Tag Archives: omnitrans community

Omnitrans and Partners Host Girl Scouts Classroom to Career Day

Following a successful event in 2018, Omnitrans proudly partnered with the Women’s Transportation Seminar of the Inland Empire, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, Metrolink, and the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council to host a Classroom to Career event for middle school girls from Rialto, Colton, and Grand Terrace.

The Classroom to Career Day in February spotlighted potential transit industry career paths for students, with emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mechanics (STEM) curriculum. Like last year, the day began at the San Bernardino Transit Center, where 14 women working in various roles at Omnitrans led a tour that showcased the transit center’s features and its role in connecting our community through the multimodal options offered.

The Classroom to Career program takes girls into the community to meet with professionals and be exposed to career paths related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), areas in which females are traditionally underrepresented. Omnitrans staff from various departments including Planning, Operations, Maintenance, and Rail Operations served as tour guides for the day.

At the tour’s conclusion, students boarded a Metrolink train for a short ride to the Santa Fe Depot, where they learned about the region’s transit network and heritage at the San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum. They participated in a hands-on STEM activity that stimulated their minds to envision what the future of transportation looks like from their perspective.

“As middle school girls prepare for the transition to 9th grade, an intentional educational roadmap is key,” says Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Vice President of Development Knew Hawley. “This preparation is essential to their success, not only to make strategic choices in their high school education, but as a jumping off point for higher education and lucrative careers. Classroom to Career opens doors into new experiences and provides positive adult and peer interactions that bolster these girls during a pivotal season in their lives.”

“Omnitrans is committed to being a positive and impactful asset to the community we serve,” said Omnitrans Marketing Manager Nicole Ramos. “It was a pleasure to further build on this partnership after a successful inaugural event last year, which has expanded to transit agencies in other regions of Southern California.”

In honor of #NationalGirlScoutDay today, Omnitrans tips its hat to this generation of girls and all the work they do to benefit the broader community, including serving all girls, no matter what. So, the next time you take a bite out of a delicious Girl Scout cookie, know that by supporting them, you are supporting their efforts to make the world a better place.

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.

Omnitrans and Women’s Transportation Seminar Host Classroom to Career Day

For many, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the Girl Scouts will inevitably be “cookies!” However, Girl Scouts does so much more than that, and is laying the groundwork for young girls to develop the courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.

Omnitrans had the privilege to contribute to this mission, and partnered with the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio, the Women’s Transportation Seminar of the Inland Empire (WTS-IE), San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, and Metrolink to host the Classroom to Career event for over 100 girls from throughout San Bernardino County on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 during National Engineers Week.

Omnitrans Marketing Specialist Janice Kuhn explains the importance of our transit center info kiosks to students.

“It is more important now than ever to expose younger girls to careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Math).  They are thirsty for knowledge about potential careers in transportation and other STEM fields.”  said Lisa Reece, Vice President, HDR and WTS-IE Chapter Advisor.

The day began at the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center where a few of the women of Omnitrans working in various roles ranging from finance and marketing, to route planning and scheduling, to bus maintenance, provided a tour of the facility to the students, which concluded with a Metrolink train ride from the transit center to the nearby Santa Fe Depot.

Once at the depot, the girls learned about the importance of our transportation network and its history by touring the Rail Museum. The group participated in hands-on activities that stimulated their minds to envision what the future of transportation may look like.

Students work on one of their STEM activities, designing their own roads using various materials.

Professional women from various facets of the transportation industry shared their job functions and career paths, inspiring the girls to think about a career that they may also choose to pursue in the future.

“Omnitrans is committed to being a positive and impactful part of the community,” said Omnitrans Marketing Manager Nicole Ramos. “It was great to partner with like organizations to meet the professionals of tomorrow and illustrate the opportunities transit careers offer.”

For photos of the event, click here to view album.

Donate to the Spark of Love Toy Drive 2017

Spread some holiday cheer this season! Join Omnitrans, ABC7 and Southern California Firefighters and give to the Spark of Love Toy Drive.

