Tag Archives: omnitrans sbx rapid transit

sbX goes back to school with safety message

Getting the Omnitrans sbX safety message out to the thousands of students attending corridor schools and their parents is a top assignment for the project’s outreach team.

Two years ago the message was staying out of the construction zones. With construction substantially complete on the new bus rapid transit corridor, Omnitrans has reached out to San Bernardino High School, Shandin Hills Middle School, Arrowview Middle School and Jones Elementary school to send a new set of targeted messages about sbX safety during operational testing of the 60-foot vehicles.

When testing began in early February, the agency sent letters to parents of students attending the four schools within walking distance of Kendall Drive and E Street in San Bernardino, advising motorists, pedestrians and those who use existing bus service to use caution by recognizing corridor changes, specifically the presence of the silver coaches (which are now running daily), staying out of dedicated lanes and being aware of new signage, striping and signals and obeying traffic laws at all times. The letters were accompanied by fliers in both English and Spanish and distributed by each of the four schools.


Public Outreach staff also had an information table at a March 8 event at Loma Linda Academy, attended by nearly 1,000 parents, faculty, staff and students, to familiarize them with the station platforms on both sides of Anderson Street near the K-12 school. Academy administrators also e-mailed an electronic version of the flier to parents, displayed posters on campus and showed a safety video produced by Omnitrans on school monitors.

Safety outreach will continue at these schools beyond the start of passenger service April 28, with the distribution of educational curricula at the Academy and at all San Bernardino City Unified School District campuses. The focus will be on how to walk right, ride right, drive right and park and ride right.

– David Rutherford
david.rutherford@omnitrans.org 

The Latest on The sbX Corridor

Work continues to progress on the Omnitrans E Street Corridor sbX Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT) and we are one month closer to start of service in April 2014. Major construction was completed in January 2014, so throughout the months of February and March the sbX construction management team is meeting with property managers and business owners to conduct site checks and close out any remaining maintenance items along the corridor. Work to test the electrical components at stations and the traffic signals at interscetions continues, and you may notice some construction workers executing various landscape maintenance activities.

In addition, new elements are being installed to keep motorists and pedestrians safe while traveling throughout the corridor and at station locations. Safety railings are being installed on the sidewalks at center-running lane stations located on E Street and Hospitality Lane. You’ll also notice candlesticks, orange posts with reflectors, being installed to the top of yellow safety barriers located at t-intersections within the center-running lane areas. The candlesticks serve as an added visibility feature to prohibit drivers from crossing into Bus Only lanes, also marked by double yellow lines. As a reminder, motorists entering the Bus Only lanes run the risk of getting hit by a bus – and a hefty fine of $341.

As a reminder, bus testing and driver training has commenced. Please remember to:

  1. Pay attention! Buses will be on the road daily.
  2. Stay out of the dedicated Bus Only lane.
  3. Watch for signs and obey them at all times!

Still have questions about the project? No worries! Although major construction is complete, a public outreach team is available until start of service. Our toll-free helpline is operational 24/7. Give us a call at (855) SBX-NEWS (729-6397).

San Bernardino barber believes in sbX, city’s future

Guadalupe “Lupita” Plascencia owns Barber Shop 215, near the sbX station on E Street at Rialto Avenue, near the future San Bernardino Transit Center. Her commute between home and work using rapid transit will allow her to leave her car at home on weekdays.

Guadalupe “Lupita” Plascencia plans to make sbX her weekday commute.

The owner of Barbershop 215, located at 181 N. E St., works one-half block from the sbX station on E Street at Rialto Avenue (near the future transit center). She also lives within walking distance of the sbX station at Hospitality Lane and Tippecanoe Avenue.

She came across the opportunity to work on the bus rapid transit corridor by chance.  A friend of hers, a fellow barber, wasn’t returning her phone calls so Lupita finally decided to pay her a visit. The shop was closed and mail was piling up inside the door. She became concerned and then contacted the building manager, who told her that her friend was seriously injured in an automobile accident and was on long-term disability.

Lupita’s friend’s daughter, who worked with her mother, was unable to continue making the rent payments and was forced to close the shop. Several months passed with no new tenant. Finally, the building manager contacted Lupita and asked if she was interested. The commute from Fontana after working long hours was taking its toll on her and she decided to make the move.

Hairstylists at Barber Shop 215 specialize in a variety of cuts, including fades, tapers, business cuts, mowhawks and flat tops. Shop hours are 9-6 Monday through Saturday.

Passenger service begins April 28 and Lupita said she can’t wait to start using the new express line “so I can give up my parking space to one of my customers.” She also believes the new transit line will help the city rebuild once it connects with other rapid transit and rail lines.

“San Bernardino is my home,” she said. “I raised my five kids here. I believe in this city. I have to. Anyone who points fingers about what’s wrong with it has to look in the mirror if they want to make it right. Change starts with you.”

– David Rutherford
David.Rutherford@omnitrans.org 

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San Bernardino Transit Center unites sbX BRT and Metrolink extension

Metrolink Extension and New Transit Center will enhance the connections between Inland Empire transportation systems 

The Metrolink passenger rail extension and the Omnitrans sbX rapid transit service provide new public transit options to Inland Empire residents.

SAN BERNARDINO, CA  – Changing the way people travel throughout the Inland Empire is the goal of two projects that started construction on Tuesday, February 25, following a groundbreaking ceremony in downtown San Bernardino.

The first project is the Downtown San Bernardino Passenger Rail Project (DTSBPRP), which will extend the Metrolink line from the historic Santa Fe Depot one mile east, where it will join with the second project,  the future San Bernardino Transit Center, to be constructed at Rialto Avenue and “E” Street in the city.

