Tag Archives: sbx brt

Special needs class learns about sbX BRT

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) class at Colton High School recently chose the sbX Green Line as their field trip destination. The class, which concentrates on teaching life skills to special needs students, is made up of nine boys ranging in age from 14 to 22-years-old.

Omnitrans bus stop - autistic class from Colton High

Teacher Kim Snyder has been working with special needs kids for more than 30 years. The boys thrive under her care, reassured by her calmness, firmness and sense of humor. She loves spending time with them and is fascinated by how their minds work. Her goal is to teach them the social and practical skills needed to help prepare them for life as young adults.

Omnitrans bus stop - autistic class from Colton High

“Because they can’t theorize well, they can’t always apply what they are taught in a classroom to real life situations beyond the classroom,” says Ms. Kim. “We have to actually teach these students in the community. If they have the opportunity to learn through actual hands-on experience, it is easier for them to understand and retain that information. Riding sbX was a great opportunity to them to see firsthand how that transit system works and what destinations are along the route.”

sbX VA Hospital Station

The boys were very excited by their first ride on the rapid transit system. The level boarding was both a surprise and immense relief.

“Steps make them a little nervous,” explains Ms. Kim. “Some of them are a little unsteady on their feet and one of them only walks on tiptoes. It can be difficult to deal with the steepness of a step, and they naturally worry about their balance. Having no steps to deal with was a huge bonus for us!”

autistic class from Colton High aboard sbX BRT

The little group sat together at the back of the bus in a semi-circle, which allowed them to see each other’s smiling faces. When they learned about the on-board power outlets and free Wi-Fi, the boys broke into cheers and clapping. They were also amazed to see that people could bring their bikes on board and secure them in the interior bike racks.

sbX center seats

As they rode along, they had a chance to see some of the sbx station platforms, and Ms. Kim pointed out familiar destinations.

“This is totally awesome!” one of them exclaimed.  “It feels like a roller coaster.”

sbX BRT

“The seats are really comfortable, and I like the driver,” said another.

The students had fun trying out the seats in the articulated middle section of the bus which spun whenever the vehicle made a turn. Big grins lit up their faces as they hung onto the armrests.

sbX BRT VA Hospital Station - Colton High Autistic Class

Along the way, they stopped at the VA Hospital station in Loma Linda, where they learned about features like the blue emergency call box, the live customer service help button at the side of each map case and the ticket vending machine where they could buy passes. They even had a visit from Field Supervisor Rick Alverez who took the time to answer a few questions. The class was impressed to discover that Rick had won several awards for driving buses in roadeo competitions and wanted their photo taken with him.

sbX VA Hospital station

The field trip was a huge success, and the boys can’t wait to ride again. Because sbX is so fast, the class can now plan field trips to destinations like Cal State San Bernardino. That was not an option for them before, because the travel time by regular bus was much longer.

But, as Ms. Kim points out, sbX has an even greater impact on her students. It is a valuable resource for them as they enter the job market.

riding on sbx BRT

Many of her students work well in fast food cleanup, doing tasks like wiping down tables and cleaning windows. These fast food restaurants spend a lot of money training high school kids to do these jobs, but they tend to leave after only a short time. Students like those in Ms. Kim’s class, however, will go through the training, be excited and proud to earn their official badge or uniform and go on to work for that company for 50 years. But one of the first things the employer asks about is their transportation needs and whether they can travel independently. The ability to use public transit like Omnitrans and sbX opens up many more opportunities for them.

riding sbX BRT

“Many of our students have employable skills,” says Ms. Kim. “They desire employment but are hampered by their lack of transportation.  Public transportation makes it possible for our students to continue into adulthood with a sense of independence and, as a result, live a higher quality of life.”

See more photos from the class field trip on Flickr!

– Juno Kughler Carlson
 juno.carlson@omnitrans.org 

sbX

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Ride free on sbX during launch week!!

Ride free on sbX during launch week!

Here’s your chance to make history as one of the first riders to climb  aboard sbX rapid transit, the first-ever express passenger service in Inland Southern California!

  • All rides are FREE during launch week, April 28th – May 2nd
  • Hours of operation: 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Monday through Friday
  • Service runs every 10 minutes during peak hours (6:00-9:00 a.m. and 3:00-6:00 p.m.), 15 minutes off peak
  • Free Wi-Fi and power outlets are available on board 
  • Station Ambassadors will help guide riders during first 10 service days
  • Accepts the same fares and passes as  Omnitrans local route service
  • Passes can be purchased at ticket vending machines at station platforms (credit and debit only)
  • 4 interior bike racks and 2 wheelchair securements on each vehicle
  • Level boarding at all stations eliminates the need for doorway ramps
  • Stops include major destinations in the cities of San Bernardino and Loma Linda

Remember you’re invited to ride FREE on sbX during between April 28th and May 2nd, so save the dates!

