Tag Archives: sbx bus rapid transit

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.

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.

Omnitrans Extends sbX Service Hours

The sbX Green Line, the bus rapid transit line serving San Bernardino and Loma Linda, now begins service a little earlier in the morning, starting at 5 a.m., with extended service through 10 p.m. on weekdays!

The increased span of service makes commuting possible for those who work earlier shifts during the week, or for people who like to catch a late-night movie screening downtown.

“Longer hours on sbX help those working in the hospitality, healthcare and logistics industries,” said Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham. “Students taking evening classes and families wanting to take in a ball game or movie downtown will also benefit.”

Click here for updated route map, service frequency, and full schedule.

Enjoy a Free Ride During Rideshare Week 2016 & Enter to Win Prizes!

Did you know that the average Inland Empire commuter spends almost 60 hours each year in traffic? That’s like a week and a half of vacation time!

California celebrates alternative modes of transportation during Rideshare Week, happening October 3-7 this year! It’s the perfect opportunity to change up your daily commute to work or simply enjoy a leisurely outing around town in a new way.

Omnitrans is making it easy for you to participate this year and reduce your time in traffic with a FREE ride on our buses, redeemable any day and any time during Rideshare Week! This offer is redeemable on Omnitrans, sbX, or OmniGo.

coupon-on-iphone-appMobile App Coupon
If you haven’t already, download the Omnitrans mobile app on your device and click the ‘Free Ride’ tab to obtain the digital coupon. Simply show your bus driver the coupon when you board any day between October 3 and 7. The driver will then issue you one free day pass which you may use for unlimited rides on that day only. Digital app coupons may be redeemed one per customer.

Print Coupon
You may also download and print the Omnitrans free ride coupon directly from our website. Hand the coupon to your bus driver upon boarding any day between October 3 and 7, and they will issue you a free day pass for unlimited rides that day. Print coupons may be redeemed one per customer.

Rideshare Week Prize Drawings
IE Commuter, the Inland Empire’s one-stop shop for transportation information, is a great resource for information about ridesharing and the benefits of sustainable transportation methods including riding the bus, carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, walking and telecommuting.
When you ride during Rideshare Week, you may enter to win prizes including an Ashley Furniture living room set, a one night stay at Palm Springs’ Ace Hotel & Swim Club, gift cards, and more! Simply visit www.IEcommuter.org to pledge your rideshare today, and you will automatically be entered into the drawing.

Ridesharing has proven to positively impact the individual’s finances and quality of life, as well as promote environment sustainability. Take the pledge today, enter to win prizes, and enjoy your free ride on Omnitrans this Rideshare Week 2016!

ways-to-rideshare-blog

CSUSB Students Head Back To School with Go Smart

The Coyotes are back on campus at Cal State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) this fall for the new school year, and Omnitrans’ Go Smart program continues to make navigating college life easier for students in our service area!

Students at GoSmart schools are entitled to unlimited rides during the school year, with just a simple swipe of their valid student ID card. And they can ride not only on school days, but any day and time of the week! For a complete list of partner schools, click here.

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Rosa, an English major, at the CSUSB sbX station. She is working toward becoming a teacher in her hometown of San Bernardino as a way of giving back to her community.

Rosa, a fifth-year English major at the university, takes advantage of the unlimited rides available to her as a GoSmart student every single day of the week. She has been riding Omnitrans the majority of her time at CSUSB, and it has proven to be a wallet-friendly choice.

“I totally ditched my car and left it at home,” says Rosa, who has a car she could drive to school every day, but has found that riding Omnitrans is the more convenient, money-saving option for her. “I don’t have to pay for a parking pass, which is really expensive.”

Rosa began riding our fixed-route system, but when sbX  rapid transit service was introduced , she has not only continued to save money, but also time since the bus makes fewer stops. “Now that there is sbX, which is faster, I don’t have to wait to get home,” Rosa shares. “It has cut my [commute] time by more than half.”

Similarly, chemistry major Joseph Barrera relies on Omnitrans for transportation to school every weekday.

“This is how I get here from Redlands every day,” says Joseph of Go Smart. “It’s pretty good!”

Riding Omnitrans from downtown Redlands, Joseph connects to the sbX Green Line at the San Bernardino Transit Center daily as he completes his third year of schooling. Joseph is not alone – many of his peers also utilize public transportation as they work toward achieving their academic goals.

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Go Smart students boarding Route 2 at CSUSB.

“Omnitrans’ four routes with direct service to CSUSB are essential to student success,” says Thomas W. Gaffery, director of parking & transportation at CSUSB. “The GoSmart program allows our students to save money on gas and a parking permit, as well as enhancing CSUSB’s commitment to sustainability.”

