Tag Archives: omnitrans sbx

Reviving Passion challenges others to pay it forward

Reviving Passion’s goal is to get every person to find their passion and use it to give back to their community. Even if it’s just in a small way, everyone can make a difference.

For their first project, the guys surprised sbX BRT riders by paying for their bus passes. Sound awesome? You bet! Watch the video to see what happened next.

You can support Reviving Passion’s pay it forward project by watching and liking their video, subscribing to their channel and sharing with your friends ( hashtag #yougave).  Their project depends on people watching and clicking, so the more you watch the more they give! 

How will you revive your passion and give back to others?

Can we turn a non-rider into an sbX fan?

Mary and Jackson sbX BRT

Could we actually convert someone who is not normally a bus rider into an sbX fan? That was the question we set out to answer that question this week with a special tweetup aboard sbX.

It all began with this Twitter conversation.

Tweetup aboard sbX

Cloud9_72 is the Twitter handle for Inland Empire native Mary Risner. Mary takes a strong interest in community news and closely follows local reporters, law enforcement and politics on social media. Her husband works at the Department of Water, and the couple has a 10-year-old son named Jackson. When Jackson was three, he was diagnosed with autism, and Mary put aside her career as a school tutor to focus her energies on being a full time mom. She also connects with other parents of autistic kids online, helping them find the resources they need.

Omnitrans sbX BRT mom and son

Mary agreed to take us up on our offer of an sbX tour. I met her and Jackson at the Palm and Kendall Park and Ride where they were admiring the artwork on the glass station panels and checking out the ticket vending machine.   I asked them what they thought so far.

Jackson’s blue eyes looked anxious. “I’m a little worried because I’ve never ridden a bus before, except for a school bus.”

“Not a problem” I reassured him. “I am going to be your own personal escort and ride along with you and your mom. You won’t have to worry about a thing. I even have passes and goody bags here for you guys.”

He smiled and started digging into the bag I offered him. “Thanks!”

Mary pointed to the bottom of the map case. “I was trying to figure out the route, and the map was scaring me a little. It covers a huge area and it looks like it would be easy to get lost.”

“Actually that the map for the entire Omnitrans system,” I explained. “You’re right. We have a big service area, so it can be a little intimidating at first. We’re taking the sbX line which is pretty much a straight shot from here to the Loma Linda VA Hospital. The sbX coaches travel down the E Street corridor and back up again in a continuous loop.”

Mary smiled. “I think I can manage that.”

I snapped a few photos of her and Jackson beside the sbX coach. “Hold up your ticket for the picture, mom,” Jackson urged her.

We all laughed.

“I’ve only ridden a bus one time back when I was in high school,” Mary confessed. “And it wasn’t a good experience. I was so shaken up by it that I decided I would rather walk the three miles between my house and the school rather than ever ride again.”

“Let’s see if we can change your mind,” I told her. “Ready to go guys?”

We climbed aboard, and I showed them how to insert their passes into the farebox. Walking up the aisle, they were all smiles as they looked around them.

“It’s actually really nice,” said Mary sounding surprised.

Jackson made a beeline for the center of the vehicle. “Look at the high seats, mom! I want to sit there!”

Pulling out of the station, we made our way to Loma Linda. Jackson was excited as Mary pointed out familiar landmarks along the way: restaurants and malls, schools where she used to tutor, places where family friends work, and restaurants they might want to visit.

The two also liked seeing the different art at the stations we passed. Mary was particularly drawn to the Hunt’s Lane station display “Setting The Table” which featured vintage looking dinner plates on a glass panel.

“They look like real dishes in the glass!” she marveled.

As we pass by a car repair shop, Mary told me her husband had ridden sbX himself recently when he had to drop off his car to be fixed. Instead of waiting around the shop for two hours, her rode sbX over to a local restaurant to get a bite to eat. He thought the coach was nice and liked the fast travel time.

At Loma Linda we got off at the Park and Ride to have lunch at the BK Subs next door.

