Omnitrans Hires Deputy General Manager Erin Rogers

We are honored to welcome to the Omnitrans family the newest member of the executive team: Deputy General Manager Erin Rogers!

A Syracuse, New York native and resident of Tustin, Erin joins Omnitrans with nearly 30 years of experience in the transit industry. Her journey began in Boston, where she first worked as a paratransit manager at DAVE Transportation Services.

Erin spent 16 years working for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), including 10 as assistant general manager. Most recently, she served as regional vice president for MV Transportation, Inc.

“I knew the Omnitrans team was doing great work and that there are exciting projects on the horizon, such as the West Valley Connector and Arrow,” Erin shares.

As deputy general manager, Erin will serve with CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham and the Senior Leadership Team to set the direction of the organization and ensure that we deliver on the agency’s commitments to the Board of Directors and residents of the San Bernardino Valley.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of the team and making positive contributions to better connect our community.”

Employee of the Quarter John Steffon

What do you do when your department is without a Dispatch Supervisor, Assistant Transportation Manager (ATM), and West Valley Transportation Manager? Well, if you’re John Steffon, you buckle up, postpone your retirement plans, and rise to the occasion. Earlier this month, John, East Valley Transportation Manager, was declared Employee of the Quarter for his contributions to the Operations department while taking on three other positions’ responsibilities.

“Time management was tough,” admits John. “Some of your own work has to take a backseat to what really needs to be done then and there. This was the biggest challenge – trying to keep everything up to date from attendance, to handling all ATM duties, making sure all dispatch supervisor duties were being handled, and covering at West Valley if we needed to handle any disciplinary issues.”

While juggling multiple jobs during this time in addition to his own, John had to work with his team and the agency to increase our part-time driver roster. This was critical in addressing a challenge faced by Omnitrans at the time – drivers having to work overtime on their days off to deliver service to our customers. Their efforts paid off.

“We’ve recently graduated a class of eight new coach operators, and today we have six people testing, with another class joining us in December,” reveals John. “The onboarding of new drivers is really helping to keep service on the road without forcing overtime on our existing coach operators. We are focused on building up our part-time drivers so that overtime goes down and as people retire or leave, we have people ready to fill their positions. It’s been tough, but we need to get service on the road because our passengers are the ultimate customers and they are depending on us.”

Employee of the Quarter John Steffon (second from right) is congratulated by (from the left) CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham, Director of Operations Diane Caldera, and Board of Directors Chair Ron Dailey.

This year, John celebrates his 23rd year at Omnitrans. He has nearly 50 years of transportation experience, having spent almost 25 years at Greyhound in Los Angeles prior to Omnitrans. “Before that, I spent years in the army on boats, planes – all different modes of transportation! I served in 1967 and 1968 after being drafted upon graduating college,” says John, a Vietnam War veteran.

John began his career with Omnitrans as a field supervisor in West Valley. Sunday bus service had just started in 1994, and the agency hired two additional field supervisors, one of which was John. A year later the Transportation Manager position opened, and he was promoted in 1995.

“The most satisfying part of this job is coming to work with a positive attitude and seeing that we’re getting service on the road and helping people. The community needs us, and we need them. Being in the service industry, it’s our duty to provide that service, especially for those who really depend on us to get to work, meetings, doctor’s appointments, or other errands,” says John.

“You learn something new every day. You think you’ve seen all the situations that you possibly can; it’s mind-boggling. What I’m learning is how to keep up with all this new technology in the transit industry and, not to be too funny, but, also learning how to deal with millennials and speaking a little bit of their language,” he laughs.

Outside of work, John likes to dedicate his time to reading, golfing, and going outside on walks. He is also a major football enthusiast, and he is ecstatic that his team, the Rams, is back in Southern California. He proudly shows off his 2016 Omnitrans Fantasy Football League trophy. “The reason I need to walk is because I’m a couch potato when it comes to watching football!” he jokes.

Although John looks forward to retirement early next year, he remains fully committed to our mission of connecting our community. “It’s coming to an end and it’ll be time to move on in a few months. Omnitrans has been very good to me, and I come here every day with a smile on my face.”

Metrolink service extends to the San Bernardino Transit Center on December 18

 

Commuting to and from downtown San Bernardino is about to get easier for you and all transit riders in the region! Beginning Monday, December 18, 2017, Metrolink service will extend to the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC), connecting to several Omnitrans local routes, the sbX Green Line, and neighboring transit agencies: Pass Transit, Mountain Transit, Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA), and Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) starting January 2018.

Currently, Metrolink services San Bernardino from the Santa Fe Depot. With the completion of the extension project, the Metrolink San Bernardino and Inland Empire-Orange County Lines will now extend service one mile further east to Downtown San Bernardino at the transit center located at 599 W. Rialto Ave. (Arrow, the forthcoming passenger rail service connecting San Bernardino to Redlands, will enhance rail connectivity beyond San Bernardino when it launches in early 2021.)

While Metrolink is its own entity and not operated by Omnitrans, we look forward to enhancing regional transportation through this partnership. As a reminder, your Metrolink one-way ticket is good for one free transfer to an Omnitrans bus departing a Metrolink station, including the SBTC. For the full Metrolink Transfer policy, please click here.

