Tag Archives: san bernardino bus

Talking geography & dinosaurs aboard sbX

An sbX ride-along interview with Andrew and Mark Strickert

Andrew Strickert on Omnitrans sbX BRT

I met 4-year old Andrew on his first sbX trip. “It’s really fast!” he grinned.

I offered him a gift from my prize bag if he would let me interview him. He eyed the bag thoughtfully. “Do you have any dinosaurs in there?” he asked hopefully.

I shook my head. “Nope. Sorry, fresh out of dinosaurs. I have a cap, a tote bag or a cell phone pouch.”

“A hat then,” he decided. He pulled it on his head, peering up from under the brim. “I like dinosaurs a lot.”

Andrew and Mark Strickert on sbX BRT

I snapped a few photos and talked a bit with Andrew’s dad, Mark Strickert, a student at Valley College. Thanks to the Go Smart program, Mark gets unlimited free bus rides with his student ID. Although he has a car, he prefers to park it at the Loma Linda Park & Ride and take the bus to school. It saves him money and time.

“It’s also much easier than trying to find parking on campus,” he points out.

Mark told me he used to work for Orange County Transportation Authority doing stops and zones but had decided to head back to school to study geography. His goal is to eventually do urban planning for cities or transit.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of geography, maps, and transit ever since I was a little boy,” he confessed. “I rode the bus by myself for the first time when I was seven. Of course it was a different time and place then. Chicago in the 60s was a lot different from what it is now. But I was always interested in cities and how to get around.”

Andrew Strickert on sbX BRT

He smiled over at his son.  “Andrew’s pretty good at getting around too. He knows when we’re close to home and can tell where he is from places that he recognizes.”

“Do you help your dad out if he gets lost?” I asked Andrew.

The 4-year-old shook his head giggling. “He never gets lost!”

His dad laughed.

Andrew was so excited that it was hard for him to sit still.   He moved from one seat to another between stops to check out the ride.

“So what kind of dinosaur do you like best?” I asked him curiously

“The one that stands up” he answered promptly.

“A T-Rex? He’s a little scary. You must be very brave. I think I prefer the kind of dinosaurs that eat veggies.”

Andrew nodded and turned around to look out the big window for a moment, swinging his legs back and forth.

“I have a dog named Roxie,” he said suddenly.  “She does tricks.”

“Really? What kind of tricks?”

He peered at me over the top of the seat.  “She sits down.”

“Wow. . . That is a pretty cool trick.”

“I know!!’ he said proudly, then added. “Dinosaurs don’t know how to sit.”

He hopped off the seat and went over to join his dad in the articulated section of the coach.

“Whoa!!” he laughed and held on to his head when the driver made a right and the turntable seats spun in a circle. “That was fun!”

“You know,” I said suddenly inspired. “I’ve never met a dinosaur but, if I do, I will have him call you.”

“Yeah?” Andrew looked up interested. “Do you think dinosaurs can talk on the phone?”

“I’m not sure, but if I meet one I’ll ask if he can call you.”

“Cool.” Andrew hesitated for a moment. “Not a big dinosaur though, okay? And not the one that stands up. A little one. Maybe like a baby or something.”

I agreed. “Besides, a big one might accidentally step on me. We’ll stick with little dinosaurs. Anyway it was nice meeting you. Thanks for the interview!”

Andrew grinned, “Bye.”

He grabbed his dad’s hand and the two got up to try out yet another seat.

You meet the most interesting people on board sbX!

This one’s for you, Andrew.

 - Juno Kughler Carlson
  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org 

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San Bernardino’s sbX is the easiest ride in town!

Guest blog post and photos by R.A. Contreras

Teens relish that special time when they gain ‘independence’ from mom or dad. Mine came in September 1986 —and it involved a bus.

How thrilled I was that I got to buy my own clothes for school and got to do it myself. So I hopped on the Route 2 and headed over to the now-closed Central City Mall; boy, did it ever feel good to be a grown up for once!

An sbX bus sits in front of the CSUSB campus.

An sbX bus sits in front of the CSUSB campus.

