Tag Archives: omnitrans blog

Detours scheduled due to Loma Linda Triathlon

Physically-challenged athletes will compete along side their able-bodied counterparts – and raise much-needed funds along the way – at the upcoming 2012 Loma Linda University PossAbilities Triathlon. The Triathlon takes place on Sunday, April 29th from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. For more information on this event please click here.

Omnitrans bus routes 2, 9 & 19 will need to detour during this event and several bus zones will be inaccessible. Please review the details below and plan accordingly.

THE FOLLOWING ROUTE DETOURS ARE IN EFFECT
SUNDAY, APRIL 29TH BETWEEN 6:00 AM & 10:00 AM

Detour for Route 2 (Southbound)
From – Anderson
Left – 10 Freeway (East)
Exit – Mountainview
Right – Mountainview
Right – Redlands Blvd.
Right – Anderson
(Layover at the first stop after turn)

Detour for Route 9 (Eastbound)
From – Waterman
Left – Redlands Blvd.
Right – Mountainview
Left – Barton Road
(Continue Route)

Detour for Route 9 (Westbound)
From – Barton Road
Right – Mountainview
Left – Redlands Blvd.
Right – Waterman Ave.
(Continue Route)

Detour for Route 19 (Eastbound)
From – Barton Road
Left – Waterman Ave.
Right – Redlands Blvd.
(Continue Route)

Detour for Route 19 (Westbound)
From – Redlands Blvd.
Left – Waterman Blvd.
Right – Barton Road
(Continue Route)
INACCESSIBLE BUS ZONES DURING THE TRIATHLON
SUNDAY, APRIL 29TH BETWEEN 6:00 AM & 10:00 AM

Route 2 (Northbound & Southbound)
Redlands/Anderson (#5502-5512)
Anderson/Academy (#5503-5562)
Anderson/University (#5505)
Anderson/Anderson (#5506)
Anderson/Prospect (#5507)
Anderson/Taylor (#5510)
Anderson/Stewart (#5511)

Routes 9 & 19
Waterman/Barton (#5191)
University/Barton (#5135-5190)
University/Yardley (#5137)
University/San Juan (#5138)
University/Evans (#5139-5187)
Campus/Prospect (#5140-5186)
Barton/Campus (#5141-5185)
Barton/Anderson (#5142-5184)
Barton/Benton (#0063-0072)
Barton/LomaLinda (#5144-5182)
Barton/Mountainview (#5145-5182)
Van Leuven/Mountainview (#5146-5179)
Mountainview/ Mission (#)
Redlands/Mountainview (#5177)
Mountainview/Cottonwood (#5178)
Mountainview/Prospect (#5180)
Mountainview/Barton (#5181)
Rosarita Dr./University (#5189)

Bike and bus a winning combo

“Riding my bike and using the bus saves me a ridiculous amount of money in gas,” says Anthony Calles. A culinary arts student at Chaffey College in Chino, Anthony works in the dietary department at San Antonio Hospital. He would like to become a cook for the hospital and eventually go on to open his own restaurant. He hasn’t yet decided on his niche, although barbeque or grill style is among his favorites types of cuisine.

Anthony has been using Omnitrans to help him get to school and work for the past two years. He feels the combination of riding his bike and the bus gives him the best of both worlds. It means he is never stuck and has the flexibility to bike between stops. He can also take the bus for longer legs of his trip and use his bike for shorter jaunts–like grabbing food from a restaurant a few blocks away.

The biggest challenge he faces is that each bus only has two bike racks. If they’re full, he has to decide what he wants to do based on his time schedule. Sometimes it’s as simple as biking to the next stop to see if another bus has an opening. If he has the time, he might bike all the way to his destination. If he’s in a hurry, he can secure the bike for the day and hop the bus. He looks forward to the arrival of the new Omnitrans buses, which will be equipped with three-bike racks.

As a student, saving money is very important to Anthony. He is a huge fan of the Go Smart college pass program that gives him unlimited bus rides with his student ID. “During my first year riding the bus I was paying $35 for student bus fare every month. Now Chaffey students pay a $7.50 transportation fee every semester and can ride anywhere they need to go with just a student ID. It’s so worth it.”

