Tag Archives: omnitrans internship

Omnitrans interns land new jobs

Edson Ibanez and Victor Cuate

Omnitrans planning  interns Victor Cuate and Edson Ibanez have recently taken on new job positions. Victor is now a full-time planning analyst for the agency, while Edson has been hired as a city planner for the city of Azusa. Both credit Omnitrans with providing them a solid foundation in the transit planning and recommend internships to other students interested in entering the field.

“The planning internships here are very hands on,” says Victor. “And the managers really take you under their wing. They don’t necessarily assign you a project and stand over you. They give you project options and want you to take it and run with it. You learn to work within limitations and act as a team with others in the department to enhance your skills.”

Edson agrees. “One of the biggest things that helped me was doing inter-department presentations because with the city I now have to do a lot of public hearings. I also some public hearings here at Omnitrans, so that helped give me a foundation as well. I also gained  an understanding of  how land use and transportation play a role in development. In my new job with the city, I am doing stuff that has to do with sustainable communities and a specific transit development plan. My experiences both with Omnitrans and SanBAG have given me a great foundation to build on.”

Edson Ibanez and Victor Cuate

Omnitrans is looking for a temporary, part-time transit planner intern. You can read the full job description and find our application form on the Omnitrans careers page.

Click below to view our video interview with Victor and Edson as they talk transit and share their experience at Omnitrans.

Planning intern presents at D.C.conference

Omnitrans planning intern Edson Ibanez recently had the opportunity to travel to the Transportation Research Board (TRB) conference in Washington D.C.  The annual conference engages more than 7,000 scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest by participating on TRB committees, panels, and task forces.

“This was my first time in D.C. It was really exciting to have the opportunity to talk with the executive directors from TRB and meet Anthony Foxx, the US Secretary of Transportation. I also liked learning about up and coming topics like Bus Rapid Transit, which is something I’m very interested in—especially with our upcoming sbX launch later this year. It was interesting seeing how BRT has been adapted all over the world, Although it’s just now getting here to the states, it’s been very popular in other countries for a long time.”

A TRB Minority Fellows scholarship covered Edson’s registration and travel expenses to the conference where he presented his academic research in the form of a poster titled “Integrating Transportation Hazards in Hazard Mitigation Plans: Findings in California Cities,” which compared hazard mitigation plans of 10 large California cities and offered recommendations based on his findings. He believes it is important for cities to partner with transportation agencies to integrate a transportation hazard component at the local level within their hazard mitigation plans.

Professor Richard Willson (Department Chair
of Urban and Regional Planning at California
State Polytechnic University, Pomona) and
Edson pose for the TRB Minority Fellow Program.

“Los Angeles and San Francisco both demonstrate a transportation component within their hazard mitigation plans, and I believe they could be used as a template for other cities. Looking at climate change is important as well. Studies have shown that we will be seeing a significant rise in sea level in the next 50-100 years which can impact our coastal regions. Heat waves are another concern as sustained increased temperatures can melt certain rail lines.”

Edson’s goal is to one day work as a transportation planner.

“My passion is public transit and social justice. What can we do for the working poor? What can we do for the urban poor? How can we better accommodate our services for low income minorities? Something that can provide an option for me to work on these issues would be amazing. I’ve been at Omnitrans for about 5 months now, and I really enjoy the experience I’m getting. One of my recent projects was analyzing ridership data for Route 365 and actually going out on the route and riding it. We were looking at possibly extending it to a residential community to better serve high school students in that area—basically adding a tripper. We also had to see how it would affect route time. After researching it, we were able to determine that it would not have a significant impact on route time, so we will be implementing the change in an upcoming service plan.”

- Juno Kughler Carlson

SB native intern moves ahead

Thirteen months ago intern Alvaro Gomez came to Omnitrans to intern in the planning department. This month he leaves us to attend graduate school at the University of Southern California where he will continue his planning studies. He believes Omnitrans has given him a greater understanding and insight into the policies, development and economy at work in this area.

“The scope of the projects and organizations Omnitrans is involved with beyond just the cities would surprise most people.  I was very fortunate to have our planning director Rohan Kuruppu and planning project manager Anna Rahtz mentor me and give me the opportunity to attend so many different meetings and workshops. It’s given me some fantastic opportunities, and I’ve been able to meet a lot of people who have a real passion for public transit, economic development and livable spaces.”

The experience, he says, further impressed upon him the pivotal role the agency plays in the local community. “I was fortunate to be here at a time when so many new projects are on the horizon,” said Alvaro. “I grew up here in San Bernardino and it’s encouraging to see the growing movement to revitalize the area. Working with Anna and Rohan, I was able to assist with the research and grant writing for major projects like sbX and the San Bernardino transit center. It’s exciting to have the chance to be a small part of something that will have such a positive, long-term impact on people’s lives.”

In addition to his interest in planning, Alvaro is also an avid cyclist and biking advocate. He was recently featured in an Omnitrans instructional video on how to load your bike on a bus rack (see below). “I like the flexibility of being able to combine bus and bike–especially for longer commutes–and I think we’ll see more people taking advantage of that in the future. One of the things I would really like to explore is connecting and expanding our current bike infrastructure in southern California. We have a lot of bike paths in this area, but many of them are not connected and maintenance isn’t what it should be. I’d love to see more people ride.”

For now, he’s leading by example. “It’s been interesting watching people in my own neighborhood react when they see me on my bike. It’s infectious. There have been a bunch of kids who have decided to pull out their old bikes and go for a ride. It reminds them of how much fun it can be.”

-Juno Kughler Carlson

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Omnitrans provides experience for Job Corps intern

Omnitrans has been proud to host several interns from the Inland Empire Job Corps program in San Bernardino. The program offers no-cost education and career technical training to people ages 15 to 24 to help them improve the quality of their lives and teach them the skills they need in order to find meaningful jobs.

Nineteen-year-old Rosa Silva, our most recent intern, works in the call center where she provides assistance and information to Omnitrans passengers. “It’s an interesting job,” said Rosa. “You never know who will be on the other end of that phone. It might be someone who wants to file a complaint or commend a driver. A lot of the time it’s someone who needs help with directions and knowing which routes to take. Yesterday I took a call from a lady who needed Access bus info. Her 15-year-old daughter had recently gone through brain surgery and didn’t have long to live. She needed the bus to get her to her doctor appointments at the hospital. It makes you realize how important the bus service really is to people.”

A year ago Rosa was doing packing and maintenance work for a warehouse. She disliked the job and felt there was little room for advancement. Through Job Corps, she has been able to gain office and computer skills, become certified in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and work towards her business certification. The program also opened the door for the internship opportunity with Omnitrans.

“Job Corps has made a huge difference in my life,” said Rosa. “And I’ve learned so much through my internship at Omnitrans. I really enjoy working the call center and would love to continue to do this as a full-time job.”

– 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