And now, some 28 years later, my love affair with Omnitrans still burns brightly. I never got tired of riding the bus. On those sweltering days (and we have many of them here), the air conditioning feels so good; the price has always been more than reasonable; and it has freed up money that would have otherwise been spent on gas, car repairs, registration, and parking fees. Plus, I have enjoyed meeting many fellow passengers and socializing, especially on the longer trips.

With the opening of the new sbX Green Line, things are being taken to a whole new level. The new route conveniently operates from Cal State University to Loma Linda and offers a fast and extremely convenient service instead of a trip by car and headaches.

The new transit bays are well lit at night, have security cameras and have ticket dispensing machines.

The new transit bays are well lit at night, have security cameras and have ticket dispensing machines.

And since I am a student at CSUSB, the benefits of utilizing the sbX are paid in spades: The days I decide to drive, I can park my gas-guzzling truck in the Marshall Boulevard and “E” Street park-and-ride center, board, and be at school in a mere 7 minutes or so. Gone are wallet-shrinking gas costs, the dreaded fight for parking spaces, and outrageous parking fees. Another perk: I can access my laptop and do some last minute studying thanks to power outlets and free Wi-fi on the coaches. Have I mentioned the ride is free, every day, thanks to the Go-Smart program where most area college students “pay” by swiping their school-issued ID cards? It’s a ‘no-brainer’, especially for us cash-strapped, stressed-out college types.

For others, the new route is beneficial. Fees will remain the same for regular bus route fares. A $4 ‘All-day’ bus pass that can get you anywhere from Yucaipa to Montclair is still one of the best deals out there. There is almost literally no where you cannot go throughout the greater San Bernardino area with Omnitrans’ 30-plus routes that operate seven days a week.

Only about 5 riders currently use the Marshall Blvd. and “E” Park and Ride lot consistently. Hopefully more people will soon take advantage of this great resource in the SB area.

Of course, there are those who have complained about problems with the new route: businesses have lost money during construction; there are closed-off left hand turn lanes; and the fuel storage facility at the Omnitrans’ Fifth Street facility is allegedly hazardous. What I see, though, are the hundreds of dollars I will save on gas expenses alone and hassle-free trips.

If you have never considered riding the bus, why not try the new route now? The reality is that sbX is here to stay. You will undoubtedly pocket extra time and money, ride comfortably, and do your part for the environment. And who knows, your own love affair with bus-riding might begin.

Construction continues on sbX project with more roadway improvements to come

Scott Graham, Omnitrans Interim CEO/Manager

By Scott Graham, Omnitrans Interim CEO/Manager

For people driving through the future Omnitrans sbX E Street Corridor Bus Rapid Transit line in San Bernardino and Loma Linda, it is clear that construction continues to take place on a large scale.

Each day, about 100 workers can be seen in concentrated areas along the 15.7-mile route. From concrete to iron to electrical workers, there are numerous tasks being performed daily to keep the project moving forward for the start of service in April 2014. 

When complete, the sbX line will provide express service along one of the busiest bus corridors in the Omnitrans system, which serves about 4,000 daily riders. It will give the commuting public a time-efficient and cost-effective option to get to major work, education, medical, retail and restaurant centers.

But for many in the community, the big question is, “How much longer will construction take and what will the roadway look like in the end?” Most of the construction activities that are impacting E Street and Hospitality Lane in San Bernardino are estimated for completion in the fall of this year.

Newly planted trees on center median of E Street, between 2nd and Court Streets in San Bernardino

In the coming months, construction crews will work on reinforcing the center-running lane area from Court Street to 10th Street along E Street and on Hospitality Lane in select areas between Carnegie Drive and Tippecanoe Avenue. This is similar to work already completed on E Street from Rialto Avenue to Hospitality Lane.

However, there is one major difference. On the corridor where the street has been widened, crews will add a top layer of asphalt that will create a smooth driving surface from curb to curb. The uneven road conditions that the public has raised concerns about will be fixed.

