Tag Archives: san bernardino

Premium Shelters Successfully Installed in East Valley

Premium bus shelter installed in San Bernardino.

The shelters are located at the eastbound and westbound Route 14 stops on 5th Street @ Medical Center Drive in San Bernardino, just outside the Omnitrans East Valley administrative building and bus yard.

Thanks to your feedback about what would enhance your Omnitrans riding experience, we are excited to unveil the first premium bus shelters! Two shelters have been successfully installed by our Stops & Stations team adjacent to the East Valley facility on 5th Street @ Medical Center Drive.

Last year, Omnitrans awarded a contract to Tolar Manufacturing of Corona, Calif. to provide premium bus shelters that enhance the passenger experience by providing additional amenities.

Premium bus shelters include solar-powered lighting, a digital clock and real-time arrival sign, bench, large trash can, branded windscreen, advertising kiosk, and a bicycle rack. The new shelters were purchased using capital funding obtained by the agency, to be specifically used on bus stop enhancements.

“The premium shelters are designed to enhance the customer’s experience at the bus stop,” says Omnitrans Development Planning Manager  Anna Jaiswal. “They are unique because unlike our standard shelters, they have electronic signage telling customers when the next bus will arrive, a larger trash can to help keep the stop clean, and a bike rack to improve bike-to-bus connections.”

Additional premium shelters will be installed at high ridership bus stops as funds become available.

Passenger gains new lease on life through biking and riding

From racing as a teenager growing up in San Bernardino and Highland, to riding to and from class as an adult, bicycling has been a life-long hobby for eight-year Omnitrans passenger Adrian. A fun, leisure activity has since evolved into a practical mode of transportation that has made a meaningful impact in his life, and we are pleased to have been along on his ride.

“I used to bike race when I was younger,” Adrian tells us while waiting for Route 4 at the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC). “I stopped when I got a car and started working. At 43, I needed a career-change and I began taking courses at San Bernardino Valley College.”

“Because of the unlimited student rides with GoSmart, I started riding again regularly. When Omnitrans started allowing bikes on the bus, it made getting around so convenient. I can go anywhere that I want now without walking!”

This was not always the case. Suffering from high blood pressure, Adrian was told that living past 40 was not possible. He refused to become dependent on the drugs that regulated his heart disease, and was determined to make a change that reunited him with his passion – bikes.

“I used to weigh 260 pounds,” recounts Adrian. “I quit drinking and started to make changes toward becoming healthier. I thought, ‘Wait a minute.’ I used to love riding and racing mountain bikes. I straightened myself out and thought about what I used to do before all this mayhem,” he says.

Adrian now studies water supply technology at Valley Colleges and is interested in a career at a water plant. He is drawn to the scientific aspect of the field, the job stability, and flexibility. Riding the bus helps him complete assignments before class or squeeze in extra study time before an exam.

“Sometimes I ride the 11.5 miles from my house to Valley College, but if I need to relax, or read an article before class, I do that on the bus ride,” says Adrian. “By the time the bus arrives at the transit center, I am done and ready to ride over to class.”

Adrian takes advantage of low-cost bike maintenance at the Bike Hubitat at the SBTC. Using skills learned along the way, he now helps friends with their own bike maintenance and has become an enthusiast of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance.

“It can get very pricey to maintain bikes,” says Adrian, who enjoys giving back to the cycling community when he is not with his teenage son or working toward his educational goals. “I’ve taught myself to work on them myself. The Bicycle Hubitat here at the SBTC also helps me with bike repairs, so I don’t have to waste money on expensive tools that I’ll only use one time.”

Adopting this alternative mode of transportation definitely has contributed to the betterment of Adrian’s life. He credits biking for bringing some of his youth back into his life and keeping him active and focused. His health has improved, and he even was successfully taken off of high blood pressure medication! “I’m grateful that Omnitrans has been a part of that journey,” he says.

“Now, when drivers on the road cut me off, or yell at me to get out of the way, I always end up catching up to them at a red light and look at them through their window. The look on their faces is pretty funny, as if they are asking themselves – ‘how did he catch up to me so fast!?’” he laughs.

Comfort Dogs Train Aboard sbX Rapid Transit

sbX riders in San Bernardino and Loma Linda were accompanied by some uncommon, but pleasant fellow passengers last week –  well-behaved comfort dogs who just wanted to brighten up someone’s day. And they did, for passengers and drivers alike!