Ceremony To Celebrate Big Win for sbX

sbx completion ceremony

sbX PROJECT PARTNERS CELEBRATE COMPLETION
On April 22nd, Omnitrans and project partners from San Bernardino and Loma Linda will come together  to celebrate the completion of the sbX Green Line – the Inland Empire’s first-of-its-kind bus rapid transit (BRT) service. The 15.7-mile line between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda marks the start of a new era of intermodal public transit for the region. Launching sbX is a big W-I-N for Omnitrans!

PUBLIC INVITED TO RIDE FREE DURING LAUNCH WEEK
Don’t miss out on being one of the first to ride sbX! Mark your calendar for Start of Service April 28, 2014! Service will run from 6:00 a.m. to 8:50 p.m. and Omnitrans sbX ambassadors will be at station locations along the corridor during the first few days to help you Get on Board!

Kelly Koehler
kkoehler@westboundcommunications.com 

The Latest on The sbX Corridor

Work continues to progress on the Omnitrans E Street Corridor sbX Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT) and we are one month closer to start of service in April 2014. Major construction was completed in January 2014, so throughout the months of February and March the sbX construction management team is meeting with property managers and business owners to conduct site checks and close out any remaining maintenance items along the corridor. Work to test the electrical components at stations and the traffic signals at interscetions continues, and you may notice some construction workers executing various landscape maintenance activities.

In addition, new elements are being installed to keep motorists and pedestrians safe while traveling throughout the corridor and at station locations. Safety railings are being installed on the sidewalks at center-running lane stations located on E Street and Hospitality Lane. You’ll also notice candlesticks, orange posts with reflectors, being installed to the top of yellow safety barriers located at t-intersections within the center-running lane areas. The candlesticks serve as an added visibility feature to prohibit drivers from crossing into Bus Only lanes, also marked by double yellow lines. As a reminder, motorists entering the Bus Only lanes run the risk of getting hit by a bus – and a hefty fine of $341.

As a reminder, bus testing and driver training has commenced. Please remember to:

  1. Pay attention! Buses will be on the road daily.
  2. Stay out of the dedicated Bus Only lane.
  3. Watch for signs and obey them at all times!

Still have questions about the project? No worries! Although major construction is complete, a public outreach team is available until start of service. Our toll-free helpline is operational 24/7. Give us a call at (855) SBX-NEWS (729-6397).

E Street Paving Begins; Station Work Resumes

Concrete planters line pedestrian ramp leading to sbX station platform at E Street and Court Street in Downtown San Bernardino.

Major changes are on the way for E Street. To start, the final two station locations at Court Street and at Baseline Street will really start to come together in November. With the station platforms now complete and structure steel erected, crews can focus on installing ticket-vending machines, security cameras and paver tiles on the station platforms.

In addition, the placement of the final layer of asphalt along E Street and Hospitality Lane marks another major sbX milestone. Following completion of paving along Hospitality Lane in early November, crews will move operations to E Street. Crews will work south from the north end of the project. This roadway work will provide a smooth, even ride for motorists.

In order to minimize impacts to residents and businesses along the corridor, paving and restriping activities will take place at night. Intermittent street closures may occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Thank you for your patience during this phase of the project.

–  Kelly Koehler
(kkoehler@westboundcommunications.com)

Paving and landscape-irrigation work has begun on Hospitality Lane between Tippecanoe Avenue and Waterman Avenue. Paving will continue on E Street through mid-November

Crews Target Loma Linda P&R Station

Now that roadway work is complete in front of the other four sbX stations in Loma Linda, construction crews can now focus efforts on the park-and-ride station.

The majority of sbX construction work was completed last month at the Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda VA Medical Center and Anderson Street east stations. Crews are now focused on completing the work on the west side of Anderson Street south of Redlands Boulevard.

In August, major work already had taken place on the final sbX station at the future park-and-ride facility. Crews finished building the low wall of the station and installed a handrail along the back wall of the boarding platform. In addition, station lighting and electrical work has taken place as well as drainage in the parking area.

Final touches such as art work installation will come as the project nears completion later this year.

-Kelly Koehler

 

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E Street Center-Lane, Station Work Continues

Asphalt is laid on the area of center-running lanes on E Street at 10th Street north of downtown San Bernardino.

During the past few weeks, crews have been working daily on E Street in the center-running lane area between Rialto Ave and just north of 10th Street to reinforce the road. Several layers of support have been placed with an intermediate top layer of asphalt. A final layer of asphalt will be placed in the coming months so there is a smooth and even driving road for motorists.