- 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

Honoring the next generation of Omnitrans

Jose Diaz, Jennifer Roberts, Shanetta Williams, William Bryant, Lorenzo Negrette, Verretta Johnson (trainer), Michele Nieto-Moreno (not shown).
Click photo for larger view.

Our newest Omnitrans coach operators were honored this month in a graduation ceremony where they were awarded Certificates of Accomplishment. The small group of six trained full-time for more than a month, undergoing 3 1/2 weeks of class training and 3 weeks of route training.  They also went through extensive testing including a DMV test, a field course test, a skills test and air brake test. All passed with flying colors and will now take up active duty.

“We will still  do ride checks with them to show support and see if they have any questions,” said Fleet and Safety Trainer Verretta Johnson. “I’m incredibly proud of this class and their skills. They have bonded together to help each other study and achieve their best. They truly are like a little family.”

This graduating class was unusual in that the majority of them had a connection to Omnitrans previously. One of them worked here as a security guard, and three others have family members who are also coach operators. They are already familiar with the company and its benefits and low turnover rate. The job longevity is particularly appealing to them, especially during a difficult economy.

“Most of these graduates are in their early twenties. I can easily see them being with us for the next 20 years or more,” said Johnson. “I think of them as the next generation of Omnitrans.”

Congratulations to all our new graduates. We are proud to have you on board!

- 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

Omnitrans Coach Operator Nathan Weathersbee


“I always felt there was nothing I couldn’t do”

When Coach Operator Nathan Weathersbee came to California in 1962, he made
a promise to himself—that he would one day own a big house and have a pocket full of money. It’s a dream he’s achieved through hard work, determination and  an indomitable spirit.

Nate grew up on a farm in South Carolina with his parents and eleven brothers and sisters. They lived in a two bedroom house and slept three to a bed. The family had a cow, some crops and a handful of chickens that they managed to survive on. From the time he was little, he was out in the field picking cotton, corn or anything else that needed harvesting. He was always a quick learner, confident in his abilities and never one to let an opportunity pass him by.

Nate’s first experience with driving came when he was 8-years-old and taught himself how to drive the family tractor. Years later in high school he drove the school bus for the black students. Racial segregation permeated every aspect of southern culture in those days, and Nate was acutely aware of the limitations it imposed.  But his belief in himself never wavered. “It just made me stronger. I always felt there was nothing I couldn’t do, given the chance.” When he graduated high school in 1962 he decided to leave the south and move to California in search of new opportunities.

“My daddy had taught me how to cut hair when I was little,” said Nate. “And I actually became pretty good at it. I used to cut hair for all the kids in our neighborhood.“ When he got to California, he went to school to become a certified barber and had his own shop for several years. But when he had a family of his own and needed benefits, he decided to try bus driving again and went to work for the Metropolitan Transit Authority in LA for 11 years.

Nine years ago he joined the Omnitrans West Valley team. “I love coming to work. Every day is something different,” said Nathan. “I’m a people person, and you have to like people to be good at this job. In some ways barbering is not so different from bus driving. I can see in people’s eyes if they’re not happy or if they might be difficult. I talk to them with calmness and respect and they almost always leave my bus with a smile and a ‘thank you, bus driver’. In fact, every day before I get on the bus I say a simple prayer. God protect this bus. No harm, no accidents and no confrontations from anybody. Just let me have a peaceful day,” Nate smiles. ”And I do.”

- 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

Route 80 Rider Alert – Bus Book Correction

Due to an error in the May Bus Book, the weekday schedule for Route 80 is missing the last two southbound PM trips from Chaffey College. Click the chart below to view. Additions are listed in red.

Download the corrected weekday schedule with the additions listed in red.
Download the complete, corrected Route 80 schedules with map.

Join Omnitrans at the Yucaipa Music & Arts Festival

The Yucaipa Music & Arts Festival will be held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in downtown Yucaipa and is expected to draw more than 5,000 visitors.

