Category Archives: Uncategorized

Omnitrans FREE ride coupon & Rideshare prizes

Omnitrans app - free ride promo screenshotBeat the traffic, help the environment and save money at the same time! Celebrate Rideshare Week with these special offers.

 FREE RIDE COUPON!
It’s the perfect time to try out the bus for free! You can find our the Omnitrans ride coupon on our mobile app or as a PDF download from our website:

Mobile App Coupon: Download the Omnitrans app to your mobile device and click the coupon tab for your digital coupon. Show the coupon to the driver of any Omnitrans, sbX or OmniGo bus you board on Thursday, October 9th to ride the bus for free. One app coupon can cover multiple passengers. Please inform your driver how many people are in your group.

PDF Print Coupon:  Download and print the Omnitran Free Ride coupon from our website. Turn it in to your Omnitrans, sbX or OmniGo driver, who will exchange it for one FREE Day Pass good for unlimited rides on Thursday, October 9th. Print coupons may be redeemed one per customer.

IE COMMUTER:  RIDESHARE WEEK PRIZE DRAWINGS
IE Commuter is your one-stop phone and web service for transportation information in Southern California’s Inland Empire. It’s a great place to learn about Rideshare and the benefits of using sustainable transportation such as riding the bus, carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, walking, and telecommuting.

Riding the bus between October 6th and 10th? You could win hotel stays, gift cards and other fabulous prizes from IE5 Commuter!   Simply visit IE Commuter and make your rideshare pledge today.

 

Visit Old Blue at Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion

Don’t miss the fun with Buster and Old Blue, our  fully restored 1958 vintage GMC transit coach, at the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion September 19-21 in Ontario!

The event is free to the public and encompasses approx. 22-blocks with car enthusiasts and hot rodders parking and cruisin’ the 3-days along historic tree-lined Euclid Avenue and the surrounding streets of downtown Ontario, California near City Hall located at 303 East “B” Street, Ontario, CA 91764.

Sharing pictures from the event on social media? Use the  event hashtag #CruisinReunion2014.

OMNITRANS  ROUTE 83 BUS DETOUR

A detour for Route 83 will be in effect during this event along with nine stop closures. See below for details.

Route 83 Northbound
From Euclid at Holt
Right -Holt
Left -Sultana
Left-4th
Right -Euclid
Route 83 Southbound
From Euclid and 4th Street
Left -4th Street
Right -Sultana
Right -Holt
Left -Euclid

Bus Stop Closures
Northbound:  7911,  8123,  7140,  7141
Southbound:  7240,  7141,  7242,  7243,  7779

Bridge Program opens new opportunities for the unemployed

With so many in California struggling to find employment, those without an educational degree or technical skill are increasingly finding themselves at a disadvantage.

Now Omnitrans is offering a free training program to encourage people to pursue a career in public transit. Funded by a Workforce Development Grant, the Bridge Program is a series of classes that introduces participants to the transit industry and teaches them how to apply for and successfully secure jobs as coach operators. Each 1-week intensive training program culminates with a job fair where the participants can meet with and submit applications to several different regional transit agencies.

Bridge Program instructor Henry Shields was formerly the Fleet Safety and Training Supervisor for Omnitrans before his retirement in 2011. He believes the program provides a unique opportunity for those who are looking for a lucrative career with long-term job stability.

“Most people never consider a career in transit,” Shields points out frankly. “They aren’t aware of the opportunities that are open to them. Coach operator positions offer paid training, competitive salaries, great benefits and good job security. You don’t have to have a degree or a trade skill. If you have a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn, then you have the ability to succeed in this field.”

Shields can vouch for this from his own firsthand experience. When he received his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in 1990, he was surprised at how difficult it was for him to find a civilian job. As a Master Sergeant he had years of experience as a respected training instructor and recruiter, but without a degree, trade or technical skill no one would consider him for a job. Finally he applied for a coach operator position at Omnitrans and began what became a 21 year career in the transportation industry. Thanks to the tuition reimbursement program Omnitrans offers its employees, he was also able to obtain a college degree in Business Management.

