Tag Archives: omnitrans route 290

Riders say Route 290 is their commute of choice


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I had the chance to try out the Route 290 Freeway Express this week and interview a few of the regular passengers. All of them share a common thread. They love the quickness and convenience of the Freeway Express and hope that it will expand its service hours.

Jose works in Pomona at Metro PCS where he installs cell phones and helps tailor affordable plans for people who have limited resources. The cost of car repairs and gas is too high for him right now. Taking his own vehicle would cost him around $30 every couple of days. Since Omnitrans introduced its Route 290 Freeway Express last September, he’s been a regular passenger.

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“The 290 makes a big difference in cost, and it cuts the ride in half,” he explains. “I used to have to take three buses to get to work.  I was spending four hours out of every day on the bus. That’s a lot of time.”

“As soon as I heard about the Route 290, I was ready to hop right on it!” Jose laughs. “Forget about spending all that boring time on the long route! I’m going to take the short route!”

Now to get to his job, he takes Route 290 from San Bernardino to Pomona, then Foothill Transit Route 187 to Gary and Foothill. He couldn’t be happier.

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“All of us regulars have been talking about how we wish it would run all day. Sometimes I’ll see people waiting at the bus stop in the afternoon around 12:00 or 1:00. They haven’t read the bus book, so they don’t realize it just runs early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Once you tell them, you get some upset people and others who are like ‘Oh okay, I didn’t know. I was one of those people back when it first started. But I caught on real quick,” Jose laughs.

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San Bernardino resident Beatrice just started riding the 290 around 3 weeks ago when she started a new job an office assistant at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. It’s a work experience position and extremely important to her.

“I was taking Route 1, which got me there around 7:40. But I start work at 8:00, and I like to be early. Then someone told me about the 290 and how it got there faster—a whole 50 minutes faster than Route 1!” She laughs. “Yeah, that’s why I started taking it. It’s one straight shot. The 290’s not available when I get off work in the afternoon, so I do have to take the 1 home then.  It would be great if the 290 ran all day.”

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Montclair resident Andrew is taking the 290 to San Bernardino so he can visit friends in Colton. He’s a father of 5, and Omnitrans has been the family’s primary mode of transportation for the past five years.

“I’m working right now towards getting a car. I used to study welding at Summit College in San Bernardino and am looking for work. I’d actually like to find a job with a shipyard. The pay is really good and so are the hours.”

Andrew is a big fan of the Freeway Express.

“If the 290 would run all day, it would be nice. I don’t really like catching the 66 because it’s a long ride. If the 290 expanded its hours, it would be more crowded. It’s a lot more convenient—easier and faster.”

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Passenger Mike  is also regular Route 290 commuter. He shared some of his thoughts about the service in a recent email to us.

“The 290 drivers that I’ve ridden with since the service started have been impressively professional drivers; I feel safer with them driving than if I were to drive.  It’s easy to forget that I’m on the freeway because of the smoothness of the travel.

I also appreciate very much how early the 290 starts its eastward trips.  They are earlier than the Metrolink that I used to use—much earlier after some schedule changes that Metrolink made.

The Wi-Fi is not essential, but I like having it; I’ve used it with an interactive language-learning website that requires a live connection.  It’s so much more comfortable to read or to use the Internet while commuting than to drive.

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If asked, I can only think of two things that I believe could make the 290 better:

  • Schedule the first eastbound bus to arrive a few minutes earlier in San Bernardino.  Its scheduling was improved last month to arrive at exactly the same time as my next bus—the 8—is scheduled to leave.  Lately, I’ve been just barely able to catch the earlier 8, and it shortens my commute by 40 minutes.  I am grateful for that; with the original 290 schedule, the 8 was driving away from the terminal each morning as the 290 arrived.
  • Give the drivers freeway blockage information and map-routing devices.  The drivers have impressed me with their ability to take local roads to get around closed freeway sections, but it would help them if they had an early warning of closures, etc.”

Omnitrans appreciates all of the customer feedback we are receiving on the Route 290 Freeway Express, and will keep your suggestions in mind when planning the next service change!

Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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Try Route 290 Freeway Express free!

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Beginning September 8th, Omnitrans will deliver on one of our customers’ most frequent requests: a freeway express on the I-10.

A new and revised version of the old Route 90, Route 290 runs peak morning and evening weekday service with 15 one-way trips. This freeway express service connects downtown San Bernardino, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Ontario Mills and the Montclair Transit Center. Travel time is cut in half, compared to similar local bus service.

