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.”