which take effect September 2.

More information on OmniGo service is available at: http://www.omnitrans.org/services/omnigo/

Complete information on Omnitrans September service and fare changes is available at: http://www.omnitrans.org/blog/2014/07/29/guide-september-service-changes/

Guide to September service changes

Omnitrans September 2014 bus book

Click here for a preview of the new bus book

Why are fares increasing?

This is Omnitrans’ first fare increase in five years. Just as with any other company, service or even home, the cost of our operations increases over time. Since Omnitrans is required by FTA to receive at least 20% of our operating costs from customer fares, our fares must balance with our costs.

View the new fare table.

Are fares increasing because of sbX?
No. The new fare structure was long-planned, and approved prior to the start of sbX service. 

Why is OmniLink service being eliminated?
Unfortunately, ridership on OmniLink was low, and the cost to operate the on-demand service was high. The good news is that 80% of Omnitrans customers who used OmniLink service are covered by OmniGo Hometown Shuttle service in their communities.

Scroll below to view info on specific routes and destinations.
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September service changes by route:

ROUTES 3 & 4

  • What’s Different:  Routes 3 & 4 service frequency is improved to 15 min. after 8 a.m.
  • Why:  To add convenience and reliability on a popular route.

Route 5 – (view map AND SCHEDULE)

  • What’s Different:  Route 5 service frequency is improved to 30 min. The route also has been realigned to travel on Waterman Ave., between Gilbert and Barton Rd. The route no longer serves 4th St. or Goodwill.
  • Why:  To improve travel time, and provide coverage of a portion of Waterman Ave. previously served by Route 9.

Route 7 – (VIEW MAP)

  • What’s Different:  The end of the line has been moved to 5th and “F” Sts.
  • Why:  To respond to customer safety concerns at the previous end of line location (G St.).

Route 8 –  (VIEW MAP & SCHEDULE)

  • What’s Different:  Route 8 now is two routes – Short 8 and Long 8. Short 8 travels from downtown SB to the Redlands Mall; Long 8 travels from downtown SB to Crafton Hills College. Note:  the route no longer travels to the Yucaipa TC.
  • Why:  To improve frequency to downtown SB, and serve Mentone. Service eliminated along Yucaipa Blvd. now is served by Route 19.

Route 9

  • What’s Different:  Route 9 has been eliminated.
  • Why:  To improve service in SB and Yucaipa with increased frequency on Routes 5 and 19. Travel between SB and Yucaipa also will be faster, transferring from sbX to Route 19.

Route 14 – (VIEW MAP)

  • What’s Different:  The Route 14 Almeria tripper has moved from Almeria to Live Oak.
  • Why:  To accommodate the new location of the ISS workshop served by the tripper.

Route 19 – (VIEW MAP AND SCHEDULE)

  • What’s Different:  Route 19 service is extended to the Yucaipa TC. The route also has been realigned between the VA Hospital and the Yucaipa TC, along the path of the old Route 9.
  • Why:  To improve frequency on Barton Rd. and improve connection to sbX. Duplication of Route 8 service also is eliminated.

Route 20

  • What’s Different:  Frequency on Route 20 is reduced to 60 min. every day. The route will travel on Juniper and Merrill to and from the Fontana TC; service on Sierra is eliminated.
  • Why:  Due to low ridership.

Route 22 – (VIEW MAP AND SCHEDULE)

  • What’s Different:  Route 22 will travel on Valley Blvd. to and from the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center; the San Bernardino Ave. and Wild Rose “loop” has been eliminated.
  • Why:  To simplify travel. Service eliminated on San Bernardino Ave. now is covered by Route 19.

Route 61 – (VIEW MAP)

  • What’s Different:  Route 61 schedule has been adjusted to eliminate the need for transfer at Ontario Mills Mall.
  • Why:  For customer convenience, and to avoid missed connections.

Route 215

  • What’s Different:  Route 215 service frequency has been improved to 30 min. for the majority of Saturday and Sunday.
  • Why:  To add convenience on a popular route.

Route 365 – (VIEW MAP AND SCHEDULE)

  • What’s Different:  A tripper has been added to Route 365 between Butterfield Ranch and Chino Hills High School.
  • Why:  To provide convenient service to students.

OmniLink

  • What’s Different:  OmniLink service has been eliminated.
  • Why:  Due to a combination of high operating cost and low ridership. Please note that 80% of OmniLink customers are covered by OmniGo service.

