Steps to loading bikes on new bike racks

Hey Omnitrans bike riders, look what’s new on your favorite buses! That’s right, upgraded bike racks that securely hold not two, but THREE bikes all at once. With four easy steps to follow, you’ll be on your way to your next destination in no time!

Bus racks on our entire fleet will be upgraded over time, but you can check them out on 24 new buses so far. Follow these four easy steps to properly place your bike onto the rack:

EASY LOADING STEPS

Step 1: Squeeze to unlock into position

Step 2: Load front wheel

Step 3: Secure front wheel

Step 4: Reverse steps to unload bike. Raise the bike rack to stowed position after use.

Omnitrans Hires New Director of Operations Shawn Brophy

Shawn Brophy has joined Omnitrans as Director of Operations, bringing over 25 years of experience in the transit industry.  He fills a vacancy left by his predecessor, Diane Caldera, who retired in September.

Brophy’s career includes time in both the private and public sectors. He was employed by MV Transportation for the last six years, most recently filling the role of Quality Assurance Director at North County Transit District in San Diego County, California.

“We believe Shawn’s strong background, experience and work ethic will bring the leadership skills needed to address the changing demands of our transit system,” said Omnitrans CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham.

At Omnitrans, Brophy will oversee a department of more than 480 employees including over 400 coach operators.  The agency directly operates 30 bus routes which transport over 36,000 passengers on a typical weekday.

“I was attracted to the agency and the direction it is heading in, integrating a multi-modal platform with the forthcoming Arrow rail system,” said Brophy. “Omnitrans is very technologically advanced and is investing in its future. It is a great organization and I am excited about this opportunity.”

Interested in starting a career with Omnitrans? View current job openings online at Omnitrans.org and apply.

Ride Omnitrans to the 26th Annual Festival of Lights in Riverside

Every year, thousands of people throughout Southern California visit the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Downtown Riverside for the annual Festival of Lights. The holiday extravaganza switches its lights on this Friday, November 23, 2018 for a free, six-week-long run featuring one of the largest light spectacles in the country.

Residents from the San Bernardino Valley may experience the beloved tradition and avoid traffic and parking fees by riding Omnitrans Freeway Express Route 215 to Downtown Riverside’s Metrolink Station. There, a free shuttle awaits courtesy of Riverside Transit Agency (RTA), which will give you a lift to the festival every 15 minutes on Fridays and Saturdays between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Refer to the map below for shuttle details and location. For Omnitrans Route 215 schedules & info, click here.

Map courtesy of RTA.

Donate to the Spark of Love Toy Drive 2018

Help brighten the holidays for underserved youth throughout our local community by donating a toy to the 2018 Spark of Love Toy Drive on Friday, November 30, 2018!

Join Omnitrans, ABC7, and Southern California Firefighters for Stuff-A-Bus at Mathis Brothers Furniture, located at 4105 Inland Empire Blvd, Ontario, CA 91764, from 5 a.m.-6 p.m. Each year, community members and organizations stuff buses with new, unwrapped toy donations, each gift sure to put a smile on the face of a child in need in the Inland Empire.

Omnitrans staff and San Bernardino County firefighters load buses with toy donations. When the event ends, the buses transport all toys to a local warehouse, where they are distributed to kids and youth within our community. This will be Omnitrans’ 12th year  participating in the Stuff-A-Bus toy drive!

In 2017, over 10 buses were filled with toys as Spark of Love supporters donated generously and enjoyed music and food. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet their favorite ABC news reporters, take a close-up look at the ABC7 news-copter, City of Ontario firetrucks and SWAT vehicles, and even greet Santa Claus!

Click here for photos of Stuff-A-Bus 2017.

If you would like to donate to the toy drive, but are unable to attend Stuff-A-Bus, you still have the opportunity to give. Donations may be dropped off at Omnitrans headquarters in San Bernardino through Thursday, November 29th.

Because there tend to be fewer donations for teens, suggested donation items include watches, jewelry, cameras, sunglasses, earphones, cellphone cases, skateboards, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, purses/bags, blow dryers, and flat irons.

Toy donations may also be dropped off at any local fire station in San Bernardino County, and money gifts toward the cause also may be made online. All money raised will go toward toy or sports equipment purchases for underserved children. Click here to donate online!

Omnitrans is located at 1700 W. Fifth Street San Bernardino, CA 92411. For office hours of operation to the public please click here.

Win two free tickets to the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario 2018-19 season!

As Thanksgiving approaches, along with a big thank you for riding, we offer you the special chance to win tickets to any home game for the local NBA G League team, the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario!

Omnitrans is a proud sponsor of the Agua Caliente Clippers, and we want to celebrate this new partnership by giving away six pairs of free ticket vouchers good for any game of the 2018-19 season.

Yes, you read that correctly – any home game of the 2018-19 season held at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.

