Tag Archives: omnigo

The mechanics of a bus rider

Mechanic Jeff Bailey at Empire Bowl in Redlands

For more than ten years, Yucaipa resident Jeff Bailey has ridden Omnitrans to Empire Bowl in Redlands where he works as a mechanic.

“The bus stop used to be right in front of the Shakey’s next door, but that changed earlier this year when Omnitrans cut out a small portion of Route 19 that went up Colton Avenue. It’s an inconvenience because I have to walk about a mile from Redlands Mall to get to work. But with the 19 leaving Yucaipa every half hour now instead of every hour, that’s a lot nicer for me. It used to take me an hour and 20 minutes to get to work, and now it only takes 40 minutes.”

Jeff loves working on machines, and he is in his element when surrounded by tools in his workshop.

“I’ve been turning wrenches all my life,” he says with a chuckle. “I was in the Air Force for 10 ½ years active duty and 11 ½ years in the reserves as an aircraft mechanic. So I came to this job fairly well prepared. I just had to learn the machines. I had a good working knowledge of tools and mechanical principle, so that worked out all right. I was hired here as a Class B Brunswick mechanic. I worked with a guy on the bowling machines for about three nights, and then they told me I was good to go. We’ve had people here that we’ve trained for two weeks, and they still didn’t work out. They just don’t have it.”

Empire Bowl mechanic Jeff Bailey

Jeff believes that some people are just born with a natural curiousity about how things work.

“I think you either have mechanical aptitude or you don’t. My dad had it and so did my grandfather. It runs in our family. For years my dad worked the coal mines in Pennsylvania and was later promoted to the preparation plant were they grade and sort the coal. He was the mechanic on all the machinery there.”

As an Air Force veteran, Jeff feels his military experience gave him a strong foundation that he carries over to the workplace.

“You learn discipline, work ethic, and the importance of being on time. In my 15 years of working here at Empire Bowl, I think I’ve only called out for one day. I leave the house early and I get here early—just in case. So if there’s a mechanical breakdown on the bus, the next bus will still get me to work on time. That’s a decision I make. I never want to be late.

“For the most part it works out fine. The schedules are set so you know what they are. I don’t have any trouble with them. It’s hard sometimes because I get out at midnight. For years I was taking a cab home. Now I pay my nephew for about half the price. If I was working day shift I would use the bus both ways”

Because he’s been riding the bus so long and knows the schedules, Jeff says he never really has a need to use NexTrip.

“I did download the Omnitrans app though,” he admits. “And I have the map on my tablet. This way, I can research the routes when I need to go somewhere out of the ordinary.  Besides work, I go to Stater Bros, Walmart and the VA Hospital. I don’t get into San Bernardino too often.”

Omnitrans bus rider and Empire Bowl mechanic Jeff Bailey

An avid golfer, Jeff also enjoys spending time on the golf course.

“I belong to a senior men’s club, and we play golf every Wednesday at Calimesa Country Club. I don’t miss that! Most of the time I catch a ride, but if I need it, OmniGo drops me off about a half mile from the club. I only carry about three clubs with me, so that’s alright. I enjoy the game. My handicap is 19. I started playing almost two years ago with a 29, but I’ve been coming down. I’m about at my limit now. At my age I can’t hit the ball as far as I used to. I’ll be 68 in October.”

A front desk call comes in over the intercom, and Jeff jumps up to address a problem on one of the lanes. After making a quick adjustment to the machine, he returns with a smile.

“The bus service has been pretty good for me overall,” he says, wiping his hand on a towel. “I  know most of the coach operators by face, but not by name. On Sundays, the driver is a young fella who always has something nice to say. In inclement weather, he tells us ‘you don’t have to stand out there. Come on in the bus.’ He’s a nice guy and looks after everyone. People appreciate that.

“You know it’s funny. Sometimes we get new drivers on the route who have never driven it before. They might be covering for someone who got sick that day.  Every so often, they’ll start to make a wrong turn, and we have to say ‘no, no—our turn is down farther.’ And they say okay and apologize. They do their best for us, and we look out for them if we can.

“Riding the bus is very convenient. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it. I’d have to move closer to work, or maybe just retire.”

