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Cast your vote for E Street!

E Street, San Bernardino – after

Our own sbX E Street Corridor is one of five nominated  for a national “Streetsie Award” for Best Urban Street Transformation of 2014.

To cast your vote, head over to Street Blog USA  and check out all the nominees.

We think you’ll agree E Street, San Bernardino has undergone a huge transformation!

E Street, San Bernardino – before

 

Fontana Parade Detour December 13th

Effective Saturday, Dec. 13th from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Due to the Christmas Parade in downtown Fontana, the Omnitrans bus routes 10, 14, 15, 19, 20, 61, 66, 67 & 82  serving Sierra Ave. between Upland and Merrill Ave. will detour. See map below.

Turn-by-turn detour details are available in the Rider Alerts section of our website or on the Omnitrans mobile app.

 

Australians try out Omnitrans coach simulator

Omnitrans coach simulator

A team from Advanced Training Systems in Melbourne, Australia were given a tour of the Omnitrans training facilities today by Omnitrans Fleet Safety and Training Supervisor Don Frazier.  Advanced Training Systems is a safety company hired by corporations to mitigate hazards and reduce costs associated with these incidents, much like  our ATAP committee here at Omni.

The group was joined by Enrique Mar of Oceanside, the developer of our new, in-house coach simulator system, who treated them to a hands-on demonstration. Enrique set up several scenarios with various challenges for our visitors to overcome, from glare or rain on the windshield, jaywalking pedestrians, aggressive drivers, busy streets and obstacle courses.

Our Australian friends had a wonderful time and were extremely impressed with our facility and the simulator, which will be used to train Omnitrans coach operators and help prepare them for challenging driving situations.

 

Spark of Love Toy Drive

Omnitrans and Buster join Santa and Southland Fire Fighters, along with  ABC7 to bring smiles to the faces of hundreds of children this holiday season.

The 20th Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive “Stuff a Bus” Event will take place on Friday, December 5th between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Mathis Bros. Furniture at 4105 E. Inland Empire Blvd. in Ontario.

The “Spark of Love” Toy Drive collects new, unwrapped toys and games for underserved children throughout Southern California. All toys collected in San Bernardino County will stay local, and be distributed to kids in surrounding communities.

Community members can participate by bringing a toy to the “Stuff a Bus” event,  or they may drop off a toy at any local fire station. Those wishing to make a monetary donation may do so at https://www.calfund.org/sparkoflove.  Contributions will go towards buying toys or sports equipment for children.

To learn more, visit http://abc7.com/family/spark-of-love-toy-drive-2014/335666/ or call (818) 863-7777.

Omnitrans interns land new jobs

Edson Ibanez and Victor Cuate

Omnitrans planning  interns Victor Cuate and Edson Ibanez have recently taken on new job positions. Victor is now a full-time planning analyst for the agency, while Edson has been hired as a city planner for the city of Azusa. Both credit Omnitrans with providing them a solid foundation in the transit planning and recommend internships to other students interested in entering the field.

“The planning internships here are very hands on,” says Victor. “And the managers really take you under their wing. They don’t necessarily assign you a project and stand over you. They give you project options and want you to take it and run with it. You learn to work within limitations and act as a team with others in the department to enhance your skills.”

Edson agrees. “One of the biggest things that helped me was doing inter-department presentations because with the city I now have to do a lot of public hearings. I also some public hearings here at Omnitrans, so that helped give me a foundation as well. I also gained  an understanding of  how land use and transportation play a role in development. In my new job with the city, I am doing stuff that has to do with sustainable communities and a specific transit development plan. My experiences both with Omnitrans and SanBAG have given me a great foundation to build on.”

Edson Ibanez and Victor Cuate

Omnitrans is looking for a temporary, part-time transit planner intern. You can read the full job description and find our application form on the Omnitrans careers page.

Click below to view our video interview with Victor and Edson as they talk transit and share their experience at Omnitrans.