Saving time and money while decreasing your carbon footprint – Go Smart is definitely the convenient way to go! To plan your trip, check out our route and schedule information online.

sbX switches to on-demand station stops

sbX station platform at Cal State San Bernardino

Due to construction and to keep routes running on time, Omnitrans sbX vehicles will no longer automatically stop at every station. Coach operators will now pull into a station only if signaled to do so by a passenger or if there are people waiting to board.

Just as on any other Omnitrans fixed route, sbX passengers need to signal the driver in advance via the yellow strip on the side of the bus, or a button like the one below, when they want to disembark at an upcoming stop.  We are confident that this adjustment will allow us to better serve our customers.

sbX stop request button

Please note that sbX continues to run on a 10 minute schedule during peak hours, and every 15 minutes throughout the day.

Additionally, we currently are experiencing some technical issues with NexTrip arrival prediction times for sbX. Ominitrans’ Operations and IT Departments and our vendors have been diligently working behind the scenes to resolve the problem and hope to have a solution soon. We appreciate your patience while we work on making the necessary corrections.

sbx colton

Get a $5 food truck coupon from sbX!

Exclusive offer only for sbX riders this Thursday:

Get a $5.00 coupon towards lunch at your favorite food truck during the Third Thursday Food Fest on February 19th!

  • Coupons will be given ONLY to sbX riders disembarking at the sbX Civic Center Station between 11:00- 1:30 on Thursday, February 19th.
  • One coupon allowed per person. A limited quantity of coupons is available.
  • The coupon is redeemable only for that day during the Third Thursdays Food Fest.

Enjoy food truck deliciousness from vendors like:

  • MochaLotive Express – coffee, sandwiches, nachos and more
  • Street Foods Co. – tacos, burritos, salads and more
  • Crepes Bonaparte – gourmet crepes
  • Bacon Mania – all things bacon
  • The Grilled Cheese Truck – sandwiches, mac & cheese
  • Piaggio on Wheels – Argentine cuisine
  • The Greasy Weiner – dogs & brats
  • My Delight Truck – cupcakes

Third Thursdays Food Fest
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.   San Bernardino City Hall
Court Street Square (next to the sbX Civic Center Station)
Check out the SB third Thursdays Food Fest on Facebook!

Thanks for riding sbX. We’ll see you Thursday!

Employee of the Year: Don Frazier

On February 4th, Fleet Safety and Training Supervisor Don Frazier was named Omnitrans Employee of the Year for his dedication and invaluable contributions to success of the agency.

Don was critical to the successful launch of our sbX rapid transit service. He personally developed an in-depth, hands-on training program for our sbX coach operators to ensure they had the skills necessary to safely and efficiently run the route. He also tested vehicle features and helped identify potential problems along the corridor. Thanks to his excellent program and the hard work of his training team, our coach operators were well prepared for the April launch.

The latest Omnitrans training tool: the virtual coach simulator

His commitment to innovation has led our training program to new heights, most recently with the introduction of a virtual coach simulator. It is used as a defensive driving tool to give coach operators the opportunity to face challenging crisis scenarios not easily duplicated in their actual road training. Don constantly looks for new tools and training programs that he can implement with little cost to the agency.

However, to see where Don truly shines, you simply need to talk to the members of his team who nominated him for the Employee of the Year Award.

Don Frazier with trainers Charles Molloy, Stephen McClure, and Christina Diaz

“He is very fair and he watches out for his crew,” says Instructor Charles Molloy frankly. “He takes care of us and wants the best of everything for us. As far as tools or training materials—anything we need—he goes to bat for us.  And it’s because he’s come up through the ranks and knows what we’re facing. I’ve been here going on 21 years and have seen a lot of people in that position, and he’s the best by far. He’s worked hard to bring in innovative training tools like the new coach simulator. Since he became supervisor, this department has risen to a whole new level.”

Don on a test drive in one of the sbX articulated buses

“In my opinion, Don is very deserving of this award,” adds Instructor Christina Diaz. “He is a cool, calm, collected, flexible supervisor. He always has an open door policy. He is always open to suggestions and ideas. For me personally, I feel fortunate and grateful to work for someone like him. He’s been a great mentor to me and has taken me pretty much under his wing.  Even though he’s a supervisor, he’s had no reservations about taking time out of his busy schedule to work with me and show me Omni way. And I’m very appreciative of that.”

