Tag Archives: omnitrans student riders

OmniGo bus meets needs of Chino Hills students

OmniGo bus transports students at Chino Hills High School

Conflicting work schedules and limited transportation is a big issue for many families these days–especially those with teens who need to get to school.  Not only does OmniGo get students to their classes safely and reliably, it’s a comfortable way for them to travel and hang out with friends.

OmniGo students at Chino Hills High School

Chino High School students Jasmine, Maggie, Antonio and Austin are regular OmniGo riders.

We recently stopped by Chino Hills High School and talked to a few of the students who rely on OmniGo Route 365.

“I ride Omnitrans because of family transportation issues,” says Jasmine. “This is my first year riding and so far it’s been great.”

Maggie agrees.  “Because both of my parents work, I can’t always find a ride home from school. OmniGo is really, really, really convenient.”

For Antonio, it’s the difference between a 50 minute walk versus a 15 minute ride. “OmniGo is just more convenient for me,” he says. “I live about 3 or 4 miles away so it would be a pretty long walk home for me after school.”

Austin’s family is always on the go, so taking the OmniGo bus fits his transportation needs. “Riding the bus is less of a hassle for me and my family since we all have different schedules,” he explains.

Mom Carmen Hernandez

Parents also like the safety and dependability of OmniGo as a transportation alternative for their teens.

“My son is a 16-year-old Junior at Chino Hills High School,” says mom Carmen Hernandez. “He’ll be taking the bus for the first time this year. We don’t have reliable transportation to get him home in the afternoons, and OmniGo is really the only option for us.”

Carmen has been going online to plan her son’s transition to public transit. “I also downloaded the Omnitrans app so I’m able to estimate when he’ll get home based on the arrival times it shows for getting from one stop to the next,” she explains.  “It helps me keep tabs on where he is and how he’s doing, and I can make sure he’s getting to the right stop on time. If anything happens, I can see it in the alerts. It keeps me informed and gives me peace of mind.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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Chino Hills High School students at the OmniGo bus stop

Clean Air Award for Omnitrans Go Smart Program

Accepting the Clean Air Award, from left, is Omnitrans Interim CEO/General Manager Scott Graham, Board Chair and Ontario Councilmember Alan Wapner, and Director of Marketing Wendy Williams.

(San Bernardino, CA)— A pilot program that more than doubled the number of local college students using public transit and eliminated an estimated 129 tons of pollution earned Omnitrans a Clean Air Award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, presented on October 4, 2013.

In 2011-12, Omnitrans initiated the “Go Smart” pilot program dedicated to transitioning local college students in the San Bernardino Valley to using public transit rather than driving to get to campus. Omnitrans partnered with California State University-San Bernardino, Chaffey College, Crafton Hills College, and San Bernardino Valley College to offer free, unlimited bus rides to over 50,000 college students. Approximately 1,450,000 trips were made by over 13,500 individual students in pilot year.

Students had unlimited access to the Omnitrans bus system with a simple swipe of their college ID card. During a typical week, 5,100 unique students rode Omnitrans which means that over 10% of students became regular transit riders, up from 4% prior to the program. Over 25% of enrolled students tried the program at least once.  Subsequently, ongoing self-funded Go Smart programs were established at each of the pilot program colleges and student ridership continues to increase over a year later.

“Go Smart helps reduce transportation costs for students and removes lack of transportation as a barrier to education for some,” said Interim CEO/General Manager Scott Graham.  “Gaining familiarity with public transit while a student also makes them more likely to use and support public bus service in the future,”

During the pilot year Go Smart student logged 8.7 million cumulative miles! By taking public transportation instead of driving, this removed an estimated 129.2 tons of carbon monoxide from the air while also reducing the levels of reactive organic gases, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. Side benefits included reduced traffic congestion near the partner colleges and reduced parking demand on campus and in surrounding neighborhoods.

“Each year, we honor businesses and individuals who work unrelentingly to improve the quality of the air,” said SCAQMD Governing Board Chairman William A. Burke, Ed.D. “These inspiring winners have set an example of commitment and determination for all of us.”

The pilot program was funded by partner colleges and each of the 15 cities and county in the Omnitrans service area, using monies earmarked for emission reduction projects.