We chatted about our families, pets and our plans for the summer.

“With school out, we’ve been looking for things to do together that don’t cost a lot of money,” Mary told me. “Riding the bus today has been like a little adventure for us. What do you think, Jackson?  Maybe we could take sbX and meet dad at his office for lunch sometime? Or maybe the three of us could take a trip to Inland Center Mall and go to Chuck E. Cheese.”

Jackson grinned, “That would be fun!”

After lunch we board sbX to head back. I find out that Jackson is an avid gamer. He was excited to learn that I’m an angry bird fan and that the red bird is both our favorites. He loves Mario, Q-Bert, Pokemon and all the classics.

“He makes Youtube videos about some of his favorite characters,” Mary told me proudly. “He draws them and makes up stories about them. He’s a really talented artist.”

This was the perfect opportunity to talk to them about some of the features sbX has to offer tech savvy riders. I pointed out the overhead power outlets that can be used to charge small electronics and informed them there was free on board Wi-Fi.

“No way!” exclaimed Jackson practically bouncing with excitement.

He and Mary immediately pulled out their devices to give it a try.

“So what do you think? Have we made an sbX fan out of you?” I asked Mary. “Do you think you’d come back on your own and ride again?”

She laughed. “Yes, it was a lot of fun. And I can relax and hang out with Jackson instead of having to focus on driving. Next time I’ll bring my husband with us, and we can do a family trip. Maybe I can figure out how to take the regular Omnitrans bus to get here instead of driving.”

“That’s easy enough. Just call our customer service center, tell them where you are and where you want to go and they’ll help you plan your trip.”

“Wow, I didn’t know you guys did that. Thanks!”

As we arrived back at Palm and Kendall, Jackson suggested I take one more picture. He’d been having fun during the trip coming up with poses for me and took his job as a model very seriously. “I call this one ‘The Thinking Man,’” he said, propping his hand under his chin and elbow on his knee. “It’s a famous statue.”

“I know that, but I’m surprised that you know that,” I laughed. “You are one smart guy. Thanks for modeling for me.”

“You’re welcome.”

We all hugged when we disembarked, feeling like old friends.

“Thanks so much for the trip. We had fun!” said Mary.

As our two new sbX fans walked down the station, I pulled out the camera again. “Hey Jackson!” I yelled. “One last time!”

Jackson turned around on cue and gave a wave at the camera. A good model always knows how to strike a pose.

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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sbX gets me to my three jobs

I caught up with 26-year-old Jose when he was boarding sbX with his bike on Dump the Pump Day. It was his first week riding sbX  and he was pretty jazzed about the experience.

“It usually takes me two hours to get from Loma Linda to Highland on the regular bus,” he told me. “With sbX it’s only about an hour and a half, so now I’ve made it part of my normal routine. I work three jobs, so getting to work on time is important. I always try to leave an hour early to leave myself room just in case, and I usually bring my bike along because it’s faster for me to ride in certain areas. I like sbX because I can roll my bike on board with me.”

He laughed, “My boss jokes about me taking the fancy bus with the icy cold air conditioning. And he’s right. It’s really nice.”

Jose’s goal is to save up enough money to get a car. He has three kids, ages 4, 7 and 10 and one more on the way. For him it is all about providing for his family and making memories they can look back on in the years to come.

“Memories are important to me. I associate places with the things that happened there.”  He gave me an example. “My son lost his first tooth at an IHOP when he was biting into a pancake. It made us all laugh, and we ended up getting unlimited pancakes. The tooth fairy was very good to him that night.”

He shook his head smiling. “I usually get Sundays off which is when I can hang out with my family I’ll take them out to eat and we’ll cruise around on the buses or maybe go to Inland Center Mall.  I also like going out to Victoria Gardens out there in Rancho. I like to mix it up and do different things with them.”

San Bernardino’s sbX is the easiest ride in town!

Guest blog post and photos by R.A. Contreras

Teens relish that special time when they gain ‘independence’ from mom or dad. Mine came in September 1986 —and it involved a bus.