Omnitrans Thanksgiving Schedule

HOLIDAY BUS SCHEDULE
Omnitrans buses will not be operating on Thursday, November 27th in honor of Thanksgiving. Buses will return to their normal service schedules on Friday, November 28th.

HOLIDAY OFFICE SCHEDULE
Omnitrans offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 27th and 28th. They will reopen on Monday, December 1st.

All of us at here at Omnitrans wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Autumn bus photo by photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

“I feel like somebody”

Bridge program photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

Bridge Program instructors Patricia Dorch and Henry Shields with Aaron Harper

There are limited spots still available in our Bridge Program.
Click here to sign up for a class session.

As a regular bus passenger, Aaron Harper had been interested in possibly pursuing a career as a coach operator. So when a friend sent him an email about open coach operator positions at Omnitrans, he decided to apply. To give himself an advantage, he also signed up for the agency’s 5-day Bridge program, which helps people develop professional resume and interview skills and gives them an overview of the transit industry and coach operator duties.

“I really did this for myself,” says Aaron. “The class made me feel like somebody. I’ve been through a lot in my life, and wanted to show everybody that I could do this no matter what my past has been like. There’s also a special somebody that I admire and would like to have in my life. I’d like to show her that I am doing good.”

Bridge program photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

Aaron Harper on the second day of Bridge Program classes

Still the 21-year-old struggled with mixed feelings about the class, and he almost quit the first day.

“My first day, I kind of doubted this program,” he admits. “I was thinking, ‘Oh man, I am taking two days off from my job at Goodwill to do this and there’s no guarantee I’ll even get hired. This is just a waste of my time.’ Now I’m glad that I took those two days off. Even if my boss from my other job didn’t understand, I understand. I’m glad I got what I needed, and now I can take the skills with me anywhere.”

Over the past few years, Aaron has been following his dream to be a musician. He sings, raps, and plays the drums. But now he’s decided to take a step back and focus on making a living.

Bridge program photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

“I really wanted to see what else I was good at, so here I am,” Aaron says. “At first it was the money that got my attention. Especially for people my age, there aren’t many ways to make that kind of money. I was thinking that even if I didn’t get to be a bus driver maybe I could do maintenance or something. I came here with an open mind. Whatever they throw at me, I’m just willing to work. I want to do something with myself.”

As part of the final day of class, the students dress up as they would for a job interview. For Aaron, it inspires a feeling of pride and professionalism.

“I like dressing up,” he explains. “I don’t know, it just makes me feel like somebody. When you step in here, it makes you feel like you’re important—like all eyes are on you. And you kind of rise to that, but not in an ego kind of way. You just feel like you’re respected in the business part of your life.”

Graduates of the Bridge Program are universally recognized by regional transit agencies as prime candidates for coach operator positions. At the end of their program, participants receive a certificate of completion they can include with their resumes when applying for a coach operator position.

Aaron with Omnitrans Director of Internal Audit and Workforce Development Committee lead, Dr. Samuel Gibbs

“The certificate means that I put forth the effort to utilize my time to come here,” says Aaron. “It’s basically saying that my role businesswise is important. The way I conduct myself is important. And my dedication is important. I felt like leaving after the first day. I felt it was a waste of my time because it was just a program, not a job. So what’s the point? I’m looking for something right now. Now I feel the class helped me, and I might actually get the job. Who knows? I could get a call next week or weeks from now. As a Bridge Program graduate I know I’ll probably be the first to get looked at before the next man.”

Whether or not he is hired on as a coach operator, Aaron believes the skills he has gained from the program will change the way he approaches his work.

“I would definitely recommend this program to other people. I’m going to go back to my job pretty happy with what I’ve learned and treating customers a little better. Not that I’ve ever treated customers badly, but now my eyes are more open to it. Maybe I’ll be a little more talkative—even explain a little about my experiences over the past week, you know? It could help someone else.”

There are limited spots still available in our Bridge Program.
Click here to sign up for a class session.

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Have a great Omnitrans or sbX story to share? Let us know!

Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Aaron and his classmates celebrate their Bridge Program graduation