Tag Archives: omnitrans bus passes

Lawyer helps homeless with Omnitrans bus passes

Criminal Defense Attorney Traci Childers

When Traci Childers stopped by the Omnitrans office today to ask about bus passes, there was something about her that immediately intrigued us. She explained that she was a criminal defense attorney and graciously sat down with me to share her story.

“I’m Christian,” smiles Traci, “Every day I say: ‘God, I get so busy with my court schedule and so forth, that I need to do something for you. Show me what I can do for you.”

Soft fleece blankets are always needed, as well as warm socks and gloves.

“As it happened this particular day I was in my car, praying as I do, asking Him to take me through each step of my day. I was on my way to court, but I couldn’t find a single parking place in any of the lots around the San Bernardino courthouse. Finally I saw a car pulling out of this little alcove, and I pulled in. Then I noticed all these people who had set up these little homes there. They were actually small tents and stuff, but I call them little homes because that’s what they are.  And they were perfectly situated like a little community by the wash. I felt guided here. This wasn’t threatening, it wasn’t dangerous, and it wasn’t nighttime”

“I got out of the car and said ‘Hey, excuse me.’ and three of the people walked over to me. I explained I had some things in the back of my car and wondered if they could use any of them.’”

“They nodded, ‘Yeah, yeah, definitely.’”

“You see, I tithe 10% of my income. But instead of giving to a church, because I don’t belong to a church, I put it aside into what I call my “God Fund.” And so that’s God’s money. I ask Him what I need to spend it on. I would go to the 99 cents store near my house and put together these little packages of things for the homeless. I’d pack gloves, socks, scarves, underwear, soap, and toiletries into insulated lunch bags and carry them in the back of my car. I felt blessed to be in a position to give.”

This care package for a woman includes toiletries, soap, lotion and soft slippers.

Traci paused and looked thoughtful. “You know, sometimes all of our good intentions just stay in our heads, and we need to get out in the community and do things. I always think about the homeless people and for all the times I think about it, I don’t always act on it. I would see homeless people at the side of the road all the time, but it often wasn’t convenient to stop. I’d have to park very far away and walk. And some of them were crazy and just wanted money or booze. These people by the courthouse were different.”

“I’d been praying, asking God help me find people who could use these things that I had gathered and here they were. The answer had come. The three men told me their names said there were about 20 people living there. They said they could really use men’s underwear, which I happened to have. They also explained that they really needed bus passes.”

This pillow was a giveaway Traci had received. Even small items like this can be a good care package addition.

“I could see they were clean, they were well-organized for what they had there, and it seemed like they helped each other. It was a community. It might not be the same community we would consider, but was a community nonetheless. And that’s what I’m looking for, because I believe in giving people a leg up. The fact that they wanted to take the bus to go somewhere and do something versus wandering on the street and hanging out at the liquor store says something to me.”

“You know I never would have thought about bus passes—ever. I just think about taking care of their basic needs. I knew they probably needed soap, toiletries, water and food. But I never thought about the importance of bus passes until they told me. So that’s why I came here today, to pick up bus passes and bus books to give to them.”

I asked Traci if she could show me some of the packages in her car and let me take her photo. She agreed accommodatingly, thinking it might inspire others to pay it forward. Her relaxed, friendly manner made it easy to understand why strangers would trust her and open up to her.

One of the men in the homeless community was too thin for regular men’s underclothing to fit. She put together a special package of items for him in his size.

She laughed.  “I don’t know. Maybe it’s the fact that God made me Italian. You know we love to talk to everyone. I just have always wanted to treat people the way I want to be treated. Even with my clients, I want them to feel that they are important and given respect. Some attorneys can have attitudes.  ‘They’ll say, don’t worry, I’ll take care of your case, goodbye.’ I explain what I would like to do and ask them what they think about that plan. It’s their case, you know? I can advise them, but only they know what they need.  Just like I can give homeless people whatever I think is helpful, but when they tell me what they really need—this is a great thing. It gives me purpose, to give something of real value rather than just something I want to give.”

Have you ever paid it forward to someone by gifting them with a bus pass? Tell us your story!

– Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Prepare for the new fares. Buy now, save later!

Buy Omnitrans bus passes before fare change, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Omnitrans fares

On September 2nd, Omnitrans fares will increase for the first time in five years. But you can save money now by purchasing extra passes in advance!

