Tag Archives: san bernardino valley college omnitrans

How sbX Saturday Service Benefits Local College Student

For college students living on a tight budget, the cost of having a car can get a little steep. Luckily for Dominique E., Omnitrans and sbX rapid transit are at his service!

“I started riding Omnitrans in 2018, mostly to get to and from friends’ houses,” says Dominique. “These days, I use it mostly to get to school, work, and home. As a student at Valley College, I prefer the free ride. The bus gets you to and from your house and I can’t complain about that!”

With a nominal semester fee, Valley College students receive unlimited rides on Omnitrans through the GoSmart program, which Dominique says is a great benefit. Every day, he skates to the CSUSB platform where he rides sbX downtown to connect to Route 1 and get to campus.

“I’ve never been late to any of my classes,” he reveals. “I always plan ahead, so I typically have extra time to get to where I need to be. The biggest benefit I’ve received from riding is that transportation is not a strain on my wallet. It’s a big ease, especially as a student.”

Recently, sbX service expanded when Saturday service launched in January 2019. Having fast and frequent transportation on Saturdays has been a major advantage for Dominique, who lives near CSUSB and works at the Inland Center mall – both popular destinations along the sbX Green Line.

“sbX Saturday service has probably been the biggest leg up,” he says. “There is only a slight schedule change on weekends, but other than that, it’s a straight shot to work. It’s been huge, especially when it comes down to last-minute shift pick-ups. Before, I had to decline shifts on Saturdays, but now I can cover them and get to work quickly on sbX.”

While in school, Dominique has discovered his interest in talking with people and building relationships. He looks forward to transferring to Cal State University San Bernardino to get a bachelor’s degree in public relations and doing what he loves to do for a living – connecting with others.

In the meantime, he will continue to pursue his newfound hobby – photography – and riding the bus to class every day. “If I didn’t have the bus right now, I probably wouldn’t be able to go school,” he says. “I really appreciate Omnitrans. Without the reliable transportation, school would definitely be a bigger challenge.”

Bus helps student cope with the unexpected

Omnitrans rider Reginald Reid relies on Go Smart and NexTrip to help with his commute between Pasadena and San Bernardino.

Life doesn’t always go as planned. And when the unexpected happens, public transit often plays an important role in helping people recover, move forward and pursue their dreams.

For the past four years, Reginald Reid has been a regular Omnitrans rider. He enjoys all kinds of sports, loves to cook, read, sing and play music. A student at both San Bernardino Valley College and Cal State San Bernardino, he studies electrical engineering and water technology.

Recently he faced an unexpected crisis when he lost his job and could no longer afford his apartment. He was left with little option but to move in with his parents in Pasadena. “It’s tough on my folks,” he says. “I do everything I can for them in terms of odd jobs and home repairs, but times are definitely hard. I’m graduating this fall and am completely focused on finishing up my classes and looking for job opportunities. At this point I’m willing to do just about anything to bring in an income.”

Each morning Reginald boards the bus at 3:00 a.m. in Pasadena for the first leg of his trip into San Bernardino. There is little room in his schedule for sleep these days, and he maximizes his time by doing as much studying as he can on the bus. “I’m dead tired,” he admits. “But I’m almost there. My motivation is knowing that it’s all for just for a little while longer. This hasn’t broken me, it’s just made me stronger.”

Because Reginald transfers buses between different systems, timing is critical for him. When Omnitrans rolled out its NexTrip Program technology at the end of January he was an early adopter. “It’s great having real time information on bus arrivals. It’s important to me because it affects each sequential transfer I have to take. It can be very tricky traveling between agencies. I always have to be very aware of when service ends so I don’t get stuck. With NexTrip I feel more secure because I know exactly when the bus will get to my stop.  Once I even got an alert on my phone that my bus was rerouted due to construction and that I needed to go to an alternate stop. It makes planning everything so much easier.”

Reginald says he doesn’t know what he would do without public transit, which makes it possible for him to finish his education and get on his feet again. He’s determined to make it all work. “I have a new sense of purpose.  If one door doesn’t open, I’ll just try another. I try to stay positive.”

-Juno Kughler Carlson
junocarlson@omnitrans.org

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