Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dailey New Chair of Omnitrans Board, Gilbreath Vice Chair

New Omnitrans Board Chair Ron Dailey.

(San Bernardino, CA)   Loma Linda Council Member Ron Dailey takes the helm of the Omnitrans Board of Directors on July 1, 2017.  Redlands Council Member Pat Gilbreath was elected Vice Chair at the June 7 Board meeting.  Both will serve a two-year term. 

Dailey succeeds outgoing Board Chair Sam Spagnolo, Mayor Pro Tem of Council Member of Rancho Cucamonga. The 20-member Omnitrans Board consists of the five County Board of Supervisors and elected officials representing each of the 15 cities Omnitrans serves.

“Omnitrans plays an influential role in our community” said Dailey, “Everyday, we safely transport thousands of people to work, school, shopping, medical appointments, recreation and back home again.  By adding express service and improving regional connections, we are working to make public transit a more attractive transportation option for all.”  

Dailey joined the Omnitrans Board in 2010, and served on the Board’s Administrative & Finance Committee in 2010 and 2011 and the Plans & Programs Committee from 2011 to present. He was first elected to the Loma Linda City Council in 2010.  Dailey is Dean of the School of Dentistry at Loma Linda University, where he has worked since 1975.

Gilbreath was on the Board from 2000 to 2007 and again from 2014 to present, and served as Board Chair from 2005 to 2007. Gilbreath also has a seat on the Board’s Administrative & Finance Committee. She was first elected to the Redlands City Council in 1993 and is a businesswoman with over 30-years as a certified public accountant.

Dump the pump, ride freeway express free on June 15!

Omnitrans is inviting you to DUMP THE PUMP on Thursday, June 15, 2017! National Dump the Pump Day is a day to highlight the many benefits of using public transportation. Leave your car at home on this day and take advantage of our FREE ride coupon to use on any of our three Freeway Express routes.

It is fact that public transportation:

  • helps people save money on vehicle maintenance and other expenses. Did you know that a two-person household can save, on the average, $9,823 a year by downsizing to one car?
  • has a proven record of reducing congestion and travel time. In 2011, U.S. public transportation use saved 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel in 498 urban areas.
  • reduces gasoline consumption and carbon footprint. One person with a 20-mile round trip commute who switches from driving to public transit can reduce his or her daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, or more than 4,800 pounds in a year.

Great! I look forward to dumping the pump and riding Omnitrans. How do I get a hold of the free ride coupon?

Look no further than the official Omnitrans app! The app can be downloaded from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.

INSTRUCTIONS: Simply install the app, select the Free Ride tab on the menu bar, and present to the bus driver upon boarding the bus. 

The coupon is valid only on June 15th on Freeway Express Routes 208, 215, and 290. One per customer. No cash value. No print coupons will be accepted.

Give us your feedback for a chance to win!

Your feedback is crucial to our growth as an agency. Let us know what you think about the Omnitrans experience and you could win one of five prizes!

Click here to complete the survey  |  Haga clic aquí para completar la encuesta

Omnitrans and several other mid-sized agencies in North America form the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG), established in 2011 to measure performance and share best practices. The information gathered from your surveys this spring will help provide a comprehensive overview of the bus rider experience nationwide.

Take the survey by the end of the day on May 21, 2017 to be entered into a prize drawing for a gift pack including:

  • One $20 Target gift card
  • One full-fare 7-day bus pass

Thank you for providing your constructive feedback and participation.

Omnitrans detours scheduled in Chino this Saturday

Due to this year’s Corn Feed Run Car Show & Cruise in Chino this Saturday, April 8, 2017, a few Omnitrans routes will be affected for the day. The following routes will slightly detour around the event which take place at the Chino Civic Center. These detours will be in place throughout all of Saturday – plan your trips accordingly and use NexTrip on our mobile app to keep up with real time bus arrivals!