Every child deserves to wake up with a smile on their face this holiday season, and you can help make that happen for under-served children in our local community on Friday, December 8, 2017 at the Stuff-A-Bus extravaganza! Omnitrans buses will be ready to get “stuffed” with new, unwrapped toy donations at Mathis Brothers Furniture, located at 4105 Inland Empire Blvd, Ontario, CA 91764, from 5 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Last year, our community came together and stuffed over 10 buses with toys for little ones throughout San Bernardino County. In addition to supporting a wonderful cause, you’ll also enjoy music, treats, take a close-up look at the ABC7 news copter, and say hello to Santa at the event!

Unable to attend Stuff-A-Bus? We will be collecting toy drop-offs through Thursday, December 7th at our main office lobby in San Bernardino, and at the San Bernardino Transit Center.

You may also stop by any local fire station to drop off your toy, or donate monetarily online. All proceeds will go to buying toys or sports equipment for the children. Click here to donate online!

Omnitrans is located at 1700 W. Fifth Street San Bernardino, CA 92411. The San Bernardino Transit Center is located at 599 W. Rialto Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92401. For hours of operation please click here.

Coach Operators: more than a driver

As Omnitrans CEO Milo Victoria points out, transit is not about buses. It’s about people. “Omnitrans provides a great service to the community. It’s not just about transferring people from point A to point B. We consider our passengers to be part of our family, and families take care of each other.”

This is why every Omnitrans coach operator receives extensive training, not only in customer service and the safe operation of our coaches, but in multiple emergency scenarios as well. They learn to deal with a wide variety of crisis situations from careless car drivers to terrorist attacks. The goal is to be prepared for anything.

Over the past year Omnitrans coach operators have helped with the identification and safe return of elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s. They have acted to save lives of those suffering from heart attacks or diabetic seizures. They have offered assistance to women who appeared to be victims of abuse. They have even come to the aid of small children who were lost or abandoned.

Yesterday, one coach operator had the opportunity to put his emergency skills into action when an officer-involved shooting took place near Hospitality in San Bernardino. See the full story in the San Bernardino Sun. He was driving his bus when he heard the sound of gunfire and his rearview mirror suddenly shattered. This 18 year fleet veteran acted quickly, calmly pulling the bus out of danger, speaking with police on the scene and notifying dispatch.

“I was scared at first,” he said frankly. “But then my training kicked in and I knew exactly what to do. My first priority was the safety of my passengers.”

“This is the whole purpose of our training program,” says Omnitrans training supervisor Don Frazier. “Because our coach operators are so well prepared, their reaction becomes almost instinctive. Ray Lopez, our director of Safety and Security, and his team Brenda Rosas and Mark Crosby do a really remarkable job with annual emergency training. The coach operators are given the skills to handle even the most unexpected situation and are confident in the immediate support and backup they will receive from dispatch and our field supervisors. Being a coach operator is not just about driving a bus. It’s about helping people and coping with the unexpected curves life throws at us every 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

Bus Rider Enjoys Community Connection

Edie Gerardo has always ridden the bus. And she doesn’t mind it one bit.

“I love it,” admits the 48-year old mom. “It’s interesting, learning the different streets and getting to know your way around the different cities. You really get to know your community and see all the changes that are happening.”

As a long time passenger, Edie finds that there is a special camaraderie that grows among regular riders.

“On the bus you get familiar with a lot of people. After a while, you know each other’s stops. You ask how each other is doing, where you’re headed that day. It’s very friendly. I remember there was one man who used to always ride the Route 80 from Holt to 4th and Vineyard. One day he fell asleep. I pushed the button and when we pulled over, the bus driver checked to see why I wasn’t getting off. I pointed to the man and explained that this was his stop, but that he had fallen asleep. She nodded, and the two of us woke him up. He was very happy we were looking out for him,” Edie smiles. “Sometimes a new person gets on who’s nervous and doesn’t know the routes, and we all help them get where they need to go. That’s what we do. We take care of each other.”

Edie never learned to drive, so all seven of her children have grown up riding Omnitrans. In fact her youngest, now twelve, loves hopping on the bus with his dad and exploring the city with no particular destination in mind.

Her oldest son commutes from Fontana to Upland on the bus every day. Although it takes a bit longer than it would by car, he uses the down time to de-stress and unwind from his day. When he arrives home, he is relaxed and ready to enjoy some family time with his two boys.

For Edie and her family, it all boils down to independence, financial savings and a sense of connecting with their community. “The bus is always there for us,” said Edie simply.

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