“It was one of the best decisions I ever made,” says Shields. “Being able to share the same opportunity with others through the Bridge Program means a lot to me. It has the potential to completely change lives. It also generates public interest in transit as a career path and serves as a valuable recruitment tool for regional agencies.”

Participants in the 1-week Bridge Program will be given a broad overview of the transit industry and the role of the coach operator within the transit system. They will learn about transit maps and schedules, how to prepare a coach for service, how to drive a route, how to deal with difficult people, and how to handle emergencies. They will have the opportunity to experience firsthand what it feels like to drive a coach, thanks to a state-of-the-art virtual reality coach simulator. The participants will also take a short field trip on a regular coach to familiarize themselves with the passenger experience.

“The course is designed to put people at ease and give them the confidence that they can do this,” explains Shields. “It gives them a good orientation to the transit industry and prepares them for the job application process, which can be pretty stringent. Applicants must typically pass an interactive written test, a personal interview, a physical exam, and a background check before even being considered for a coach operator position. The knowledge and skills our participants gain through the Bridge Program gives them a deeper understanding of what’s required of coach operators and better equips them to pursue a career in transit.”

For more information on the Bridge Program please contact Henry.Shields@omnitrans.org

The Bridge Program is a regional transit career opportunity sponsored by the Omnitrans Workforce Development Committee. Members from L to R: Treasury Manager Maurice Mansion, Fleet Safety and Training Supervisor Don Frazier, HR and Safety and Security Director Marjorie Ewing, Director of Internal Audit Services Samuel Gibbs, Operations Director Diane Caldera, HR Specialist Denise Gibson, Bridge Program Assistant Instructor Patricia Dorch, Bridge Program Instructor Henry Shields.

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org 

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Positive public response to proposed veterans fare

Omnitrans public meeting

Osvaldo Maysonet and Jeremiah Bryant discuss the proposed veteran’s fare

Omnitrans held public meetings at its San Bernardino facility Wednesday to gather comments regarding a proposed fare policy change. The new policy would provide a discounted fare for Veterans and a free fare for Active Duty Military and Uniformed Police and Fire Officers.

Veterans Specialist Osvaldo Maysonet was on hand representing VetLink, an organization which helps connect veterans, active military, and their families with the services and destinations they rely on every day.

“This proposal will have a big impact on affordability for our veterans,” he said. “We have many vets in San Bernardino County who are dealing with low income or no income. Access to affordable transportation will connect them with education, healthcare and employment opportunities and possibly help them to become taxpayers again.”

Maysonet pointed out that there is a huge pride factor in being acknowledged for your service. “Somebody recognizing you for your military service without you having to ask—it really feels good.  The Veterans Committee is very appreciative of this kind of public recognition. We’ve seen the great example with RTA, and how the number of veterans using public transportation continues to climb thanks to their discounted fare.”

He strongly believes that the Omnitrans proposed fare policy will help also raise general awareness of public transportation among local veterans.

“Many of them have never considered taking public transit before,” Maysonet explained. “This will make them consider it and encourage them to become regular riders. And they will tell others. We love sharing with our brothers and sisters about perks that we receive because we’re vets. That spreads like wildfire.”

Omnitrans Service Planning Manager, Jeremiah Bryant said that the public comment response to the proposed fare has been overwhelmingly favorable. “The feedback we’ve gotten from the community is that our military men and women deserve this.  They feel it is a small way we can give back to those who have given so much to our country.”

Omnitrans proposes a discounted fare for Veterans and a free fare for Active Duty Military and Uniformed Police and Fire Officers.

Coach Operator career training classes back by popular demand!

Sign up below by September 22nd! Space is limited.

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 4:00 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

Sign up using the form below. Hurry, space is limited. Have questions?  Contact HR Specialist Denise Gibson at Denise.Gibson@omnitrans.org.

