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Professional commuter chooses public transit

Commuter Mark Adelson is a San Bernardino resident who works in Riverside for the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. As section chief, he covers environmental science issues, water quality and permitting.

“My family’s roots are here in San Bernardino,” says Mark. “I grew up here, as did my two kids,  and I attended Cal State San Bernardino. My wife was born here and is the director of a local churched-based pre-school. We feel very connected to this area.”

For years, Mark relied on his car for the busy work commute. On a few rare occasions, he also tried the bus. He remembers being anxious, wondering what it would be like and if he would have to wait for a long time.

“Those were concerns that were actually pretty easy to overcome because everything is set up to make it simple for riders. The Omnitrans bus book, especially, is a wonderful tool. I’m basically a map guy and found the system map to be very helpful.”

Finally about seven or eight years ago, Mark decided that maybe it was time to make the switch from driving a car to taking Omnitrans for his work commute.

“Cost savings was a big factor,” he admits. “And I also wanted to commute in a more environmentally responsible way. In the end, it was the realization that I could save at least $150 a month that motivated me to make the change. On weekdays, I drive to the 4th Street Transit Center where I park my car for the day.  Then I take the bus to downtown Riverside. I mainly use my car on the weekends or for scooting around town. I like that I don’t have to deal with heavy commuter traffic or worry about parking issues in Riverside.”

Now instead of battling rush hour, Mark relaxes with his Kindle, reading books or news stories. Sometimes he’ll spend the time reading work reports or newsletters, and other times he’ll just sightsee. It’s a routine he’s become very comfortable with.

He offers this candid advice to other commuters who are considering the switch to public transit.

“By taking the bus, you do exchange some of the freedom you’re used to when you have a car at your beck and call. You also give up the convenience of not going exactly where you want to go, exactly when you want to go there. Still, for those people who can arrange their schedules, it’s a great solution that can save them a lot of money, eliminate traffic and parking hassles, and help the environment at the same time.”

–Juno Kughler Carlson

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Omnitrans fits this student’s on-the-go lifestyle

From shopping and visiting friends to going to school or out to a movie, Teresa Hernandez finds that Omnitrans fits her on-the-go lifestyle. The 34-year-old student is working towards her clerical/office certificate at San Bernardino Valley College where she is currently taking classes in psychology and health. “Psychology is probably my favorite subject,” said Teresa. “I like figuring out how people think and what makes them do the things they do. It applies to everything. Being able to read people is a great skill to have at any job.”

For the past five years, Teresa has been a regular Omnitrans rider. Her favorite trips include shopping destinations like Inland Center Mall, Starbucks, Sterling Movie Theater and K-Mart. “I love riding the bus,” said Teresa. “It’s comfortable, I can easily get wherever I need to go, and I like the independence it gives me. The bus driver on Route 2 is friendly and very nice. When someone like that recognizes you as a regular and smiles and says hello, it can really make your day.”

As a college student, Teresa is able to take advantage of the The Omnitrans Go Smart program which provides college students with unlimited bus rides on any route, at any time with their student ID. With the money she saves with Go Smart, Teresa is able to do things she loves to do like shop or socialize with friends.

“Every Thursday morning a small group of us meet at Molly’s Cafe here San Bernardino for breakfast.  A lot of my friends ride the bus like me, so it’s an easy destination for us. The food is great–they have everything you could possibly want to eat. It’s a fun way for us to catch up with each other.”

Do you have a favorite bus destination? Tell us about it! Email Juno Carlson at juno.carlson@omnitrans.org