Tag Archives: chaffey college bus

From a fun childhood hobby to a practical transportation mode

In the public transit world, we often see people combining different modes of transportation to get to their destinations – biking to the train station, walking to the bus stop, driving your car to meet your carpool group – but skateboarding and bus riding was a refreshingly different commute alternative!

As the new school year started earlier this month, we met Destiny Nunez at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga. She hopped off the bus at the Chaffey Transit Center and got on her skateboard, zooming by her schoolmates as they all made their way across campus. The 21-year-old San Bernardino County native rides Omnitrans to school, where she is currently in her second year of art studies working toward a career in animation.

“Omnitrans has been my main transportation to get to school,” she shares with us. “I don’t have a car yet, but I don’t mind riding the bus. It costs much less than having a car would, and even when I do get a car, I will try to ride the bus whenever possible because it’s just better to do that for the environment due to car emissions.”

Choosing and committing to a college after high school can be a daunting task, but Destiny planned hers around transportation. Because of Omnitrans’ GoSmart program and the one-seat ride that would get her to school on Route 80, Chaffey was the obvious choice for Destiny.

“One of my questions was, ‘would I be able to get there?’ I don’t really rely on people to get me places, so when I looked at the bus route and saw that it was convenient, I thought it was great that service was provided. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to come.”

And while some young people would not be caught dead riding the bus, Destiny is laughing back at critics. “I do a lot of homework on the bus, since it’s about a 50 minute ride. It’s really quiet and easy to get work done, or even study quickly before a test on the way to school. It definitely opens up more time for productivity, and I really like that part of it, too, because school can get so busy – especially if you also have a job. I work as well, so I really try to utilize every free minute I have and riding the bus allows me to do that.”

In a world where all of our attention is funneled into our smartphones or other devices, riding the bus also provides an authentic connection to others. “There are nice people that you meet on the bus. It’s usually other schoolmates who have your same schedule, so you always see them on the bus or waiting at the bus stop. That’s really nice. I don’t think I would’ve talked to those people any other way. Everyone’s so busy that they don’t really have time to stop and chat unless you’re in the same situation. I also like chatting with people older than me on the bus because you learn a lot from them. It’s nice to have little conversations and interactions that are always uplifting,” shares Destiny.

Getting the most out of her commute is something that Destiny has mastered at this point. She has meaningful interactions on the bus, spends time catching up on homework or studying, but is also able to get some fun out of it by riding her skateboard to the bus stop, a leisure interest that she has carried into adulthood from her youth.

“I ride my skateboard from my house to the bus stop, so it gets me there faster than walking. I’ve been doing this since middle school, if not a little bit before that. I grew up around a lot of boys, and my cousin and best friend growing up got me into skateboarding because he thought it would be fun for us to do together,” she reminisces.

“We got some little, plastic skateboards and started watching all the skateboarders. We finally got real skateboards and from that point, it became an everyday thing for us. After that, we became hardcore fans, practicing tricks. It was so much fun and I still love it. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing it!” she tells us before skating off for an Art Club meeting. Happy riding, Destiny!

Go Smart website for Chaffey College students

Good news for Chaffey College students who are taking advantage of the Go Smart College Pass program!

Chaffey’s Admissions & Records Department has established an online resource to field any questions or concerns you may have regarding Go Smart. Although the college has no specific person or telephone line dedicated to the program, the web page does provide a contact email and an online problem report form to help resolve any issues that might arise. Emails and problem reports are monitored daily.

You can visit the Chaffey College Go Smart page at:
http://www.chaffey.edu/gosmart/index.shtml

About GoSmart
With the Go Smart program, students at participating colleges pay a $7.50 transportation fee as part of their college fees at the beginning of each semester which allows them to ride the bus for free with their student ID throughout the year.

Student rider passionate about politics and public transit

Matthew Munson is a 32-year-old re-entry student who is working on his prerequisites in education at Chaffey College. His goal is to be a history teacher for 7th-12th graders.

Matthew has a passion for politics and ran for the State Assembly when he was just 23-years-old. He’s also written letters to the editor encouraging people to use public transit. He believes that one of the best ways to rally people around a cause is to give them firsthand experience of what it means. “It’s especially important for decision-makers to understand the needs of the people they represent,” said Matthew. “For example I think your bus agency board members should all ride the bus for a day to experience a day in the life of an Omnitrans rider.”

An experienced rider, Matthew has been using public transit almost exclusively for the past 15 years. He rode between Ontario and the University of California at Riverside (UCR) for 2 years when he was a political science major back in 2003. “It was before Riverside Transit Agency had their express bus service. My day used to start at 5 in the morning and I’d get home around 9:00 at night. It was a long commute, but I was able to get all my class reading done on the bus,” said Matthew. “It worked for me.”

Now his commute is only 5 hours a week, and he is able to take advantage of the GoSmart College Pass program which allows him to ride for free with his student ID. He hopes the program will receive the support it needs to in order to continue. Chaffey students will be voting in early April on whether or not to fund the program through a $7.50 transportation fee as part of their registration.

“It’s a win for all the students,” Matthew pointed out. “Those of us who use the service are able to save a lot of money. It used to cost me about $35 a month to ride the bus, which may not sound like much, but the savings definitely add up. Even students with cars benefit from the program because there’s less competition for parking—something that’s always a premium on a college campus. It’s also a great backup for students when their car breaks down or they can’t afford the gas.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson

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Student rider enjoys savings and independence

Rider profile - Marcus

Marcus, Chaffey College Student

RIDER PROFILE:  Marcus is a part-time student taking classes at Chaffey College. He’s interested in pursuing a career in health, possibly as a nurse. He is bilingual, has strong math and science skills and enjoys helping people– qualities he knows will open a lot of opportunities for him in this growing field.

As with most college students, money is always a concern, and Marcus takes advantage of the Go Smart College Pass program, which allows him to ride the bus for free with his student I.D. “Traveling by car would be really expensive for me,” he said. “I attend school four days a week, and driving there and back costs me about $8.00 a day. It adds up to almost $130 a month–and that’s not even including the trips I take for leisure activities! I enjoy getting out a lot and usually ride an average of 50 miles a day.”

Chaffey College students ride Omnitrans free with their student I.D.

Although he owns a car, Marcus only uses it on the weekend to drive to his job at Costco in Orange County. He’s hoping to transfer soon to the Rancho location, and would like to use Omnitrans for the trip instead. “I like not having to drive. Driving is stressful, expensive and sometimes it can take 15 minutes just to find parking. I can enjoy the ride, listen to my music, or read and just relax,” said Marcus. “I’m also very active and like to travel. Before when I wanted to drive somewhere I had to worry about affording the gas or think about the wear and tear on the car. Now I have no limits. I have the freedom to do whatever I want to do, and I really like that. It’s also very easy to ride Omnitrans because it’s destination-based rather than street-based. You don’t need a lot of transfers.”

His advice to new riders: “It’s a good idea to prepare in advance to get an idea of what do and which stops you need. Go to the Omnitrans website and check out their videos on how to ride the bus. This way you’ll know what to expect. Look through the Bus Book to go over your route, and if you have any questions call the people at 1-800-9-OMNIBUS. They’re really terrific. And don’t be shy about asking your bus driver for help. The drivers are good about explaining things and will look out for new people to make sure they get where they need to go.”

If you are a college student and would like information on the Go Smart College Pass program, visit the Omnitrans website.

–Juno Kughler Carlson

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org