Tag Archives: omnitrans

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

Omnitrans GoSmart a boon for Crafton students

Crafton Hills College GoSmart bus

At the Omnitrans bus stop at Crafton Hills College, students are listening to music, reading and chatting in small groups under the shade trees. Many of them are freshman who are taking advantage of the GoSmart program for the first time. The discount fare program, which is funded by student fees, provides them with unlimited rides on any Omnitrans fixed route using their student ID.

Crafton Hills College GoSmart student bus

Heather uses GoSmart to get to her college classes

Redlands resident Heather is just coming back to school after having taken a year off from classes. She has no idea what she wants to do yet, so she’s focusing on basic credits she needs and courses that interest her—like philosophy. Heather’s taking the bus because she doesn’t yet have her license.

Omnitrans bus at Crafton Hills College

“Both my parents work for the school district,” she explains. “So they can’t really give me a ride. GoSmart works great for me. One of the beauties of the bus is that you don’t have to look for campus parking. Plus I get exercise.”

Crafton Hills college GoSmart student

Kat, a Zoology major, relies on GoSmart as her main transportation

Kat, a  Zoology major, agrees. “I’m in the same situation. My dad lives in Calimesa and my mom lives with me in Redlands. I actually started riding the bus last year because my boyfriend lived in Mentone. It’s easy transport and convenient for me.”

Crafton hills College student

GoSmart rider Aaron Davis studies Kinesiology at Crafton Hills College

Aaron lives in Mentone. He’s studying Kinesiology at Crafton.  “I think the bus is actually helpful for a lot of students. My parents work, and this definitely makes it easier for me to get back and forth to school.”

Crafton Hills go smart student

Gerson Cisneros saves $50 a week by riding the bus to and from school

For Business Administration major, Gerson, GoSmart is all about the savings. “I live in Highland, and it takes me about an hour and 20 minutes by bus to get to campus. I use the time to do homework. Gas is really expensive since I have a truck. I would rather spend a bit more time riding the bus than spend $10 in gas every day. That’s $50 a week I can put towards something else.”

omnitrans student riders

Having the ability to access unlimited rides with just the swipe of a student ID isn’t merely a convenience. It also opens up educational opportunities for many students previously restricted by limited finances and lack of transportation. Together, the Omnitrans GoSmart program and Crafton Hills College are making it possible for students to achieve a quality education and pursue their career dreams.

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

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crafton hills college students catch bus

Buses not in service on Labor Day

omnitrans - no bus service on labor dayOmnitrans offices will be closed and buses will not be running on Monday, September 1st for the Labor Day holiday. Our offices will reopen and buses will resume operation on Tuesday, September 2nd.

Please keep in mind that Omnitrans new fares and service changes go into effect on September 2nd. You can plan ahead with our Guide to September Service Changes which features the new bus book, detailed route information, and frequently asked questions.

Service changes: Online store closure, NexTrip info

omnitrans busNew fares and service changes go into effect on Tuesday, September 2nd.  Maps and schedules, as well as the bus book, will be updated on our website early that morning. Please see below for details on how the switchover will affect NexTrip and our online store.

NEXTRIP
For the first couple of weeks, NexTrip real time bus arrival information may appear to be off in some cases. This is because the technology is based upon historical route information which tells the system how long it takes for a bus to travel from one location to another.  It will take a few days for routes that have undergone significant changes to establish a historical pattern upon which NexTrip can accurately base its arrival predictions. Thank you for your patience as we work through the adjustment.

ONLINE STORE CLOSURE
If you would like to take advantage of the current fare prices and buy passes in advance, you still have a few days left to do so. In order to make the necessary fare updates, our online store will close at 12:00 noon on Friday, August 29th. It will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 2nd with the new pricing.

Coach operator Cecil Stevens: “People matter”

Omnitrans coach operator Cecil StevensIf you ask Omnitrans coach operator Cecil Stevens what matters most to him in his work, he will immediately have an answer for you.

“Customer service is one of the most important parts of the job,” he explains. “A lot of times when you go someplace, people will treat you like you don’t matter or like they’re too busy to help you out. I don’t like that. People matter.”

Formerly one of our Route 8 coach operators, Cecil is now an sbX driver and coach operator instructor. He emphasizes the importance of keeping a good attitude on the job and taking care of your body. He works out 4-5 times a week in the Omnitrans gym.

