Tag Archives: sbx bus rapid transit

sbX Project Nears Substantial Completion

Crews worked hard to finish the roadway paving and restriping at the Tippecanoe station before the holiday season. One step closer to substantial project completion!

This holiday season, Omnitrans sbX gives you the gift of substantial construction completion. Throughout the month of December, our crews will be working hard to finish all of the major roadway work such as paving and restriping along E Street and major structural work at all of the station locations. Once complete, this will mark the end of major construction along the 15.7-mile bus rapid transit corridor from San Bernardino to Loma Linda.

After the New Year and up to service launch in April 2014, crews will test electrical components and buses, hang new corridor signage, install community-themed art at the stations, replant landscape, and wrap up other odds and ends to complete the project.

– Kelly Koehler
    kkoehler@westboundcommunications.com

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

Schools, non-profits eager for sbX service

Robert Hagen, Director of Volunteer Services with Santa Claus, Inc. of Greater San Bernardino, also is a teacher with the WORC Academy, a partnership between San Bernardino Valley College and the San Bernardino City Unified School District, providing basic skills to help high school grads enter the workforce.

Robert Hagen arrives early Wednesday morning at Santa Claus Inc. of Greater San Bernardino, a non-profit charity providing clothes, books and toys for needy children, where he volunteers as Director of Volunteer Services.

Hagen – also a teacher at the WORC Academy (Working on Real Careers) at Valley College – knows his students will arrive for their assignments at the charity on 6th Street about a mile east of Waterman Avenue. He’s just not sure when.

“If it weren’t for Omnitrans, I don’t know how they would get around,” Hagen said. “They’re looking forward to the rapid-transit service.”

This semester, Hagen works with 12 students who have graduated from high school but are challenged in reading, writing and math. The WORC program, a partnership between Valley College and the San Bernardino City Unified School District, allows them to develop skills that make them hirable to do many of the basic tasks they learn as volunteers.

Most of his students live in the Highland area and public transit is the only transportation they have to get from there to the college on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. They also rely on bus service to get to the non-profit programs – usually on Wednesdays and Fridays – such as Santa Claus Inc., on 6th Street about a mile east of Waterman Avenue; and the San Bernardino Humane Society, near E Street and Orange Show Road.

“My students can walk from Valley College to the Humane Society in less time than it takes to ride the bus,” Hagen said. “There are many organizations they could work for up and down Route 2 but it takes more than an hour to get from the VA to Cal State (San Bernardino). That’s why we’re so excited about this sbX line. It will sure make it easier for them to get around.”

– David Rutherford
david.rutherford@omnitrans.org

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Visit Omnitrans sbX on Facebook
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx

Construction of final sbX station underway

Construction crews have laid the foundation for a concrete pedestrian ramp at the intersection of E Street and Court Street, which will lead to a station platform in the area of center-running lanes in Downtown San Bernardino; on the right are samples of artistic platform and crosswalk pavers.

Each month it becomes easier to visualize what the final sbX corridor will look like – and the Downtown San Bernardino area is no exception. In October, you’ll see an increase in construction as work is now underway at the final sbX station at Court and E streets. Located in the heart of Downtown, this station will serve as a key stop for those visiting City Hall, grabbing a bite to eat at local favorite Molly’s Cafe or catching a movie at Regal San Bernardino Stadium 14 & RPX.

In the coming weeks and month, construction crews will focus on building the station platform. You’ll see a steel and concrete framework built to support the steel canopy of the station. Paving crews will then work on a pedestrian walkway from the station to the intersection and installing concrete tile on the platform. Other milestones in the Downtown area will include the completion of center-lane paving, the patterned-pedestrian crosswalks and new landscaping. It’s all coming together for the start of service in April 2014!

-Kelly Koehler

 

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Visit Omnitrans sbX on Facebook
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx

 

Future BRT “A Godsend” to Ronald McDonald House

Statue of Ronald McDonald seated on bench next to Mike Kovack, Executive Director of Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House.

Mike Kovack is back as the executive director of the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House, this time overseeing the expansion of an east and west wing.

The 17-year-old facility is experiencing much-needed growth, to accommodate the ever-increasing demand of families in need of a place to stay while their children receive critical care at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital and other surrounding hospitals in the Seventh-Day Adventist community.

“That’s why sbX is such a godsend,” Kovack said. “At any time there are as many as 21 families here. Many come here with one or no vehicle for a period of weeks, even months, and there is a great need for public transit when they have to be in different places at the same time.”

Omnitrans already has been a tremendous help in that regard, he said, offering day passes to the Ronald McDonald House to distribute to those temporary residents in need of public transportation. The future service, scheduled to begin early next year, will offer faster, more frequent service from its stations a block away, at the corner of Anderson and Prospect streets.

