Tag Archives: omnitrans rider profile

Long-time rider benefits from the SBTC’s newly augmented regional connectivity


Cynthia, 62, of San Bernardino is a long-time rider who has dedicated herself to caring for seniors living with disabilities. She relies on Omnitrans to get to her clients every day – a choice that she feels good about each time her bus zooms by cars stalled in traffic on the freeways.

“I have my driver’s license, but I choose not to drive. I ride the Freeway Express and just watching all the people stuck in traffic – that’s enough for me to not want to drive a car! Riding the bus is much more convenient,” she shares with us while waiting for Route 215 to depart at the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC).

“I know a lot of drivers from my years of riding Omnitrans, and the majority have been very nice. They treat us, the passengers, with respect. I’ve never been on a bus where a driver was recklessly driving,” she shares of her experience with Omnitrans drivers. “They know what to say, what not to say, and I appreciate that. You have to admire their patience in working with the public.”

Omnitrans’ express routes and the regional connectivity at the SBTC make mobility easy for Cynthia. Commuting to work is a simple ride on her local route to the SBTC, where she connects to Freeway Express (Route 215 for Riverside or Route 290 for Ontario, her two primary work destinations). Cynthia is also benefitting from the recent Metrolink extension to Downtown San Bernardino, now stopping at the transit center.

“I love the [San Bernardino] Transit Center, and to have the Metrolink trains coming here now – I am loving it! I’m feeling so spoiled!” she gushes. “Now I only catch one bus to the transit center and I can go see my mommy in Los Angeles. It was a really good idea to connect the trains to the transit center. It makes it easier, not just for me, but for other bus riders that I used to see down at the 3rd Street depot. They now can connect from the bus to the Metrolink here at the transit center. It has made travel so much easier for us.”

Cynthia is also a student. On Tuesdays, she attends class at a local adult school in San Bernardino. Riding our traditional fixed route system after work would make her late to class, which is why sbX rapid transit is a great solution for her.

“sbX takes me right to class after work. I got to get to work and school on time, so I love all the fast stuff!” she says about Omnitrans’ express services and sbX.

Although Cynthia has been part of the Omnitrans community for the past 10 years, she wants to purchase a car this year. That won’t keep her from riding, though. Cynthia will only drive to our Park and Ride lot at the SBTC and still take advantage of the benefits of riding public transit.

“I will still ride the bus to go shopping, to the grocery store, to the movies. I’ll take Omni everywhere I need to go.” The Route 215 driver approaches the bus, ready to depart, and an energetic Cynthia takes out her bus pass. “Oh, we got to go now!”

 

 

 

Mobile fares enhance the Omnitrans experience for commuter

Isaiah of San Bernardino, California has been riding Omnitrans less than a year, but in his short time doing so, has already discovered the plentiful benefits that public transportation provides to riders.

It was a chance encounter, when Isaiah was experiencing car trouble one day. Needing a ride to get to work in Ontario, Isaiah knew that the bus was available as an option, so he visited Omnitrans.org for the latest schedule and has since been making his weekly commute on Omnitrans!

“I’ve only been riding for a few months, but riding the bus is cool! It’s affordable and provides reliable transportation to work during the week. The drivers are very nice and patient with everybody. It’s been really good to me,” he shares with us while waiting for the bus at Ontario Mills one afternoon.

Monday through Friday, Isaiah hops on Freeway Express Route 290 at the San Bernardino Transit Center and gets off at Ontario Mills where he transfers to Route 61 for a short connection to his job site. “Traffic can be pretty stressful at this time of the day, but Freeway Express 290 is great because it can go in the carpool lane and it has limited stops which makes commuting less troublesome.”

Isaiah loads his activated bus pass on his smartphone to show the driver upon boarding Omnitrans.

The Omnitrans passenger service that Isaiah has enjoyed most recently has been our introduction of mobile fares via the Token Transit app. “I get a 7-day pass every week on Token Transit. It’s neat to be able pay with your phone and not have to worry about always having exact cash. I always had to have $18 cash to pay the driver for a pass, but having the mobile fare option has made riding so much easier because I can easily buy the pass with my debit card. And, you don’t need to worry about losing your bus pass, either, because it’s always in your phone.”

