Tag Archives: omnitrans sbx students

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

Students to Save Money, Time with sbX

Jaasiel Marron

Jaasiel Marron drives to California State University, San Bernardino from his home in Beaumont – but only half way.

Instead, the junior mathematics major finds an all-day parking spot near the VA Loma Linda Health Care System and boards Omnitrans Route 2, which takes him to the entrance to campus in a little more than an hour.

“It’s worth it,” Marron said. “With the cost of a student parking permit at $102 a quarter, I save money not having to park on campus. I also save on the cost of gas driving all the way from home.”

In about a year from now, Marron will be able to save time, as well. That’s when passenger service begins for the first corridor of Omnitrans’ express service called sbX. Construction is scheduled for completion by the end of the year, followed by two to three months of start-up, testing and training.

Route 2 service, which stops on average every third of a mile, will remain on the corridor at reduced service intervals (20 to 30 minutes). Because the bus rapid transit (BRT) service will have fewer stops (once a mile, on average); exclusive lanes along Hospitality Lane and much of E Street; and the ability to get through intersections with traffic-signal priority, Marron will find his commute time cut by nearly half. The BRT line also will run every 10 minutes during peak traffic hours, so he won’t have to worry about missing a departure.

“I can’t wait for this new service,” he said.

– David Rutherford

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sbX To Make Students “Choice” Riders

For the past three weeks, Ontario resident Brian Kennedy has gotten on board Route 2 from E Street and Highland Avenue to get to his classes at California State University, San Bernardino, after catching a ride from his stepmother who works in another part of town.

Brian Kennedy

Now that he’s through with finals for the fall quarter, the 19-year-old freshman is seriously considering making public transit to campus a regular habit – especially once the future Omnitrans sbX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service begins operations in 2014.

“It makes so much more sense,” he said. “To pay for a parking permit, only to circle around the lot trying to find a place to park is not very efficient. Omnitrans saves me time and money.”

The additional convenience and time saved with sbX will be realized by frequent service (every 10 minutes) and fewer stops (once a mile, on average), which will cut Brian’s commute time nearly in half. To learn more about sbX BRT, visit the project website at www.omnitrans-sbx.com.

– David Rutherford

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