Tag Archives: omnitrans

An Omnitrans “Found” Story

DSC_0372Tiffany Holsomboch is awesome. At least her ex-boyfriend’s mom thinks so. She gave Tiffany a pretty fabulous spiked purse with a ring clasp as an early birthday gift about a week ago. So naturally Tiffany felt horrible when she accidentally lost the gift on the bus.

Tuesday night, she was riding the last Omnitrans Route 8 bus of the day. She had placed her purse on the seat beside her with her backpack on top of it. When she disembarked, she grabbed her pack and completely forgot about the purse.

Coach Operator David Castillo found the purse when he did his final bus check at the end of his run and turned it in to our Lost & Found.

I met Tiffany in the Omnitrans lobby where she was waiting to retrieve the lost item. “If nothing’s been touched,” she told us, “There should be a Hot Topic card, my Kickback card, Cingular cigarettes, a lighter and debit card in there”

DSC_0371She shrugs and laughs. “There’s only about 50 cents available on the card. So it’s not so bad.”

Tiffany finishes up her paperwork with the receptionist and takes her purse from the counter. “Here we go,” she says and opens it to look inside. She raises her head with a big grin and gives me a thumbs-up. “It’s all there!”

I congratulate her and admire the spiky black clutch with its long shoulder chain. “Oh you have to see the best part!” Tiffany exclaims. She slides her fingers inside the ring clasp at the top and poses while I grab a quick photo. Fun!

Happy birthday, Tiffany!  Here’s to happy endings, cool ex-mothers-in law, and good Samaritan coach operators.

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- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

 

Employee of the Quarter Mae Sung

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When Accounting Manager Mae Sung heard that she was being honored as Employee of the Quarter for her exceptional work , she reacted with astonishment.

“It was very surprising to me because I just felt I was doing my job,” she confessed. “And I was amazed at how my team all came to support me. I definitely can be hard on them sometimes because I hold them to such high standards.  But I also hold myself to those same standards and never ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.”

Mae’s management style is to lead by example. She never balks at taking on any job, large or small, because she views it as an opportunity to learn. Her energy, positive attitude and willingness to chip in wherever needed inspire her team to do the same. Everyone is encouraged to cross-train to gain a better understanding of each other’s jobs.

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From left to right: Omnitrans CEO and GM P. Scott Graham, Employee of the Quarter Mae Sung, Board Chair Allan Wapner and Finance Director Donald Walker

“We are more than a good working team,” she points out. ”We are like family. We work well together and all of us genuinely care about each other. Every single one of us has a specific skill that contributes to the whole. If any part is missing we cannot complete our work. We understand this and respect each person for their contribution.”

Mae believes that open communication is the key to the department’s success.

“Wednesday mornings we have our staff meeting, and free speech is always encouraged. We talk about business and sometimes we’re all in agreement and sometimes we disagree. But we discuss what’s going on and let them know what is expected by the company, by each department, our boss, a board member, whatever the case may be. In the end, we all have a clear understanding of our goals and how we will attain them.”

Mae and team

Mae proudly poses with members of the finance team

Often the biggest challenge Mae faces has to do with gathering the information she needs from the various departments.

“Not everyone understands finance and accounting, so sometimes I have to nudge other departments into cooperating with us. We are held to tight deadlines that they don’t have. For example we have a deadline for payroll. We want to be sure everyone is paid accurately and in a timely manner. We have deadlines to pay vendors and have to collect invoices from each department in order to make payment. I don’t want to receive a phone call about a past due invoice. Sometimes I have to personally walk down to the departments to prompt them, but I think they understand that’s my job.”

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In her private time, Mae enjoys music and travel. She has been to Japan, Taiwan, China and is looking forward to touring Europe. Most recently she had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Italy.

“I was looking forward to listening to some of the famous operas in Italy, but I was disappointed. It was too crowded and I didn’t have the time. But I did get to enjoy some of the live bands—such beautiful music and talented artists.”

Music has always been an important part of Mae’s life. Growing up she was trained in classical music and played piano.

”I don’t have time for it now, but I dream that later after my retirement I can do that again. There’s a deep joy that comes from playing the piano. That type of music is so soothing and brings you a quiet peace. I live in Corona and always set my radio to 91.5 FM the classical music station during the commute. I love it.”

Finance Director Donald Walker with Employee of the Year Mae Sung

Finance Director Donald Walker with Employee of the Year Mae Sung

Still, Mae can’t bring herself to don earphones in the office to listen to music. “I can’t do it,” she laughs. “It makes me feel cut off. I have to hear everything that’s going on outside the door. They might need me for something.”

Although Mae has worked at Omnitrans for more than 9 years, she is still passionate about what she does and it shows.

“I love my work because I like to give people a better understanding of their financial situation,” she explains. “Companywide, people spend but they don’t have the big picture. Our goal is to collect information from each department, analyze it, readjust it, classify it, and illustrate it with diagrams and beautiful pictures and compile it into a report. This way everyone is aware of how much we earn, how much we spend, and what’s in our future.”

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Don and Mae share a laugh together. “She is such a pleasure to work with and is truly deserving of this award,” Don tells us.

In fact, since 2006 when Mae and her boss, Director of Finance Donald Walker, first joined Omnitrans, every annual comprehensive financial report they have put together has earned the agency top awards.