Isaiah would like to get a new car soon, but that doesn’t mean his journey with Omnitrans will have to come to an end. “Honestly, when I get a new car, I will continue to take the bus and leave my car at home during the week and only drive on the weekends. It’s more convenient because you don’t have to sit through traffic or spend more money on gas,” he reveals of his future transportation plans.

He also plans to enroll in classes at Valley College in San Bernardino, where he will be entitled to unlimited rides with our GoSmart program for students!

“I’d never ridden the bus before; I just looked up the bus schedules online one day when I needed a ride because my car broke down. I’d never had a reason to ride, but now I would recommend it to others, honestly. It’s affordable, reliable, and saves money,” says Isaiah as he boards Freeway Express 290 to head back home at the end of his work day. See you on the bus tomorrow, Isaiah!

Stress-free traveling with Omnitrans bus service to ONT airport

On this sunny day in October, Michael W. has just arrived in Ontario from Charlotte, North Carolina after visiting his 92-year-old father. Rather than drive his car to the airport from his house, which is less than 5 miles away, he decided to take Omnitrans, now serving Ontario International Airport every 15 minutes, seven days a week.

“The bus stop is located just steps from my front door in Rancho Cucamonga,” he tells us. “The location offers perfect commute opportunities for both my wife and me, for both work and pleasure.”

Although Michael does travel to and from LAX, just under 60 miles away from home, he prefers the ease of connecting to Ontario International Airport via Omnitrans public transit. When he chooses to travel out of LAX, he starts out riding Omnitrans to the Montclair Transit Center, connects to Metrolink, and rides to Union Station where he hops on the Flyaway shuttle to the airport.

When he and his wife flew to Hawaii on vacation last year, this was how they traveled.  “It was one of the most stress-free beginnings to a vacation that I’ve ever had,” he fondly remembers.

Currently, Michael is employed by the County of Riverside in the Environmental Health Department, HAZMAT Division, where he has worked for a decade. “I love my job, and can’t believe that they pay me to do what I do,” he says.

His wife currently attends pharmacy school in Claremont, and is completing an internship in Thousand Oaks. On the weekends, he will meet her for lunch, using public transit the entire distance.  His favorite thing is to catch Omnitrans Route 66 and connect at the Montclair Transit Center.  There, he boards the Metrolink to complete his trip.

He often connects to popular L.A. destinations using the Metro Expo Line. He mentions the Museum of Natural History and the annual book fair. “There’s so much to do in L.A. and it’s so easy to get to,” says Michael.  “I look forward to exploring even more destinations.”

Michael has two months left until he transitions into retirement. He has his sights set on achieving two goals: auditing as many classes as possible at Chaffey College, getting there by riding Omnitrans (of course!) and selling his car and relying completely on public transit.

It is Michael’s sense of curiosity has led him to enroll in a philosophy class at Chaffey College. “The reason I chose Chaffey College is because it has excellent bus service to and from the college,” said Walling.  “I don’t want to get to retirement and be disappointed. I want to continue learning and exploring the world.”

He is lugging a large, rolling suitcase with a backpack, but maneuvers it with ease. Our conversation comes to an end when the bus arrives

“Here’s my ride,” he grins as he climbs aboard Route 61. Walling’s dreams, like his suitcase, may seem big, but he clearly has a handle on them.  We wish you luck in all your transit adventures, Michael.

From a fun childhood hobby to a practical transportation mode

In the public transit world, we often see people combining different modes of transportation to get to their destinations – biking to the train station, walking to the bus stop, driving your car to meet your carpool group – but skateboarding and bus riding was a refreshingly different commute alternative!

As the new school year started earlier this month, we met Destiny Nunez at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga. She hopped off the bus at the Chaffey Transit Center and got on her skateboard, zooming by her schoolmates as they all made their way across campus. The 21-year-old San Bernardino County native rides Omnitrans to school, where she is currently in her second year of art studies working toward a career in animation.

“Omnitrans has been my main transportation to get to school,” she shares with us. “I don’t have a car yet, but I don’t mind riding the bus. It costs much less than having a car would, and even when I do get a car, I will try to ride the bus whenever possible because it’s just better to do that for the environment due to car emissions.”

Choosing and committing to a college after high school can be a daunting task, but Destiny planned hers around transportation. Because of Omnitrans’ GoSmart program and the one-seat ride that would get her to school on Route 80, Chaffey was the obvious choice for Destiny.