Access – (VIEW MAP)

  • What’s Different:  Access zone boundaries have changed.
  • Why:  Based on fixed route changes, boundaries changed to comply with ADA regulations.

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Common destination questions

How do I make connections to downtown SB without Route 5?(Route 5 no longer serves the 4th St. TC). If you’re going downtown, try a quick transfer from Route 5 to Routes 1, 3, 4, or 8. If you’re close to Cal State or Hospitality Ln., try taking sbX downtown – service is faster and more frequent! Route 5 also now provides direct service on Waterman to important locations such as Inland Regional Center, Lighthouse for the Blind, Hospitality Ln., and several trade schools.

How do I get bus service to/from Barton Ave.?
(Route 9 has been eliminated). Route 19 now serves Barton Ave. from Redlands to Colton every 30 min.

How do I get bus service on Yucaipa Blvd.?
(Route 8 has moved, and Route 9 has been eliminated). Route 19 provides service every 30 min. on the Blvd., and you now can travel all the way to Fontana without a transfer! If you’re going to downtown SB, try taking Route 19 and transferring to sbX. Your trip will be faster than it was on Route 8 or 9!

How do I get bus service from Colton Ave.?
(Direct service on Colton was eliminated due to low ridership). The entire distance of Colton Ave. is within walking distance of Route 8 or Route 15, from Orange, Lugonia, Redlands or State Sts.

How do I get bus service from Mt. View Ave.?
(Route 19 has been realigned). Although direct service no longer is available on Mt. View Ave., you can take a short walk to either Redlands Ave. or Barton Rd. and catch either Route 8 or 19, which both now come by every 30 min.

How can I get to/from Fontana High School with the new Route 20 schedule?
(Route 20 frequency has been reduced to 60 min.). You still can take Route 20 to school; the service frequency has been reduced, but the schedule has been adjusted so that students still can make it to class before 0 or 1st period, and there will be a bus coming by not too long after school is out.

How can I get service to/from Goodwill Industries, the CID Center for Individual Development, or the Andersen School?
(Route 5 has been realigned). While Route 5 no longer stops in front of these locations, you still can catch Route 5 on Waterman Ave. via a short walk. At Palm and 3rd, you also can catch the newly-improved Route 8, with service every 30 min. to downtown SB.

How can I get to/from the Meadowbrook Park Tower and Apts. at 2nd and Sierra Way?
(Route 5 has been realigned; Route 9 has been eliminated). You still can catch Route 5 about a block from your location; Route 8, with increased 30 min. frequency, also is available at 3rd and Sierra Way. You also can catch sbX service at E and Rialto Ave. Additionally, when the new San Bernardino Transit Center opens at E and Rialto Ave. in about a year, downtown routes will meet there and service will be back on Rialto Ave.

How can I get to/from the Rock Church in San Bernardino?
(Route 9 has been eliminated). Omnitrans has improved service to the Rock Church, with improved service frequency every day! Route 5 will serve the church every 30 min. during the week – twice as frequent as Route 9 – so coming from Redlands or Yucaipa you can take Route 19 and transfer to Route 5 at Barton Rd. and Waterman Ave.

How can I get to/from the San Bernardino County Assistance office in Colton?
(Route 22 has been realigned). A short walk from the Assistance office will get you to Route 19, which you can catch on San Bernardino.

 How can I get to/from Walmart in Redlands?
(Route 19 has been realigned). Walmart now is served by Route 8, every 30 min.

Police crack down on motorists in sbX bus lanes

San Bernardino Polics Department cracks down on motorists in bus lanes

San Bernardino Polics Department tweet warns motorists that entering Bus Only lanes is dangerous and costly.

The San Bernardino Police Department is cracking down on motorists who cross the sbX Bus Only lanes. In a recent tweet, the SBPD warned drivers that the infraction is both dangerous and costly. The minimum fine for entering a Bus Only lane is $341!

New candlesticks, yellow posts with reflectors like the ones shown here, are  being installed as an additional safety measure at various high traffic locations in San Bernardino. The candlesticks will serve as an added visibility feature to prohibit drivers from crossing into Bus Only lanes, which are also marked by double yellow lines.

sbX Bus Only lane candlestick markers

sbX Bus Only lane candlestick markers

Remember, when driving along the corridor, you can still access all your favorite businesses by obeying traffic signs and safely making turns where indicated.

Never risk your life or the lives of others by entering a dedicated bus lane.