Additionally, residents can be assured that roadway intersection work such as that at the Marshall Avenue and E Street park-and-ride location will also include a new and seamless layer of asphalt.  And at sbX side-boarding stations along Kendall Avenue and on E Street, new asphalt will be added to smooth the roadway.

All construction work will continue to be inspected by the cities of San Bernardino and Loma Linda. This will assure quality of work and conformity to highway and Federal Transit Administration standards.

Traffic controls have been removed on northbound Anderson Street south of Redlands Boulevard at Loma Linda Academy.

While there is much work in the coming months, there are areas in San Bernardino and Loma Linda that are nearing completion. In fact, the overall project is approximately 80 percent complete.

For example, the California State University, San Bernardino sbX station will be the first to have all elements installed. Recently, electrical components were energized and tested. In Loma Linda, work has focused on the sbX stations where a final layer of asphalt has already been placed at most stations providing a smooth drive through the area.

As we enter the final months of construction, we would like to remind the public that your input helps us address issues that are of concern.

Work nears completion at the sbX station at CSUSB

Recently, a local dentist off of Hospitality Lane expressed frustration about motorists not being able to make a left turn on a street because of a new median. Some motorists trying to get around this median created a safety issue as there was not a convenient place where a legal u-turn could be made.

After reviewing the situation, we discussed the issue with the city and came up with a solution. A legal u-turn was added on Hospitality Lane in the eastbound direction at Waterman Avenue. This change took place because of the phone call made by a concerned citizen.

So if you have a concern or question about the project, please call the project helpline. You might be surprised to learn that it is not an answering machine, but rather a cell phone manned by a project team member that will answer the phone 24-hours a day, seven days a week. And if for some reason we are unable to pick up the phone, we will return your call at our earliest opportunity. The helpline is (855) sbX-NEWS / 729-6397. 

Based on public feedback, provisions were made for a legal U-Turn at Hospitality and Waterman.

As with any major project, there are challenges and impacts during construction. We are committed to mitigating issues the best we can and to deliver the project on time and on budget. We value your concerns and are optimistic that the new sbX BRT service will provide positive benefits over time in the cities we serve.

Scott Graham was appointed Interim CEO/General Manager in June 2013. He originally joined Omnitrans in 2006 as Director of Operations, overseeing a department of more than 400 employees responsible for delivering fixed route bus service to the San Bernardino Valley each day.

Founded in 1976, Omnitrans is the public transit agency providing over 50,000 passenger trips each weekday across the San Bernardino Valley. Omnitrans is governed by a 20-member board representing the 15 cities served by Omnitrans and San Bernardino County. www.omnitrans.org

The sbX BRT Project is the first-of-its kind express service to be constructed in the Inland Empire. The 15.7-mile corridor spans between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. It will include 16 art-inspired stations at key university, government, business, entertainment and medical centers as well as four park-and-ride facilities. www.omnitrans-sbx.com

Coupon Queen loves saving through Rideshare

While having a car is sometimes more convenient, the expenses involved in gas and upkeep are often overwhelming. As a result, it’s becoming more common for people to opt for public transit over expensive vehicle repairs when their cars have problems.

LaToia Jones, an eligibility worker for the County of San Bernardino, decided to let go of her old Ford Taurus when it broke down two years ago. She’s been ridesharing ever since, relying on a combination of riding the bus and carpooling with co-workers.

“I live out near Tyler Mall in Riverside, so I use both Riverside Transit and Omnitrans to get back and forth to work,” said LaToia. “I love Omnitrans because of the frequency. It generally runs every 15-30 minutes which makes it very easy to get where I need to go quickly.”

But it’s the savings that matters most to this county worker. “Driving the 91 was always ugly during rush hour and took forever,” said LaToia. “It used to cost me $80 to $100 a week in gas when I was driving. Now I pay that in a month. It’s a huge savings.”

Pinching pennies is a passion for this busy mom of two, who is always on the lookout for a great deal. “Couponing is a hobby with me, and I’ve gotten very good at finding free things online for my family and friends. Times are hard for everyone, so every little bit helps. I love saving money!”