Omnitrans mascot Buster the Bus stands beside a bus promoting the agency's newest Freeway Express service.

As an added benefit to passengers, both Omnitrans freeway express routes 215 and 290 will offer free Wi-Fi on board. Commuters can now enjoy surfing the web with a smart device during their trip!

Interested in making Route 290 your regular commute? Try it for FREE Sept. 8th  through 11th and enjoy a relaxing, hassle-free ride. We think you’ll be a fan.

Not only are our freeway express services a fast and comfortable way to commute, they’re also affordable.  Both Routes 215 and 290 cost the same and accept the same bus passes as regular Omnitrans bus routes!

For more information on Route 290 and other upcoming service changes, check out our September Bus Book preview.

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Omnitrans West Valley Service Changes

Montclair Transit Center. Photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

With the upcoming September 8th service changes, West Valley Omnitrans riders will notice a number of routes have been reconfigured, and might even be a combination of previous routes. Routes 63, 65 and 68 have been eliminated. These changes help to streamline routes in the West Valley, significantly reducing travel time, and requiring fewer transfers. For this reason, some routes have been renumbered. Routes numbered in the 60s travel mostly east and west, and routes numbered in the 80s travel mostly north and south.

Here’s a look at the five new routes that have been added:

  • Route 290 Freeway Express – connects downtown San Bernardino, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Ontario Mills and the Montclair Transit Center. This route cuts travel time in half, compared to similar local bus service. Service runs weekdays at peak hours. Passengers can enjoy free Wi-Fi onboard. Try Route 290 FREE September 8th – 11thfor a relaxing and hassle-free commute. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Route 84 – provides direct north-south service on Mountain Avenue, connecting Chino, Ontario and Upland. It will cover previous sections of Routes 63, 67, and 80 that serve Mountain Avenue.
  • Route 85 – provides 30 minute weekday service between Chino Transit Center and Chaffey College on Central Avenue, Arrow Route, and Milliken Avenue. It combines services previous covered by Routes 65, 68 and 81.
  • Route 86 – connects Ontario and Upland, near San Antonio Hospital. The route travels primarily on Vineyard and Campus Avenues. It covers segments previously serviced by Routes 63 and 81.
  • Route 88 – provides 60 minute weekday service on Ramona Avenue, connecting to Chino Hills. It covers sections previously service by Routes 65 and 68.

Have questions about navigating the new routes? We’re here to help. Omnitrans ambassadors will be at the San Bernardino Transit Center, the Chaffey College Transit Center, the Ontario Transit Center, the Montclair Transit Center, the Chino Transit Center and Ontario Mills during peak hours on August 8th and 9th.

For a closer look at the West Valley routes and schedules affected by the new service changes, check out our September Bus Book preview.

Omnitrans bus at Montclair Transit Center.  Photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Guide to September Service Changes

Omnitrans September 2015 bus book

Click to preview the September 8, 2015 Bus Book.

By improving directness of service, shortening travel times and simplifying the system design, the upcoming September 8th service changes are designed to enhance the passenger experience. Here’s a few of the highlights.

The new San Bernardino Transit Center provides much needed amenities for Omnitrans’ largest transfer location, which serves 6,000 riders per day. In addition to 12 Omnitrans routes and sbX, passengers can connect with Mountain Transit , Victor Valley Transit Authority and, in late 2016, Metrolink.

The new Omnitrans Route 290 connects downtown San Bernardino, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Ontario Mills and the Montclair Transit Center. This route cuts travel time in half, compared to similar local bus service, during peak hours on weekdays. There’s also free Wi-Fi onboard! You even can try Route 290 FREE September 8th – 11th!

Fans of San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino will be happy to discover that Route 1 now extends to North Victoria Avenue. The stop places riders just outside this popular landmark.

West Valley riders will notice old their old routes have become more streamlined, requiring fewer transfers. Thanks to the addition of five new routes, travel times have been significantly shortened as well.

Have questions about navigating the new routes? We’re here to help. Omnitrans ambassadors will be at the San Bernardino Transit Center, the Chaffey College Transit Center, the Ontario Transit Center, the Montclair Transit Center, the Chino Transit Center and Ontario Mills during peak hours on September 8th and 9th.

Omnitrans Bus FallFor a closer look at the routes and schedules affected by the new service changes, see below or check out our September Bus Book preview.


Other helpful service change  links: