Tag Archives: omnitrans rider

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.

Celebrate Bike Month with IE Biking Alliance Community Ride, Plus, Bike Hubitat Service Expands to Weekends!

Omnitrans and the Inland Empire Biking Alliance invite the community to celebrate Bike to Work Day with a “Try Your Bike” ride on Wednesday, May 24. The 9:00 a.m. ride is part of National Bike Month, an annual event designed to encourage people to experience the health, financial and environmental advantages of bicycling.

“It’s well known that using public transit benefits environmental, economic, and physical health,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams. “Biking to transit only enhances those benefits, and we’re pleased to partner with IEBA to introduce the community to the advantages of alternative commuting.”

The “Try Your Bike” ride will begin at the Caltrans office in San Bernardino, located at 464 West 4th St. It will travel a prescribed route around the downtown area, and will stop at the San Bernardino Transit Center at 599 W. Rialto Ave. for information on transit connections, refreshments, and a special FREE gift!

The San Bernardino Transit Center is home to the Bike Hubitat for cyclists, which offers consultation with IEBA volunteers and low-cost repair supplies on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. The Hubitat has been a popular success with riders that it will be extending its hours beginning in May, serving customers on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Also in celebration of National Bike Month, Omnitrans is sponsoring a photo contest. Anytime during the month of May, participants simply can take a selfie of themselves with their bike, including the hashtag #BikeNBus, to be eligible for gift card prizes.

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.

Tips for riding on a rainy day

Heavy rains are expected throughout Southern California this weekend. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when riding Omnitrans on rainy days. Safe travels!

  • Don’t forget your umbrella. It’s been a wet winter in Southern California, so hopefully you already have yours readily available. Staying dry is key! Look around at all times to make sure you haven’t left it behind at a bus stop, or inside the bus.
  • Stay visible. Make sure that motorists and other pedestrians are able to see you while you are walking to, from, or waiting at the bus stop. Wear warm, bright clothing so that you are clearly seen in the cloudy weather.
  • Plan ahead. Because of road conditions during inclement weather, the bus may be running behind schedule. Follow us on Twitter @Omnitrans for any reported detours and download the official Omnitrans app (available on Google Play and iTunes) for real-time NexTrip bus arrivals info.

Commuting with a Smile

When asked how often she rides Omnitrans, Katrina W. smiles. “I ride every day I go to work, so, that’s at least five days a week,” she enthuses.

The San Bernardino native commutes from the northern end of the city to her job in Redlands via Routes 7 and 8. “I like the bus drivers, and the convenience,” she tells us. “It’s a nice ride.”

She considers herself lucky to have a job in which she can make sure that her work schedule aligns with Omnitrans’ bus schedules, making transportation an uncomplicated task. On the rare occasion that she has to work late, she catches a ride home with a friend.

Katrina, who does not currently have a car, proudly uses public transit as her means of transportation because of the sense of independence it brings. “I don’t have to depend or wait for somebody else [to pick me up]. I know what time the scheduled bus is going to run by my house if I have to go to the store, doctor, whatever,” she tells us.

While some may be apprehensive about riding, Katrina doesn’t understand why some people are hesitant to use transit. “Some people are scared of riding the bus, or think they’re too good for it, but I always feel safe,” she says. “The bus is very reliable!”

We’re glad that Omnitrans helps people like Katrina by providing a safe, dependable, and enjoyable method to get around town. “No negatives about riding the bus,” says Katrina before departing from the San Bernardino Transit Center. “I enjoy it!”

Do you have a great Omnitrans or sbX story to tell? We are always looking for new riders to highlight in our blog. Let us know!

40th Anniversary Sweepstakes Winners Announced!

Last month, we reached an important landmark which you may have heard a thing or two about – our 40th anniversary! As part of our celebration, we gave away 40 prizes, one for each year that Omnitrans has proudly served the San Bernardino Valley.

Winners were chosen at random from our pool of 700-plus sweepstakes entries, and the grand prize winner of a $400 Visa gift card and twelve 31-day bus passes is Juan Perez of Fontana! Thanks to all who entered.

Juan Perez

Juan Perez of Fontana, the grand prize winner!

“When you first called me, I didn’t know who it was. I was at work and didn’t believe it,” Juan tells us of the surprise congratulatory phone call from Omnitrans. “After I heard the voicemail message and called back, then I thought ‘Okay, this is legit.’”

Juan first learned about the giveaway when he noticed the advertisement on an Omnitrans bus. We were pleased to know that he found out about the sweepstakes the “old school” way in an age dominated by digital and social media!

Omnitrans has been a part of the 28-year-old’s life for many years, tracing back to his days as a high school student, when he took the bus home after school. “I didn’t know all the routes back then, and I would end up getting lost sometimes,” Juan laughs as he reminisces.

These days, Juan rides Omnitrans when he and his brother feel like enjoying a day together at San Manuel Casino in Highland, or simply choose to leave their car at home.

“It’s helpful if you don’t want to take an Uber or drive yourself. It’s a lot cheaper than those options,” he says. “Or, if I want to have an [adult] beverage, I obviously don’t want to drive, and I feel safe riding Omnitrans.”

Juan is thankful to have entered the drawing, and the gift card will definitely come in handy for him this holiday season! “Thanks, Omnitrans for the prize and congratulations on your 40-year anniversary!” says a delighted Juan.

For the full list of our 40th Anniversary Sweepstakes winners, please click here.