These two projects represent a partnership between the Federal Transit Administration, San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), Omnitrans, Metrolink, and the City of San Bernardino.   Speakers at the groundbreaking included Leslie Rogers, Regional Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration, California Transportation Commissioner Joe Tavaglione, SANBAG President Bill Jahn, County Supervisor James Ramos, Omnitrans Chairman Alan Wapner, and Patrick Morris, who is both Metrolink Chairman and City of San Bernardino Mayor.

View more photos from the groundbreaking ceremony on Flickr.

Mayor Patrick Morris welcomed the crowd by stating,  “This marks the culmination of many years of work to bring these transformative projects to construction.  These two projects are examples of how creating intermodal connections between commuter rail, bus rapid transit, and local and regional bus service can provide enhanced benefits to current transit uses and make these travel modes more attractive to future riders in the region.”

Officials at the groundbreaking of the San Bernardino Transit Center

Officials pose with a punch card at the groundbreaking of the San Bernardino Downtown Passenger Rail Project and the San Bernardino Transit Center

Some major changes will occur at the historic Santa Fe Depot, currently the end of the line for the Metrolink commuter train service.  “Modifications at the Depot will create a beautiful grand entrance on the south side of the Depot and a new rail boarding area on the north side of the building,” explained Mayor Morris.  “A tall pedestrian bridge over the tracks will provide safe access for passengers boarding the trains going in either direction. The DTSBPRP will feature the addition of double tracks from the Santa Fe Depot  to the new Transit Center, along with roadway improvements.”

The Transit Center will be a multi-modal transportation hub where  13 local Omnitrans bus routes, the new sbX Bus Rapid Transit service, Victor Valley Transit Authority (buses from the high desert), Mountain Area Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) bus service, and Metrolink trains will all meet when the projects are completed.  The public can transfer from one mode of transportation to another at this hub and go in various directions.  Commuter rail service will eventually be extended nine miles further to the east via the future Redlands Passenger Rail Project. That project is still going through environmental studies.

“This is a great project, which will offer greater convenience and connectivity for the community,” stated Omnitrans Chairman of the Board Alan Wapner.  The Transit Center project represents more than a decade of visioning partnership between Omnitrans and SANBAG.

Members of the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce

Members of the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce are all smiles at the groundbreaking event.

The Transit Center will include a 7,500 sq. ft. building, 22 bus bays, customer service and pass sales office, security, restrooms, seating,  and shelter.  These amenities have not been available to transit customers in the past at one location.

“Combined costs for the two projects total $128 million, with funds derived from federal  sources ($37 million), state sources ($26.9 million), and local sources ($64.7 million),” stated SANBAG President Bill Jahn.  “Of the local funds, $27 million came from Measure I, the ½ cent sales tax approved by San Bernardino County voters for transportation improvements.”

The Transit Center is expected to be completed in Early 2015, while the Metrolink extension and Santa Fe Depot modifications should be completed by Summer 2016.

To follow the progress on these projects, please refer to the websites of SANBAG or Omnitrans:  www.sanbag.ca.gov   or   www.omnitrans.org.

Jane Dreher, Public Information Officer
San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG)
jdreher@sanbag.ca.gov 

Leslie Rogers of the FTA

Leslie Rogers of the Federal Transit Administration show his support for the groundbreaking ceremony of the future San Bernardino Transit Center.

Graham Named CEO/GM at Omnitrans

Former Marine, Scott Graham named Omnitrans CEO

Scott Graham, Omnitrans CEO/General Manager

(San Bernardino, CA) The Omnitrans Board of Directors appointed Scott Graham as CEO/General Manager effective February 5, 2014, eliminating “interim” designation from his title after eight months on the job.

Graham was appointed Interim CEO/General Manager in June 2013 following the resignation of then CEO/General Manager Milo Victoria. He joined Omnitrans in 2006 as Director of Operations, overseeing a department of over 400 employees responsible for delivering fixed route bus service to the San Bernardino Valley. He previously worked at the Orange County Transportation Authority for 12 years.

As Interim, Graham implemented cost saving measures including organizational changes, reduction of healthcare expenses and cost containment of professional services. He also focused on the deployment of the new “sbX” bus rapid transit service line.  “We are excited to be launching this new flagship service in late April, on time and under budget,” said Graham.

Prior to embarking on a career in public transportation, Graham spent 26 years in the US Marine Corps, serving in progressively responsible positions in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the United States.  He earned a Master of Transportation Management from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from East Carolina University.

Omnitrans currently employs about 640 people directly and has 220 contracted employees. Annual ridership tops 16 million on 32 bus routes and paratransit services combined. The agency fleet includes 177 transit coaches and 105 vans and minibuses for demand response.

– Wendy Williams, Director of Marketing
   wendy.williams@omnitrans.org 

Test your sbX safety savvy with this quiz

Dedicated center bus lanes and new traffic signs mean new rules of the road. Are you prepared? Test your safety savvy with this short  sbX safety quiz.

Need a little help? Our new safety video gives a quick look at some of the changes you need to be aware of.

Final sbX Paving & Striping In San Bernardino

The intersection at Marshall Blvd. and E Street was recently paved, providing a smooth drive for motorists and bicyclists.

During the past month, construction crews reached a major milestone by completing most of the paving and striping work that remained in the City of San Bernardino. This included areas along the northern part of the route such as Little Mountain Avenue, Shandin Hills Drive, Marshall Boulevard and between 10th Street and 4th Street. The final layer of pavement provides a smooth road for motorists and bicyclists. In addition, striping has been placed along E Street from Hospitality Lane to 10th Street – clearing defining the center-running lane areas where buses will run.

-Robert Chevez
rchevez@westboundcommunications.com

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