Tag Archives: omnitrans rapid bus

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter: sbX dispatcher Robert Avant

Omnitrans sbX dispatcher Robert Avant

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter Robert Avant is a man of many talents: artist, writer, musician, coach operator, coach operator instructor and relief dispatcher. But with our BRT launch last April, he claimed a new title for himself as the “Maestro” of sbX.

One look at the sbX dispatch monitor, and it’s easy to understand the musical reference. A symphony of 60-foot coaches moves in sequence along the route, carefully guided by the dispatcher to ensure proper rhythm and flow. If the vehicles start to bunch in one area or a gap begins to separate them, the dispatcher must coordinate their movements to bring them back into balance.

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter Robert Avant

Robert Avant with Director of Operations Diane Caldera

“sbX is based on frequency rather than on time points, and there are many factors that come into play to affect the system,” points out Robert. “Traffic patterns and passenger load can change the timing of a vehicle. A coach operator who is transporting two wheelchair passengers, for example, will need extra time for loading and unloading. Traffic backed up at an intersection or unexpected detours can also cause delays. Every day is something different, but that keeps it interesting.”

Robert’s skills were put to the test during the initial launch of the sbX BRT service, when the system faced several unexpected challenges. The Traffic Signal Prioritization (TSP) system did not work as expected, delaying many articulated coaches along the corridor. In addition, not all Global Positioning Systems (GPS) were functioning correctly. This caused coaches not to appear, or appear inaccurately, on the dispatcher’s corridor map monitor.

Omnitrans sbX dispatcher Robert Avant

This made Robert’s job as sbX dispatcher incredibly difficult. He maintained clear communication with coach operators, field supervisors, management and other departments to keep them apprised of the issues. He worked as best he could with dispatch’s GPS tracking system and radio to locate and track each coach along the corridor. When he identified a delay or coach bunching, he quickly coordinated with Operators to put them back on time to meet the riding public’s expectations.

Robert also helped create a monitoring system within a detailed sbX Dispatch Daily roster form to track and maintain service reliability and to ensure that shift exchanges and meal breaks occurred as expected. Once the system was up and running, Robert quickly and effectively cross-trained other dispatchers on these sbX dispatching procedures, broadening the department’s flexibility and reliability in coverage and increasing efficiency when dealing with unplanned absences, illnesses or emergencies.

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter Robert Avant

A few members of our wonderful dispatch team: Ed Cooney, Mark Bueche, Robert Avant and Ronnie Davis

“Before this system was put into place, we were trying to track information on seven different forms,” explains Robert. “There was no centralized resource for information. Now everything is recorded in one place so we can quickly see what needs to happen and what availability is at any given time.”

“Robert played an important role in jump starting the sbX system when it went live in April,” says Omnitrans Director of Operations Diane Caldera. “His contributions and problem-solving abilities helped ensure that the sbX service we provide is the sbX service that was advertised. We are so proud to honor him as Employee of the Quarter.”

Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter Robert Avant

Although he loves the variety and demands of dispatch, Robert also enjoys the personal connections he makes as a coach operator instructor. “I like helping people build their confidence and develop their skills. I try to create an atmosphere of trust where they feel comfortable learning. My policy is what happens on the bus during training stays on the bus. I’m not going to yell at anyone or later tell a supervisor that they asked a stupid question. There are no stupid questions.”

Creativity and spirituality are a huge part of Robert’s life. In his private time, he sketches portraits and paints still-life scenes. He’s also working on a self-help book, “Becoming The Best You.”

“I believe any challenge can be overcome,” says Robert. “It just takes dedication, discipline and the desire to succeed.”

Omnitrans sbX dispatcher Robert Avant

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Final sbX Paving & Striping In San Bernardino

The intersection at Marshall Blvd. and E Street was recently paved, providing a smooth drive for motorists and bicyclists.

During the past month, construction crews reached a major milestone by completing most of the paving and striping work that remained in the City of San Bernardino. This included areas along the northern part of the route such as Little Mountain Avenue, Shandin Hills Drive, Marshall Boulevard and between 10th Street and 4th Street. The final layer of pavement provides a smooth road for motorists and bicyclists. In addition, striping has been placed along E Street from Hospitality Lane to 10th Street – clearing defining the center-running lane areas where buses will run.

-Robert Chevez
rchevez@westboundcommunications.com

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sbX Construction Activities Coming to A Close

Major roadway construction is now complete as streets have been paved and striped along the sbX corridor.

The New Year brings great excitement for the Omnitrans sbX team. Just under two years since the start of construction, major roadway construction is complete. Final work on the construction crew’s to-do list includes installation of station artwork, map cases and graphics of the new system, station seating, plus final landscaping and sign installation to make navigating the corridor easy. We’re so close to start of service that next month you will begin to see buses being tested on the road. With this new activity, it is especially important for motorists to pay close attention to the new rules of the road and to stay out of the dedicated bus lanes.

-Robert Chevez
rchevez@westboundcommunications.com

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Roadway, Station Work Progress on Hospitality

The T-intersection on Hospitality Lane and the main entrance to Home Depot was reopened to traffic after interim center-running-lane work was completed.

In August, crews completed placing various layers of road reinforcement in the sbX center-running lane areas on the portion of Hospitality Lane east of Waterman Avenue. The T-intersection at the main entrance to Home Depot also was reopened.

Concrete curbs, gutters and sidewalks were poured between Carnegie Drive West and Carnegie Drive East. Additionally, concrete pavers were installed at the Hospitality Lane sbX stations at Tippecanoe Avenue, Carnegie Drive and Hunts Lane.

Throughout September, there will be extensive masonry work as well as electrical activities to ultimately wire the stations for lighting, LED variable message signs, electronic ticket-vending machines and security cameras.

-Kelly Koehler

 

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E Street Center-Lane, Station Work Continues

Asphalt is laid on the area of center-running lanes on E Street at 10th Street north of downtown San Bernardino.

During the past few weeks, crews have been working daily on E Street in the center-running lane area between Rialto Ave and just north of 10th Street to reinforce the road. Several layers of support have been placed with an intermediate top layer of asphalt. A final layer of asphalt will be placed in the coming months so there is a smooth and even driving road for motorists.

Paver and handrails installed on North Mall Way station platform.

Work also has begun on the final sbX station in San Bernardino at Baseline Street and E Street. Construction activities for the northbound station are in full swing for the coming months. Crews are working rapidly on the station structure so that the new sidewalk can be built and opened to pedestrians.

On the south end of E Street, a safety handrail has been placed on both sides of the pedestrian walkway at the North Mall Way sbX station. This provides the public an idea of the features that will be installed at other center-running-lane stations on the corridor.

-Kelly Koehler

 

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