Tag Archives: omnitrans public transit

Premium Shelters Successfully Installed in East Valley

Premium bus shelter installed in San Bernardino.

The shelters are located at the eastbound and westbound Route 14 stops on 5th Street @ Medical Center Drive in San Bernardino, just outside the Omnitrans East Valley administrative building and bus yard.

Thanks to your feedback about what would enhance your Omnitrans riding experience, we are excited to unveil the first premium bus shelters! Two shelters have been successfully installed by our Stops & Stations team adjacent to the East Valley facility on 5th Street @ Medical Center Drive.

Last year, Omnitrans awarded a contract to Tolar Manufacturing of Corona, Calif. to provide premium bus shelters that enhance the passenger experience by providing additional amenities.

Premium bus shelters include solar-powered lighting, a digital clock and real-time arrival sign, bench, large trash can, branded windscreen, advertising kiosk, and a bicycle rack. The new shelters were purchased using capital funding obtained by the agency, to be specifically used on bus stop enhancements.

“The premium shelters are designed to enhance the customer’s experience at the bus stop,” says Omnitrans Development Planning Manager  Anna Jaiswal. “They are unique because unlike our standard shelters, they have electronic signage telling customers when the next bus will arrive, a larger trash can to help keep the stop clean, and a bike rack to improve bike-to-bus connections.”

Additional premium shelters will be installed at high ridership bus stops as funds become available.

Passenger gains new lease on life through biking and riding

From racing as a teenager growing up in San Bernardino and Highland, to riding to and from class as an adult, bicycling has been a life-long hobby for eight-year Omnitrans passenger Adrian. A fun, leisure activity has since evolved into a practical mode of transportation that has made a meaningful impact in his life, and we are pleased to have been along on his ride.

“I used to bike race when I was younger,” Adrian tells us while waiting for Route 4 at the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC). “I stopped when I got a car and started working. At 43, I needed a career-change and I began taking courses at San Bernardino Valley College.”

“Because of the unlimited student rides with GoSmart, I started riding again regularly. When Omnitrans started allowing bikes on the bus, it made getting around so convenient. I can go anywhere that I want now without walking!”

This was not always the case. Suffering from high blood pressure, Adrian was told that living past 40 was not possible. He refused to become dependent on the drugs that regulated his heart disease, and was determined to make a change that reunited him with his passion – bikes.

“I used to weigh 260 pounds,” recounts Adrian. “I quit drinking and started to make changes toward becoming healthier. I thought, ‘Wait a minute.’ I used to love riding and racing mountain bikes. I straightened myself out and thought about what I used to do before all this mayhem,” he says.

Adrian now studies water supply technology at Valley Colleges and is interested in a career at a water plant. He is drawn to the scientific aspect of the field, the job stability, and flexibility. Riding the bus helps him complete assignments before class or squeeze in extra study time before an exam.

“Sometimes I ride the 11.5 miles from my house to Valley College, but if I need to relax, or read an article before class, I do that on the bus ride,” says Adrian. “By the time the bus arrives at the transit center, I am done and ready to ride over to class.”

Adrian takes advantage of low-cost bike maintenance at the Bike Hubitat at the SBTC. Using skills learned along the way, he now helps friends with their own bike maintenance and has become an enthusiast of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance.

“It can get very pricey to maintain bikes,” says Adrian, who enjoys giving back to the cycling community when he is not with his teenage son or working toward his educational goals. “I’ve taught myself to work on them myself. The Bicycle Hubitat here at the SBTC also helps me with bike repairs, so I don’t have to waste money on expensive tools that I’ll only use one time.”

Adopting this alternative mode of transportation definitely has contributed to the betterment of Adrian’s life. He credits biking for bringing some of his youth back into his life and keeping him active and focused. His health has improved, and he even was successfully taken off of high blood pressure medication! “I’m grateful that Omnitrans has been a part of that journey,” he says.

“Now, when drivers on the road cut me off, or yell at me to get out of the way, I always end up catching up to them at a red light and look at them through their window. The look on their faces is pretty funny, as if they are asking themselves – ‘how did he catch up to me so fast!?’” he laughs.

Discounted $1 Summer Youth Fare Returns in June and July!

Getting around town will be a little cheaper for San Bernardino Valley youth this summer, thanks to a discounted fare on Omnitrans buses! Riders 18 and under will pay just $1 per trip June 1 through July 31, compared to the regular single-ride cash rate of $1.75.

Riders have a choice of paying cash on board or paying by phone using the Token Transit mobile app. To download the free app, customers can text TOKEN to 41411.

“Using the mobile app eliminates the need to carry cash or have exact change,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams.  “Riders can purchase by phone in advance, then save their passes in the app wallet until they are ready to board.”