Riding Omnitrans has not only been a boon to her budget, it’s also forged unexpected connections with regular passengers and coach operators along her route. One of the drivers shares her love of cooking and occasionally swaps recipes with her. “I told her I’d never had tamales before so she gave me the recipe to try. Once she even surprised me with a plate of cookies she’d baked for me,” LaToia said, smiling. “Things like that mean a lot.”

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email Juno Kughler Carlson at  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

sbX Construction Alert for August 27th – August 21st

The sbX weekly construction update lists the places, dates, times and details of construction activity currently taking place in San Bernardino in preparation for the sbX bus rapid transit project.

Kendall Drive and Palm Avenue Park-and-Ride-Facility

  • Parameters: South of Kendall Drive and Palm Avenue intersection
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Specifics: Work on park-and-ride facility continues.
  • LANE CLOSURE: NA

CSUSB

  • Parameters: New bus station location on campus
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Specifics: Prep for roadway work of August 27th.
  • LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect.

Marshall Blvd. Park-and-Ride Facility

  • Parameters: Northeast & northwest corners of E Street and Marshall Blvd.
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Specifics: Prep for grading of parking facility
  • LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect

E Street

  • Parameters: Select locations between 10th Street and Hospitality Lane
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly
  • Specifics: Driveway, curb and gutter work continues, electrical activities, street light activities
  • LANE CLOSURE: Parking and lane nearest the curb along the east side of E Street between 10th Street and 6th Street has been eliminated. Traffic control in effect on east and west side of E Street throughout the corridor.

 Hospitality Lane

  • Parameters: Select locations between E Street and Tippecanoe Avenue
  • Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • Intermittent Day Work
  • Specifics: Median removal between Tippecanoe Avenue and east of East Carnegie Drive, driveway, curb and gutter work continues including sidewalk removals, storm drain activities, water meter relocations, electrical activities, street light activities
  • LANE CLOSURE: North side of Hospitality Lane nearest the curb is closed.

 Various Bus Station Locations

  • Parameters: Little Mountain Drive, Shandin Hills Drive, Marshall Boulevard, Highland Avenue, Baseline Street
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly
  • Specifics: Platform structure activities such as rebar placement and concrete slab curing; storm drain activities.
  • LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect at some locations.
To establish a safe work environment for crews and the public, the construction crew has implemented traffic control measures that allow for at least one lane in each direction to be open during construction. Maintaining access to businesses is a high priority as part of this project. As such, signage is placed throughout the corridor to inform the public that they are open for business.


About sbX

The sbX BRT Project is the first-of-its kind express service to be constructed in the Inland Empire. It is the beginning of an intermodal public transit system in the San Bernardino Valley that will help reduce vehicle congestion while providing the public an environmentally friendly alternative that is sophisticated, cost effective, and time efficient.

The 15.7-mile corridor spans between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. It will include 16 art-inspired stations at key university, government, business, entertainment and medical centers as well as four park-and-ride facilities.

Visit the Omnitrans sbX Facebook page!
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx

sbX Construction Update for August 20th-24th

The sbX weekly construction update lists the places, dates, times and details of construction activity currently taking place in San Bernardino in preparation for the sbX bus rapid transit project.

Kendall Drive and Palm Avenue Park-and-Ride-Facility

  • Parameters: South of Kendall Drive and Palm Avenue intersection
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Specifics: Work on park-and-ride restroom continues.
  • LANE CLOSURE: NA

CSUSB

  • Parameters: New bus station location on campus
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Specifics: Prep for roadway work of August 27th.
  • LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect.

Marshall Blvd. Park-and-Ride Facility

  • Parameters: Northeast & northwest corners of E Street and Marshall Blvd.
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Specifics: work on bus passenger platform continues
  • LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect

E Street

  • Parameters: Select locations between 10th Street and Hospitality Lane
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly
  • Specifics: Driveway, curb and gutter work continues, electrical activities, street light activities
  • LANE CLOSURE: Parking and lane nearest the curb along the east side of E Street between 10th Street and 6th Street has been eliminated. Traffic control in effect on east and west side of E Street throughout the corridor.