A dozen adorable comfort dogs of all sizes, along with their handlers, met at the sbX Park & Ride on Palm and Kendall in north San Bernardino to explore the public transit environment. The ride took them to the south end of the sbX Green Line at the VA hospital to help the volunteer dogs become familiar with different scenarios that they may encounter in their work.

Rim of the World Comfort Pets, based out of San Bernardino County, is an organization that aims to promote health and improve the quality of life for individuals through animal-human interactions, animal-assisted activities, and therapy. Certified therapy animals work to “help heal individuals, elevate the professional standards in the therapy animal field, and promote the general cause of volunteerism,” according to the organization’s website.

“None of us in this group have been on the bus before. It has been about four years since we’ve been on Omnitrans. This is new to us, and we’re really excited and thankful that Omnitrans has allowed us to do this.” said Catherine Walker, a volunteer with the group who coordinated the training. “Those already certified to do work at the VA hospital currently park at the Park & Ride lot on Redlands Blvd. and ride sbX, so this is great practice for that.”

To become a certified comfort animal, dogs go through a training process in which they are familiarized with all environments where they may practice their work, including elevators, around statues, and of course, on buses. This exercise helped put the dogs at ease in large moving vehicles and around new people.

Ginger, a miniature Schnauzer, received the Pet Hero award in 2017 by the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley. This year, another Rim of the World Comfort Pets dog was named Pet Hero 2018 – a golden retriever named Chelsea.

“This is great training because the environments that we go into have people on crutches, or wheelchairs, or making noises, so this teaches the dogs to not be scared by that because it’s not something that they may otherwise be exposed to every day,” explains Philip G. who was accompanied by his one-year-old labradoodle, Beau. Beau has already been certified, but still joins trainings – just for fun!

This was Beau’s first time on a bus, and he was a natural! “He loves to go for rides in the car, and this is basically a larger, noisier car!” said Philip.

The dogs and their handlers can be seen visiting veterans at local hospitals, in nursing homes for the elderly, and in elementary school classrooms throughout San Bernardino County, where they help children hone their reading skills by reading to a dog. This eases the pressure of reading to a teacher or a parent.

“Kids read more freely,” explains Catherine. “They’re more interested when reading to a dog versus an adult who may interject and correct their reading. From the kids’ programs, to working with the men and women who serve our country, there is a wide range of people that we interact with.”

For Beatrice’s owner, Deborah B., volunteering with Rim of the World Comfort Pets is a way of giving back after having moved to Rancho Cucamonga from New Hampshire. When her daughter was sick in the hospital, she recalls comfort dogs coming to visit and noticeably enhancing her child’s mood and quality of life during a taxing time.

Beatrice, a Basset Hound, is undergoing training to become a certified therapy dog in the coming weeks. Those puppy dog eyes will melt any dog lover’s heart!

“Our daughter would light up when the dogs came to visit,” says Deborah. “Ever since then, we’ve wanted to get involved. Beatrice has the right energy for this type of work, and we knew she was the right fit to help make a positive impact on sick children. We’re looking forward to going out and working with kids once Beatrice is certified.”

“The best part has been seeing Beau mature and be able to participate,” says Philip G. “We go to a lot of nursing homes where the elderly look forward to holding the dogs as well as to the VA where the vets really appreciate the dogs. To watch the people light up when we visit is pretty special.”

View more photos of the comfort dogs on the bus on Flickr. To support or learn more about Rim of the World Comfort Pets, visit them online.

CSUSB student rides Omnitrans to stay active, avoid parking costs

Jose S. of Rialto has been riding Omnitrans and sbX for four years while working toward his degree in Sociology at California State University, San Bernardino. Even when he used to drive a car to class, Jose preferred to leave it at the free Park & Ride lot at Palm & Kendall, and shuttle down to class on sbX, only a five-minute bus ride to campus.

“Doing this helped me save money on a parking permit and, although for some people it may not be expensive, it also saved me time. Finding parking at such a large university can be pretty hard, even with your parking permit. My first year here, finding parking was easy, but now, when I skate by the parking lot, people will ask me if I am leaving so that they can follow me and take my parking spot,” he laughs.