Detours & Parking
Yucaipa Blvd. will shut down at 3 p.m. on Friday and will not reopen until late Sunday night. Traffic will be detoured to side streets at 2nd Street. Parking is available on side streets, and several local churches are also providing parking spaces.

Free shuttle service
Omnitrans will operate a free shuttle service during this event with pick-up locations at Yucaipa First Baptist Church on 34784 Yucaipa Blvd. and St. Francis Cabrini Church on 12687 California Street .

Get info on new Route 310
Omnitrans will also have a booth space, so stop by to get information on the new OmniGo Route 310, which starts Monday. You can also visit with Buster the Bus and spin the Wheel of Fortune for some great giveaways!

RIDER ALERT: Bus Book correction for Route 65

Due to a printing error, the weekday Route 65 schedule in the May 2012 Bus Book is incorrect. A link to the corrected schedule is posted below.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For more information, please call 1-800-9-OMNIBUS

Route 65 Corrected Schedule

May 2012 Bus Book PDF

Detours scheduled due to Loma Linda Triathlon

Physically-challenged athletes will compete along side their able-bodied counterparts – and raise much-needed funds along the way – at the upcoming 2012 Loma Linda University PossAbilities Triathlon. The Triathlon takes place on Sunday, April 29th from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. For more information on this event please click here.

Omnitrans bus routes 2, 9 & 19 will need to detour during this event and several bus zones will be inaccessible. Please review the details below and plan accordingly.

THE FOLLOWING ROUTE DETOURS ARE IN EFFECT
SUNDAY, APRIL 29TH BETWEEN 6:00 AM & 10:00 AM

Detour for Route 2 (Southbound)
From – Anderson
Left – 10 Freeway (East)
Exit – Mountainview
Right – Mountainview
Right – Redlands Blvd.
Right – Anderson
(Layover at the first stop after turn)

Detour for Route 9 (Eastbound)
From – Barton Road
Left – Waterman Ave.
Right – Redlands Blvd.
Right – Mountainview
Left – Barton Road
(Continue Route)

Detour for Route 9 (Westbound)
From – Barton Road
Right – Mountainview
Left – Redlands Blvd.
Left – Waterman Ave.
Right – Barton Road
(Continue Route)

Detour for Route 19 (Eastbound)
From – Barton Road
Left – Waterman Ave.
Right – Redlands Blvd.
(Continue Route)

Detour for Route 19 (Westbound)
From – Redlands Blvd.
Left – Waterman Blvd.
Right – Barton Road
(Continue Route)

 
INACCESSIBLE BUS ZONES DURING THE TRIATHLON
SUNDAY, APRIL 29TH BETWEEN 6:00 AM & 10:00 AM

Route 2 (Northbound & Southbound)
Redlands/Anderson (#5502-5512)
Anderson/Academy (#5503-5562)
Anderson/University (#5505)
Anderson/Anderson (#5506)
Anderson/Prospect (#5507)
Anderson/Taylor (#5510)
Anderson/Stewart (#5511)

Routes 9 & 19
Waterman/Barton (#5191)
University/Barton (#5135-5190)
University/Yardley (#5137)
University/San Juan (#5138)
University/Evans (#5139-5187)
Campus/Prospect (#5140-5186)
Barton/Campus (#5141-5185)
Barton/Anderson (#5142-5184)
Barton/Benton (#0063-0072)
Barton/LomaLinda (#5144-5182)
Barton/Mountainview (#5145-5182)
Van Leuven/Mountainview (#5146-5179)
Mountainview/ Mission (#)
Redlands/Mountainview (#5177)
Mountainview/Cottonwood (#5178)
Mountainview/Prospect (#5180)
Mountainview/Barton (#5181)
Rosarita Dr./University (#5189)

Burger Mania – a Full-Service Fast-Food Restaurant

Burger Mania crew (l to r) Dimitrios Douvikas, Maria Delgado and co-owners Dina and Vasily Katsafados

Customers arrive as early as 6 a.m. at Burger Mania to order any of a variety of egg breakfasts, from hash browns to bacon, sausage, ham, steak and polish sausage. There’s even a burger patty and eggs dish. A combination of American and Mexican cuisine rounds out the menu for lunch and dinner.