To enter this giveaway for a chance to win:

  • Leave a comment below telling us what you guess the final Clippers score will be for the game on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 as the AC Clippers take on the South Bay Lakers.

Example: I predict the Clippers score will be 89!

HINT: The past couple of games have been in the high triple digits, ranging anywhere from 97-129 points. View past scores this season here.

If there are no correct guesses, we will choose the six closest to the final Clippers score scored without going over. If there are more than six tied, we will randomly select the winners. We limit one entry per person, so be sure to tell family and friends to also comment below with their guesses to increase your odds of winning!

To qualify, your entry must include an e-mail address that we can use to contact you if you win. Winners will be notified on Wednesday, November 21st at 12:00 p.m. Winner must be able to pick up ticket vouchers from Omnitrans. Arrangements can be made when we contact the winners.

Good luck, and go AC Clippers!

Buses not in service on Thanksgiving Day 2018

In observance of Thanksgiving Day, Omnitrans buses will not be in service on Thursday, November 22, 2018. 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 23. 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 2018

Several Omnitrans routes will be detouring temporarily in San Bernardino on Sunday, November 11, 2018 as we honor our veterans during the City of San Bernardino 18th Annual Veterans Day Salute & Parade.

Streets closed during the parade include D Street, 2nd Street, Sierra Way, 7th Street, and 8th Street. Detours will be in effect from 7 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. for the routes listed below.

Remember to plan ahead if your route is affected by this route detour.

Route 1
Northbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on Sierra Way
  • Right on 2nd
  • Left on Allen
  • Left on 3rd

Southbound from Sierra Way:

  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Allen
  • Right on Rialto
  • Left into San Bernardino Transit Center

Route 3
Eastbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on Allen
  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Sierra Way
  • Left on 5th

Route 4
Westbound from Arrowhead:

  • Left on 5th
  • Right on Sierra Way
  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Allen
  • Right on Rialto

Route 7
Northbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on Allen
  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Sierra Way

Southbound from Sierra Way:

  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Allen
  • Right on Rialto
  • Left into San Bernardino Transit Center

Route 11
Northbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on E St.
  • Right 9th St.
  • Left on D St.

Southbound from D St.:

  • Right on 9th
  • Left on E St.
  • Right on Rialto
  • Left into San Bernardino Transit Center

Route 15
Eastbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on Allen
  • Right on 3rd

Westbound from 3rd:

  • Right on 9th
  • Left on Allen
  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on San Bernardino Transit Center

Employee of the Quarter Steve Sisneros

When he is not at work, Fleet Safety and Training Instructor Steve Sisneros basks in the serenity, calm, and quiet of the great outdoors. It is quite a contrast from the urban backdrop of his career at Omnitrans, the public transit provider in the dense, populous, and ever-growing San Bernardino Valley.

“Being out of the city, away from large crowds, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells in nature, standing underneath a waterfall is a rejuvenating experience that can’t be duplicated,” explains Steve, who developed an appreciation for nature in his childhood years, often camping and hiking with his father.

Disconnecting from the world recharges him to be his best, and it seems to cascade into excellence at work. Earlier this month, Steve was recognized by the Omnitrans Board of Directors as the Employee of the Quarter for April-June 2018 for his contributions to the safety and training operations of the agency.

“We are a large agency, with over 600 people, and the award is given four times a year. I did the math and thought ‘Hey, this is pretty cool!’ says Steve, who was surprised upon learning of his recognition. “It’s the second time our department receives this award in the past two years, so it’s nice and encouraging to see that our work is respected.”

A couple of years ago, Steve attended a Transit Instructor Networking meeting hosted by Long Beach Transit. He noticed high-tech, interactive whiteboards in their training rooms, which made training a much more enriching experience. Thinking proactively, he shared the idea of bringing this technology to Omnitrans with his supervisors and the purchasing process began shortly thereafter.

After a few months of shopping around, the new interactive whiteboards were installed in our training rooms, as well as in other departments throughout the agency. The whiteboards allow you to project your computer onto the screen on the wall, and users can draw, make notes, and highlight items on the screen with just the tip of their finger, similar to what sports broadcasters do on TV. This provides a more visually-stimulating teaching experience that incorporates technology and eliminates paper waste.

Aside from refining the training process in the classroom, Steve also completed the Department of Motor Vehicles Employer Testing program in Sacramento and became certified as an official DMV examiner for Omnitrans, saving the agency $85 per person in testing fees.

Steve, who did not have bus driving experience prior to joining Omnitrans 16 years ago, enjoys having a direct impact in passing down his knowledge to future generations of Coach Operators. Prior to joining the Fleet Safety & Training team four years ago, he was a Coach Operator Instructor for nine of his 13 years as a driver, responsible for guiding new operators behind the wheel and out in our service area.

