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Employee of the Year Omar Bryant

Effective team leaders go beneath the surface of extensive job knowledge or industry expertise and tap into their innate ability to inspire and motivate, even under unexpected circumstances. This is a special quality that Maintenance Manager Omar Bryant has, helping him earn the title of Omnitrans Employee of the Year for 2018.

“I feel humbled and honored to receive this award,” says Omar. “I just do my best to support my boss and my staff, so the recognition was a bit of a surprise. For those of us in maintenance, the goal is to make pull-out of buses to meet the community’s transit needs every day. There are people out there who rely on us, so that’s what our focus is all about. Some days it’s not so easy, but we all work together as a team to achieve that.”

As the manager overseeing our East Valley maintenance shop of six supervisors and 50 employees, including mechanics and utility service workers, Omar is directly responsible for the reliability and cleanliness of our bus fleet of over 200 buses. It is a large task that requires him to not simply be knowledgeable about every moving part of a 40-foot bus, but also to effectively lead people in a department that works around the clock.

From left to right: Deputy General Manager Erin Rogers, Board of Directors Vice Chair David Avila, Maintenance Manager Omar Bryant, CEO/General Manager Scott Graham, and Director of Maintenance Connie Raya.

In October of 2017, after a sudden tragedy left the Maintenance department without a director, Omar was asked to step in and take over in the interim. He seamlessly assisted the General Manager and Deputy General Manager to keep the department operating smoothly and working toward agency goals and objectives.

“It was a challenging time for Omar and the rest of the department. However, he showed tremendous leadership and was able to keep the team motivated,” says current Director of Maintenance Connie Raya. “He is a great natural leader with a can-do spirit, who stepped up and displayed his loyalty to his team and agency during a difficult time.”

Department operations had to carry on amid these circumstances. One of the agency’s 2018 strategic initiatives called for repower of 63 buses. By repowering our existing compressed natural gas (CNG) buses with near-zero emission engines, Omnitrans has the ability to delay the mandated purchase of electric buses to further strategize purchasing and infrastructure needs before beginning to electrify our fleet.

Omar was responsible for overseeing the repower project – from writing purchasing scopes to order the engines, swapping out transmissions, and finally, installing the new near-zero engines on buses. The transition from one fuel technology to another is not something new for Omar, who started his career with Omnitrans as a Utility Service Worker before promoting upward to his current position. Throughout the years, bus fuel has shifted from diesel, to CNG, bringing us to the present – the early stages of electric battery buses.

“Learning the new technologies has been a positive experience. Although transitioning from a new technology to another has its pains, it’s what we need to do. Our air quality is better than it used to be in the past, so despite the costs and the growing pains, it’s a good thing to do,” he says.

Omar is also one of few employees hand-chosen to participate in the inaugural Manager’s track of the Leadership Development Academy, which develops future leaders as part of Omnitrans’ succession planning efforts. Omar has spent the past year working with his peers and our leadership program consultants to sharpen his managerial skills and broaden his understanding of the organization, preparing him for future upward mobility.

This Employee of the Year recognition has been years in the making. When Omar began his career journey as a 20-year-old recently out of mechanic school, his ambitions lied in working with earth-moving equipment. Nearly 28 years later, he remains committed to Omnitrans and connecting our community.

“When I started, I thought I’d be a mechanic for the rest of my career. I never foresaw that I would be in a leadership position, but the opportunities came, and I went for them. That is what is so great about working at Omnitrans. If you are willing to put in the work, you are trained and supported to grow in your career.”

Omnitrans is proud to commend Omar on an exceptional job well done and earning the Employee of the Year award. We appreciate his extraordinary commitment to the agency and to ensuring that our community has clean, reliable, and safe transportation to connect them from point A to point B.

Thank you for a great ride in 2018!

As we look back on the past year, we want to thank you for contributing to our success this year.

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year from all of us at Omnitrans!

Omnitrans buses not operating on Christmas Day 2018 or New Year’s Day 2019

The holidays are just around the corner! As you plan your travel this month, keep in mind that Omnitrans buses will not be in service on Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25. Bus service will resume on Wednesday, December 26. Our administrative offices and customer service center will also be closed on Tuesday, December 25 in observance of the holiday.

The following week, buses will not be in service on Tuesday, January 1, 2018, New Year’s Day. Our administrative offices and customer service center will also be closed on this day. Bus service and office hours will resume on Wednesday, January 2.

Thank you for another wonderful ride this year. Omnitrans wishes you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and a happy new year!