Because there will be no change to the actual look of our bus passes, any passes you currently hold will continue to be honored after September 2nd.  It’s a great opportunity to stock up at the lower price!

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. 

 omnitrans new fares

Buying bus passes from ticket vending machines


Did you know that all of our Omnitrans bus passes can be purchased from ticket vending machines at any our sbX stations? All you need is a credit or debit card. This how-to video will walk you through the process so you know exactly what to expect. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

Best of all, you can use your Omnitrans bus pass to ride both Omnitrans buses AND our new sbX Green Line. That’s two great rides for the price of one! Try out one of our ticket vending machines and climb aboard today.

KGGI's Kid Jay checks out a ticket vending machine at an sbX station platform

KGGI’s Kid Jay checks out a ticket vending machine at an sbX station platform

 

Buy one 31-Day pass, get a 1-Day pass FREE!

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer? Don’t miss this exclusive online offer!

Now through January 3rd, receive a free 1-Day pass when you purchase a 31-Day pass from our online store.

  • Offer ends January 3, 2014, limit 5 free day passes per customer
  • Your free pass will be included with your shipment. It will not appear in the shopping cart at time of purchase. Free pass will be same category as 31-day pass ordered; except youth will get full fare.
  • Offer is only available from our online store at www.omnitrans.org
  • OFFER DOES NOT APPLY TO PASSES BY MAIL OR OUTLET PURCHASES

Click here to place your order from our online store.

Stater Bros stops pass sales July 1st

Beginning July 1st, Stater Bros will no longer offer bus passes for sale in their grocery stores. However, Omnitrans passengers will still be able to purchase passes from other great local vendors. Click here for the complete list of pass outlets.

Omnitrans also offers bus passes for sale in our convenient online store. You can choose to have your passes mailed directly to your door or to our San Bernardino office for easy pick-up.

Save more with 31-Day passes
Do you ride the bus five or more days a week? Why pay $4 a day full fare when you can buy a 31-Day Bus Pass for just $47? That’s a savings of up to $77 per month or $924 per year! You can ride as often as you like and never have to worry about having the correct cash fare. Additional discounts are also available for students and seniors. Click here for order details.

Stater Bros at 4th St. Transit Center to close

Those of you who purchase bus passes at the Stater Bros on 648 W. 4th Street (4th Street Transit Center), please note that the store will be closing permanently on May 5th.

The closest alternative bus pass outlet in that area is Superior Grocers at 1108 W. 2nd Street. You can also click here to order Omnitrans bus passes from our online store.

 

Outreach Center buys bus passes to change lives

“People do not know how a simple bus pass can make a difference at the right time and on the right day,” said Helen Hunt, Director of Missions for Temple Missionary Baptist Church in San Bernardino.

As  Women’s Outreach Director for the Temple Community Outreach Center for more than 20 years, Ms. Helen has seen firsthand how something as basic as a bus pass can mean a life-changing opportunity to a person in need.

It can help a senior citizen get to a doctor appointment so he can receive the help and treatment he needs. It ensures that a single mother can get to parenting classes that will provide her with the support and education to build a good life for her family. It provides a man who has been out of work for months with the means to make it to that all important job interview.

Although that $1.50  bus fare may sound insignificant to most of us, for many of the people served by the Center it’s everything in the world.

“People have come back to us and told us that the bus pass we bought for them made it possible for them to turn their lives around,” Ms. Helen said. “We can’t afford to hand them out to everyone. We use  them only for emergency situations where we know it meets an important need. But we have seen it make a big difference.”

The Temple Community Outreach Center primarily serves people in need within the San Bernardino , but no one is ever turned away. Omnitrans Director of Internal Audit Services, Dr. Samuel Gibbs, has served as a Trustee for the Center for the past four and a half years.

“The services the Center is able to provide for the community are so important,” said Dr. Gibbs. “People come to us for personal counseling, 12-step drug programs, food and clothing. We also have classes on topics like parenting, health, and job preparedness. These critical life skills help people get back on their feet so they can build better lives for themselves and their families. Recently we even held a health fair where we offered health screenings and free flu shots.”

Temple Community Outreach Center is located at 1777 Baseline Road in San Bernardino. For more information about the Center and how you can help, contact Ms. Helen at 909-383-9588.

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 Kughler Carlson at  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org