The summer discount is good on all Omnitrans bus routes including 26 local routes, three freeway express routes, five OmniGo community shuttle routes and the sbX bus rapid transit line in San Bernardino and Loma Linda.

Students who appear to be close to age 19 should be prepared to show bus drivers proof of age or a high school ID card to prove they are eligible for the discount.

To help make your summer the best one yet, we’ve compiled a list of favorite summertime destinations! Click here to view our Summer Youth Fare guide to summertime fun.

Personalized routing assistance is available by phone at 1-800-9-OMNIBUS (800-966-6428) or online using our Trip Planner. Enjoy!

CSUSB student rides Omnitrans to stay active, avoid parking costs

Jose S. of Rialto has been riding Omnitrans and sbX for four years while working toward his degree in Sociology at California State University, San Bernardino. Even when he used to drive a car to class, Jose preferred to leave it at the free Park & Ride lot at Palm & Kendall, and shuttle down to class on sbX, only a five-minute bus ride to campus.

“Doing this helped me save money on a parking permit and, although for some people it may not be expensive, it also saved me time. Finding parking at such a large university can be pretty hard, even with your parking permit. My first year here, finding parking was easy, but now, when I skate by the parking lot, people will ask me if I am leaving so that they can follow me and take my parking spot,” he laughs.

Those student drivers’ hopes and dreams of snatching that parking space and making it to class on time are crushed when Jose tells them that he’s simply riding his skateboard to the sbX platform.

“Because of GoSmart, I don’t have to pay every time I board. All my money usually goes to school, or food, so it’s neat not having to pay. I’m hyped that I have my student ID card to ride Omnitrans wherever I need to go,” he explains.

“The drivers are sociable and friendly. I appreciate that if I start a conversation, they will engage with me. I also like the features such as the online trip planner and NexTrip text message capability to know how long it will be until your bus arrives. It’s almost always precise, never off by more than a minute.”

Jose got in touch with us via Instagram a few weeks back, where he reached out regarding our student internship opportunities. On his page, he showcases action-packed videos of he and his friends skating and skillfully performing tricks at skate parks.

“This is what I love to do. It’s my passion. Almost 10 years ago, my mom bought me a toy skateboard from Wal-Mart and when we visited my mom’s friend in Fresno, her kids with years of experience got me into skateboarding. I took a spare board that was in their garage since mine was slow compared to theirs, and that’s how I got into it,” he shared with us.

Riding Omnitrans isn’t just for school or work – Route 22 also gets Jose to the skate park where he can live out his passion and stay active. Even his friends have joined in on the fun and convenience of riding Omnitrans to the park. Jose says they were surprised by how different riding the bus was from what they thought.

“Route 22 takes me from my house right to the front of Ferguson Skate Park, which is so convenient. Route 14 takes me to the other skate park in Fontana. I would’ve never thought there would be so many bus stops to my destinations besides school,” he says.

Skating to and from the bus stop not only combines his favorite hobby with transportation, but it helps Jose relieve the stress of college life, especially during final exams. “It’s my form of meditation. Even a simple short ride from class to the bus stop can clear my mind,” he explains.

“I just enjoy riding my skateboard to the bus. This probably sounds weird, but I love the feeling of pressing the yellow strip to request a stop because we’re approaching my destination!” he jokes.

“Green” up your commute for Earth Day 2018

Spring time is here and the days are longer, leaves are greener, and flowers are blooming. Get out and bask in the fresh air while “greening” up your commute to celebrate Earth Day 2018!

We’ve heard about recycling, adjusted our water usage, installed energy-efficient light bulbs, but another simple way to contribute to a cleaner environment is to change up how you commute. By simply leaving your car at home for just one day, you help to lessen the number of pollutants emitted into the air we breathe.

Following are three easy, helpful tips on how to put some pep in your step to make your commute a little more environmentally-friendly:

  • Ride public transit – We may be biased with this one, but it’s a fact that riding the bus or train to work is one of the most effective ways to help the environment. Omnitrans vehicles emit fewer pollutants than most automobiles, thanks to our compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled fleet of buses. By switching to the bus, a single person can reduce their annual carbon emissions by more than 4,800 pounds! Ready to ride the bus? Go paperless for Earth Day and purchase your Omnitrans day pass on your smartphone!
  • Bike or walk for a day – Riding your bike or walking to work or school for the day is a sustainable alternative mode of transportation that reduces your carbon footprint, reduces traffic congestion, and is also great for your health! Take advantage of the nice weather and enjoy that April breeze while benefiting the earth. Bonus: If you are unable to bike the whole way, Omnitrans buses are fully equipped with bike racks for a multi-modal commute!
  • Share the ride – Not only is driving alone a major cause of smog in our air, but it’s also economically costly compared to other modes of transportation. Sitting behind the wheel for hours in traffic also takes a toll on you, too. Feel good about doing your share for cleaner air by sharing the ride with a co-worker or two. If you are having trouble finding a co-worker who can carpool with you, IECommuter.org (for San Bernardino and Riverside counties only) has a solution on their website. Simply create an account, enter your information, and they can find carpool matches for you!

