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“Spark of Love” Toys Stuff sbX Bus

Santa Claus and Buster welcome toy givers to sbX.

On November 30, Santa’s helpers and quite a few elves gathered at Mathis Brothers Furniture Store in Ontario to stuff seven Omnitrans buses with gifts for the Spark of Love toy drive. The state-of-the-art Omnitrans sbX vehicle was right there with our vintage 1958 diesel Old Blue and five of the New Flyer XN40 coaches from the Omnitrans fleet. It was quite a sight and great for ABC7’s annual Spark of Love Toy Drive Stuff a Bus event.

Hundreds of people delivered unwrapped new toys for children of the Southland.  Omnitrans coach operators and California firefighters will deliver the gifts to kids in need, making this holiday season truly unforgettable for many families.

Floor to ceiling, this bus is stuffed!

The sbX XN60 bus also made its broadcast debut, appearing on several telecasts throughout the day with Santa’s biggest helper, Meteorologist Garth Kemp. Despite the rain, and with the help of jolly old St. Nick and Omnitrans’ mascot Buster, the donated toys filled six-and-a-half buses. Who needs reindeer?

– David Rutherford
David.Rutherford@Omnitrans.org

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sbX to Complement Route 2 VA Service

The sbX station at the VA Hospital in Loma Linda will feature color seals depicting each branch of the Armed Forces on glass panels.

When construction for the Omnitrans sbX is complete and service begins in early 2014, veterans and staff traveling to the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center (VA Hospital) will benefit from a new station at Barton Road and Benton Street.

Artist rendering of the structural monument that will be located at the sbX VA Loma Linda station.

Like all 16 stations along the 15.7-mile sbX corridor, it will include public art. At the VA Hospital, the station artwork pays tribute to our armed forces by displaying the seals of each military branch. There will also be a structural monument that will have an American flag and dog tags spiraling down the flag pole.

Currently, Omnitrans serves many our veterans in the region each day by providing them with dependable and affordable public transportation. Whether commuting to work or school, going to medical appointments, or traveling to veterans’ service organizations, Omnitrans is committed to meeting veteran ridership needs – and the future sbX service will do just that.

Richard Curtis, U.S. Army (Ret.)

“To tell you the truth, I’d rather ride Omnitrans than ride a car,” said Richard Curtis, U.S. Army veteran and former Vietnam POW. “The bus drivers are always courteous and friendly. It’s pretty efficient and I can always make my appointments on time.”

The new sbX service will reduce travel time along the corridor as it will stop at one-mile intervals versus fixed route service that stops approximately every one-third of a mile. Additionally, the specialized sbX buses will have traffic priority signalization technology that allows it to
communicate

Levi Lane, U.S. Navy (Ret.), served on the USS Kitty Hawk.

with traffic management systems so that as buses approach intersections, the signal will keep the green and yellow light on longer so that it can pass through safely.

Riders like Navy veteran Levi Lane, who combine public bus transit with cycling, will also benefit from the sbX line’s interior bike racks. “I bike or take Omnitrans wherever I have to go. It’s good to have the bus to fall back on whenever you need it,” said Lane.

Robin Bose, a 17-year Omnitrans Coach Operator, was a helicopter crew chief in the U.S. Army.

There will be two interior bike racks that will accommodate four bikes apiece. In addition, the front of the sbX bus has fold-up seats to accommodate up to four wheelchairs.

Employing Our Veterans

Once construction of the sbX line is completed, it will be turned over to Omnitrans for service and operation. Omnitrans is privileged to have 90 employees who are also military veterans. Just as they served our country in a variety of ways, these veterans are deployed in a variety of roles at Omnitrans,

Diane Caldera served 29 years in the Air Force and is currently a Major in the Active Reserve. She joined Omnitrans in 2005 as a coach operator and is now an Assistant Transportation Manager.

from Coach Operator to Equipment Mechanic, Department Director and more. One employee is currently on active duty and two are on active reserve. Omnitrans is proud to employ our veterans and looks forward to providing sbX service to veterans to the VA Hospital in Loma Linda.

–David Rutherford
David.Rutherford@omnitrans.org

Paper model of the sbX rapid transit bus


Photos of this paper model shows the paint schemes of the front, rear and sides of the sbX rapid transit bus, the New Flyer Xcelsior 60. Note the advanced air conditioning unit on top; three sets of doors on the curbside; and two sets of doors on the driver’s (platform) side. Click photos for larger view.