Construction activities for the Omnitrans E Street Corridor sbX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project have been in full swing since February at the intersection of North Mall Way in San Bernardino, but that doesn’t stop the regulars, 80 percent of whom co-owner Dina Katsafados said she knows by name.

With only 25 parking spaces, soon the ‘Mania faithful will have another way to get there, with a transit station to be built just 200 feet from the entrance.

Dina Katsafados manages the store with her husband Vasily. They bought the former Del Taco building at 930 S. E St. in 2009, with the intent of it becoming a fixture in the community. The couple has made the city their home and even hosts a classic car show on the fourth Saturday of each month in their parking lot.

“I’ve been in the restaurant business since I was 8,” she said. “I bused tables, cleaned floors, I did it all, for just about every type of fast-food and sit-down restaurant. Fast food lacks personality, that hospitable feel. I wanted to do something different and make it my own, so I found a niche in the market – a full-service experience at a fast-food price.”

–David Rutherford

Editor’s Note: Each month, the sbXpress newsletter will include a profile of a business in the construction zones along the corridor. If you would like to be considered for a profile, please contact us via email at sbXnews@omnitrans.org or call the project helpline (855) sbX-NEWS.

Burger Mania co-owners Vasily and Dina Katsafados

Omnitrans rider’s inspirational life

When she was 12-years-old, Krystle Wheeler’s mother handed her money and a bus pass and told her to go have fun at the mall. “I am the oldest of five children,” laughed Krystle. “I think she just needed to get one of us out of the house. But I’ve have been riding the bus ever since.”

Now 26, Krystle is a student at Crafton Hills College where she is studying speech communication with a minor in math. Her plan is to earn a Masters of Divinity degree and become a United Methodist pastor. The process requires approximately 7 years of study, and applicants must also pass a credit check, criminal background check, a 3-part psychological exam and a written doctrine exam. Krystle is undaunted by the prospect.

“I really feel this is what I need to be doing with my life right now,” said Krystle. “I had taken a break from school for about 5 years. When I started up again last August, Omnitrans had started the Go Smart Program which allowed me to ride the bus for free with my student ID. I took it as a sign that this I where I needed to be. When I was going to school before, there were times I would panic because I didn’t have money for bus fare that week and had to stay home from class until I could afford it. Now I know I can go every day.”

About four years ago, Omnitrans played another important role in Krystle’s life when she decided to donate one of her kidneys to a total stranger. “I was listening to a Pro-Wrestling show on the Internet and heard about a wrestler who needed a kidney. I began researching how many people in this country need a kidney each year and found the numbers ranged in the tens of thousands. I knew I wanted to help and contacted the National Kidney Registry to find out how I could donate one of my own kidneys. I used Omnitrans to get to all the doctor’s appointments to get my bloodwork and preliminary testing done. I even rode Omnitrans to the Greyhound station so I could get to Scripps Hospital in San Diego where the surgery was performed.”

Krystle spent two days in the hospital and was off pain meds after two weeks. She doesn’t know who the woman is who received her kidney, but is happy that she was able to make a difference and would do it again if she could. Does she worry about what will happen to her if her remaining kidney becomes damaged? “Not at all,” says Krystle. “I would do it again if I could. I’m in excellent health. Generally kidney donors are in better shape than most of the population because of the extensive testing they have to pass. And in the rare instance where a donor has a problem with a remaining kidney, they get moved to the top of the donor list.”

Omnitrans has been with Krystle through every important stage of her life from her first mall excursion as a child to reaching out to save a stranger’s life to returning to school to pursue divinity studies. She encourages more people to take advantage of public transit and offers these words of advice to new riders. “Be safe, be aware of your surroundings, but enjoy the ride. I can’t think of anywhere else you can pay $4 to go everywhere you want to for an entire day.”

- 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