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!

Omnitrans welcomes new administrative secretary

Christine Vega - Omnitrans administrative secretary

Omnitrans is pleased to welcome aboard Christine Vega, its new administrative secretary. Christine was a longtime employee of the County of San Bernardino, most recently as a secretary for the department of behavioral health. Her extensive experience in the government and business sectors, and exceptional office skills, will be a valuable asset to the Omnitrans team.

Christine has worked as a secretary all her professional life.

“I’ve always loved to type ever since I took typing classes back in high school,” she explains with a smile. “When IBM came out with their selectrics, I was a goner. I was just in love. And it just was a natural progression. After high school I went on to take business classes at Riverside Community College and worked in offices. I think my first job title was junior steno clerk because I also took shorthand. I had to memorize the shorthand dictionary and everything! In fact, I did that for a meeting I was at just yesterday. But what I like now is to sit in a meeting with a laptop. After doing it for so many years, you develop a sort of filter. It comes in your ears and goes out your fingers whether you’re writing it or typing it. Sometimes I can walk out of a meeting and think what did they all say? Then when I sit down and look at my notes, it’s all there.”

Still, if times had been different, Christine confesses her career choice might have been a little more unusual.

“At the time I graduated high school, women were expected to become secretaries, teachers, nurses or something like that. In my heart of hearts I wanted to be an astronaut, but that was unheard of back in those days. The first moon landing happened when I was a teenager, and it was all so exciting. I thought to myself I want to do that. But those doors just weren’t open, not really.”

Now she satisfies her love of travel and adventure by taking trips to Europe with Joe, her husband of 35 years. The two have passed on their passion for exploring places to their 19-year-old daughter Maribeth, who is currently an Airman First Class in the Air Force.

Christine Vega - Omnitrans administrative secretary

Christine decided to come to Omnitrans because she was looking for a different challenge. Interestingly enough it was sbX that first caught her eye and prompted her to look at a career with the agency.

“When sbX went live back in April, all the county employees got emails about it because there was an sbX station right there on Hospitality. I remember reading about it and thinking how cool it was. At the bottom of the email, there was a section on job opportunities with Omnitrans. When I clicked the link, this administrative secretary position was the first one that popped up. It seemed like a wonderful opportunity with great benefits so I applied.”

With just three days under her belt, Christine is already settling in and making her mark.

“Coming down the 215 this morning I was so jazzed about coming to work and thinking about all the different things I would be doing. I was so excited I just flew right past the 5th Street off ramp,” she laughs. “I’m very glad to be here.”

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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Omnitrans proposes discounted fare for veterans, police & firefighters

 

Omnitrans will hold public hearings to gather public comments regarding a proposed fare policy change to provide a discounted fare for Veterans and a free fare for Active Duty Military and Uniformed Police and Fire Officers.

Veteran Fare:
Omnitrans proposes offering Veterans with a discount on the purchases of Local Bus, Express Bus, sbX and OmniGo fares and passes identical to the discount provided to Senior and Disabled riders. This is essentially a 50% discount compared to full fare. No Veteran fare would be offered on Access service. The proposed Veterans fares are: Cash $0.75; Day Pass $2.25; 7-Day Pass $8.00 and 31-Day Pass $27.50.

Active Duty Military & Uniformed Police Officer and Firefighter Fare:
Omnitrans proposes allowing Active Duty Military and Uniformed Police Officers and Firefighters with the opportunity to ride Omnitrans buses for free, excluding Access service.

The proposed fare change will be brought before the Omnitrans Board of Directors for consideration in October 2014. If approved, it will become effective January 2015.

The public is invited to submit comments until Monday, September 22, 2014 by 5:00 P.M. using one of the methods listed below.

BY MEETING:
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Omnitrans Large Lobby Conference Room
1700 West Fifth Street
San Bernardino, California 92411
3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

BY MAIL:
Omnitrans, 1700 West Fifth Street, San Bernardino, California 92411
Attention to Marketing & Planning Department. 

BY PHONE:   Call (909) 379-7150

BY EMAIL:    tembi.morales@omnitrans.org.

BY ONLINE COMMENT FORM:

Omnitrans rider loses wallet on bus 3 times–and gets it back!

Omnitrans passenger recovers lost wallet 3 times

Omnitrans Route 22 passenger Federico Gante has lost his wallet on the bus three times in the past four weeks. Each time it was found and turned in by someone on the bus.

“I don’t know how it keeps happening. I put it into my back pocket, and I guess it comes out of there,” he laughs. “I’m switching to another pocket now.”

Federico has been riding Omnitrans since he came here from Arizona back in February. He takes the bus every day to his job at  Papa Johns over on Pepper and San Bernardino.  

“I’m the Dough Master,” he grins. “Anytime you order a pizza, I’m the guy that makes it for you.”

