Tag Archives: omnitrans sbx

Dump the pump; treat yourself to transit!

dump the pump 2015

Do you feel like you deserve more spending money and more time to yourself? Maybe it’s time to dump the pump and treat yourself to public transit!

You see, while you were getting cut off by that aggressive driver this morning, our passengers were reading, surfing the web or listening to their favorite tunes.

While you were fillling up your gas tank, our passengers were treating themselves to lunch, movies or mall shopping with the money they saved by taking the bus.

And when you were circling that parking lot looking for a decent parking space, our passengers were being dropped off in front of their destinations.

Remember that $150 monthly insurance bill you got in the mail yesterday along with the $200 California car registration you forgot was coming due?  Our passengers were opening the 31-day pass they had bought online for $55 or less.

#dumpthepump

Thursday, June 18th is national Dump the Pump Day–the perfect time to ditch the car for the day and give public transit a try. What are you waiting for? Join the ranks of smart riders who choose the bus for their daily commute.

Of course, part of the fun of trying something different is posting a selfie to share with friends. We’ve got you covered! Follow this link for a Pledge to Ride certificate that you can pose with for your photo. You can even join people all across the nation who are posting selfies to the Dump the Pump event page.

Enjoy the ride!

dump the pump 2015

– Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

sbX ridealong with KGGI’s Kid Jay on Monday

kid

Thank you sbX riders, for making our first year such an incredible success!

We invite you to join us on Monday, April 27th for a ride along with Kid Jay from KGGI at the Palm and Kendall Park and Ride at 11:00. We’ll be traveling the entire route and stopping off at stations along the way with great giveaways for sbX riders.

Don’t forget! You can ride sbX FREE this week with our free ride coupon, available on our website and on the Omnitrans mobile app!

But wait–there’s more! You can also enter our sbX Anniversary Sweepstakes for a chance to win the Grand Prize:  free bus passes for a year, dinner for four, cinema tickets for four, and four  IE 66ers baseball tickets.  Click here to sign up for the prize drawing. Good luck!

Vietnam vet goes back to school with sbX

AlbertEnriquezAt 62-years-old, Colton resident Albert Enriquez is pursuing his GED at the San Bernardino Adult School. And he’s using sbX to help him do it!

“When I was young I was trouble,” admits Albert. “I was a gang banger and drug addict and thought I knew better than everyone else. Finally I found myself brought up before a judge facing three years of jail time. He gave me a choice: either join the military or go to jail. So I joined the Marine Corps, thinking that I could be wild and see the world. Then Vietnam happened, and that changed me.”

“I had to grow up fast. I saw things most people don’t get to see, and I learned to take responsibility for my own mistakes. It made me become a man. I served 2 years active duty and 4 years in the reserves.”

After his honorable discharge from the Marines, Albert found it a struggle to find long term employment.

“Without a high school diploma, all I could find were menial  or short term contract jobs,” Albert explains. “I worked hard and had several commendations and letters of recommendation from different places I’d worked, but still I couldn’t get ahead. People constantly told me that I was qualified for certain positions, but that they couldn’t hire me without a high school degree.”

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Finally, years later, Albert is working to obtain  his GED. His wife Anne is his biggest supporter and helps him with his studies.  He’s also a proud member of the San Bernardino Adult School student council.

Because his wife is retired and uses the family car for errands around town, Albert relies on sbX to get back and forth to his classes. Catching the sbX Green Line at the Hospitality station, he makes the quick trip to Baseline and E near the school.

“I really enjoy riding sbX and have nothing but high praise for it,” says Albert. “It’s convenient, comfortable and has free WiFi. It also attracts a different kind of passenger from the regular buses. You get a lot of students and professionals. The drivers are very pleasant too and always say good morning.”

But what really excites Albert is the Omnitrans veterans fare which launched in January.

“As a veteran, the vet discount make a big difference for me. I used to have to pay $3.00 a day. Now it only costs me $1.50. When you’re on a budget, every little bit helps.”

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When he’s not busy with school, Albert enjoys baking. His dream job would be to own a little neighborhood  bakery/deli where people could relax, hang out, and enjoy good food. For now he’s content with honing his skills through Wilson cake-decorating classes at Michaels in Redlands.