– 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

OmniGo expands coverage in Chino Hills

Now serving Butterfield Ranch!
Beginning August 25th, Chino Hills residents will enjoy expanded OmniGo bus service thanks to the addition of a new tripper connecting Butterfield Ranch and Chino Hills High School.

About OmniGo Service
Count on OmniGo to get to school, work or wherever you need to go in Chino and Chino Hills. OmniGo Route 365 connects you to Ayala and Chino Hills High Schools, Chaffey College Chino Campus, and community locations like Chino Hills City Hall, Chino Hills Marketplace, Ayala Park, and The Shoppes at Chino Hills. It also provides direct access to service throughout the San Bernardino Valley at the Chino Transit Center. For safe, reliable, affordable service, go with OmniGo. Route 365 runs every 60 minutes seven days a week.

Click here to view OmniGo maps and schedules.

OmniGo Fares
OmniGo fares are the same as regular Omnitrans fares and may be used on all Omnitrans fixed routes.  On September 2nd, Omnitrans fares will increase for the first time in five years.

Once the fare change goes into effect, the price of a one-way bus trip will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 while the 1-day pass rate will rise from $4 to $5.  A 31-day pass will go from $47 to $55.  See the fare table for full rates and details. Passes purchased before the before the rate increase will still be honored, so stock up now and save later!

Chino Hills Schools served by OmniGo
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 to travel and hang out with friends. OmniGo Route 365 serves the following Chino Hills Schools:

  • Chino Hills High School
  • Ruben S. Ayala High School
  • Townsend Junior High School

Bike Racks:
All OmniGo vehicles are equipped with bike racks. Bring your bike at no extra charge. Bike and bus are the perfect combo!

Wheelchairs or mobility aids:
All OmniGo buses are lift-equipped for the safe loading and unloading of passengers with wheelchairs or mobility devices.

Service Animals
Designated service animals with proper harness may ride with you.

Get The App
Wondering when the next bus will arrive at your stop? The Omnitrans app features NexTrip real time bus arrival information as well as important news, rider alerts, special promotions and more. The app is available for Android, iPhone and Kindle. Get it now!

OmniLink service ends in Chino Hills and Yucaipa

OmniGo bus serviceFormer OmniLink riders are switching to OmniGo

Omnitrans will cease operations of its OmniLink demand response transportation in Chino Hills and Yucaipa after August 29.  Ridership on the general public dial-a-ride service has declined in recent years as customers have shifted to OmniGo community shuttle routes launched in 2010. 

OmniLink provides on-demand, point-to-point transportation through advance reservation on weekdays only, while OmniGo operates on regular routes seven days a week.  Omnitrans also provides regular “big bus” service to Chino Hills and Yucaipa as well as Access demand response service to transport qualified persons with disabilities.

Before Omnitrans launched OmniGo routes in 2010, over 45,000 trips were tallied on OmniLink annually.  By fiscal year 2013-14, fewer than 18,000 OmniLink trips were booked, a decline of 61 percent.  In contrast, OmniGo ridership is up 45 percent since 2011.  In the past year, OmniGo routes in Yucaipa provided 72,055 trips and in Chino Hills, 51,912.

“Of all OmniLink trips taken in the past year, about 80 percent them start and end within a short walk of an OmniGo route,” explained Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams, “and with the subsidized cost of a passenger trip on OmniLink more than triple that of OmniGo, it was time to make the change.”

OmniGo Route 365 expands service in September 2014

This map of the OmniGo route 365 expanded coverage area takes effect August 25th.

OmniGo route 365 in Chino Hills will expand its coverage area to include trips to the Butterfield Ranch area effective August 25th.   “We had several students in that area using OmniLink to get to Chino Hills High School and Townsend Junior High, so we added morning and afternoon OmniGo trips to provide that connection,” said Service Planning Manager Jeremiah Bryant.

Benefits to using OmniGo compared to OmniLink include lower fares, weekend service and no need to make a reservation.  Omnitrans will notify current OmniLink customers through on board flyers and a mailing which includes a free one-day pass for OmniGo.

The Omnitrans Board of Directors approved elimination of OmniLink service in May, following public hearings held in March, as part of a package of service changes and a fare increase which take effect September 2.

More information on OmniGo service is available at: http://www.omnitrans.org/services/omnigo/

Complete information on Omnitrans September service and fare changes is available at: http://www.omnitrans.org/blog/2014/07/29/guide-september-service-changes/