“Don and I work very well together. I feel so lucky to have such a nice boss. From the beginning, he has always given me room to grow. He’s not controlling like many other bosses but is very understanding. He gives me the space to go ahead and do whatever I think I should do and encourages me to expand this position into something more.”

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The team teases Mae: “We celebrated your award at lunch without you. But the waitress sent her best wishes.”

Laughter and conversation erupt in the outer office as team members gather together to have a group photo made with Mae. She smiles.

“Omnitrans is a very nice company to work for,” she says. “There is room for people to grow and move up, and people are allowed to be themselves. I’m happy here, and I think all of our finance team is happy too.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Omnitrans featured in Next Bus video

Next Bus, the provider of Omnitrans’ NexTrip bus arrival prediction technology, is in the process of filming a video case study. Recently they paid a visit to the Omnitrans home office to learn more about the agency’s experience with with their service.

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With NexTrip, riders can access real-time bus information via mobile web browser, desktop computer, SMS/text, or calling 1-800-9-OMNIBUS and selecting theNexTrip option. Online, customers can view buses and stops on a route map with real-time tracking. They even can sign up for automatic alerts, such as notification when the bus is five minutes away.

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Omnitrans Marketing Director Wendy Williams talked about the agency’s launch of NexTrip in January 2013 and how it quickly grew to become an indispensable information resource for passengers.

“We had tremendous positive feedback from our riders almost immediately,” said Williams. “By the second year, we had begun installing NexTrip information signs at all of our stops, which included a QR code that could be scanned with a smart device to get real time bus arrival information. Today, NexTrip is accessed more than 177,000 times a month and continues to grow.”

Omnitrans rider and V-Trans travel trainer Marcus Garcia

Omnitrans rider  and V-Trans Travel Trainer Marcus Garcia was also interviewed for the Next Bus video. Garcia was part of a small test group that gave initial feedback on NexTrip and  has been a strong advocate ever since.

“My Omnitrans bus travel goes much faster with NexTrip,” he explains. “Because I spend less time waiting around at the stop, I can do more of what I do in the community.”

Have you tried out Nextrip on your bus commute? Download the Omnitrans app from Google Play or the Apple Store for NextTrip information, Rider Alerts, news, special offers and more.

– Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Next Bus crew films Omnitrans Marketing Director Wendy Williams for a NexTrip case study

sbX celebrated with old & new friends

Thank you to everyone who joined us for free rides and giveaways during our sbX anniversary week. For us, the best part was seeing some favorite Omnitrans regulars and getting to know some of our new riders. Below are a few of the people we were able to spend some time with.

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Sisters and newbie riders Surely and Josh decided to take advantage of the sbX free ride coupon to visit one of the restaurants on Hospitality for lunch.

“We love riding sbX–it’s really nice,” said Surely. “I’m looking forward to going back to school at Valley College so I can start riding free with my student ID!”

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Our old friend veteran Ed Miller stopped by to say hello. He showed us the new leather cell phone case he had designed and embossed. Josh, who does porcupine quillwork, was very interested. “I should get you to make me a purse,” she told Ed thoughtfully.

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This little 2-year-old won our hearts when she played peek-a-boo with us at the Tippecanoe station. “She loves riding sbX and walking around the station with me,” her mom told us, smiling.

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Omni regular and Fontana resident Sandra has been riding so long that she knows all the routes by heart. She enjoys riding sbX and would love to see us expand the service to other areas. She was excited about our sbX giveaways like this Farmer Boys coupon.

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This charming veteran is part Scots-Irish and part Cherokee and used to race motorcycles in his younger days. He’s lived in this area since 1946, and remembers traveling the original Route 66. He likes how the sbX stations have helped to beautify the city again. He rides sbX frequently throughout the week to get to and from the VA Hospital.

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Dwayne Dennis is an old favorite among our coach operators, who have made him part of the Omnitrans family. When he stopped by the  Loma Linda Park & Ride for our travel mug giveaway, Coach Operator Mata asked us to take their photo together. Big smiles all around!

Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

sbX Friday giveaway: Movie Tickets

Giveaway-cinema
Are you ready for the last giveaway of our sbX anniversary week? Join us at the Court Street station between 1:00 and 3:00 tomorrow to get a free Regal Cinema ticket! We only have 100, so arrive early to get yours while supplies last.

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!

sbX Thursday giveaway: travel mugs

Let’s face it. Sometimes you just have to have that first cup of coffee in order to face the day. This sbX anniversary giveaway makes it easy to take your cup of Joe with you wherever you go!

The Omnitrans team will be giving away travel mugs  between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Thursday morning at the Loma Linda Park & Ride and the Palm and Kendall Park & Ride. Quantities are limited, so arrive early! We’ll be there while supplies last.

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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!

sbX Wednesday giveaway: Restaurant coupons

Our sbX anniversary celebration continues with a deliciously exciting giveaway!

Omnitrans team members will be at all sbX Hospitality Lane Stations from 11:00 – 1:00, handing out coupons for great restaurants like Soup  Plantation, Farmer Boys, Chili’s, Mimi’s and Baja Fresh.

Quantities are limited, so arrive early! We’ll be there while supplies last.

Restaurant dinner place setting

 

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!