If you happen to see Federico on Route 22, be sure to say hi and remind him to check his pocket before leaving the bus!

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org 

OmniGo bus meets needs of Chino Hills students

OmniGo bus transports students at Chino Hills High School

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 for them to travel and hang out with friends.

OmniGo students at Chino Hills High School

Chino High School students Jasmine, Maggie, Antonio and Austin are regular OmniGo riders.

We recently stopped by Chino Hills High School and talked to a few of the students who rely on OmniGo Route 365.

“I ride Omnitrans because of family transportation issues,” says Jasmine. “This is my first year riding and so far it’s been great.”

Maggie agrees.  “Because both of my parents work, I can’t always find a ride home from school. OmniGo is really, really, really convenient.”

For Antonio, it’s the difference between a 50 minute walk versus a 15 minute ride. “OmniGo is just more convenient for me,” he says. “I live about 3 or 4 miles away so it would be a pretty long walk home for me after school.”

Austin’s family is always on the go, so taking the OmniGo bus fits his transportation needs. “Riding the bus is less of a hassle for me and my family since we all have different schedules,” he explains.

Mom Carmen Hernandez

Parents also like the safety and dependability of OmniGo as a transportation alternative for their teens.

“My son is a 16-year-old Junior at Chino Hills High School,” says mom Carmen Hernandez. “He’ll be taking the bus for the first time this year. We don’t have reliable transportation to get him home in the afternoons, and OmniGo is really the only option for us.”

Carmen has been going online to plan her son’s transition to public transit. “I also downloaded the Omnitrans app so I’m able to estimate when he’ll get home based on the arrival times it shows for getting from one stop to the next,” she explains.  “It helps me keep tabs on where he is and how he’s doing, and I can make sure he’s getting to the right stop on time. If anything happens, I can see it in the alerts. It keeps me informed and gives me peace of mind.”

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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Chino Hills High School students at the OmniGo bus stop

Omnitrans GoSmart a boon for Crafton students

Crafton Hills College GoSmart bus

At the Omnitrans bus stop at Crafton Hills College, students are listening to music, reading and chatting in small groups under the shade trees. Many of them are freshman who are taking advantage of the GoSmart program for the first time. The discount fare program, which is funded by student fees, provides them with unlimited rides on any Omnitrans fixed route using their student ID.

Crafton Hills College GoSmart student bus

Heather uses GoSmart to get to her college classes

Redlands resident Heather is just coming back to school after having taken a year off from classes. She has no idea what she wants to do yet, so she’s focusing on basic credits she needs and courses that interest her—like philosophy. Heather’s taking the bus because she doesn’t yet have her license.

Omnitrans bus at Crafton Hills College

“Both my parents work for the school district,” she explains. “So they can’t really give me a ride. GoSmart works great for me. One of the beauties of the bus is that you don’t have to look for campus parking. Plus I get exercise.”

Crafton Hills college GoSmart student

Kat, a Zoology major, relies on GoSmart as her main transportation

Kat, a  Zoology major, agrees. “I’m in the same situation. My dad lives in Calimesa and my mom lives with me in Redlands. I actually started riding the bus last year because my boyfriend lived in Mentone. It’s easy transport and convenient for me.”

Crafton hills College student

GoSmart rider Aaron Davis studies Kinesiology at Crafton Hills College

Aaron lives in Mentone. He’s studying Kinesiology at Crafton.  “I think the bus is actually helpful for a lot of students. My parents work, and this definitely makes it easier for me to get back and forth to school.”

Crafton Hills go smart student

Gerson Cisneros saves $50 a week by riding the bus to and from school

For Business Administration major, Gerson, GoSmart is all about the savings. “I live in Highland, and it takes me about an hour and 20 minutes by bus to get to campus. I use the time to do homework. Gas is really expensive since I have a truck. I would rather spend a bit more time riding the bus than spend $10 in gas every day. That’s $50 a week I can put towards something else.”

omnitrans student riders

Having the ability to access unlimited rides with just the swipe of a student ID isn’t merely a convenience. It also opens up educational opportunities for many students previously restricted by limited finances and lack of transportation. Together, the Omnitrans GoSmart program and Crafton Hills College are making it possible for students to achieve a quality education and pursue their career dreams.

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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crafton hills college students catch bus

Buses not in service on Labor Day

omnitrans - no bus service on labor dayOmnitrans offices will be closed and buses will not be running on Monday, September 1st for the Labor Day holiday. Our offices will reopen and buses will resume operation on Tuesday, September 2nd.

Please keep in mind that Omnitrans new fares and service changes go into effect on September 2nd. You can plan ahead with our Guide to September Service Changes which features the new bus book, detailed route information, and frequently asked questions.