How thrilled I was that I got to buy my own clothes for school and got to do it myself. So I hopped on the Route 2 and headed over to the now-closed Central City Mall; boy, did it ever feel good to be a grown up for once!

An sbX bus sits in front of the CSUSB campus.

An sbX bus sits in front of the CSUSB campus.

And now, some 28 years later, my love affair with Omnitrans still burns brightly. I never got tired of riding the bus. On those sweltering days (and we have many of them here), the air conditioning feels so good; the price has always been more than reasonable; and it has freed up money that would have otherwise been spent on gas, car repairs, registration, and parking fees. Plus, I have enjoyed meeting many fellow passengers and socializing, especially on the longer trips.

With the opening of the new sbX Green Line, things are being taken to a whole new level. The new route conveniently operates from Cal State University to Loma Linda and offers a fast and extremely convenient service instead of a trip by car and headaches.

The new transit bays are well lit at night, have security cameras and have ticket dispensing machines.

The new transit bays are well lit at night, have security cameras and have ticket dispensing machines.

And since I am a student at CSUSB, the benefits of utilizing the sbX are paid in spades: The days I decide to drive, I can park my gas-guzzling truck in the Marshall Boulevard and “E” Street park-and-ride center, board, and be at school in a mere 7 minutes or so. Gone are wallet-shrinking gas costs, the dreaded fight for parking spaces, and outrageous parking fees. Another perk: I can access my laptop and do some last minute studying thanks to power outlets and free Wi-fi on the coaches. Have I mentioned the ride is free, every day, thanks to the Go-Smart program where most area college students “pay” by swiping their school-issued ID cards? It’s a ‘no-brainer’, especially for us cash-strapped, stressed-out college types.

For others, the new route is beneficial. Fees will remain the same for regular bus route fares. A $4 ‘All-day’ bus pass that can get you anywhere from Yucaipa to Montclair is still one of the best deals out there. There is almost literally no where you cannot go throughout the greater San Bernardino area with Omnitrans’ 30-plus routes that operate seven days a week.

Only about 5 riders currently use the Marshall Blvd. and “E” Park and Ride lot consistently. Hopefully more people will soon take advantage of this great resource in the SB area.

Of course, there are those who have complained about problems with the new route: businesses have lost money during construction; there are closed-off left hand turn lanes; and the fuel storage facility at the Omnitrans’ Fifth Street facility is allegedly hazardous. What I see, though, are the hundreds of dollars I will save on gas expenses alone and hassle-free trips.

If you have never considered riding the bus, why not try the new route now? The reality is that sbX is here to stay. You will undoubtedly pocket extra time and money, ride comfortably, and do your part for the environment. And who knows, your own love affair with bus-riding might begin.

Hop aboard sbX! Free rides April 28 – May 2

Omnitrans New sbX Service Starts April 28

It’s finally here! Our new sbX rapid transit service starts on Monday, and you can ride FREE  between April 28th and May 2nd. Ambassadors will be on hand at every station to answer questions and guide you along the way. It’s a fast, fun, first class transit experience you will love.

Hours of Operation:

  • Hours of Operation:  Monday thru Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.
  • Service runs every 10 minutes during peak hours, (6:00-9:00 a.m.; 2:00-6:00 p.m. NB, 3:00-6:00 SB)
  • Service runs every 15 minutes during non-peak hours, (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.; 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

sbX Fares and Payment Options

  • sbX fares are the same as for Omnitrans fixed routes.
  • To speed up boarding, passengers are encouraged to buy a pass in advance at a pass outlet or at a ticket vending machine at the sbX stations. Ticket vending machines accept credit or debit card payments only.
  • Cash customers should board at the door closest to the front and pay the exact amount at the fare box by the driver.
  • Prepaid passes can be activated and swiped at fare validators located at all doors. Be prepared to show proof of payment while on board.

