Tag Archives: omnitrans ridership

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.

Behind the Scenes in Planning

Omnitrans Planning team, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The Omnitrans Planning Department is always thinking about the future, and right now one of their biggest projects is the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC). The SBTC will be located on the southwest corner of E Street and Rialto Avenue. It will be the major transportation hub in downtown San Bernardino with connections between the new sbX service scheduled to start early next year, thirteen local Omnitrans routes, other regional transit providers, extended Metrolink service and future Redlands Rail service.

Rohan Kuruppu, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

For Planning Director Rohan Kuruppu, planning is about accomplishing a desired future. “We are one of the fastest -growing regions in the country. It is our responsibility to ensure we have a state-of-the-art transit system that is efficient, safe and reliable while meeting the area’s economic and environmental goals.”

Anna Rahtz, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Project manager, Anna Rahtz, works with cities and developers to ensure we have a good balance  between land use planning and transit planning. It is critical to have the right balance of housing, jobs and activities along our transit corridors. Intensity and density of activities drive ridership. Anna’s current projects include bus stop improvements as well as the San Bernardino Transit Center. She likes the fact that her work has a strong positive impact on her community. Anna is also a frequent bus rider and takes the bus to  local meetings whenever possible.

Scott Begg is a Planner I specializing in mapping and spacial analysis. His day typically centers on Title 6 analysis, Geographic Information System (GIS) work, smart mapping, and statistical and route analysis. Scott believes that mapping and spacial analysis provides an important overview of people, businesses, neighborhoods and other statistical information. His work helps connect people with jobs and other critical destinations.

As a Planner II, Brenda Ramirez analyzes our routes, tackling challenges like realignment, crowding, requests for service and sub-recipient monitoring for human service transportation agencies. Currently Brenda is working on the proposals for Omnitrans fare modifications. She feels the best part of her job is knowing that people can get from their homes to their destinations efficiently and safely.

Jeremiah Bryant is our resident data geek and service planning manager. He uses the statistics, mapping and route analysis provided by Scott and Brenda to analyze geo-spacial relationship demands to see where service needs are greatest. He must balance ridership demands and customer experience with financial constraints and available resources. Jeremiah also does peer analysis, ridership forecasting and responds to customer and city inquiries.

Planning intern Alvaro Gomez works on grants, research and writing projects. He grew up in this area and feels that working at Omnitrans gives him greater insight into the policies, development and economy at work in the San Bernardino Valley.

Administrative secretary, Tembi Morales, makes sure the office runs smoothly. She handles the daily office operations, purchase orders, requisitions, invoices and documents. Tembi also oversees the setup and preparations for meetings hosted by the department.

Omnitrans planning, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Together, the planning team is constantly reviewing the needs of our ridership and looking for ways to continue to grow and optimize Omnitrans service while maintaining  low fares. Each plays an essential role in providing the detailed information and analysis that will maximize our budget and resources.

sbx map and planning department, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

To meet the region’s growing demand for faster and sustainable transit options Omnitrans works to design the most optimal service in partnership with the cities, county and the FTA. As a result, our sbx Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) express service is scheduled to begin early next year along one of the highest volume transit corridors in our system, a 15.7-mile span between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. This sbX corridor will include 16 art-inspired stations at key university, government, business, entertainment and medical centers as well as four park-and-ride facilities.

Rohan Kuruppu, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The sbX 60-foot articulated vehicle is a full 20-feet longer than our regular fixed-route buses. Each will hold 41 passengers and have a standing capacity of 65. Our sbX BRT vehicles with operate in their own dedicated bus lane and offer optimized service with fewer stops and more frequent runs.  For a closeup look at some of  the premium features of the sbX BRT, click here.

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Email Juno Kughler Carlson at  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Public transit ridership soars in 2012

According to an article in USA Today, transit agencies across the nation are showing record or near-record ridership for the first quarter of 2012. The American Public Transportation Association(APTA) announced bus ridership increased in 34 out of 37 large cities. Omnitrans saw an 8% increase in ridership for January February and March.

“High gas prices were part of the reason for this large first quarter ridership increase,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy.  “More and more people are choosing to save money by taking public transportation when gas prices are high.”

Get a FREE ride on Omnitrans!
Are high gas prices getting you down? Thinking about making the move to public transit? Visit the Omnitrans website for a printable coupon that will allow you to ride the bus for free on national Dump the Pump Day, June 21st. You can also find a free ride coupon in the Sunday, June 17th editions of the San Bernardino Sun and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.