Omnitrans trainer Kimberly Perkins

Omnitrans trainer Kimberly Perkins

“Wow. What can I say?” says Instuctor Kimberly Perkins. “I just feel he’s taken us to a whole new level with new equipment and programs we never had before. He’s very good about listening to our suggestions and going to bat for us. I feel like I can go to him for anything. You know how sometimes you can feel so stressed by your boss that you don’t even want to come to work? Don’s the opposite. He makes you want to be here. He supports you and encourages you to give it your best. He always fair and treats all of us the same.”

Stephen McClure agrees. “Don is fair and follows the rules. He’s extremely nice to work for. Whenever I’ve talked with my wife about some of the things he’s done, she says ‘Wow, you really have a good boss.’  And she’s right. I have worked in my lifetime for many people—including myself—and he’s the best.” He grins, “And when you get to be as old as I am, you’ve worked for a lot of people.”

Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham, Operations Director Diane Caldera, Employee of the Year Don Frazier, and Board Chair Alan Wapner

Don seems a little overwhelmed by their comments.

“That means a lot to me, and it really hits me emotionally,” he confesses. “Last year was so tough on all of us. We had several large coach operator student classes, a coach operator instructor recruitment class, several return to work and accident prevention workshops and new DMV certifications to meet. We also had to train ourselves on the new sbX articulated buses  and learn to operate the corridor so that we could in turn train the coach operators. “

Don shakes his head, thinking back. “We were literally going non-stop all the time, pulling long hours and making personal sacrifices in order to do what needed to be done. They are an awesome team, and I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve accomplished together.”

Director of Operations, Diane Caldera is not surprised. “When you lead by example and really care about and support your staff the way Don does, they will move the earth for you. We have one of the finest training teams in the industry and there is no end to what they can achieve.”

 Juno Kughler Carlson
  Juno.Carlson@omnitrans.org 

Don’s daughter Sandi Coria, his wife Audrey and son-in-law Phil Coria attended the award presentation to show their support and celebrate his achievement

E St. voted Best Urban Street Transformation

This month, San Bernardino’s E Street was voted “Best Urban Street Transformation of 2014” on StreestsBlog USA. It was one of five streets nominated in the national Streetsie award competition and garnered an overwhelming 48% of the vote.

There is a lot to be proud of: dedicated bus lanes, beautiful landscaping, and sbX BRT stations with original art whose themes share the rich histories of our local communities. Ongoing events like the weekly Downtown San Bernardino Farmshare and Market and the monthly Third Thursday Food Fest (located by the E Street Civic Center Station) feature local farmers, vendors and food trucks to attract the city’s lunch crowd.

E Street has not simply molded the landscape of our city. It has created a renewed sense of civic pride as evidenced by the grass roots efforts of residents who rallied the community to vote in a show of support.

This New Year’s Eve, we are proud to celebrate the transformation of E Street and look forward to continued positive changes in 2015.

 

Handling returns & holiday sales by bus

Guest article written by Connie Jones, blogger for So I’m Legally Blind

Blogger Connie Jones from “So I’m Legally Blind”

If you’re visually-impaired like I am, getting from place to place can be quite an undertaking, especially after the holiday season. Seriously! Most people have a few gifts to return and sales to catch, and that is not the easiest thing to do when you use public transit. All those bags! First, you have to get up the steps to pay for your ticket. What an ordeal of dropped bags, apologies to the driver for not having the exact change at the ready and if you weigh more than 100 lbs, yikes! Then you make the turn to find a seat, and so it begins. You apologize profusely to the other passengers as you bump into them with your bags, you search for two empty seats, one for you and one for the bags, all the while avoiding the eyes of the other passengers who are looking away from you as if to say, please don’t sit by me!

You’ve just gotta laugh! If you don’t have a good sense of humor and patience, it can get very frustrating. I’ve been through this before. Oh, I had big plans, made the list of things I needed to return, stores to return to or buy something on sale, the directions, etc. The first few bags aren’t so bad, people are very nice, accommodating, move out of your way. It’s when you begin to look like a pack mule, a Sherpa, that things begin to go entertainingly (for the other passengers) downhill. You either drop something, get stuck between the walkway with passengers or you can’t seem to get all of your bags around you as you sit down.

Personally, I didn’t like annoying my fellow passengers, doesn’t make for good karma. Although, most people could appreciate my dilemma; between carrying my school bags, and shopping bags with gifts to return, it could get pretty comical. Even during the holidays when people try to show more patience and kindness, that doesn’t mean people want all of your things spread around them and taking up their space. For me, the best way to go about my holiday returns was to break it down like a military operation. I’d do a little bit each week or on my way here or there and before you knew it, I was done. Now, I can get it all done so much faster because of the new sbX, the Access bus and other public transit options that I didn’t have before.