Every day, gas prices seem to be on the rise, and when you’re commuting to and from work daily, the pump totals start to leave a dent on your bank account. This is the exact reason why born-and-raised San Bernardino resident Wendy Stevens rides the bus to Riverside for her daily commute to work.
When gas prices skyrocketed up to nearly $5.00 per gallon in the late 00’s, Wendy made a change and started to ride Omnitrans to get to work in downtown Riverside. Wendy’s employer, a state agency, reimburses her up to 75% on her bus fare expenses! “My employer made it easy to start riding the bus because they’re really big on promoting rideshare,” says Wendy.
Wendy discovered the convenience and value of ridesharing when she and a group of coworkers approached their designated rideshare representative at work to learn what their options for ridesharing were. They found that carpooling and riding public transit would be the easiest forms of rideshare for them.
At this point, Wendy has been riding with Omnitrans for 10 years, and saves an average of $80 per month just for parking fees, plus additional savings on gas, when she rides with Omnitrans. She is an avid “ridesharer,” and when she does not ride the bus, she carpools home with a coworker.
As a multi-modal commuter, Wendy combines more than one ridesharing option. She starts out her commute by taking advantage of the conveniently located and well-lit Park and Ride lots on E Street. From there, she leaves the driving to Omnitrans by catching sbX and transferring to Freeway Express Route 215, which takes her to downtown Riverside. On her commute home, she mixes it by sometimes carpooling with a co-worker.
Omnitrans’ flexible bus schedules have made it even more convenient for Wendy’s commute. Because her work schedule varies, Wendy is able to take advantage of the span of service hours. Her word of advice to riders: plan ahead and arrive at the stop minutes before the bus arrival time to make sure you are on time.
Wendy is also familiar with Omnitrans’ mobile fares (available on the Token Transit app) and often uses it to pay for and manage her bus passes. She likes that by going paperless, she is joining many other riders who are focusing on being environmentally conscious with a digital pass on their smartphones.
“It’s really convenient because we are all so connected to our phones these days. What would we do with them? We freak out when we don’t have them,” she laughs. “With the Token Transit app, we don’t have to worry about losing the paper pass or having exact cash.”
Customer feedback, opinions, and suggestions are valued by Omnitrans, and Wendy makes sure to let us know how we’re doing via email updates. She also appreciates the interactions with our drivers and San Bernardino Transit Center customer service staff.
“I like the friendly relationships I’ve created with the staff,” she shares. “One in particular is with Lydia, a now retired driver, and the Route 7 driver in the evening. The bus drivers over the years have been courteous and that means a lot.”
When Wendy isn’t commuting with Omnitrans during the week, she enjoys spending time with her three children, cheering on the Dodgers, and gardening. Wendy has also extended her transit-riding into the weekends, and hopped on the Dodger Express Metrolink train, down to Union Station in Los Angeles, connecting to Dodger Stadium to catch a game.