Tag Archives: public transit veterans

Vets Ride Omnitrans Free on Veterans Day

Transit agency partners with VetLink on Trip Planner Launch 

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In appreciation for the contributions of the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces, Omnitrans is offering free bus rides to US military veterans on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11.

Veterans may simply show retired military ID when boarding any Omnitrans bus including the sbX rapid line, freeway express and local bus routes, or OmniGo community shuttles. Accepted IDs include those issued by US Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs, and San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs.

“It’s our way of saluting those who served to protect our freedom,” said Omnitrans CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham, himself a veteran of the US Marine Corps.  Approximately 79,000 veterans reside in the Omnitrans service area of the San Bernardino Valley, stretching from Yucaipa in the east to the Los Angeles County line in the west.

omnitrans veterans fare

In January 2015, Omnitrans introduced a reduced fare category for veterans.  “Since then, we have tallied over 100,000 rides taken by local veterans,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams.  Osvaldo Maysonet, 211 Access & Mobility Coordinator for VetLink was instrumental in advocating for the discounted veteran fare.

“The introduction of a veterans fare by Omnitrans has meant the world to our veteran population of the San Bernardino Valley,” said Maysonet. “The thing I like the most is that Omnitrans sees this veteran fare not as a financial burden, but as just a small token of appreciation for their service to our country.”

Osvaldo Maysonet flag

VetLink’s Osvaldo Maysonet, above, was instrumental in advocating for Omnitrans’ discounted fare for Veterans. VetLink will introduce its 211 Trip Planner Tool at the San Bernardino Transit Center on November 10.

211 VetLink Trip Planner

VetLink will launch its new trip planner tool at a ceremony at Omnitrans’ new San Bernardino Transit Center on Tuesday, November 10 at 10:30 am. The trip planner is a web-based tool that conveniently assists veterans, service members, and their families in finding and learning about available transportation services and programs within San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. This tool can be accessed through a personal computer, tablet or mobile device. More event information here.

All Omnitrans bus routes will be running regular schedules on November 11. The Veterans Day free ride offer is not applicable to Access service for persons with disabilities.

Personalized trip planning assistance is available through the Omnitrans information center, at 800-9-OMNIBUS (800-966-6428), or online at www.omnitrans.org.

Omnitrans Board approves Veterans Fare for 2015

On October 1st, the Omnitrans Board of Directors  approved a fare change policy to provide a discounted fare for veterans and a free fare for active duty military and uniformed police and fire officers. The new fare goes into effect beginning January 2015, and will be accepted on all Omnitrans, sbX and OmniGo buses. It is not valid for Access ADA service.

New Fare Policy

Under the new policy, veterans are required to show a valid Veterans ID card while boarding in order to receive discounted fare. Acceptable ID cards include:

Active duty military personnel must wear the appropriate uniform at the time of boarding and present a valid U.S. Unformed Services ID card indicating active service or a Common Access card indicating uniformed services or active duty.

Police and fire personnel must be in full Class A uniform at the time of boarding.

Price of New Veterans Fare

Veterans will be able to purchase special veterans passes for 50% less than the full fare. These passes will be accepted on all Omnitrans, sbX and OmniGo buses. No veteran fare will be offered on Access curb-to-curb service. The cost of the new veterans passes will be:

  • Cash $0.75
  • Day Pass $2.25
  • 7-Day Pass $8.00
  • 31-Day Pass $27.50.

Public Response

Public feedback on  the new veterans fare has been overwhelmingly positive.

Osvaldo Maysonet, Veterans Specialist for VetLink, a strong supporter of the new veterans fare, believes it will enable many in the community he serves to get back on their feet again.

“Thank you on behalf of all Veterans who come January will be able to access their community in a very affordable, reliable, and dignified way,” said Maysonet.

Bus Rider Pays It Forward to Veterans

What do you do when you have a great public transit experience? If you’re Marcus Garcia, you pay it forward to help others.

Last fall the Chaffey nursing student was inspired by a conversation with an Omnitrans coach operator in West Valley who donates chicken dinners to families in need at his church. Marcus  wanted to find his own creative way to give back to the community and thought about the things that had made the biggest difference in his own life.

“I spend a lot of time of the bus going to and from college and  my job at the Bass Pro Shop.,” he told us, “Sometimes I might take 8 to 10 buses in one day. As a Chaffey College student, I am able to take advantage of the Omnitrans Go Smart college pass program that allows me to ride for free with my student ID.  It’s really helped  me  and made me want to pass that opportunity along to others.”

Marcus generously purchased 50 Omnitrans senior/disabled bus passes for donation. These passes are being distributed to various organizations in the Omnitrans service area to benefit veterans and others in need.

Marcus especially liked the idea of reaching out to veterans. He had talked with many of them who regularly took the bus from Montclair  to the Loma Linda veterans hospital. “It’s a long trip for these guys to get to a doctor appointment at the VA. And if it wasn’t for public transit, many of them would not have the freedom to get around at all. This was a way I could show my support and help make a difference to these people who have given so much.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson

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Email Juno Kughler Carlson at  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org