Omnitrans driver earns National Safety Council Award

Omnitrans coach operator John Barnett and CEO P. Scott Graham

Coach Operator John Barnett and Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham

This month, Coach Operator John Barnett was presented with the Safe Driver Award of Honor for the Pacific Region by the National Safety Council.  During his 27 year tenure at Omnitrans, John has logged nearly 50,000 hours and 2 million miles of safe driving.

John Barnett began his career here at Omnitrans in 1988 when he was hired as a part time Coach Operator and within a few months he was promoted to full time.  From the very beginning of his career John displayed great pride, enthusiasm and dedication to his job. He took the time to encourage the new hire coach operators with solid words of wisdom and stressed to them the importance of being a safe driver at all times.

Additionally, John devoted himself to providing great customer service to his passengers, accumulating numerous customer service awards and accolades throughout his career.  His very impressive file contained numerous letters from passengers from all ages and walks of life, each praising his kindness, helpfulness and his commitment to going the extra mile to assist them.

“I treat everyone with respect and courtesy,” John says. “That’s important. And my passengers know that I will always do my best to get them to their destination safely and on time.  People appreciate that. I’ve driven the Route 22 for so long now I’ve gotten to know all the regular riders and have even seem some of them grow up from babies. One little girl who used to ride my bus is now my granddaughter’s kindergarten teacher! You really never know where you might run into someone again, but they will always remember how you treated them.”

In 2010 John became an over the road instructor for new hires entering the transit workforce.  To date he has trained over 80 student coach operators and continues to instill in them the required driving skills, work pride, integrity and compassion to serve the public. He is also a long- standing member of Omnitrans Accident Review Committee, providing sound guidance and instruction on safe driving practices and training procedures.

Omnitrans Coach Operator John Barnett Safe Driving Award

Omnitrans Transportation Manager John Steffon, John Barnett and Fleet Safety & Training Instructor Verretta Johnson

John has been recognized as having well over 10 good years of “Customer Complaint Free Quarters” by our Marketing Department.  He has received his One Million Mile Safe Driver Award and is line to receive his Two Million Safe Driving Award at the end of 2014.

John Barnett continues to demonstrate the highest standards set forth by Omnitrans. He is an excellent example of a coach operator and is valued not only by the agency, but by the customers who board his coach each and every day.  He is a man of honor and integrity.  We are proud of his achievement as a recipient of the National Safety Council Award of Honor for the Pacific Region.

John plans to retire in early 2015. “Omnitrans has been a great experience for me,” he smiles. “And I’m going to miss a lot of people when I go.  But I am looking forward to having the time to relax and  do some traveling with my wife.”

We wish him all the best.

-        Veretta Johnson, Omnitrans Fleet Safety and Training Instructor

Proterra electric bus visits Omnitrans

Proterrra Electric Bus visits Omnitrans public transit

Earlier this month, team members from Proterra brought one of their electric buses by our office for a demonstration. Omnitrans employees were invited to tour the bus and learn about the advantages it had to offer.

Proterrra Electric Bus visits Omnitrans public transit

When looking at the typical cost of operating a fleet, numbers are impressive. According to the Proterra website, CNG buses typically get 3.27 MPG and cost approximately 71 cents per mile, while the electric bus gets 20.8 miles MPGe and costs about about 19 cents per mile.

Proterrra Electric Bus visits Omnitrans public transit

With 30% fewer parts, less maintenance is also required on the electric bus. There is no exhaust, no oil, no liquid fuels and 75% fewer brake repairs—all of which add up to savings over time.

Proterrra Electric Bus - view of driver's seat

The biggest downside of the electric bus is that it can only run for 30 miles before requiring a charge from a rapid charging station. It takes about 5 minutes to totally recharge the vehicle.

Proterrra Electric Bus demo at Omnitrans

Is there a place for an electric bus on the Omnitrans fleet in the future?

“At this time we’re putting together a scope of work to have buses replaced,” said Director of Maintenance Jack Dooley. “We don’t know if electric buses will be part of that plan or not.  Right now we’re just interested in gathering information on what options are available to us.”

Proterrra Electric Bus demo at Omnitrans

Visit us on Flickr for more photos from the Proterra electric bus demonstration at Omnitrans!