Save the planet, get rewarded
Log your alternative commute trips on IECommuter to see how green your commute is and how you’re contributing to Earth Day – at the same time you could have a chance to win a monthly commuter prize!

With their Monthly Rideshare Spotlight, you are in the spotlight and are rewarded for your sustainable commute. Whether you are a rideshare star or you have been ridesharing for just a few months, you could win a prize valued at up to $100. For more details on this program, please visit IECommuter.org/EarthDay.

Rate your Omnitrans experience for a chance to win!

Your feedback is crucial to our growth as an agency. Last year, your feedback on our Customer Satisfaction Survey garnered us an 87.5% overall customer satisfaction score – our highest rating in 5 years! This year, you can let us know we are doing for another chance to win one of our exciting prizes.

Click the following link to complete our survey & be entered to win:

Click here to complete the survey (ENGLISH) 

Haga clic aquí para completar la encuesta (SPANISH)

Take the survey anytime starting today through the end of the day on Sunday, May 6, 2018 to be entered into a prize drawing for one of five gift packs, which include:

  • One $10 Subway gift card; and
  • One full-fare 7-day bus pass

Thank you for your participation and providing your constructive feedback. Your honesty helps us to better serve you!

Omnitrans and several other mid-sized agencies in North America form the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG), established in 2011 to measure performance and share best practices. The information gathered from your surveys this spring will help provide a comprehensive overview of the bus rider experience nationwide.

Monique Benefits from Mobile Fare Send-A-Pass Feature

Monique of San Bernardino has been an Omnitrans rider for about six years, but has a newfound appreciation for Omnitrans thanks to our paperless bus fare partnership with Token Transit. Being able to pay for her bus ride with her smartphone was convenient, but the ability for others to send a bus pass to her smartphone is what truly helped her in a recent time of need.

“It has been about six months now without any income, so it’s been tough trying to get to job interviews without bus fare,” shares Monique, who was in between jobs when we spoke. “I had people who wanted to help me out, so I emailed Token Transit and asked if there was a way for people who live out of state to help me pay for my bus passes.”

Much to her delight, Monique was informed of the Send-A-Pass feature available on Token Transit, which allows you to send bus passes digitally to any Omnitrans rider using only their mobile phone number. The bus passes cost the same, and there is no additional fee for gifting a bus pass to somebody else through their phone number.

“Token Transit responded to my e-mail right away and sent me a link. I posted the link on my Facebook page, along with my phone number. It was a private post visible by my friends only, and by the time Token Transit followed up with me, two people had already sent me mobile bus passes on the app.”

With this feature, pass buyers don’t need to be near the recipient to personally deliver a physical bus pass. Token Transit mobile fares allow people anywhere to send a digital pass to an Omnitrans rider’s smartphone, no matter the distance, digitally with a debit or credit card payment.

“Buyers have the option to get a single ride pass, day pass, 7-day or 31-day pass, any pass that is offered by Omnitrans. From my house to downtown San Bernardino it’s a one-seat bus ride, so even the single ride pass was a big help,” explains Monique.

“I’m with a staffing agency, and yesterday, for example, they called me in for an interview and I had to stop by the agency first, and then head to my job interview. I used NexTrip on the Omnitrans app to let me know when the bus was arriving, along with the Token Transit app. It just takes a lot of the stress off of you.”

Monique is pleased that with the power of social media, smartphone technology, and generous friends, Omnitrans mobile bus fares made life a little easier while on the job hunt. With her access to Omnitrans, she has been able to expand her potential job opportunities.

“I am very happy with the service, especially the Freeway Express routes because they broaden the area that I can search for jobs in. I also like the new connections here at the San Bernardino Transit Center, especially with the RTA CommuterLink Route 200. I like going to Downtown Disney to watch a movie now that the express bus connects here.”

Days after our chat at the San Bernardino Transit center, Monique contacted us and let us know that she had just accepted a great job offer! She looks forward to using her mobile bus passes to get to work every day. Congratulations, Monique!

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.

Omnitrans Ridership Gains in January Reverse Trend

Omnitrans posted its first system-wide ridership gain in over three years when passenger boardings in January 2018 were 1.7% higher than January 2017. Growth was led by increased use of freeway express routes, up 14.2%, and the sbX bus rapid transit line, up 4.5%.

In all, 22 of Omnitrans’ 35 bus routes carried more passengers than a year ago. Bus routes operating in the western San Bernardino Valley posted gains which averaged 6.2%.

