Tag Archives: omnitrans security

Omnitrans Earns Top Industry Honors in Transit Safety and Security

Omnitrans accepts APTA Bus Safety & Security Gold Awards in Louisville, Kentucky. From left: Omnitrans Director of Operations Shawn Brophy, Director of Maintenance Connie Raya, Safety & Regulatory Compliance Specialist Terry Morocco, Fleet Safety & Training Instructor Kimberly Perkins, Maintenance Supervisor Victoria Chesney, APTA President & CEO Paul Skoutelas.

Omnitrans snags the gold! We are proud to be recognized by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for improvements made to the safety and security of our customers and employees. The Bus Safety & Security Excellence Gold Awards were presented in a ceremony held in Louisville, Kentucky on May 21.

“These awards recognize our team’s efforts to build a strong safety and security culture through constant vigilance and continual innovation,” said Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham. “The public entrusts us with transporting them safely and securely wherever life takes them, and that remains our top priority.”

Winning transit agencies were selected by APTA based on four criteria: project effectiveness; benefits accrued directly from the positive impact of the program; innovation; and project transferability that allows other transit systems to replicate the success.

“These award-winning public transportation programs are models of excellence in the areas of safety and security,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “The implementation of these initiatives demonstrates the ongoing commitment to improving safety and security for their passengers, employees, and communities in the public transit industry.”

On the security front, Omnitrans was lauded for its innovative creation of an amateur radio service that ensures our ability to communicate with emergency responders throughout our service area during emergency events, when cellular/mobile and landline telephone services are lost.  The Inland Valley Emergency Communications Service HAM radio group has grown from 8 members in 2015 to 22 members in 2019.

On the safety side, Omnitrans was commended for implementation of technology, equipment, and training program improvements which contributed to a 32% reduction in preventable accidents since 2012.  Efforts included the addition of audible turn signals on buses and new-generation mobility device securement equipment to all buses. Currently, Omnitrans is also piloting automated collision-avoidance technology.

Safety training innovations include a state-of-the-art bus driving simulator used by coach operator trainees to supplement classroom and behind-the-wheel training.  Omnitrans also employs two Fleet Safety Trainers who are DMV Certified Examiners, which streamlines the process to complete mandated DMV required testing needed to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License.

Omnitrans is appreciative of all the dedicated employees whose contributions have led to this prestigious industry recognition! Below is a video highlighting the improvements that garnered us this “nation’s best” award.

San Bernardino Transit Center Security Update

San Bernardino Transit Center Security Officer with law enforcement grade bicycle. Photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

Omnitrans security officer with bike at the San Bernardino Transit Center.

As Omnitrans prepares for the September 8th opening of the San Bernardino Transit Center, the security team has been working diligently behind the scenes to ensure the safety of the 5 acre facility. Officers are on duty 24/7, keeping a vigilant eye on the grounds and the nearby sbX Rialto station.

Along with security cameras, communications systems, and an electric security vehicle, law enforcement quality bikes are being utilized to assist in random patrols and suspicious activity investigations.

San Bernardino Transit Center Security Officer with law enforcement grade bicycle.  Photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

San Bernardino Transit Center security officers utilize law enforcement grade Smith & Wesson bicycles as part of their patrols.

“The bikes enable our officers to respond quickly and efficiently, and they also encourage a more personal interaction with our customers,” explains Omnitrans Security & Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mark Crosby. “There’s not a door between us and the public like there is with the security car. It’s important because we’re not just patrol officers. We’re also security ambassadors who can assist customers if needed and help them with route information.”

The San Bernardino Transit Center also provides amenities to the San Bernardino Police Department, and recently hosted a tour for San Bernardino police officers.

San Bernardino Transit Center Security Officer patrols grounds by bike.  Photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

Omnitrans security officer patroling the transit center parameters on bike.

“We’ve always had a strong partnership with law enforcement,” says Crosby. “And that definitely came into play during the planning phase of the transit center. We’ve set aside a room where police officers can write reports and interview witnesses. A special code will be provided to law enforcement to give them access. They will also have use of the break room and employee bathrooms. We want to encourage their presence at the transit center and show our support for the work they do.”

 Omnitrans Security & Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mark Crosby spearheaded the transit agency's new Text-a-Tip program. Photo by Juno Kughler Carlson

Omnitrans Security & Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Mark Crosby spearheaded the transit agency’s new Text-a-Tip program.

Crosby recently spearheaded a new Text-a-Tip safety program at Omnitrans which is set to launch on August 6th. The program encourages riders to directly report suspicious activities at Omnitrans stops stations and transit centers by texting the information directly to the agency security team at 909-368-7711. Visit the Omnitrans website for more details.

– Juno Kughler Carlson
  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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New! Omnitrans Security Text-a-Tip

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Beginning Thursday, August 6th, Omnitrans will roll out its new Text-a-Tip security alert system. Passengers who observe suspicious activity at Omnitrans bus stops, stations or transit centers will now be able to text that information directly to the 24-hour Omnitrans security team at 909-368-7711.The system will automatically reply to the sender with a text confirming receipt of the message.

Text-to-Tip is intended solely for reporting non-emergency activities, such as suspicious people, graffiti, vandalism, or unattended packages. In case of an emergency where emergency response personnel are needed, calls should be directed to 9-1-1. When providing a text tip, the user should always include the stop or exact location in their texts, so that the security team knows where to investigate.

“Omnitrans is committed to maintaining a clean, safe environment at all its stops, stations and transit centers,” says Mark Crosby, Omnitrans Security & Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. “Text-a-Tip provides the opportunity for our security team to partner with riders to quickly respond to any unusual activity.”

SBPD SWAT practices emergency bus drills

San Bernardino Police Department SWAT drills with Omnitrans bus, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Omnitrans works closely with local law enforcement agencies to ensure ensure the safety of our passengers in the event of an emergency.  Yesterday, the San Bernardino Police Department’s SWAT unit practiced training drills with one of our Omnitrans buses. The team was able to thoroughly familiarize themselves with our coaches, both inside and out, and to strategize action plans for different scenarios.

Below are photos from this event. Click to view larger. More photos can be found on our Flickr page. 

San Bernardino Police Department SWAT drills aboard Omnitrans, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

SBPD SWAT training drills, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

San Bernardino Police Department SWAT, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

San Bernardino Police Department SWAT unit, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

San Bernardino Police Department SWAT, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

San Bernardino Police Department SWAT unit, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

SBPD SWAT, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Click here for more photographs from this SBPD SWAT  training drill.

–  Photos by Juno Kughler Carlson