Vehicle Amenities:

  • Spacious interiors: enhanced seating for 38  plus 65 standee capacity
  • Each vehicle can accommodate two wheelchairs or mobility devices, including one new rear-facing, self-securement position.
  • On-board Wi-Fi and convenient power outlets make it easy to surf the web or charge your smart device.
  • Bikes roll directly on board to secure safely and easily in one of our 4 convenient interior bike racks.
  • Passengers know exactly when and where to get on or off with our visual and audible stop announcements.

sbX Station Features

  • Platform-level boarding allows easy entry and exit.
  • Ticket vending machines enable riders to purchase passes using a credit or debit card.
  • Digital signs display arrival times
  • Closed circuit cameras monitor platform security 24/7.
  • Inspired art designs capture the culture and heritage of the communities served
  • Canopies and wind screens offer protection from wind, sun and rain

 

Civic Center Station: before and after

sbx civic center station before

Click to see time lapse photos of the construction of the Civic Center Station over the past 6 months.

With the upcoming launch of our sbX rapid transit service on April 28th, we thought it might be fun to look back to see how far we’ve come. Click the photo above for time lapse photos of the construction of the sbX Civic Center Station taken over the past six months. Photos were shot from the pedestrian bridge near E Street and Court Street in Downtown San Bernardino.

We’ve definitely come a long way! The pictures below give a closer look at the finished station and the surrounding area today.

sbX Civic Center Station

The street has been transformed with a center station platform and dedicated bus lanes.

Carousel st and Court st san bernardino

New railings and landscaping dress up the sidewalks on either side of the station and help prevent pedestrians from jaywalking.

Carousel st and Court st san bernardino

Landscaping and rails along the opposite sidewalk at the Civic Center Station

sbx civic center station

Digital signs show arrival times. Shelter roofs and windscreens protect passengers from wind, rain and sun.

sbX civic center station

Yellow truncated dome pads along the sides of the platform help guide riders with vision impairments

sbx station lights

These small light poles located between railings at the far ends of the station provide lighting along the platform and enhance the landscaped areas.

sbx vehicle at the civic center station

sbX rapid transit vehicle on a test run by the Civic Center Station

sbx  civic center station

Light bars incorporated into the roof of the shelter provide light for evening travelers while the transparent glass windscreens ensures good visibility.

station art paver at sbx civic center station

Along the platform pavement, glazed ceramic tiles by artist Robert Delgardo tell the story of the past and history of the area. The tiles incorporate photo studies of the downtown area, interviews with local residents and research from historical archives.

 

Testing sbX Ticket Vending Machines

Testing of the Omnitrans sbX ticket vending machine

The Omnitrans team tests the operation of an sbX ticket vending machine.

Did you know that fares for the sbX rapid transit line will be the same as for the Omnitrans fixed routes?  It makes traveling both systems convenient and easy!

Soon passengers will be able to purchase their passes from one of our new ticket vending machines (TVMs) at any of our  sbX station platforms using a debit or credit card. 

The Omnitrans team at the sbX Civic Center Station

Today the Omnitrans team headed out to the Civic Center Station to do function and language testing on one of the  TVMs. These machines are not yet operational to the general public but will be ready in time for the sbX launch. Headers and instructional stickers will also be added to each machine to guide the user through the purchase process.

Omnitrans Customer Service Supervisor Melissa Castillo verifies the Spanish language translation

Omnitrans Customer Service Supervisor Melissa Castillo verifies the Spanish language translation on the TVM.

The TVM offers both English and Spanish help menus. A user friendly screen prompts riders to select the type of pass they wish to purchase: Full Fare, Youth, Senior or Disabled/Medicare. Next they choose either a 1-day, 7-day, or 31-day option or they can purchase a 1-way ride ticket. Using a swiper and keypad to the left of the screen, they can then pay for the pass using either a credit or debit card. It’s that simple!

What do you think of the new TVMs? Are they something you’ll want to use?

screenshot of the ticket vending machine

A screenshot of the ticket vending machine