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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.

Omnitrans Ridership Gains in January Reverse Trend

Omnitrans posted its first system-wide ridership gain in over three years when passenger boardings in January 2018 were 1.7% higher than January 2017. Growth was led by increased use of freeway express routes, up 14.2%, and the sbX bus rapid transit line, up 4.5%.

In all, 22 of Omnitrans’ 35 bus routes carried more passengers than a year ago. Bus routes operating in the western San Bernardino Valley posted gains which averaged 6.2%.

“We are pleased that Omnitrans’ efforts to attract new riders with express service, streamlined routes, improved regional connections, and mobile fares are beginning to pay off,” said Omnitrans Board Chair and Loma Linda Council Member Ron Dailey.  “We hope the trend continues.”

In the past year, Omnitrans has added one new freeway express route, implemented 15-minute service to passenger terminals at Ontario International Airport, expanded operating hours on sbX and implemented a mobile fare payment option.  In December, the Metrolink extension to serve the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center improved regional multi-modal connectivity. The transit hub serves over 5,000 passengers a day making connections on bus routes operated by Omnitrans, Victor Valley Transit Authority, Mountain Transit, Pass Transit, and Riverside Transit Agency.

Omnitrans freeway express routes include Route 215 connecting San Bernardino and Riverside via the 215 and 91 Freeways, Route 290, operating on the 10 Freeway with stops in San Bernardino, Colton, Ontario and Montclair, and Route 208 which connects Yucaipa, Redlands and San Bernardino via the 10 Freeway.  Two additional round trips will be added to Route 208 in May.

The sbX bus rapid transit line now transports over 63,000 riders per month on average compared to under 42,000 monthly in the first year, 2014.  Due to customer demand, Omnitrans expanded sbX service hours last September to operate from 5am to 11pm on weekdays.

Omnitrans total ridership in calendar year 2017 was 11,436,432, a decrease of 5% from 2016.  January 2018 was the first positive month, as compared to the same month in the prior year, since June 2014. “It’s great to start off 2018 with positive numbers, reversing a three year trend experienced by Omnitrans and other transit agencies in our region and the nation,” explained spokesperson Wendy Williams.

Omnitrans route and schedule information is available at 1 (800) 966-6428 or www.omnitrans.org.

Long-time rider benefits from the SBTC’s newly augmented regional connectivity


Cynthia, 62, of San Bernardino is a long-time rider who has dedicated herself to caring for seniors living with disabilities. She relies on Omnitrans to get to her clients every day – a choice that she feels good about each time her bus zooms by cars stalled in traffic on the freeways.

“I have my driver’s license, but I choose not to drive. I ride the Freeway Express and just watching all the people stuck in traffic – that’s enough for me to not want to drive a car! Riding the bus is much more convenient,” she shares with us while waiting for Route 215 to depart at the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC).

“I know a lot of drivers from my years of riding Omnitrans, and the majority have been very nice. They treat us, the passengers, with respect. I’ve never been on a bus where a driver was recklessly driving,” she shares of her experience with Omnitrans drivers. “They know what to say, what not to say, and I appreciate that. You have to admire their patience in working with the public.”

Omnitrans’ express routes and the regional connectivity at the SBTC make mobility easy for Cynthia. Commuting to work is a simple ride on her local route to the SBTC, where she connects to Freeway Express (Route 215 for Riverside or Route 290 for Ontario, her two primary work destinations). Cynthia is also benefitting from the recent Metrolink extension to Downtown San Bernardino, now stopping at the transit center.

“I love the [San Bernardino] Transit Center, and to have the Metrolink trains coming here now – I am loving it! I’m feeling so spoiled!” she gushes. “Now I only catch one bus to the transit center and I can go see my mommy in Los Angeles. It was a really good idea to connect the trains to the transit center. It makes it easier, not just for me, but for other bus riders that I used to see down at the 3rd Street depot. They now can connect from the bus to the Metrolink here at the transit center. It has made travel so much easier for us.”