“It’s easy to get out of shape when you’re driving,” he says. “You’re sitting constantly. It’s important to get out and walk and exercise every day. It helps out a lot. If I don’t do it, I feel the difference right away.”

Working out is not just about fitness for Cecil. He believes it’s also a great way to clear your head and prepare for a day on the road.

“I try to make sure all my passengers have a good bus ride. I always tell them good morning, good night or have a great day. If they seem upset, I ask if they’re alright. I also pay special attention to first time riders and try to find out where they are going so I can help them out. Then, when I see them on the bus again later, I always ask them how their trip went last time,” he chuckles. “They’re always surprised that I remember them. I want everyone to have a good experience.”

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Do you like this story and want to share it on your blog or newsletter?  All of our articles may be freely shared with others.

Have a great Omnitrans or sbX story to share? Let us know!

Prepare for the new fares. Buy now, save later!

Buy Omnitrans bus passes before fare change

Omnitrans fares

On September 2nd, Omnitrans fares will increase for the first time in five years. But you can save money now by purchasing extra passes in advance!

Because there will be no change to the actual look of our bus passes, any passes you currently hold will continue to be honored after September 2nd.  It’s a great opportunity to stock up at the lower price!

Once the fare change goes into effect, the price of a one-way bus trip will increase from $1.50 to $1.75 while the 1-day pass rate will rise from $4 to $5.  A 31-day pass will go from $47 to $55.  See the fare table for full rates and details. 

 omnitrans new fares

sbX Coach Operator Steven Newton

Omnitrans sbX coach operator Steven Newton

For coach operator Steven Newton, 2014 has been an eventful year: a Valentine’s Day wedding, a new baby—and a new job as an sbX coach operator!

“I’d always wanted to drive the Artic [articulated coach], but I didn’t want to make the 30 mile commute to San Bernardino,” Steven confessed.  “It was my wife who finally made me decide to apply to be an sbX driver.  With our new baby, she needed me home on the weekends.”

omnitrans sbx coach operator steven newtonSo Steven put in for the position. He had been with Omnitrans for 7 years, and for the last two had been working relief shifts 7 days week on the west side. He felt he had a pretty good record but knew there was also a lot of strong competition for those jobs.  When he found out he made the cut, he was excited.

“I like these vehicles a lot better. The turning point radius is really no different from a 40-footer.  They run smooth and command a different respect on the road.  Passengers are pleasant, although with sbX  I don’t have as much interaction with them since they enter from the rear doors.  I just really need to focus on driving. The hardest part of the job is watching for motorists. It’s a very different experience.”

Because all the sbX drivers came in at the ground floor at the same time and shared the same training and experiences, Steven says they’ve become like family. They understand the challenges of the job and support each other and help out wherever they can.

Omnitrans sbX Coach Operator Steven Newton“Most of us see this as the stepping stone to the revitalization of San Bernardino County,” said Steven. “It starts with the City of San Bernardino and will grow as sbX spreads to more areas. I like the long term plan. They want to bridge the Inland Empire to Los Angeles.  To me, that’s the best move you could make because so many people commute from here to LA and vice versa. The train can only do so much. We’ve got the buses that bridge, but that’s a 3-4 hour bus ride as opposed to an express service that could take you right to downtown LA. There could even be something on the 210 that could get you to Pasadena. These are the ideas the company is trying to bring forth. It’s creating more jobs, more opportunity, and more room for promotion.”

Steven says overall passenger reaction to sbX has been positive.

Omnitrans sbX coach operator Steven Newton

“People respect us. A lot feel we are trying to make things better, especially up at the college.  I had some kids get on the bus recently who asked if I could hold off for a moment because they were doing a school project about the sbX and wanted some pictures. I was like, wow. Go ahead. It made me feel good to know that I was a part of their education. We are helping the community. It’s not just about making money. We’re making a difference. That’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re public servants. We’re supposed to help people who might be less fortunate than others who do have the means, you know. That’s what it’s all about. It may not be perfect. It may not put you in the parking lot, but we’re going to get you where you need to go.”

Steven’s baby boy Ian is now 5-months-old, and he loves being able to devote his weekends to his family.

“It’s a long commute during the week,” he admits. “But I’m so used to it now it just comes and goes. It doesn’t really bother me anymore. Life is blessing me right now and I have a lot to be grateful for.”

- Juno Kughler Carlson
juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Omnitrans sbX coach operator graduates

Omnitrans sbX coach operator graduates

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