Paver and handrails installed on North Mall Way station platform.

Work also has begun on the final sbX station in San Bernardino at Baseline Street and E Street. Construction activities for the northbound station are in full swing for the coming months. Crews are working rapidly on the station structure so that the new sidewalk can be built and opened to pedestrians.

On the south end of E Street, a safety handrail has been placed on both sides of the pedestrian walkway at the North Mall Way sbX station. This provides the public an idea of the features that will be installed at other center-running-lane stations on the corridor.

-Kelly Koehler

 

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Omnitrans Ops Develops sbX Plan

The sbX station and park & ride testing at Palm & Kendall in San Bernardino. The station will service both Omnitrans sbX and fixed route vehicles.

The Omnitrans operations department is gearing up for the 2014 opening of sbX bus rapid transit (BRT) service. It will be “all hands on deck” in developing standards, operating requirements, procedures, policies, and training skills to support this premier service!

The plan will familiarize department personnel with preemptive signal priority, dedicated center running bus lanes, bus arrival prediction and messaging system, on board passenger wireless network service, ticket vending machines, and on-board/ platform surveillance for increased security, and vehicle operations.

It is anticipated that six months prior to the system being in revenue service, vehicles will be traveling the sbX corridor for operators to test equipment functionality, headways, and approaches at the platform stations.

The first transit station to be evaluated for maneuverability and stall placement was at Palm & Kendall. The best way to test whether or not the transit station is “sbX ready” is to create an environment as close to reality as the coach operators will experience.

Although you might imagine the 60-foot articulated buses require a wider turning radius than the 40-foot buses, that is not the case. Details are crucial; measurements are tested and retested to ensure there are no barriers to the safe operation of the buses.

It is anticipated the sbX service will require 23 coach operators to operate the system five days a week. We are in the beginning stages of planning tight now and will continue to post more details as we move closer to our implementation date.

More testing at the Kendall and Palm Park and Ride

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Email Juno Kughler Carlson at  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

sbX To Make Students “Choice” Riders

For the past three weeks, Ontario resident Brian Kennedy has gotten on board Route 2 from E Street and Highland Avenue to get to his classes at California State University, San Bernardino, after catching a ride from his stepmother who works in another part of town.

Brian Kennedy

Now that he’s through with finals for the fall quarter, the 19-year-old freshman is seriously considering making public transit to campus a regular habit – especially once the future Omnitrans sbX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service begins operations in 2014.

“It makes so much more sense,” he said. “To pay for a parking permit, only to circle around the lot trying to find a place to park is not very efficient. Omnitrans saves me time and money.”

The additional convenience and time saved with sbX will be realized by frequent service (every 10 minutes) and fewer stops (once a mile, on average), which will cut Brian’s commute time nearly in half. To learn more about sbX BRT, visit the project website at www.omnitrans-sbx.com.

– David Rutherford
David.Rutherford@Omnitrans.org

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Peruvian Restaurant Sees Growth Opportunity

The staff at El Rico Pollo Peruvian Cuisine and Grill delivers authentic Peruvian food at a great value. L to R: Chefs Jesús Gómez, Edgar González, Juan de Diós Muñico, Founder Abel Salvador, Server Lety Jiménez and Co-Owner Liz Peñaloza.

When Abel Salvador and family opened El Rico Pollo Peruvian Cuisine and Grill on Diners Court in San Bernardino five years ago, he had three goals in mind: 1) become the first Peruvian restaurant in the Inland Empire; 2) enhance the dining experience of his clients by surrounding it with other high-quality restaurants; and 3) build a successful business model that can be replicated through franchises.

His first two goals have been achieved and, with changes in store for nearby Hospitality Lane, there is hope that the transformation of a transit corridor will bring in new customers, especially lunchtime patrons through the sbX corridor in San Bernardino and Loma Linda.

Salvador takes great pride in working in the kitchen preparing beef, poultry, seafood and other house specialties that have built a solid and consistent clientele over time. Among the favorites are Lomo Saltado (sautéed sirloin strips), Parrillada Mixta (mixed grill) and Tacu-Tacu, a mixture of beans and rice seasoned with garlic, onions and aji panca fried in vegetable oil and crowned with a breaded steak and fried egg.

“We have a lot of regular customers, mostly South American immigrants at dinner and trade-school students at lunch,” said Marta Salvador, Abel’s wife and one of two co-owners. “The sbX project can only add to what we already have.”

El Rico Pollo is located at 2013 Diners Court off of Hospitality Lane in San Bernardino and open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit their website at www.elricopollo.com or call at (909) 890-0539.

–David Rutherford
david.rutherford@omnitrans.org 

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