Cynthia is also a student. On Tuesdays, she attends class at a local adult school in San Bernardino. Riding our traditional fixed route system after work would make her late to class, which is why sbX rapid transit is a great solution for her.

“sbX takes me right to class after work. I got to get to work and school on time, so I love all the fast stuff!” she says about Omnitrans’ express services and sbX.

Although Cynthia has been part of the Omnitrans community for the past 10 years, she wants to purchase a car this year. That won’t keep her from riding, though. Cynthia will only drive to our Park and Ride lot at the SBTC and still take advantage of the benefits of riding public transit.

“I will still ride the bus to go shopping, to the grocery store, to the movies. I’ll take Omni everywhere I need to go.” The Route 215 driver approaches the bus, ready to depart, and an energetic Cynthia takes out her bus pass. “Oh, we got to go now!”

 

 

 

RTA CommuterLink Route 200 Now Connecting at the San Bernardino Transit Center

Daydreaming of a churro, a soft-serve ice cream cone on the Disney California Adventure pier, or a ride on Splash Mountain but traffic plus parking fees are turning you off? We have great news. Starting today, you can ride the bus from the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC) as far as “the happiest place on earth” thanks to our transit neighbors, Riverside Transit Agency (RTA)!

The new CommuterLink Route 200 connects the SBTC, Riverside, and the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim with express service approximately every 60 minutes on weekdays from 3:40 a.m.-11:15 p.m. On weekends, the route operates every 60-120 minutes from 6 a.m.-10:45 p.m. And best of all, bus fare for the service is only $3 each way!

Stops along the way to popular destinations include: San Bernardino Transit Center, downtown Riverside, Riverside-Downtown Metrolink Station, Galleria at Tyler, La Sierra Metrolink Station, Village at Orange, Katella/State College (near Angel Stadium and Honda Center), Anaheim Convention Center and Disneyland.

Click to enlarge.

 

San Bernardino area residents can ride several local routes into the San Bernardino Transit Center, including sbX rapid transit, and connect to RTA’s CommuterLink Route 200. To view all Omnitrans routes connecting at the SBTC, click here.

CommuterLink regular day passes are sold at the SBTC for $7 and are good on all RTA bses. Senior/disabled day passes are sold on board th ebus for $5. For more information on RTA and the CommuterLink Route 200, please visit RiversideTransit.com.

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Omnitrans

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

To honor his legacy and contributions to the human rights movement in the United States, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed the third Monday of January each year, has been embraced as a national day of service. To commemorate the occasion, you can partake in free celebratory activities here in the San Bernardino Valley, and explore local MLK Jr. art, all accessible on Omnitrans!

The Youth Action Project Presents: YAP Talks + Day of Service
Saturday, January 13, 2018, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the San Bernardino Family YMCA, 808 E 21st St., San Bernardino, CA 92404. Serviced by Omnitrans Routes 1, 3, and 4.
YAP talks will feature speeches by Pastor LaQuetta Simmons, professor and community leader Dr. Will Greer, and Monica Stockhausen, professor and founder of #NerdyGirlsRock. Come together and take an action-based approach to educate the community and youth on the philosophies and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Following the presentations, attendees will help assemble 500 “necessity bags” for the San Bernardino County homeless community, and prepare 500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to feed them as well. A basketball tournament will feature SBCUSD police and local high school students. For more information, visit www.YouthActionProject.org.

30th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration by The Ephesians New Testament Church and the City of Fontana
Saturday, January 13, 2018, 4 p.m., at 8833 Palmetto Ave., Fontana, CA 92335. Serviced by Omnitrans Route 20.
This year’s featured guest will be prolific philosopher, author, Princeton and Harvard scholar, and activist Dr. Cornel West. Joining him as a special guest will be seven-time Grammy nominee and winner, Ms. Vanessa Bell Armstrong. The celebration is free to the public. For more information, visit: www.EphesiansChurch.com.