You can join us and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBTCA) in celebrating the completion of this project on Tuesday, December 5 at 2:00 p.m. The event will take place in the new Park & Ride lot south of the San Bernardino Transit Center and feature raffles, food, live performances, community resources, and a showcase of Metrolink’s new clean diesel locomotive!

To begin planning your travel, refer to the Metrolink schedule and timetable. For more information on Metrolink service, visit metrolinktrains.com.

Mobile fares enhance the Omnitrans experience for commuter

Isaiah of San Bernardino, California has been riding Omnitrans less than a year, but in his short time doing so, has already discovered the plentiful benefits that public transportation provides to riders.

It was a chance encounter, when Isaiah was experiencing car trouble one day. Needing a ride to get to work in Ontario, Isaiah knew that the bus was available as an option, so he visited Omnitrans.org for the latest schedule and has since been making his weekly commute on Omnitrans!

“I’ve only been riding for a few months, but riding the bus is cool! It’s affordable and provides reliable transportation to work during the week. The drivers are very nice and patient with everybody. It’s been really good to me,” he shares with us while waiting for the bus at Ontario Mills one afternoon.

Monday through Friday, Isaiah hops on Freeway Express Route 290 at the San Bernardino Transit Center and gets off at Ontario Mills where he transfers to Route 61 for a short connection to his job site. “Traffic can be pretty stressful at this time of the day, but Freeway Express 290 is great because it can go in the carpool lane and it has limited stops which makes commuting less troublesome.”

Isaiah loads his activated bus pass on his smartphone to show the driver upon boarding Omnitrans.

The Omnitrans passenger service that Isaiah has enjoyed most recently has been our introduction of mobile fares via the Token Transit app. “I get a 7-day pass every week on Token Transit. It’s neat to be able pay with your phone and not have to worry about always having exact cash. I always had to have $18 cash to pay the driver for a pass, but having the mobile fare option has made riding so much easier because I can easily buy the pass with my debit card. And, you don’t need to worry about losing your bus pass, either, because it’s always in your phone.”

Isaiah would like to get a new car soon, but that doesn’t mean his journey with Omnitrans will have to come to an end. “Honestly, when I get a new car, I will continue to take the bus and leave my car at home during the week and only drive on the weekends. It’s more convenient because you don’t have to sit through traffic or spend more money on gas,” he reveals of his future transportation plans.

He also plans to enroll in classes at Valley College in San Bernardino, where he will be entitled to unlimited rides with our GoSmart program for students!

“I’d never ridden the bus before; I just looked up the bus schedules online one day when I needed a ride because my car broke down. I’d never had a reason to ride, but now I would recommend it to others, honestly. It’s affordable, reliable, and saves money,” says Isaiah as he boards Freeway Express 290 to head back home at the end of his work day. See you on the bus tomorrow, Isaiah!

Donate to the Spark of Love Toy Drive 2017

Spread some holiday cheer this season! Join Omnitrans, ABC7 and Southern California Firefighters and give to the Spark of Love Toy Drive.

Every child deserves to wake up with a smile on their face this holiday season, and you can help make that happen for under-served children in our local community on Friday, December 8, 2017 at the Stuff-A-Bus extravaganza! Omnitrans buses will be ready to get “stuffed” with new, unwrapped toy donations at Mathis Brothers Furniture, located at 4105 Inland Empire Blvd, Ontario, CA 91764, from 5 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Last year, our community came together and stuffed over 10 buses with toys for little ones throughout San Bernardino County. In addition to supporting a wonderful cause, you’ll also enjoy music, treats, take a close-up look at the ABC7 news copter, and say hello to Santa at the event!

Unable to attend Stuff-A-Bus? We will be collecting toy drop-offs through Thursday, December 7th at our main office lobby in San Bernardino, and at the San Bernardino Transit Center.

You may also stop by any local fire station to drop off your toy, or donate monetarily online. All proceeds will go to buying toys or sports equipment for the children. Click here to donate online!

Omnitrans is located at 1700 W. Fifth Street San Bernardino, CA 92411. The San Bernardino Transit Center is located at 599 W. Rialto Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92401. For hours of operation please click here.

Buses not in service on Thanksgiving Day

In observance of Thanksgiving, Omnitrans buses will not be in service on Thursday, November 23, 2017. The 1-800-9-OMNIBUS customer service line and administrative offices will also be closed on this day.

Regular bus service will resume the following day, Friday, November 24. The customer service center will also re-open, but administrative offices will be remain closed until the following Monday.

From the Omnitrans family to you, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

Bus detours scheduled in San Bernardino on Veterans Day

Three Omnitrans routes will be detouring in San Bernardino on Saturday, November 11, 2017 as we honor our veterans during the Veterans Day Parade & Car Show.

The street closed is Mt. Vernon, between 6th Street and 16th Street, and routes affected are 3, 4, and 10.

Detours will be in effect from 6 a.m. through 5 p.m. for the routes listed below. Remember to plan ahead if your usual routes are on detour!

Route 3
Eastbound from Medical Center
Left on 5th Street, resume route

Route 4
Westbound from 5th Street
Right on Medical Center, resume route

Route 10
Eastbound from Base Line
Left on Medical Center
Right on 16th
Right on Massachussetts
Left on Base Line, resume route

Westbound from Base Line
Right on Massachussetts
Left on 16th
Left on Medical Center
Right on Base Line, resume route