Those student drivers’ hopes and dreams of snatching that parking space and making it to class on time are crushed when Jose tells them that he’s simply riding his skateboard to the sbX platform.

“Because of GoSmart, I don’t have to pay every time I board. All my money usually goes to school, or food, so it’s neat not having to pay. I’m hyped that I have my student ID card to ride Omnitrans wherever I need to go,” he explains.

“The drivers are sociable and friendly. I appreciate that if I start a conversation, they will engage with me. I also like the features such as the online trip planner and NexTrip text message capability to know how long it will be until your bus arrives. It’s almost always precise, never off by more than a minute.”

Jose got in touch with us via Instagram a few weeks back, where he reached out regarding our student internship opportunities. On his page, he showcases action-packed videos of he and his friends skating and skillfully performing tricks at skate parks.

“This is what I love to do. It’s my passion. Almost 10 years ago, my mom bought me a toy skateboard from Wal-Mart and when we visited my mom’s friend in Fresno, her kids with years of experience got me into skateboarding. I took a spare board that was in their garage since mine was slow compared to theirs, and that’s how I got into it,” he shared with us.

Riding Omnitrans isn’t just for school or work – Route 22 also gets Jose to the skate park where he can live out his passion and stay active. Even his friends have joined in on the fun and convenience of riding Omnitrans to the park. Jose says they were surprised by how different riding the bus was from what they thought.

“Route 22 takes me from my house right to the front of Ferguson Skate Park, which is so convenient. Route 14 takes me to the other skate park in Fontana. I would’ve never thought there would be so many bus stops to my destinations besides school,” he says.

Skating to and from the bus stop not only combines his favorite hobby with transportation, but it helps Jose relieve the stress of college life, especially during final exams. “It’s my form of meditation. Even a simple short ride from class to the bus stop can clear my mind,” he explains.

“I just enjoy riding my skateboard to the bus. This probably sounds weird, but I love the feeling of pressing the yellow strip to request a stop because we’re approaching my destination!” he jokes.

Guide to May 2018 Service Changes

Summertime and the living’s easy…Omnitrans is excited about new service enhancements just in time for the best summer ever! All service changes are found in the new Bus Book, effective Monday, May 7 – Sunday, September 2, 2018.

Click here for a Bus Book preview.

Last year, Omnitrans introduced Freeway Express Route 208 connecting Downtown San Bernardino and Yucaipa with limited stops along the way at popular destinations and connection points. With the new service changes, Route 208 is introducing two additional trips in the morning and evening – departing eastbound at 6:18 a.m. /7:02 a.m. westbound; and 5:00 p.m. eastbound/6:10 p.m. westbound.

Additionally, the wildly popular Summer Youth Fare is back this June and July! Students 18 and younger who are off of school for the summer can get out and explore for only $1 each way with proof of age. That means that shopping trips to the mall, movie screenings, outings to the park, lunch and coffee with friends are only $1 this summer!

Below is a list of all routes affected. As always, remember to plan ahead if your route schedule is changing.

Route 2: Arrival and departures adjusted at San Bernardino Transit Center, Saturdays and Sundays.

Route 3: Arrival and departures adjusted at San Bernardino Transit Center, Saturdays and Sundays.

Route 14: Minor runtime adjustments, weekdays only.

Route 15: Minor runtime adjustments, weekdays only.

Route 20: Minor runtime adjustments, weekdays only.

Route 61: Weekday times adjusted to improve connections with Route 14 at the Fontana Transit Center.

Route 66: Runtimes adjusted to weekday and Saturday schedules.

Route 82: Saturday service frequency and runtimes adjusted to 70 minutes to improve reliability and on-time performance.

Route 86: Weekday times adjusted for more transfer opportunities at San Antonio Regional Hospital.

Route 208: Two trips added: 6:18 a.m. eastbound/7:02 a.m. westbound; and 5:00 p.m. eastbound/6:10 p.m. westbound.

Route 215: Time adjustments on all days to improve travel and connections to the San Bernardino Transit Center.

sbX: Runtime adjustments to improve transfers at the Loma Linda Veterans Hospital.

Over at the Chino Transit Center, OmniGo Route 365 and Route 81 bays have swapped places. If it’s your stop, refer to map below for new bus stop locations:

No service holidays: Buses will not be in operation on Monday, May 28th in observance of Memorial Day, as well as on Wednesday, July 4th for Independence Day.