Visit local Martin Luther King Jr. statues in Fontana, San Bernardino, and Riverside
Fontana – Inside the Lewis Library and Technology Center and Library, located at 8437 Sierra Ave, Fontana, CA 92335. Accessible on Omnitrans Routes 14, 67, and 82.
San Bernardino – between E Street and D Street, next to san Bernardino City Hall located at 290 N. D St, San Bernardino, CA 92401. Accessible on Omnitrans Routes 2 and 10, and sbX rapid transit.
Riverside – On the pedestrian walkway on 9th Street & Main Street. Accessible on Omnitrans Route 215.

To plan your trip, you may utilize our free and easy-to-use online Trip Planner, or give us a call at 1-800-966-6428.

Guide to January 2018 Service Changes

New year, new service enhancements! Effective January 2, 2018, several Omnitrans bus routes will undergo run-time adjustments for improved efficiency and transfer connections. These changes, along with new transit partnerships, will make transportation more convenient for the San Bernardino Valley.

As of this week, Metrolink now serves the San Bernardino Transit Center, providing more transportation options and allowing quicker access for Omnitrans riders heading to Los Angeles and Orange County via passenger rail. Omnitrans riders are now able to connect to Metrolink at the SBTC, and hop on the San Bernardino Line to Downtown Los Angeles, or the Inland Empire-Orange County Line and head as far south as Oceanside.

Additionally, a new Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) route will begin to serve the San Bernardino Transit Center on January 14, 2018. The route, Commuter Link Express Route 200, connects passengers from Downtown San Bernardino to Riverside and Anaheim with limited stops along the way. Popular destinations on this route include: the Riverside Galleria, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Convention Center, and the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center.

JANUARY SERVICE CHANGES
Routes: sbX Green Line, 5, 10, 67, 80, 81, 83, 85, 88, 208 and 215

Route 10: Run-time adjustments, all days.
Routes sbX, 5, 67, 80, 208 and 215: Run-time adjustments, weekdays.
Routes 81, 83, 85 and 88: Run-time adjustments, weekdays, with improved transfer times at the Chino Transit Center.

San Bernardino Transit Center bus bay assignments:

  • Freeway Express Routes 208, 215 and 290 have been moved to the south side of the transit center, near the Metrolink train platform.
  • Pass Transit is now on the east side of the transit center.
  • Route 15 Westbound is on the north side of the sun dial, next to Routes 4, 14 and 1 Northbound.

Click to enlarge.

Instagram Giveaway: Ride Omnitrans, Win a Pair of Metrolink Tickets!

You may already be aware of the exciting news that Metrolink is extending service to downtown San Bernardino on December 18th. The San Bernardino and Inland Empire-Orange County Lines will serve the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC), expanding travel options for all.

To celebrate the train’s arrival at the SBTC, and to encourage multi-modal transit use between Metrolink, Omnitrans local routes, and sbX we are giving away 15 pairs of Metrolink tickets to a few lucky riders who enter our Instagram photo challenge!

Here’s what you need to do to enter for a chance to win:

  1. Follow @Omnitrans on Instagram.
  2. Take a photo of your favorite view from your daily bus ride, bus stop, transit center, etc.
  3. Tag your photo using the hashtag #Omniview.
  4. Post your photo on Instagram (make sure your profile is public).

To qualify, photos must be posted to Instagram anytime from December 11 through December 17.  Photos posted and tagged correctly (as outlined above) on Instagram will be entered into a random drawing, and 15 winners will be selected to win a pair of Metrolink tickets on Monday, December 18th.

You may only submit one photo per person and you need to complete all four steps to be entered in the drawing. Omnitrans employees are not eligible to participate.

The winners will be contacted via Instagram message, and you’ll have 48 hours to respond with your contact information.

Good luck to all, and happy Instagramming!