Route 88, southbound from Riverside

  • Right on Third
  • Left on Chino
  • Left into the Chino Transit Center
  • Reverse northbound

Route 81, southbound

  • Continue straight past Central
  • Left on Third
  • Left on Chino
  • Left into the Chino Transit Center
  • Reverse northbound

Route 83, southbound from Central and Edison

  • Left on Edison
  • Right on Monte Vista
  • Right on Chino
  • Left into the Chino Transit Center
  • Reverse northbound

Route 84, from Mountain and Riverside

  • Right on Riverside
  • Left on Third
  • Left on Chino
  • Left into the Chino Transit Center
  • Reverse northbound

Route 85, southbound from Central and Riverside

  • Right on Riverside
  • Left on Third
  • Left on Chino
  • Left into the Chino Transit Center
  • Reverse northbound

Coach Operators recognized for safe driving record

The Omnitrans Million Mile Club has welcomed new drivers to its ranks! Fourteen coach operators are recognized this year for their achievement in safely driving 25,000 hours without a preventable accident, a feat that is accomplished over the course of 12 years. One driver has completed 50,000 driving hours over 25 years without a preventable accident, making them a 2 million mile club member.

From left to right: Salvador Soto Luna, Antoinette Meza, Jerry Milton (2 Million Mile), Michael Morrow, Dagoberto Perez, Elizabeth Samaro, Clarissa VanDyke.

“To put into perspective what each new member of the elite Million Mile Drivers Club has accomplished, consider the miles driven,” says Assistant Transportation Manager Mike DiFonzo. “The circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles. Each driver drove an equivalent of 40 trips around the earth without a chargeable accident or safety violation. What an amazing accomplishment!”

From left to right, are: Manuel Acosta, Kathleen Havey, David Castillo, and sbX driver Juan Miranda.

Each driver was presented with a special plaque, jacket, hat, belt buckle, certificate of recognition, a silver name plate, a day off with pay, and $500. Our 2 Million Mile driver also received a bonus five-day cruise to Mexico including paid time off!

Our congratulations go to these drivers for setting the standard of excellence. We are grateful for their commitment to safety as they connect our community.

1 Million Mile Coach Operators

  • Manuel Acosta
  • David Castillo
  • Kathleen Havey
  • Antoinette Meza
  • Juan Miranda
  • Michael Morrow
  • Dagoberto Perez
  • Earl Roberts
  • Elizabeth Samaro
  • Salvador Soto Luna
  • Dennail Sweatt
  • Jackie Sweatt
  • Wendell Taylor
  • Clarissa Van Dyke

2 Million Mile Coach Operators

  • Jerry Milton

To view more photos of our 2017 Million Mile Club inductees, click here.

Tips for riding on a rainy day

Heavy rains are expected throughout Southern California this weekend. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when riding Omnitrans on rainy days. Safe travels!

  • Don’t forget your umbrella. It’s been a wet winter in Southern California, so hopefully you already have yours readily available. Staying dry is key! Look around at all times to make sure you haven’t left it behind at a bus stop, or inside the bus.
  • Stay visible. Make sure that motorists and other pedestrians are able to see you while you are walking to, from, or waiting at the bus stop. Wear warm, bright clothing so that you are clearly seen in the cloudy weather.
  • Plan ahead. Because of road conditions during inclement weather, the bus may be running behind schedule. Follow us on Twitter @Omnitrans for any reported detours and download the official Omnitrans app (available on Google Play and iTunes) for real-time NexTrip bus arrivals info.

Onboard Customer Satisfaction Survey Is Here!

Share your opinion and help us better serve you! Passengers aboard our local Omnitrans routes, sbX, and Access now have the opportunity to provide feed back about our service. A customer survey is being conducted by Redhill Group Inc. now through the end of February. As an incentive, Omnitrans riders are being entered into a $500 cash drawing upon participation in the onboard survey.

If you are approached by a friendly survey staffer, feel free to answer a few questions for them. A translated survey is also available for our Spanish-speaking passengers to express their opinions. The results of this survey will be utilized in a broader study that will help us learn what we’re doing well and in what areas we have opportunities to refine our service. The feedback gathered will help us make enhancements to the Omnitrans experience, which will improve how we serve our community!

John S. and Paul O. of Redhill Group, the team surveying our onboard passengers.

2016 – An Omnitrans Year in Review

As 2016 comes to a close, Omnitrans looks back at a year that brought cause for celebration, agency innovations, and resources to better serve our community. While the list of accomplishments is lengthy, we selected six achievements that trump the rest.