“I like learning new things and being creative,” he says with a smile. “It keeps me young”

Since the launch of the veterans fare on January 5th, Omnitrans is proud to have served more than 25,000 veterans fare passengers.

Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

sbx completion ceremony

 

 

 

 

Food Fest vendors offer sbX free ride coupon

San Bernardino Third Thursdays Food Fest

Are you a foodie? Are you crazy about gourmet food trucks?  Then you won’t want to miss the San Bernardino Third Thursdays Food Fest!

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Specialty drinks from Mocha-Lotive

This popular downtown event is held next to City Hall the third Thursday of each month from 11:00-2:00.

Cupcakes from My Delight Cupcakery

Cupcakes from My Delight Cupcakery

This week, on March 19th, you can get a get a coupon for a free sbX ride with every meal purchased from participating Food Fest vendors.  Offer good while supplies last.

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Enjoy sweet and savory crepes from Crepes Bonaparte, ranked as one of the top 20 food trucks in America by QSR magazine. Or maybe you’re in the mood for a Blue Crab Burrito from Street Foods Co.? You might want to try Argentine food from Piaggio,  featuring extraordinary empanadas, superb sliders and mouthwatering Milanesa Sands. Yum!

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Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Lemonade cupcakes and other signature flavors from My Delight Cupcakery.

San Bernardino Third Thursdays Food Fest - My Delight Truck

Need a mid-day pick-me-up? Mocha-Lotive offers coffees, teas and smoothies to give you that extra boost of energy you need to make it through the work day.

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There are so many more culinary delights you won’t want to miss: the Mac & Cheese sandwich from The Grilled Cheese Truck, Asian style chicken from Belly Bombz, and  healthy brats or veggie dogs from Bratworks.

belly bombz

Treat yourself and a friend to an unforgettable food experience this Friday and get your coupon for a free first-class ride on the sbX rapid transit line. You deserve it!

Blue Crab Burrito from Street Foods Co.

Blue Crab Burrito from Street Foods Co.

For more info visit the SB Third Thursdays Food Fest Facebook page.

Employee of the Year: Don Frazier

On February 4th, Fleet Safety and Training Supervisor Don Frazier was named Omnitrans Employee of the Year for his dedication and invaluable contributions to success of the agency.

Don was critical to the successful launch of our sbX rapid transit service. He personally developed an in-depth, hands-on training program for our sbX coach operators to ensure they had the skills necessary to safely and efficiently run the route. He also tested vehicle features and helped identify potential problems along the corridor. Thanks to his excellent program and the hard work of his training team, our coach operators were well prepared for the April launch.

The latest Omnitrans training tool: the virtual coach simulator

His commitment to innovation has led our training program to new heights, most recently with the introduction of a virtual coach simulator. It is used as a defensive driving tool to give coach operators the opportunity to face challenging crisis scenarios not easily duplicated in their actual road training. Don constantly looks for new tools and training programs that he can implement with little cost to the agency.

However, to see where Don truly shines, you simply need to talk to the members of his team who nominated him for the Employee of the Year Award.

Don Frazier with trainers Charles Molloy, Stephen McClure, and Christina Diaz

“He is very fair and he watches out for his crew,” says Instructor Charles Molloy frankly. “He takes care of us and wants the best of everything for us. As far as tools or training materials—anything we need—he goes to bat for us.  And it’s because he’s come up through the ranks and knows what we’re facing. I’ve been here going on 21 years and have seen a lot of people in that position, and he’s the best by far. He’s worked hard to bring in innovative training tools like the new coach simulator. Since he became supervisor, this department has risen to a whole new level.”

Don on a test drive in one of the sbX articulated buses

“In my opinion, Don is very deserving of this award,” adds Instructor Christina Diaz. “He is a cool, calm, collected, flexible supervisor. He always has an open door policy. He is always open to suggestions and ideas. For me personally, I feel fortunate and grateful to work for someone like him. He’s been a great mentor to me and has taken me pretty much under his wing.  Even though he’s a supervisor, he’s had no reservations about taking time out of his busy schedule to work with me and show me Omni way. And I’m very appreciative of that.”