For all the latest info & news, plus real-time bus arrival times via NexTrip, download the official Omnitrans mobile app for FREE on the App Storeor Google Play!

Bus detours scheduled in San Bernardino on Veterans Day 2018

Several Omnitrans routes will be detouring temporarily in San Bernardino on Sunday, November 11, 2018 as we honor our veterans during the City of San Bernardino 18th Annual Veterans Day Salute & Parade.

Streets closed during the parade include D Street, 2nd Street, Sierra Way, 7th Street, and 8th Street. Detours will be in effect from 7 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. for the routes listed below.

Remember to plan ahead if your route is affected by this route detour.

Route 1
Northbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on Sierra Way
  • Right on 2nd
  • Left on Allen
  • Left on 3rd

Southbound from Sierra Way:

  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Allen
  • Right on Rialto
  • Left into San Bernardino Transit Center

Route 3
Eastbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on Allen
  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Sierra Way
  • Left on 5th

Route 4
Westbound from Arrowhead:

  • Left on 5th
  • Right on Sierra Way
  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Allen
  • Right on Rialto

Route 7
Northbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on Allen
  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Sierra Way

Southbound from Sierra Way:

  • Left on 3rd
  • Right on Allen
  • Right on Rialto
  • Left into San Bernardino Transit Center

Route 11
Northbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on E St.
  • Right 9th St.
  • Left on D St.

Southbound from D St.:

  • Right on 9th
  • Left on E St.
  • Right on Rialto
  • Left into San Bernardino Transit Center

Route 15
Eastbound from San Bernardino Transit Center:

  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on Allen
  • Right on 3rd

Westbound from 3rd:

  • Right on 9th
  • Left on Allen
  • Right on Rialto
  • Left on San Bernardino Transit Center

Meet the Omnitrans summer interns!

In between pool sessions this summer, these four individuals can be found interning at Omnitrans! We are proud to provide these driven students with an enriching experience that will give them job skills that only can be obtained outside the classroom, setting them up for career success.

Get to know our interns:

Cynthia C., Rail Operations Intern

Cynthia C., Riverside, CA
Rail Operations Intern
Biochemistry major at University of Redlands

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Omnitrans?
So far, I enjoy how willing to help everyone is. I feel like everyone around me genuinely wants me to succeed, learn, and help me move forward. There is a strong community here at Omnitrans.

What are your career goals?
I plan on staying involved with business administration throughout my career.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
This internship is exposing me to the administrative office and the working world on a professional level.

Gabby S., Marketing Communications Intern

Gabby S., Beaumont, CA
Marketing Communications Intern
Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations at California State University, San Bernardino

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Omnitrans?
I enjoy working alongside the Marketing team: Nicole, Janice, and Jose. Their willingness to teach me new things everyday has made this experience very rewarding. Working at Ominitrans has helped me learn to network and overcome obstacles in the marketing field.

What are your career goals?
My goal is to start as an Event Marketing Specialist and work my way up to a Senior Marketing Manager. I also have plans to attend graduate school and obtain my Master’s Degree in Business Marketing after a few years of work experience.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
Interning at Omnitrans has allowed me to get my foot in the door for marketing and has allowed me to network with other organizations/businesses with confidence. This internship has helped me understand communication practices intertwined with marketing and how to properly execute an idea and make it come to life. Daily, I take on new tasks and get the most out of this experience with the quality events and materials being produced here at Omnitrans.

Kathryn L., Transit Planning Intern

Kathryn L., San Bernardino, CA
Transit Planning Intern
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) major at San Bernardino Valley College

So far, what do you enjoy most about working at Omnitrans?
I appreciate working alongside the dedicated professionals in the Planning department. Each of them have taught me something unique to their position and I enjoy learning from them.

What are your career goals?
My goal is to work in planning, specifically transit or city planning.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
This internship is allowing me to learn and grow in more ways than I expected. I’m finding new and creative ways to fine-tune my GIS skills with the transit planning tasks given to me which I know will prove beneficial in the future. Thank you, Omnitrans!

Kevin B., Rail Operations Intern

Kevin B., Claremont, CA
Rail Operations Intern
Master’s in Transportation Science at UC Irvine

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
I enjoy being able to work in the field in which I hope to have a career someday. It’s great to be surrounded by people who share my passion and to absorb the knowledge they share. I’m glad to be able to work on a start-up railroad to see first-hand what goes into such a large project.

What are your career goals?
This fall I’ll be attending UC Irvine for their Transportation Science Master’s program and following that I plan to complete San Jose State’s Transportation Management Master’s program. I hope to have a career within a public transportation agency where I can work to enhance and expand public transit.