“One of my questions was, ‘would I be able to get there?’ I don’t really rely on people to get me places, so when I looked at the bus route and saw that it was convenient, I thought it was great that service was provided. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to come.”

And while some young people would not be caught dead riding the bus, Destiny is laughing back at critics. “I do a lot of homework on the bus, since it’s about a 50 minute ride. It’s really quiet and easy to get work done, or even study quickly before a test on the way to school. It definitely opens up more time for productivity, and I really like that part of it, too, because school can get so busy – especially if you also have a job. I work as well, so I really try to utilize every free minute I have and riding the bus allows me to do that.”

In a world where all of our attention is funneled into our smartphones or other devices, riding the bus also provides an authentic connection to others. “There are nice people that you meet on the bus. It’s usually other schoolmates who have your same schedule, so you always see them on the bus or waiting at the bus stop. That’s really nice. I don’t think I would’ve talked to those people any other way. Everyone’s so busy that they don’t really have time to stop and chat unless you’re in the same situation. I also like chatting with people older than me on the bus because you learn a lot from them. It’s nice to have little conversations and interactions that are always uplifting,” shares Destiny.

Getting the most out of her commute is something that Destiny has mastered at this point. She has meaningful interactions on the bus, spends time catching up on homework or studying, but is also able to get some fun out of it by riding her skateboard to the bus stop, a leisure interest that she has carried into adulthood from her youth.

“I ride my skateboard from my house to the bus stop, so it gets me there faster than walking. I’ve been doing this since middle school, if not a little bit before that. I grew up around a lot of boys, and my cousin and best friend growing up got me into skateboarding because he thought it would be fun for us to do together,” she reminisces.

“We got some little, plastic skateboards and started watching all the skateboarders. We finally got real skateboards and from that point, it became an everyday thing for us. After that, we became hardcore fans, practicing tricks. It was so much fun and I still love it. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing it!” she tells us before skating off for an Art Club meeting. Happy riding, Destiny!

Omnitrans still a great solution for life-long rider

Every day, we cross paths with hundreds of people as we transport them around the San Bernardino Valley. We have the opportunity to connect with our riders in a unique and rewarding way, making us part of each other’s daily lives. Sometimes, we even get to watch our riders grow up right before our eyes!

Such is the case with Brandy, a college student who has been riding Omnitrans since she was just a youngster.

“I’ve been riding Omnitrans pretty much my entire life,” she tells us while waiting for her bus at the San Bernardino Transit Center. “When I was in the sixth grade, my mom started taking me on the bus with my twin sister. We ran errands, went out on weekends and rode to church on Sundays. From there on, I started taking the bus. It’s been part of my life since then.”

Though she’s now an adult, Brandy continues to navigate through life with the help of her old friends at Omnitrans. “I moved to Redlands, went to high school, and had a daughter. [Omnitrans] has been my method of transportation through all these stages in my life.”

Brandy is currently a college student working toward her career goal of becoming a medical assistant. She will complete her program in about three months. Even though Brandy and her fiancé share a car, she prefers to avoid car trouble by riding the Freeway Express Route 215 to Riverside every day that she has to attend class.

While Brandy plans to drive a car in the future, she will always be thankful to Omnitrans. “It provides me transportation for now while I am in school. It makes everyday tasks easier, such as going to the grocery store. Not only that, but on the weekends I am able to ride with my daughter to my fiancé’s house to swim in the pool or barbeque,” she tells us.

“I’m so used to riding the bus by now. It gets me where I need to be safely, and the drivers are very courteous. They’ve known me since middle school, so they’ve seen me grow up and become a mom,” she smiles.

Passengers like Brandy rely on Omnitrans to get to work, school, and other key destinations. We hope you enjoy her story – we’re interested in yours too! E-mail onlinemktg@omnitrans.org to share your story and we may feature you in a future rider profile.

No Hill For a Climber

Sand Canyon Road, the steep, winding road that connects Yucaipa with Mentone and Redlands, is a favorite ride for local cyclists.  For Omnitrans rider and multi-modal commuter John Sciniasil of Yucaipa, it’s just the second stop in his daily commute.