 Hospitality Lane

  • Parameters: Select locations between E Street and Tippecanoe Avenue
  • Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • Intermittent Day Work
  • Specifics: Driveway, curb and gutter work continues including sidewalk removals, storm drain activities,water meter relocation activities. (Please note that businesses affected by water meter relocation  activities will be contacted after at least 24 hours in advance.) Electrical activities, street light activities
  • LANE CLOSURE: North side of Hospitality Lane nearest the curb is closed.

 Various Bus Station Locations

  • Parameters: Little Mountain Drive, Shandin Hills Drive, Marshall Boulevard, Highland Avenue, Baseline Street
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly
  • Specifics: Platform structure activities such as rebar placement and concrete slab curing; storm drain activities.
  • LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect at some locations.
To establish a safe work environment for crews and the public, the construction crew has implemented traffic control measures that allow for at least one lane in each direction to be open during construction. Maintaining access to businesses is a high priority as part of this project. As such, signage is placed throughout the corridor to inform the public that they are open for business.


About sbX

The sbX BRT Project is the first-of-its kind express service to be constructed in the Inland Empire. It is the beginning of an intermodal public transit system in the San Bernardino Valley that will help reduce vehicle congestion while providing the public an environmentally friendly alternative that is sophisticated, cost effective, and time efficient.

The 15.7-mile corridor spans between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. It will include 16 art-inspired stations at key university, government, business, entertainment and medical centers as well as four park-and-ride facilities.

Visit the Omnitrans sbX Facebook page!
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx

sbX Construction Update for June 30 – August 3

To establish a safe work environment for crews and the public, the construction crew has implemented traffic control measures that allow for at least one lane in each direction to be open during construction. Maintaining access to businesses is a high priority as part of this project. As such, signage is placed throughout the corridor to inform the public that they are open for business.

Kendall Drive and Palm Avenue Park-and-Ride-Facility

  • Parameters: South of Kendall Drive and Palm Avenue intersection
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Specifics: Work on park-and-ride restroom continues, Sidewalk grading
  • LANE CLOSURE: NA


CSUSB

  • Parameters: New bus station location on campus
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Specifics: Roadway work such as paving, pouring and concrete curing activities continue, work on bus passenger platform continues
  • LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect.


E Street

  • Parameters: Select locations between 10th Street and Hospitality Lane
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly
  • Specifics: Driveway, curb and gutter work continues, tree relocation, storm drain activities, electrical activities, street light activities, fire hydrant relocation activities, water meter relocation activities
  • LANE CLOSURE: Parking and lane nearest the curb along the east side of E Street between 10th Street and 6th Street has been eliminated. Traffic control in effect on east and west side of E Street throughout the corridor.
  • Please note: Properties impacted by water meter relocation activities will receive notification prior to service. 


Hospitality Lane

  • Parameters: Select locations between E Street and Tippecanoe Avenue
  • Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • Intermittent Day Work
  • Specifics: Driveway, curb and gutter work continues, landscaping activities, irrigation activities, electrical activities, street light activities
  • LANE CLOSURE: North side of Hospitality Lane nearest the curb is closed.
 

Various Bus Station Locations

  • Parameters: Little Mountain Drive, Shandin Hills Drive, Marshall Boulevard, Highland Avenue, Baseline Street
  • Day Work: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
  • Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly
  • Specifics: Storm drain activities, and platform structure activities such as pouring slab, forming walls and erecting structure steel, irrigation activities
  • LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect at some locations. 


About sbX

The sbX BRT Project is the first-of-its kind express service to be constructed in the Inland Empire. It is the beginning of an intermodal public transit system in the San Bernardino Valley that will help reduce vehicle congestion while providing the public an environmentally friendly alternative that is sophisticated, cost effective, and time efficient.

The 15.7-mile corridor spans between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. It will include 16 art-inspired stations at key university, government, business, entertainment and medical centers as well as four park-and-ride facilities.

Visit the Omnitrans sbX Facebook page!
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx