Tag Archives: omnitrans disability

Rancho Cucamonga Resident Benefits from Lyft Ride Program

Written By: Ruby Sulca, Travel Trainer

The Special Transportation Services Department offers a variety of programs for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Richard F. (pictured left) is a thriving senior living in Rancho Cucamonga. He has participated in one of these programs, the Lyft Ride Program, for several years. The program gives Richard access to Lyft service to get to medical appointments, run errands, and visit family and friends at half the regular cost.

Richard has spent over 15 years teaching fellow visually impaired individuals how to use technology. He has taught computer courses, both in English and Spanish, throughout Southern California, and serves as an advocate for people with disabilities. Recently, Richard spoke at Capitol Hill on behalf of the visually impaired regarding fair pay for individuals with disabilities.

As a long-time public transportation user, Richard learned how to ride independently at age 15. He first found out about the Lyft Ride Program about three years ago, and became very interested in the discount offered to qualifying residents in our service area. Soon after, he began using Lyft to travel to various destinations.

Richard expresses a high level of satisfaction with the service provided by Client Relations Coordinator Cindy Inclan, and the rest of the Special Transportation Services team. He enjoys the independence and freedom he has gained through the Lyft Ride Program, which gives him the ability to come and go as he pleases at any time or day of the week.

“The Lyft Ride Program is a valuable tool that enhances the quality of life of individuals with disabilities,” says Richard. “You have to put forth the effort to keep your independence and succeed as an individual with a disability.”

The Omnitrans Ride Program offers credit for seniors and individuals with disabilities for both traditional taxi and Lyft service. Available service credit denominations are available up to $150 per month and are sold at a 50% discount. For more information about the Ride Program, please contact Special Transportation Services at (909) 379-7341 or email at ctsa@omnitrans.org.

Omnitrans is why I stay in San Bernardino

When their car was totaled in an accident eight years ago, Eric Newton and his wife Brenda decided it was time to forgo the expense of repairing and maintaining a personal vehicle. The two have relied on Omnitrans as their sole source of transportation ever since. They depend on the bus to shop for groceries, pick up medicine or to visit their favorite destination—Victoria Gardens.

“I’ve gotten to know most of the drivers, and they are great people,” says Eric. “I find them to be courteous, friendly and good about helping people who need information. In fact, Omnitrans is one of the reasons we decided to stay in San Bernardino. A few years ago I had the opportunity to move back to Riverside where I grew up but, after riding both transit systems, I really like the bus drivers here. Robin, Ken and Pete are some of our favorites. They don’t just tell you to get a bus book or point you to a sign when you have a question. They’re more courteous and willing to take a moment to help. That really makes a difference.”

Born with cerebral palsy, Eric is confined to a wheelchair, but that doesn’t slow him down a bit. The 55-year-old San Bernardino resident does computer repair and volunteers his time as a youth pastor at Vineyard Christian Fellowship on E Street.

Eric and Brenda have been married for 19 years. They first met on Thanksgiving Eve when a friend set them up on a blind date. He dropped Eric off at Brenda’s apartment for a quiet evening of drinks and conversation, and the two hit it off right away.

“At the end of the evening, she went to give me her number so I would call her again. I told her I wasn’t going home, that I thought I should stay right there because we made a good pair. She laughed, and I stayed. We were engaged by Christmas Eve and have been together ever since.”

His secret to a great marriage?  “Happy wife, happy life,” he says promptly. “We take care of each other.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson
   juno.carlson@omnitrans.org 

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Omnitrans rider helps hospice families

Cynthia Bushaw has ridden Omnitrans since she first moved to San Bernardino in November. The 59-years-young former kindergarten teacher is a cancer survivor and proud grandmother of 9. She stays active with volunteer work and enjoys assisting one of her daughters who runs a home school.

Having ridden public transit in metropolitan cities like Los Angeles and Miami, she gives Omnitrans high marks for its clean buses, frequent service and  helpful drivers.  Occasionally it’s a challenge finding priority seating at the front of the bus because Cynthia has a disability that is not obvious to the other passengers. “Because I don’t use a walker or wheelchair, they don’t realize I have a need. When that happens, the drivers are good about asking people to move. Overall my experience has been excellent.”

As a regular rider, Cynthia relies on the bus daily. “I use Omnitrans for family visits, doctor appointments, church, shopping, and the laundromat. I will also be volunteering for elderly respite and hospice work soon and will ride the bus to those appointments as well.”

She has worked in hospice assistance before and found the experience to be both rewarding and challenging. “I like knowing that I can help these families. Not everyone can deal with death. I’m able to give the caretakers a break away from the situation and provide whatever support is needed.”

Still, she admits,  it’s not an easy thing to do. “Anyone entering into a hospice program has 6 months or less to live. You do get attached to the people and their families.  The important thing is simply to be there for them. My own mom passed away two years ago at age 87.  Even when death is expected, it is never easy for those left behind. I like the feeling that I can help make a difference.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson
junocarlson@omnitrans.org

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