San Bernardino Transit Center Turns One – Our transportation hub, the San Bernardino Transit Center, celebrated one year of operation. Since opening its doors in September 2015, nearly 5,000 passengers pass through the SBTC each weekday, connecting to Omnitrans local and express routes as well as neighboring agencies such as Mountain Transit, Victor Valley Transit Authority, and Pass Transit.

Omnitrans celebrated the milestone with a Community Day of live music, refreshments, promotional giveaways, and the Green Scenes Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest. Community members experienced the amenities of the LEED Gold Certified transit center and enjoyed the artistic talents of our participants. Take a trip down memory lane and view our photo album online.

Service to ONT Airport Commences – During fall service changes, Omnitrans Route 80 re-routed to serve Ontario International Airport for the first time in over a decade! In partnership with the airport, Route 80 now makes two stops (one at each terminal) every hour – just one of several planned enhancements to come to the West Valley area in the future.

New Partnership Opens the Bike Hubitat at SBTC – To commemorate Bike Month, Omnitrans joined forces with the Inland Empire Biking Alliance and San Bernardino Generation Now to introduce the Bike Hubitat at the SBTC. The low-cost, DIY workshop teaches community members how to maintain and repair their own bicycles under guidance of knowledgeable IEBA staff, all while utilizing the organization’s tools. The program is ongoing and Omnitrans riders can stop by the Hubitat on any Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 3-6 p.m. for a bike tune-up!

Website Gets a Mobile-Friendly Facelift – To enhance our communication experience with customers, we gave our website a much needed revamp! The creative refresh streamlined our content for easier browsing, but most importantly, our website was optimized for viewing on mobile devices – a major advantage in today’s smartphone-dominated world! If you haven’t already, be sure to visit our website at www.omnitrans.org for travel information, purchasing passes, real-time bus arrivals, and to plan your trip ahead of time.

Welcoming the Special Transportation Services Department – This year, Omnitrans welcomed a new department to our agency. Special Transportation Services (formerly Vtrans) provides one-on-one or group training for seniors and individuals with disabilities to use public transportation, and oversee the Ride Program, which allows taxi fares at a discounted rate for eligible residents who cannot use the bus, among other things.

The new department aims to create programs and provide resources that will provide senior citizens or those living with a disability easy mobility. “If we can give them back some of that freedom, then we’re improving their quality of life which is what it’s all about at the end of the day. How we can improve that is what we’re always going to advocate,” says Director Nathan Churan.

Omnitrans Celebrates 40th Anniversary – Last on our list, but certainly not least, 2016 marked our 40th year serving the San Bernardino Valley! This huge milestone was celebrated throughout the month of October, with customer appreciation giveaways at our transit centers, trivia contests on social media, and a huge online sweepstakes with 40 prizes to give away. Thank you all for celebrating with us! Take a look back at our history and what the outlook is for our next 40 years by watching our 40th Anniversary video.

On to 2017! We look forward to further enhancing transit in the San Bernardino Valley and increasing connectivity, with new Metrolink service at the San Bernardino Transit Center and additional Freeway Express routes – just to name a few of the things we have in store! Thank you for coming along on the ride with us.

A Closer Look at Omnitrans’ Growth from a Past Driver’s Perspective

Change is unavoidable, especially for a public transit agency in the ever-changing landscape of Southern California, but taking a closer look at how things were 40 years ago illustrates just how far Omnitrans has come! This month, as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary, we connected with one of our original employees – Richard Breeden – who was integral in developing some important practices that are still part of our daily operations in connecting our community.

It was 1958 when Richard joined San Bernardino Valley Transit, which would become Omnitrans. After being discharged from the US Army, and a short stint at Santa Fe Railroad, Richard saw a job opening for bus drivers and decided to apply, hoping to utilize his experience as an Army driver. After completing a test drive, he was asked if he could begin the 14-day training process the next day.

“I was given a rule book to read before coming in the next day,” remembers Richard of the fast-paced process. “I had to learn all the routes, rules, regulations, operation procedures, and fares all in one night!”

Richard Breeden

Richard in action as the first bus driver trainer around the time Omnitrans was formed.

Many things were different in the transit world in those days. Base fare was 25 cents, the buses did not have wheelchair lifts, and there was no air conditioning for those hot summer days! In addition to conducting a 20-40 foot bus without power-steering, it was the driver’s duty to collect fare, sort it and run it through a changer to generate change for the next stop. Hello, forearms of steel! 