“We are pleased that Omnitrans’ efforts to attract new riders with express service, streamlined routes, improved regional connections, and mobile fares are beginning to pay off,” said Omnitrans Board Chair and Loma Linda Council Member Ron Dailey.  “We hope the trend continues.”

In the past year, Omnitrans has added one new freeway express route, implemented 15-minute service to passenger terminals at Ontario International Airport, expanded operating hours on sbX and implemented a mobile fare payment option.  In December, the Metrolink extension to serve the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center improved regional multi-modal connectivity. The transit hub serves over 5,000 passengers a day making connections on bus routes operated by Omnitrans, Victor Valley Transit Authority, Mountain Transit, Pass Transit, and Riverside Transit Agency.

Omnitrans freeway express routes include Route 215 connecting San Bernardino and Riverside via the 215 and 91 Freeways, Route 290, operating on the 10 Freeway with stops in San Bernardino, Colton, Ontario and Montclair, and Route 208 which connects Yucaipa, Redlands and San Bernardino via the 10 Freeway.  Two additional round trips will be added to Route 208 in May.

The sbX bus rapid transit line now transports over 63,000 riders per month on average compared to under 42,000 monthly in the first year, 2014.  Due to customer demand, Omnitrans expanded sbX service hours last September to operate from 5am to 11pm on weekdays.

Omnitrans total ridership in calendar year 2017 was 11,436,432, a decrease of 5% from 2016.  January 2018 was the first positive month, as compared to the same month in the prior year, since June 2014. “It’s great to start off 2018 with positive numbers, reversing a three year trend experienced by Omnitrans and other transit agencies in our region and the nation,” explained spokesperson Wendy Williams.

Omnitrans route and schedule information is available at 1 (800) 966-6428 or www.omnitrans.org.

Meet the new Omnitrans interns!

Omnitrans is proud to introduce our three new interns! As these young professionals work toward their career goals, we are proud to be providing them with an enriching experience that will give them job skills that only can be obtained outside the classroom, and prepare them for the “real world.”

“Bringing new interns to Omnitrans makes them aware of how an organization works. They are able to obtain knowledge, skills, and abilities to bring added value to the table,” says Director of Human Resource Marjorie Ewing. “By providing this opportunity, we are giving students a paid internship, exposure, and the experience they need in seeking out their career goals.”

Get to know our interns:

Laura B., Emergency Preparedness Intern

Laura B., Colton, California
Emergency Preparedness Intern
Biology major (emphasis in Biotechnology) at Brigham Young University, Idaho

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Omnitrans?
What I enjoy the most about working at Omnitrans is the many learning opportunities I experience as I tackle new projects. Each project has been different than the previous one which challenges me and keeps things very interesting.

What are your career goals?
My careers goals are to continue my education and obtain a master’s degree and doctorate degree in the field of nursing. I hope to achieve a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in order to work in roles of clinical practice-oriented leadership, managerial, or executive level positions.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
The Safety and Security team has taught me the importance of communicating and writing effectively by giving me the chance to formulate procedures, presentations, and processes. I am improving upon my time management skills by setting my own pace for timely completion of my projects. Not only am I brushing up on those skill sets, but am also gaining a lot of knowledge regarding emergency preparedness which will be very useful in my career as a nurse should I be called upon to assist when or if disaster strikes.

Hector E., Human Resources Intern

Hector E., Highland, California
Human Resources Intern
Business Administration major (emphasis in Human Resource Management) at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Omnitrans?
I enjoy how welcoming and helpful everyone has been. Everyone works well together as a team. Overall, I believe that Omnitrans is an amazing company to work for.

What are your career goals?
I plan on becoming a compensation analyst and eventually move up as a compensation manager. I plan on earning my Certified Compensation Professional Certification (CCP) and attending graduate school to obtain my Master of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Human Resource Management.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
My internship is helping me have a better understanding of all the different functions in HR. I am able to utilize what I have learned in class and apply it towards my daily duties. In addition, Omnitrans has provided a solid foundation of learning that will allow me to grow in my career.

Myles G., Rail Operations Intern

Myles G., Hesperia, California
Rail Operations Intern
Master of Science in Transportation Management at San Jose State University

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Omnitrans?
I enjoy working with Director of Rail Operations Trischelle and Compliance Officer Loretta as they mentor and take me under their wing to not only show me the procedures and operations of rail, but also how to build a great railroad from the ground up which is what we are doing in preparation for the Arrow launch.

What are your career goals?
My career goals are to further myself in the rail industry, whether it be in the public transit sector or working with freight rail. This is an excellent starting point to broaden my knowledge and get familiar with all elements of the transportation industry, specifically in rail.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
My internship has helped me get closer to my career goals first and foremost by getting my foot in the industry and giving me opportunities to network heavily with other transportation and railroad professionals.

For current internship opportunities at Omnitrans, and other jobs available, please visit Omnitrans.org!