How has your internship helped you get closer to achieving those career goals?
My internship is a fantastic way to get my foot in the door in the transportation industry. It’s especially exciting to be working on the Arrow project and being able to see what it takes to start a railroad from scratch. This experience is invaluable to me.

To apply for open internship positions or full/part-time jobs, visit our Careers page.

Stay cool while riding Omnitrans this summer

If you’ve spent some time in the Inland Empire, you know that the heat can be pretty unforgiving this time of year. This July is no exception, with the first heat wave of the summer about to hit, pushing temperatures into the triple digits.

It’s important to take precautionary measures in this type of weather, especially while riding public transit. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you ride Omnitrans this summer:

  • Stay hydrated – Walking to the bus stop, or even waiting at the bus stop, when it is blistering hot can dehydrate you. Be sure to drink plenty of water before you travel, and carry a water bottle with you. If connecting at the San Bernardino Transit Center, the lobby provides water refilling stations. Contrary to popular belief, iced teas or iced coffee beverages dehydrate you. Water is your best best!
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure – Shade is your friend! Direct contact with the sun will not only overheat you, it can also cause painful sunburns or heat-related illnesses. Wait for the bus under the shelter if possible, and if not, create your own shade by wearing a hat, visor, or carrying an umbrella to shield you from the rays. Applying a protective coat of sunscreen to your skin will also help you avoid sun damage.
  • Dress lightly – In more than one sense of the word, dress lightly. Light colors help block the sun’s radiation, whereas darker clothing absorbs the heat. Lightweight fabrics are also the best option when it’s scorching hot over non-breathable synthetic fabrics, so opt for comfort over style.

Additionally, take advantage of NexTrip for real-time bus arrival information or plan your trip ahead of time with our Trip Planner to reduce your wait time at the bus stop. Below are local cooling centers in the inland region that welcome you to cool down.

Bloomington
Bloomington Branch Library
Served by Route 29

Chino
Chino Senior Center
Served by Routes 81, 85, 88

Chino Hills
James S. Thalman Chino Hills Branch Library
Served by Routes 88, 365

Colton
Hutton Community Center
Served by Route 1

Luque Center
Served by Route 19

Fontana
Don Day Neighborhood Center
Served by Route 82

Heritage Neighborhood Center
Served by Route 67

Jessie Turner Health and Fitness Center
Served by Route 82

Fontana Lewis Library and Technology Center
Served by Route 14, 67, 82

Grand Terrace
Grand Terrace Branch Library
Served by Route 325

Highland
Highland Sam J. Racadio Library
Served by Route 15

Highland Senior Center
Served by Routes 3, 5

Loma Linda
Loma Linda Senior Center
Served by Route 19

Mentone
Mentone Senior Center and Library
Served by Route 8

Montclair
Montclair Senior Center
Served by Route 85

Ontario
Ontario Senior Center
Served by Route 61, 86

Westwind Community Center
Served by Route 81

Ovitt Family Community Library
Served by Route 61, 86

Redlands
Joslyn Senior Center
Served by Route 19

Redlands Community Center
Served by Route 8, 15

Rialto
Carter Branch Library
Served by Route 22

San Bernardino
Ruben Campos Community Center
Served by Route 14

Rudy C. Hernandez Community Center
Served by Routes 1, 7, 15

Norman F. Feldheym Central Library
Served by Route 2

Howard M Rowe Branch Library
Served by Route 7

Paul Villasenor Branch Library
Served by Routes 3, 14

Fifth Street Senior Center
Served by Route 14

Upland
Upland Public Library
Served by Route 83, 85

Yucaipa
Yucaipa Community Center
Served by Route 310

Premium Shelters Successfully Installed in East Valley

Premium bus shelter installed in San Bernardino.

The shelters are located at the eastbound and westbound Route 14 stops on 5th Street @ Medical Center Drive in San Bernardino, just outside the Omnitrans East Valley administrative building and bus yard.

Thanks to your feedback about what would enhance your Omnitrans riding experience, we are excited to unveil the first premium bus shelters! Two shelters have been successfully installed by our Stops & Stations team adjacent to the East Valley facility on 5th Street @ Medical Center Drive.

Last year, Omnitrans awarded a contract to Tolar Manufacturing of Corona, Calif. to provide premium bus shelters that enhance the passenger experience by providing additional amenities.