Each morning just as the sun rises, John begins his commute on  his foldable bike which is small enough to fit under a train or bus seat!  And even though he combines different modes of ridesharing, like carpooling or catching the bus, he always has a bicycle with him.  “Some days I catch a ride with a friend to work,” said John, “But on the way home I ride my bike.”

John Sciniasil of Yucaipa, combines his love of bicycle riding with other modes of transportation, such as Omnitrans, as he commutes to work.

On the day we talked, John was riding Omnitrans and using a Dahon bike, one of five foldable bikes he owns.  Although it folds down, John takes advantage of the 3-bike capacity rack at the front of the bus.

“In New York City, you see a lot of these kinds of bikes,” said John.  “Here, it’s more rare.”

His favorite Omnitrans route is typically Route 19, where he disembarks at Wabash and Sand Canyon, and sails on into east Redlands to begin his day with the Water Department.

“It’s smooth sailing going in,“ said John.  “But I really like the challenge of going up the hill to go home, believe it or not.”

Freeway Express Route 208 was launched in May 2017, and connects Yucaipa, Redlands, and Downtown San Bernardino with limited stops via I-10.

But last week, John decided to give the new Freeway Express Route 208 a try.  The fact that the express route reduces travel time overall compared to a car is appealing to him, and allows him even more commute options in the future.  Route 208’s stop at the Redlands Mall is only 1.7 miles from the building he works in, which he says will be great.

John’s romance with bicycle commuting began two years ago during California Rideshare Week.  He decided to try carpooling, as well as the bus.  Incorporating his love of bicycles seemed to be a natural fit.

 “It’s a bit of a climb depending upon which road I take, but I enjoy that kind of workout,” said John.

Well, you know what they say, ‘No Hill for a Climber!’  Happy travels to you, John.

Omnitrans helps student athlete’s dream take flight

For second-year Cal State University, San Bernardino student Christiana Campbell, riding Omnitrans is part of her daily routine as she works toward achieving her dream of becoming a United States Air Force officer.

“My end goal is to go into the military just like my dad. I want to go into the Air Force as an officer after completing my degree. Enlisting with a degree under my belt, I would be able to go in as an officer, with higher rank and more pay,” shares Christina.

Currently, Christiana has just over two years left of schooling at CSUSB. In addition to the academic demands of student life, she is also a cross country and track and field collegiate athlete. A determined and ambitious young woman, she commutes to campus Monday through Friday from Moreno Valley.

“I’m a second year student, going into my third this fall. I’m majoring in kinesiology and exercise science, and on top of that, I’m an athlete. I have practice in the morning and class in the afternoon, so, I have to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to get to school on time every day,” she shares.

After taking a local route from Moreno Valley, Christiana catches Omnitrans Freeway Express Route 215 at the Downtown Riverside Metrolink station and connects to sbX at the San Bernardino Transit Center to get to CSUSB.

“I enjoy the sbX service. I’ve had good experiences, especially when I learned that I could get on sbX and only have a 15 minute bus ride compared to Route 7. The drivers are really cool, and I give them props because being a bus driver must be really hard. They get me to school safely which I’m thankful for, and I feel safe here [at the San Bernardino Transit Center].”

“I also like that I can just swipe my student ID for rides on Omnitrans, because when I get to Riverside I have to pay.”

Christiana is speaking of the Omnitrans program for CSUSB students, GoSmart, which allows her unlimited rides on our system. “Saving money has been nice! I don’t have to worry about finding and paying for parking at school,” she says.

Christiana plans to get a car in the next few months to save her some commute time as she navigates academics, athletics and explores working part-time. But that doesn’t mean that she’ll be saying goodbye to saving money and gas with Omnitrans!

Christiana was delighted to learn of the ability to park at one of the Park and Ride lots along the sbX corridor, avoid the parking permit cost at CSUSB, and continue to take advantage of her GoSmart privileges to get to school on sbX.

“It took me a while to get used to taking the bus, but a lot of students do it, and it isn’t bad,” says Christiana, who is putting in the effort and overcoming hurdles each and every day to reach her personal finish line. “Omnitrans really is helping me achieve that,” she tells us with a smile before boarding the bus back home.

Passengers like Christina rely on Omnitrans to get to work, school, and other key destinations. We hope you enjoy her story – we’re interested in yours too! E-mail onlinemktg@omnitrans.org to share your story and we may feature you in a future rider profile.