“Green” up your commute for Earth Day 2018

Spring time is here and the days are longer, leaves are greener, and flowers are blooming. Get out and bask in the fresh air while “greening” up your commute to celebrate Earth Day 2018!

We’ve heard about recycling, adjusted our water usage, installed energy-efficient light bulbs, but another simple way to contribute to a cleaner environment is to change up how you commute. By simply leaving your car at home for just one day, you help to lessen the number of pollutants emitted into the air we breathe.

Following are three easy, helpful tips on how to put some pep in your step to make your commute a little more environmentally-friendly:

  • Ride public transit – We may be biased with this one, but it’s a fact that riding the bus or train to work is one of the most effective ways to help the environment. Omnitrans vehicles emit fewer pollutants than most automobiles, thanks to our compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled fleet of buses. By switching to the bus, a single person can reduce their annual carbon emissions by more than 4,800 pounds! Ready to ride the bus? Go paperless for Earth Day and purchase your Omnitrans day pass on your smartphone!
  • Bike or walk for a day – Riding your bike or walking to work or school for the day is a sustainable alternative mode of transportation that reduces your carbon footprint, reduces traffic congestion, and is also great for your health! Take advantage of the nice weather and enjoy that April breeze while benefiting the earth. Bonus: If you are unable to bike the whole way, Omnitrans buses are fully equipped with bike racks for a multi-modal commute!
  • Share the ride – Not only is driving alone a major cause of smog in our air, but it’s also economically costly compared to other modes of transportation. Sitting behind the wheel for hours in traffic also takes a toll on you, too. Feel good about doing your share for cleaner air by sharing the ride with a co-worker or two. If you are having trouble finding a co-worker who can carpool with you, IECommuter.org (for San Bernardino and Riverside counties only) has a solution on their website. Simply create an account, enter your information, and they can find carpool matches for you!

Save the planet, get rewarded
Log your alternative commute trips on IECommuter to see how green your commute is and how you’re contributing to Earth Day – at the same time you could have a chance to win a monthly commuter prize!

With their Monthly Rideshare Spotlight, you are in the spotlight and are rewarded for your sustainable commute. Whether you are a rideshare star or you have been ridesharing for just a few months, you could win a prize valued at up to $100. For more details on this program, please visit IECommuter.org/EarthDay.

Omnitrans and Women’s Transportation Seminar Host Classroom to Career Day

For many, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the Girl Scouts will inevitably be “cookies!” However, Girl Scouts does so much more than that, and is laying the groundwork for young girls to develop the courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.

Omnitrans had the privilege to contribute to this mission, and partnered with the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio, the Women’s Transportation Seminar of the Inland Empire (WTS-IE), San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, and Metrolink to host the Classroom to Career event for over 100 girls from throughout San Bernardino County on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 during National Engineers Week.

Omnitrans Marketing Specialist Janice Kuhn explains the importance of our transit center info kiosks to students.

“It is more important now than ever to expose younger girls to careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Math).  They are thirsty for knowledge about potential careers in transportation and other STEM fields.”  said Lisa Reece, Vice President, HDR and WTS-IE Chapter Advisor.

The day began at the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center where a few of the women of Omnitrans working in various roles ranging from finance and marketing, to route planning and scheduling, to bus maintenance, provided a tour of the facility to the students, which concluded with a Metrolink train ride from the transit center to the nearby Santa Fe Depot.

Once at the depot, the girls learned about the importance of our transportation network and its history by touring the Rail Museum. The group participated in hands-on activities that stimulated their minds to envision what the future of transportation may look like.

Students work on one of their STEM activities, designing their own roads using various materials.

Professional women from various facets of the transportation industry shared their job functions and career paths, inspiring the girls to think about a career that they may also choose to pursue in the future.

“Omnitrans is committed to being a positive and impactful part of the community,” said Omnitrans Marketing Manager Nicole Ramos. “It was great to partner with like organizations to meet the professionals of tomorrow and illustrate the opportunities transit careers offer.”

For photos of the event, click here to view album.

Omnitrans Ridership Gains in January Reverse Trend

Omnitrans posted its first system-wide ridership gain in over three years when passenger boardings in January 2018 were 1.7% higher than January 2017. Growth was led by increased use of freeway express routes, up 14.2%, and the sbX bus rapid transit line, up 4.5%.