Premium bus shelters include solar-powered lighting, a digital clock and real-time arrival sign, bench, large trash can, branded windscreen, advertising kiosk, and a bicycle rack. The new shelters were purchased using capital funding obtained by the agency, to be specifically used on bus stop enhancements.

“The premium shelters are designed to enhance the customer’s experience at the bus stop,” says Omnitrans Development Planning Manager  Anna Jaiswal. “They are unique because unlike our standard shelters, they have electronic signage telling customers when the next bus will arrive, a larger trash can to help keep the stop clean, and a bike rack to improve bike-to-bus connections.”

Additional premium shelters will be installed at high ridership bus stops as funds become available.

Passenger gains new lease on life through biking and riding

From racing as a teenager growing up in San Bernardino and Highland, to riding to and from class as an adult, bicycling has been a life-long hobby for eight-year Omnitrans passenger Adrian. A fun, leisure activity has since evolved into a practical mode of transportation that has made a meaningful impact in his life, and we are pleased to have been along on his ride.

“I used to bike race when I was younger,” Adrian tells us while waiting for Route 4 at the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC). “I stopped when I got a car and started working. At 43, I needed a career-change and I began taking courses at San Bernardino Valley College.”

“Because of the unlimited student rides with GoSmart, I started riding again regularly. When Omnitrans started allowing bikes on the bus, it made getting around so convenient. I can go anywhere that I want now without walking!”

This was not always the case. Suffering from high blood pressure, Adrian was told that living past 40 was not possible. He refused to become dependent on the drugs that regulated his heart disease, and was determined to make a change that reunited him with his passion – bikes.

“I used to weigh 260 pounds,” recounts Adrian. “I quit drinking and started to make changes toward becoming healthier. I thought, ‘Wait a minute.’ I used to love riding and racing mountain bikes. I straightened myself out and thought about what I used to do before all this mayhem,” he says.

Adrian now studies water supply technology at Valley Colleges and is interested in a career at a water plant. He is drawn to the scientific aspect of the field, the job stability, and flexibility. Riding the bus helps him complete assignments before class or squeeze in extra study time before an exam.

“Sometimes I ride the 11.5 miles from my house to Valley College, but if I need to relax, or read an article before class, I do that on the bus ride,” says Adrian. “By the time the bus arrives at the transit center, I am done and ready to ride over to class.”

Adrian takes advantage of low-cost bike maintenance at the Bike Hubitat at the SBTC. Using skills learned along the way, he now helps friends with their own bike maintenance and has become an enthusiast of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance.

“It can get very pricey to maintain bikes,” says Adrian, who enjoys giving back to the cycling community when he is not with his teenage son or working toward his educational goals. “I’ve taught myself to work on them myself. The Bicycle Hubitat here at the SBTC also helps me with bike repairs, so I don’t have to waste money on expensive tools that I’ll only use one time.”

Adopting this alternative mode of transportation definitely has contributed to the betterment of Adrian’s life. He credits biking for bringing some of his youth back into his life and keeping him active and focused. His health has improved, and he even was successfully taken off of high blood pressure medication! “I’m grateful that Omnitrans has been a part of that journey,” he says.

“Now, when drivers on the road cut me off, or yell at me to get out of the way, I always end up catching up to them at a red light and look at them through their window. The look on their faces is pretty funny, as if they are asking themselves – ‘how did he catch up to me so fast!?’” he laughs.

Discounted $1 Summer Youth Fare Returns in June and July!

Getting around town will be a little cheaper for San Bernardino Valley youth this summer, thanks to a discounted fare on Omnitrans buses! Riders 18 and under will pay just $1 per trip June 1 through July 31, compared to the regular single-ride cash rate of $1.75.

Riders have a choice of paying cash on board or paying by phone using the Token Transit mobile app. To download the free app, customers can text TOKEN to 41411.

“Using the mobile app eliminates the need to carry cash or have exact change,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams.  “Riders can purchase by phone in advance, then save their passes in the app wallet until they are ready to board.”

The summer discount is good on all Omnitrans bus routes including 26 local routes, three freeway express routes, five OmniGo community shuttle routes and the sbX bus rapid transit line in San Bernardino and Loma Linda.

Students who appear to be close to age 19 should be prepared to show bus drivers proof of age or a high school ID card to prove they are eligible for the discount.

To help make your summer the best one yet, we’ve compiled a list of favorite summertime destinations! Click here to view our Summer Youth Fare guide to summertime fun.

Personalized routing assistance is available by phone at 1-800-9-OMNIBUS (800-966-6428) or online using our Trip Planner. Enjoy!

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.