Omnitrans trainer Kimberly Perkins

Omnitrans trainer Kimberly Perkins

“Wow. What can I say?” says Instuctor Kimberly Perkins. “I just feel he’s taken us to a whole new level with new equipment and programs we never had before. He’s very good about listening to our suggestions and going to bat for us. I feel like I can go to him for anything. You know how sometimes you can feel so stressed by your boss that you don’t even want to come to work? Don’s the opposite. He makes you want to be here. He supports you and encourages you to give it your best. He always fair and treats all of us the same.”

Stephen McClure agrees. “Don is fair and follows the rules. He’s extremely nice to work for. Whenever I’ve talked with my wife about some of the things he’s done, she says ‘Wow, you really have a good boss.’  And she’s right. I have worked in my lifetime for many people—including myself—and he’s the best.” He grins, “And when you get to be as old as I am, you’ve worked for a lot of people.”

Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham, Operations Director Diane Caldera, Employee of the Year Don Frazier, and Board Chair Alan Wapner

Don seems a little overwhelmed by their comments.

“That means a lot to me, and it really hits me emotionally,” he confesses. “Last year was so tough on all of us. We had several large coach operator student classes, a coach operator instructor recruitment class, several return to work and accident prevention workshops and new DMV certifications to meet. We also had to train ourselves on the new sbX articulated buses  and learn to operate the corridor so that we could in turn train the coach operators. “

Don shakes his head, thinking back. “We were literally going non-stop all the time, pulling long hours and making personal sacrifices in order to do what needed to be done. They are an awesome team, and I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve accomplished together.”

Director of Operations, Diane Caldera is not surprised. “When you lead by example and really care about and support your staff the way Don does, they will move the earth for you. We have one of the finest training teams in the industry and there is no end to what they can achieve.”

- Juno Kughler Carlson
  Juno.Carlson@omnitrans.org 

Don’s daughter Sandi Coria, his wife Audrey and son-in-law Phil Coria attended the award presentation to show their support and celebrate his achievement

Omnitrans is now on Instagram!

We love taking photos, and Instagram is the perfect place to show them off! Follow @Omnitrans to see everything from vintage throwbacks from our archives to great candid and behind-the-scenes shots. Below are some of the photos we’ve shared recently. Click on each picture to go to the actual post.

Have you taken any great Omnitrans shots?  Share them with us using hashtag #omnitrans!

sbX bus rapid transit launch day – photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

Mmmmm Omni donuts! – photo by Janice Kuhn

1980s Omni Flex Service – from the Omnitrans photo archives

Twilight at Omnitrans bus yard – photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

Elvis impersonator on an Omnitrans bus – Omnitrans photo archives

Stuffing buses at the Spark of Love Toy Drive – photo by Janice Kuhn

Omnitrans at the end of the rainbow – photo by Caroljo Mitchem

Bus cleaning on a rainy night – photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

 

Loma Linda seniors early adopters of sbX

Retired nurse and Loma Linda resident Alexina aboard sbX BRT, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

“I love everything about sbX!” says Alexina with a broad smile.

The retired nurse and Loma Linda resident has been a regular rider on the rapid transit line since it launched in April. She doesn’t have a car and relies on public transit to get everywhere she need to go. She prefers riding sbX because it has stops at her favorite destinations, and the Anderson Street station is just a few blocks from her home.

“I enjoy getting out, so I’ll often take sbX over to Inland Center Mall or out to lunch. It’s a nice ride, and the air conditioning is wonderful! Today is the third time I’ve ridden the entire line all the way up to Palm and Kendall and back. It’s very relaxing, and I can read or just enjoy the scenery.”

An avid romance reader and Amazon reviewer, Alexina always has her Kindle handy in her purse. “I use the electrical outlets and Wi-Fi on here all the time,” she explains. “I carry power cords for my phone and Kindle with me so I can charge them whenever I need to. It’s very convenient.”

Reginald Wiley

Reginald is a retired Air Force veteran also living in Loma Linda. Although he’s been a regular rider from the beginning, he admits that early on he had doubts about the rapid transit system.

“I was one of the naysayers at first,” he explained.  “Until I rode on it for the first time. I have to say it far exceeded every expectation I had. I like it.”

Reginald also finds it convenient to have an sbX station just two blocks from his home.  “It makes it very easy for me to get to the VA hospital, and it’s about 15 minutes faster than the regular bus. I also like being able to charge my cell phone while I’m riding. It works well for me, and I enjoy it.”