Tag Archives: san bernardino metrolink

Inland Empire newcomer connects from Omnitrans to Metrolink with ease

Moving to a new town can be overwhelming. You seek to get quickly acclimated to new surroundings, find the best nearby food and shops, and Yelp away to find the perfect stylist who can be trusted with your hair.

For Omnitrans rider Maria, not only was moving to the Inland Empire from Los Angeles a major adjustment in and of itself, she also needed to learn an entire new transit system that would get her where she needed to go.

“It’s a different atmosphere compared to Los Angeles,” says Maria, reflecting on the past year living in San Bernardino. “Transit is very different. Here, when you board, the drivers wait for you to sit down before taking off. Back in L.A., they don’t have time to do that for every rider! Life is a lot more tranquil out here.”

Being a transplant to the IE who chooses to leave her car at home, familiarizing herself with Omnitrans was at the top of Maria’s checklist. She was pleased to learn from her daughter that the official Omnitrans mobile app was a resource that would help her embark on this new journey.

“The Trip Planner on the app provided me with step-by-step routing information to reach my favorite destinations, such as the Inland Center mall and San Manuel Casino. A fellow rider also tipped me off about the Bus Book and taught me how to view the maps and read the schedules,” says Maria.

She goes here, she goes there, she goes everywhere. Maria even rides on dates with her boyfriend, who takes advantage of the veteran discount rate offered by Omnitrans.

Although I can drive a car, I prefer not to. Omnitrans moves me and gets me wherever I would like to be. Truth be told, the timing is nearly always accurate to what the schedules state. I enjoy the day pass, because I can ride the local routes as well as the sbX Green Line. It’s very comfortable and the drivers are very nice.”

As a busy freelance worker who does embroidery on wedding gowns, Maria  commutes five to six days as far as Pasadena for work.

The extension of Metrolink to the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC) from the Santa Fe Depot has been a valuable service enhancement to people like Maria who commute west into Los Angeles.

“I feel much safer at the transit center, especially at night time, because there is brighter lighting. I’m surrounded by others who are riding the bus and the train, and there is more security staff patrolling here. I also save time by not having to ride a second bus to the depot to catch my train. Now, I can just walk a few steps to the train platform from my bus stop!”

Maria’s livelihood requires great attention to detail – meticulously placing rhinestones on gowns, sewing bustles that add the right amount of volume to a train, and making alterations to perfect a bride’s special day. It’s a great thing to be able to relax and wind down on the way to work with an easy commute.

“Omnitrans bus service is very reliable and hassle-free. For example, yesterday, I walked to the store with my daughter for a couple of things. When we checked out, of course we’d gotten more things than we’d originally set out to,” says Maria with a laugh.

“Because of all the groceries, and the heat that day, we looked for the next bus arrival on the app and quickly were on our way back home, in the air-conditioned bus, instead of walking.”

Long-time rider benefits from the SBTC’s newly augmented regional connectivity


Cynthia, 62, of San Bernardino is a long-time rider who has dedicated herself to caring for seniors living with disabilities. She relies on Omnitrans to get to her clients every day – a choice that she feels good about each time her bus zooms by cars stalled in traffic on the freeways.

“I have my driver’s license, but I choose not to drive. I ride the Freeway Express and just watching all the people stuck in traffic – that’s enough for me to not want to drive a car! Riding the bus is much more convenient,” she shares with us while waiting for Route 215 to depart at the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC).

“I know a lot of drivers from my years of riding Omnitrans, and the majority have been very nice. They treat us, the passengers, with respect. I’ve never been on a bus where a driver was recklessly driving,” she shares of her experience with Omnitrans drivers. “They know what to say, what not to say, and I appreciate that. You have to admire their patience in working with the public.”

Omnitrans’ express routes and the regional connectivity at the SBTC make mobility easy for Cynthia. Commuting to work is a simple ride on her local route to the SBTC, where she connects to Freeway Express (Route 215 for Riverside or Route 290 for Ontario, her two primary work destinations). Cynthia is also benefitting from the recent Metrolink extension to Downtown San Bernardino, now stopping at the transit center.

“I love the [San Bernardino] Transit Center, and to have the Metrolink trains coming here now – I am loving it! I’m feeling so spoiled!” she gushes. “Now I only catch one bus to the transit center and I can go see my mommy in Los Angeles. It was a really good idea to connect the trains to the transit center. It makes it easier, not just for me, but for other bus riders that I used to see down at the 3rd Street depot. They now can connect from the bus to the Metrolink here at the transit center. It has made travel so much easier for us.”

Cynthia is also a student. On Tuesdays, she attends class at a local adult school in San Bernardino. Riding our traditional fixed route system after work would make her late to class, which is why sbX rapid transit is a great solution for her.

“sbX takes me right to class after work. I got to get to work and school on time, so I love all the fast stuff!” she says about Omnitrans’ express services and sbX.

Although Cynthia has been part of the Omnitrans community for the past 10 years, she wants to purchase a car this year. That won’t keep her from riding, though. Cynthia will only drive to our Park and Ride lot at the SBTC and still take advantage of the benefits of riding public transit.

“I will still ride the bus to go shopping, to the grocery store, to the movies. I’ll take Omni everywhere I need to go.” The Route 215 driver approaches the bus, ready to depart, and an energetic Cynthia takes out her bus pass. “Oh, we got to go now!”