Tag Archives: omnitrans san bernardino

CSUSB student rides Omnitrans to stay active, avoid parking costs

Jose S. of Rialto has been riding Omnitrans and sbX for four years while working toward his degree in Sociology at California State University, San Bernardino. Even when he used to drive a car to class, Jose preferred to leave it at the free Park & Ride lot at Palm & Kendall, and shuttle down to class on sbX, only a five-minute bus ride to campus.

“Doing this helped me save money on a parking permit and, although for some people it may not be expensive, it also saved me time. Finding parking at such a large university can be pretty hard, even with your parking permit. My first year here, finding parking was easy, but now, when I skate by the parking lot, people will ask me if I am leaving so that they can follow me and take my parking spot,” he laughs.

Those student drivers’ hopes and dreams of snatching that parking space and making it to class on time are crushed when Jose tells them that he’s simply riding his skateboard to the sbX platform.

“Because of GoSmart, I don’t have to pay every time I board. All my money usually goes to school, or food, so it’s neat not having to pay. I’m hyped that I have my student ID card to ride Omnitrans wherever I need to go,” he explains.

“The drivers are sociable and friendly. I appreciate that if I start a conversation, they will engage with me. I also like the features such as the online trip planner and NexTrip text message capability to know how long it will be until your bus arrives. It’s almost always precise, never off by more than a minute.”

Jose got in touch with us via Instagram a few weeks back, where he reached out regarding our student internship opportunities. On his page, he showcases action-packed videos of he and his friends skating and skillfully performing tricks at skate parks.

“This is what I love to do. It’s my passion. Almost 10 years ago, my mom bought me a toy skateboard from Wal-Mart and when we visited my mom’s friend in Fresno, her kids with years of experience got me into skateboarding. I took a spare board that was in their garage since mine was slow compared to theirs, and that’s how I got into it,” he shared with us.

Riding Omnitrans isn’t just for school or work – Route 22 also gets Jose to the skate park where he can live out his passion and stay active. Even his friends have joined in on the fun and convenience of riding Omnitrans to the park. Jose says they were surprised by how different riding the bus was from what they thought.

“Route 22 takes me from my house right to the front of Ferguson Skate Park, which is so convenient. Route 14 takes me to the other skate park in Fontana. I would’ve never thought there would be so many bus stops to my destinations besides school,” he says.

Skating to and from the bus stop not only combines his favorite hobby with transportation, but it helps Jose relieve the stress of college life, especially during final exams. “It’s my form of meditation. Even a simple short ride from class to the bus stop can clear my mind,” he explains.

“I just enjoy riding my skateboard to the bus. This probably sounds weird, but I love the feeling of pressing the yellow strip to request a stop because we’re approaching my destination!” he jokes.

“Green” up your commute for Earth Day 2018

Spring time is here and the days are longer, leaves are greener, and flowers are blooming. Get out and bask in the fresh air while “greening” up your commute to celebrate Earth Day 2018!

We’ve heard about recycling, adjusted our water usage, installed energy-efficient light bulbs, but another simple way to contribute to a cleaner environment is to change up how you commute. By simply leaving your car at home for just one day, you help to lessen the number of pollutants emitted into the air we breathe.

Following are three easy, helpful tips on how to put some pep in your step to make your commute a little more environmentally-friendly:

  • Ride public transit – We may be biased with this one, but it’s a fact that riding the bus or train to work is one of the most effective ways to help the environment. Omnitrans vehicles emit fewer pollutants than most automobiles, thanks to our compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled fleet of buses. By switching to the bus, a single person can reduce their annual carbon emissions by more than 4,800 pounds! Ready to ride the bus? Go paperless for Earth Day and purchase your Omnitrans day pass on your smartphone!
  • Bike or walk for a day – Riding your bike or walking to work or school for the day is a sustainable alternative mode of transportation that reduces your carbon footprint, reduces traffic congestion, and is also great for your health! Take advantage of the nice weather and enjoy that April breeze while benefiting the earth. Bonus: If you are unable to bike the whole way, Omnitrans buses are fully equipped with bike racks for a multi-modal commute!
  • Share the ride – Not only is driving alone a major cause of smog in our air, but it’s also economically costly compared to other modes of transportation. Sitting behind the wheel for hours in traffic also takes a toll on you, too. Feel good about doing your share for cleaner air by sharing the ride with a co-worker or two. If you are having trouble finding a co-worker who can carpool with you, IECommuter.org (for San Bernardino and Riverside counties only) has a solution on their website. Simply create an account, enter your information, and they can find carpool matches for you!

Save the planet, get rewarded
Log your alternative commute trips on IECommuter to see how green your commute is and how you’re contributing to Earth Day – at the same time you could have a chance to win a monthly commuter prize!

With their Monthly Rideshare Spotlight, you are in the spotlight and are rewarded for your sustainable commute. Whether you are a rideshare star or you have been ridesharing for just a few months, you could win a prize valued at up to $100. For more details on this program, please visit IECommuter.org/EarthDay.

Rate your Omnitrans experience for a chance to win!

Your feedback is crucial to our growth as an agency. Last year, your feedback on our Customer Satisfaction Survey garnered us an 87.5% overall customer satisfaction score – our highest rating in 5 years! This year, you can let us know we are doing for another chance to win one of our exciting prizes.

Click the following link to complete our survey & be entered to win:

Click here to complete the survey (ENGLISH) 

Haga clic aquí para completar la encuesta (SPANISH)

Take the survey anytime starting today through the end of the day on Sunday, May 6, 2018 to be entered into a prize drawing for one of five gift packs, which include:

  • One $10 Subway gift card; and
  • One full-fare 7-day bus pass

Thank you for your participation and providing your constructive feedback. Your honesty helps us to better serve you!

Omnitrans and several other mid-sized agencies in North America form the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG), established in 2011 to measure performance and share best practices. The information gathered from your surveys this spring will help provide a comprehensive overview of the bus rider experience nationwide.

Monique Benefits from Mobile Fare Send-A-Pass Feature

Monique of San Bernardino has been an Omnitrans rider for about six years, but has a newfound appreciation for Omnitrans thanks to our paperless bus fare partnership with Token Transit. Being able to pay for her bus ride with her smartphone was convenient, but the ability for others to send a bus pass to her smartphone is what truly helped her in a recent time of need.

“It has been about six months now without any income, so it’s been tough trying to get to job interviews without bus fare,” shares Monique, who was in between jobs when we spoke. “I had people who wanted to help me out, so I emailed Token Transit and asked if there was a way for people who live out of state to help me pay for my bus passes.”

Much to her delight, Monique was informed of the Send-A-Pass feature available on Token Transit, which allows you to send bus passes digitally to any Omnitrans rider using only their mobile phone number. The bus passes cost the same, and there is no additional fee for gifting a bus pass to somebody else through their phone number.

“Token Transit responded to my e-mail right away and sent me a link. I posted the link on my Facebook page, along with my phone number. It was a private post visible by my friends only, and by the time Token Transit followed up with me, two people had already sent me mobile bus passes on the app.”

With this feature, pass buyers don’t need to be near the recipient to personally deliver a physical bus pass. Token Transit mobile fares allow people anywhere to send a digital pass to an Omnitrans rider’s smartphone, no matter the distance, digitally with a debit or credit card payment.

“Buyers have the option to get a single ride pass, day pass, 7-day or 31-day pass, any pass that is offered by Omnitrans. From my house to downtown San Bernardino it’s a one-seat bus ride, so even the single ride pass was a big help,” explains Monique.

“I’m with a staffing agency, and yesterday, for example, they called me in for an interview and I had to stop by the agency first, and then head to my job interview. I used NexTrip on the Omnitrans app to let me know when the bus was arriving, along with the Token Transit app. It just takes a lot of the stress off of you.”

Monique is pleased that with the power of social media, smartphone technology, and generous friends, Omnitrans mobile bus fares made life a little easier while on the job hunt. With her access to Omnitrans, she has been able to expand her potential job opportunities.

“I am very happy with the service, especially the Freeway Express routes because they broaden the area that I can search for jobs in. I also like the new connections here at the San Bernardino Transit Center, especially with the RTA CommuterLink Route 200. I like going to Downtown Disney to watch a movie now that the express bus connects here.”

Days after our chat at the San Bernardino Transit center, Monique contacted us and let us know that she had just accepted a great job offer! She looks forward to using her mobile bus passes to get to work every day. Congratulations, Monique!

Omnitrans and Women’s Transportation Seminar Host Classroom to Career Day

For many, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the Girl Scouts will inevitably be “cookies!” However, Girl Scouts does so much more than that, and is laying the groundwork for young girls to develop the courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.

Omnitrans had the privilege to contribute to this mission, and partnered with the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio, the Women’s Transportation Seminar of the Inland Empire (WTS-IE), San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, and Metrolink to host the Classroom to Career event for over 100 girls from throughout San Bernardino County on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 during National Engineers Week.

Omnitrans Marketing Specialist Janice Kuhn explains the importance of our transit center info kiosks to students.

“It is more important now than ever to expose younger girls to careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Math).  They are thirsty for knowledge about potential careers in transportation and other STEM fields.”  said Lisa Reece, Vice President, HDR and WTS-IE Chapter Advisor.

The day began at the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center where a few of the women of Omnitrans working in various roles ranging from finance and marketing, to route planning and scheduling, to bus maintenance, provided a tour of the facility to the students, which concluded with a Metrolink train ride from the transit center to the nearby Santa Fe Depot.

Once at the depot, the girls learned about the importance of our transportation network and its history by touring the Rail Museum. The group participated in hands-on activities that stimulated their minds to envision what the future of transportation may look like.

Students work on one of their STEM activities, designing their own roads using various materials.

Professional women from various facets of the transportation industry shared their job functions and career paths, inspiring the girls to think about a career that they may also choose to pursue in the future.

“Omnitrans is committed to being a positive and impactful part of the community,” said Omnitrans Marketing Manager Nicole Ramos. “It was great to partner with like organizations to meet the professionals of tomorrow and illustrate the opportunities transit careers offer.”

For photos of the event, click here to view album.

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.

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!”