In all, 22 of Omnitrans’ 35 bus routes carried more passengers than a year ago. Bus routes operating in the western San Bernardino Valley posted gains which averaged 6.2%.

“We are pleased that Omnitrans’ efforts to attract new riders with express service, streamlined routes, improved regional connections, and mobile fares are beginning to pay off,” said Omnitrans Board Chair and Loma Linda Council Member Ron Dailey.  “We hope the trend continues.”

In the past year, Omnitrans has added one new freeway express route, implemented 15-minute service to passenger terminals at Ontario International Airport, expanded operating hours on sbX and implemented a mobile fare payment option.  In December, the Metrolink extension to serve the downtown San Bernardino Transit Center improved regional multi-modal connectivity. The transit hub serves over 5,000 passengers a day making connections on bus routes operated by Omnitrans, Victor Valley Transit Authority, Mountain Transit, Pass Transit, and Riverside Transit Agency.

Omnitrans freeway express routes include Route 215 connecting San Bernardino and Riverside via the 215 and 91 Freeways, Route 290, operating on the 10 Freeway with stops in San Bernardino, Colton, Ontario and Montclair, and Route 208 which connects Yucaipa, Redlands and San Bernardino via the 10 Freeway.  Two additional round trips will be added to Route 208 in May.

The sbX bus rapid transit line now transports over 63,000 riders per month on average compared to under 42,000 monthly in the first year, 2014.  Due to customer demand, Omnitrans expanded sbX service hours last September to operate from 5am to 11pm on weekdays.

Omnitrans total ridership in calendar year 2017 was 11,436,432, a decrease of 5% from 2016.  January 2018 was the first positive month, as compared to the same month in the prior year, since June 2014. “It’s great to start off 2018 with positive numbers, reversing a three year trend experienced by Omnitrans and other transit agencies in our region and the nation,” explained spokesperson Wendy Williams.

Omnitrans route and schedule information is available at 1 (800) 966-6428 or www.omnitrans.org.

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!”

 

 

 

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Omnitrans

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

To honor his legacy and contributions to the human rights movement in the United States, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed the third Monday of January each year, has been embraced as a national day of service. To commemorate the occasion, you can partake in free celebratory activities here in the San Bernardino Valley, and explore local MLK Jr. art, all accessible on Omnitrans!

The Youth Action Project Presents: YAP Talks + Day of Service
Saturday, January 13, 2018, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the San Bernardino Family YMCA, 808 E 21st St., San Bernardino, CA 92404. Serviced by Omnitrans Routes 1, 3, and 4.
YAP talks will feature speeches by Pastor LaQuetta Simmons, professor and community leader Dr. Will Greer, and Monica Stockhausen, professor and founder of #NerdyGirlsRock. Come together and take an action-based approach to educate the community and youth on the philosophies and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Following the presentations, attendees will help assemble 500 “necessity bags” for the San Bernardino County homeless community, and prepare 500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to feed them as well. A basketball tournament will feature SBCUSD police and local high school students. For more information, visit www.YouthActionProject.org.

30th Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration by The Ephesians New Testament Church and the City of Fontana
Saturday, January 13, 2018, 4 p.m., at 8833 Palmetto Ave., Fontana, CA 92335. Serviced by Omnitrans Route 20.
This year’s featured guest will be prolific philosopher, author, Princeton and Harvard scholar, and activist Dr. Cornel West. Joining him as a special guest will be seven-time Grammy nominee and winner, Ms. Vanessa Bell Armstrong. The celebration is free to the public. For more information, visit: www.EphesiansChurch.com.

Visit local Martin Luther King Jr. statues in Fontana, San Bernardino, and Riverside
Fontana – Inside the Lewis Library and Technology Center and Library, located at 8437 Sierra Ave, Fontana, CA 92335. Accessible on Omnitrans Routes 14, 67, and 82.
San Bernardino – between E Street and D Street, next to san Bernardino City Hall located at 290 N. D St, San Bernardino, CA 92401. Accessible on Omnitrans Routes 2 and 10, and sbX rapid transit.
Riverside – On the pedestrian walkway on 9th Street & Main Street. Accessible on Omnitrans Route 215.

To plan your trip, you may utilize our free and easy-to-use online Trip Planner, or give us a call at 1-800-966-6428.