“Our job is very hands-on, so during the training process we have to figure out how each person will best retain information. Will they learn visually via videos or through a hands-on approach? Someone can do really well in the classroom, then get behind the wheel and freak out,” says Steve.

“Others, don’t do as well in the classroom, but when they get behind the wheel are complete naturals. We have to observe how they are going to retain the knowledge and adapt a style to each individual person.”

(From left to right) Omnitrans Deputy CEO/General Manager Erin Rogers, Omnitrans Board of Directors Chair Ron Dailey, Fleet Safety and Training Instructor Steve Sisneros, and Omnitrans CEO/General Manager Scott Graham at October’s Board of Directors meeting, where Steve was presented with his Employee of the Quarter award.

Steve’s techniques for effective training include a lot humor and relaying his personal experience as a driver to the trainees. He considers that one the best assets that he brings to the table. Having the experience to back up his words creates trust and credibility between student and instructor. Establishing trust is paramount when many trainees have never driven a 40 foot bus before!

“You have to empower them and let them know that the bus is not going to do anything that you don’t want it to do. Once we can get them past that point, they are able to implement the tools that we have taught them to safely operate the coach,” he says. “When you can relay anecdotes and real stories from your own experience, then it’s just a matter of time before it all falls into place and they gain confidence needed to drive the bus.”

Steve acknowledges that his success would not be possible without the support of his team. He genuinely loves what he does, and looks forward to retiring at Omnitrans when the time comes. To him, the career longevity of many of our drivers’ 25-plus year careers are a testament to the level of satisfaction that this work provides.

“On the days when the going gets tough, realizing that you’re helping that elderly lady get to the grocery store and those kids to get to school is important. Those are motivating factors and a nice reminder of the meaningful work that we’re doing,” says Steve.

Celebrating local art and community at the 3rd Annual SBTC Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest

Over 100 community members, artists, and transit-riders gathered at the San Bernardino Transit Center on Saturday, October 20, 2018 for a visual experience that took spectators “around the world” at the 3rd Annual SBTC Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest.

Twenty-three artists showcased their talents at the transit center this year, adorning the concrete sidewalks with chalk works of art reflecting the theme – A Trip Around the World.

“Since last year’s contest, the San Bernardino Transit Center has welcomed Metrolink and a Riverside Transit Agency connection to improve connectivity for San Bernardino area residents,” said Omnitrans Marketing Manager Nicole Ramos. “These partnerships with neighboring transit agencies open up the possibilities for travel destinations and experiences beyond the San Bernardino County region, and we wanted to integrate the transit center’s growth as a transportation hub in this year’s celebration.”

Contestants competed individually, and in teams of two or three, while kids enjoyed a free painting class by The Art Barn of Cherry Valley. HOT 103.9’s DJ Jeff Pope kept the crowd entertained with an interactive prize wheel, unique raffles, and the latest hits, of course!

After two hours of arduous handwork, three judges from the local arts community – including the City of San Bernardino Fine Arts Commission and San Bernardino County Arts Connection – came together to deliberate and choose the top three winners, which was no easy task.

3rd Place Winners

3rd Place: Rachael B. and Ashley J., winners of $100. The duo’s art featured an exquisitely-drawn hot air balloon revolving around a bird’s-eye view of the world. The “envelope” exterior of the balloon included several international flags.

2nd Place Winner

2nd Place: Vivian L., winner of $150. Vivian’s creation featured a vibrant, colorful drawing of the Earth as the focal point, with excellent chalk handwriting and a decorative paper plane in flight accentuating her design.

1st Place: Isaac R., winner of the grand prize of $300. A two-time contest winner (Isaac previously took home the top prize at the inaugural event in 2016), Isaac’s impressive masterpiece featured four skillfully contoured and blended profiles of cultural icons around the world including: A Renaissance sculpture, a Japanese samurai, the Day of the Dead “Calavera Catrina”, and Buddha.

“We love showcasing the talents of local artists and seeing the transit center serve as a community gathering place along with being a busy regional transportation hub,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams.

View more photos of the event on Flickr. Keep an eye out for information on next year’s event – we’d love to see your art grace the competition!

Veterans Ride Free on Veterans Day 2018

To thank and honor our veterans, Omnitrans will offer free unlimited rides to the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces on Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2018. It is our way of saying thank you for your service.

Veterans may simply board with a Veteran ID card, indicating retired military status. The offer is good on any Omnitrans vehicle including sbX, Freeway Express, OmniGo community shuttles, and our local fixed-route buses.

Accepted forms of ID include those issued by US Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs, San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Veterans enjoy discounts throughout the year with our discounted Veterans Fare and bus passes. Required methods of proof of eligibility for such fare discount include:

  • County of San Bernardino Military Veterans ID card
  • US Department of Veteran Affairs ID card
  • Department of Defense retired ID card, or
  • a transit agency Veterans ID card

If you are a veteran and would like to apply for the San Bernardino County Military Veterans ID card, please click here to apply online.