It was only Richard’s seventh day of training when he was asked to train a fellow student! Hesitantly, Richard complied with the dispatcher’s request and from that moment forward, he was no longer a student, but as a trainer.

Of course, that’s not how it works today. Four decades later, Omnitrans’ coach operators must complete five to six weeks of training and education with a certified trainer, including classroom work, behind the wheel experience, and even a state-of-the-art coach simulator with the most advanced technology.

In 1962, Richard was the employee who took the initiative to approach the city of San Bernardino to voice the need for formal training of our drivers. A few months later, a sign-up sheet was posted for anyone interested in being a trainer. Richard did not sign up.

When the transit manager asked why his name was not on the list, Richard responded that he was “happy being a bus driver.” After being convinced to add his name to the pool of applicants, he scored an interview and was selected for the newly created role.

After developing a comprehensive three-week training program that included diagrams and obstacle courses, City Hall approved Richard’s plan. The students’ training period culminated with a test created by Richard, which required a passing score of 80% or higher. Those who scored below that threshold were terminated.

Richard Breeden

Richard came back to Omnitrans for a visit last summer and posed with Old Blue, our vintage 1958 bus, which he found and was also the first to drive at special events around town.

In the years following, Richard revamped the driver’s rule book, and partnered with the National Safety Council to create the Million Mile Club for transit operators, an exclusive club for drivers who have driven 1,000,000 miles accident-free. He strengthened our partnerships with law enforcement by coordinating mutually beneficial trainings on our vehicles, and created positive relations between Omnitrans and community organizations including coordination of the first employee blood drive after a mechanic’s daughter found herself in need during surgery. The blood drive continues to this day.

Richard retired in 2000 as Fleet Safety and Training Supervisor at Omnitrans, but returned for special events to drive our 1958 vintage bus, Old Blue, which he found and drove for the first time. Although we have vastly grown from a small agency of just 29 vehicles in 1976, it is employees such as Richard who had the foresight to implement ideas that continue to impact our agency four decades later.

Celebrate With Us As Omnitrans Turns 40!

omni40thlogo4color

You only turn 40 once, and we are making it count! Since first starting out in 1976, Omnitrans has traveled nearly 300 million miles in the San Bernardino Valley – that’s the equivalent of three round trips around Mars! More importantly, however, we have connected with our community along the ride and have been part of many people’s lives. Be sure to follow us on social media to be part of all the fun as we celebrate this accomplishment all month long!

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Customer Appreciation Days
Reaching our 40th anniversary is a significant milestone that would not have been possible without you – our customers – and we would like to show our gratitude. We will be hanging out at our West Valley transit centers (Chino, Montclair, Ontario) the morning of Monday, October 17th and at our East Valley transit centers (Fontana, San Bernardino) on Tuesday, October 18th with a commemorative 40th Anniversary giveaway that you don’t want to miss out on! Swing by, say hi and grab one while they last.

40th Anniversary Sweepstakes
Forty years…forty prizes! Enter our 40th Anniversary Sweepstakes for a chance to be one of our randomly selected winners. Simply visit the sweepstakes entry page*, fill out the form completely, and you will be automatically entered for a chance to win. Prizes include Farmer Boys and movie gift cards, commemorative items, and a grand prize of $400 on a Visa gift card, plus a whole year’s worth of Omnitrans passes – a deal that beats even our original bus fare of $.25 per ride!

*Paper entries are available and accepted at the San Bernardino Transit Center customer service and Omnitrans administration office desks.

40 Years of Omnitrans Trivia Contests
Join us as we look back on our accomplishments! Omnitrans has achieved many things in the last 40 years, including several 1st Place Safety Awards from the National Safety Council, and we want to celebrate with you and a good old game of trivia! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and each Monday for the rest of October we will have a new trivia question for you. All who answer correctly will be entered into a weekly drawing on Fridays for a chance to win a $40 Visa gift card!

Last Call for Memories
In 40 years, Omnitrans has grown from 29 vehicles to a fleet of 275 buses and 34 routes! That is a lot of rides that transcend generations, so tell us: do you have a fond memory of Omnitrans? Share your story and photo(s) by e-mailing onlinemktg@omnitrans.org. You may also post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #OmniTurns40. Selected stories and photos will be featured as part of our celebration this month.

omni-early-76