Artist’s renderings of expansion for the west and east wings of existing building.

Undergoing a 34-room expansion, Loma Linda is one of more than 300 Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the country. They were built through private donations as part of Ronald McDonald’s Charities, which also awards scholarships to deserving high school seniors.

The program was established in 1974 by former Philadelphia Eagles’ football player Fred Hill, who was able to afford temporary housing near the hospital where his cancer-stricken daughter was being treated. “He saw several less-fortunate families in his situation with no place to go so he invited them to stay with him and that’s when he came up with the idea of establishing a foundation at a corporate level to provide this type of service,” Kovack said.

– David Rutherford
david.rutherford@omnitrans.org

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Visit Omnitrans sbX on Facebook
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx

Roadway Features Change Hospitality Look

In July, crews made substantial progress on the south side of Hospitality Lane and center-running lane area from Carnegie Drive to Tippecanoe Avenue. On the south side of the street, new ADA ramps and sidewalks were completed near Harriman Place and Hospitality Lane. Irrigation and landscaping work also has taken place throughout this stretch.

In the center-running-lane areas, asphalt has been removed so that crews can work on the various layers needed to reinforce the roadway where the sbX coaches will operate. This roadway improvement work is expected to be completed in mid-August. In addition, a concrete center-running median has been built in much of the area between the Carnegie Drive and Tippecanoe Avenue sbX stations. This feature will help to separate westbound and eastbound travel of vehicles. Work also continues at the Hunts Lane sbX station, with electrical features to be installed in the coming months.

U Turn Provides Motorists Options

In response to public feedback regarding safety concerns and access to businesses, u turns are now permitted at eastbound Hospitality Lane and Waterman Avenue.

Over the past month, roadway barriers were constructed at select locations along Hospitality Lane – a major milestone entering the home stretch of construction. The purpose of these barriers, located in the middle of Hospitality Lane near Business Center Drive and Sunwest Lane, is to restrict left turns across the center-running dedicated rapid-transit lanes, which will be added following construction.

Although the barriers were constructed with safety in mind, motorists indicated difficulty adjusting to the changes, such as eastbound drives beyond Waterman to reach the nearest u-turn location; and a left turn on Waterman to work their way back to westbound Hospitality to get to Business Center Drive.

The permitting of u turns on eastbound Hospitality at Waterman has helped alleviate congestion and increase accessibility to Business Center Drive. The sbX Construction Management Team appreciates the public’s feedback and encourages input by calling the toll-free, 24-hour project helpline at (855) sbX-NEWS (729-6397).

– Kelly Koehler
  kkoehler@westboundcommunications.com

Ramirez named new sbX construction manager

Andres Ramirez is the new construction manager for the E Street Corridor sbX Bus Rapid Transit Project.

Ramirez comes to Omnitrans with 17 years of experience overseeing construction projects involving building and infrastructure projects in the education, health-care and solar-energy industries.

He is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, with a degree in construction engineering technology. He is also a certified Class B-2 commercial inspector with the International Code Council.

“Andres has all the qualifications we were looking for in a CM,” said sbX Program Manager Milind Joshi. “He’s enthusiastic, hard-working and pays great attention to detail. “We are confident he will catch on very shortly to this complex project, now in its final stages.”

A native of Pasadena, Ramirez currently resides in Fontana and has spent his entire professional career in the Inland Empire.

– David Rutherford
david.rutherford@omnitrans.org

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Visit Omnitrans sbX on Facebook
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx

Jovi’s Diner adds nostalgia to E Street

Jovanna Rodriguez (right), owner of Jovi’s Diner, 123 N. E St., San Bernardino. At left is her aunt and co-worker, Mirasol Gonzalez.

Go about 500 feet north of the future San Bernardino Transit Center and you’ll find a new diner, filled with the smell of American and Mexican food and the sounds of classic rock and roll.

You’re also quite likely to find Jovanna Rodriguez, the young owner of Jovi’s Diner, working the tables, taking orders and building relationships with her new customers.

“I grew up in San Bernardino but whenever I want to go out to eat, I find myself traveling to Redlands, Rialto or Fontana,” Rodriguez said. “I wanted to do something good, something different, because I’m proud to call this city home.”

With the help of her father, Raul Rodriguez, a contractor specializing in restaurant remodeling, and the advice of her mother, the former owner of Baseline Burgers Coffee Shop, Jovi took a chance on the former Burger Express location at 123 N. E St., next door to the car wash on the northeast corner of E Street and Rialto Avenue. They reupholstered the booths with images of classic cars, put in a black-and-white checkered-flag tile floor and created a diner ambiance, complete with swivel-stool counter and ‘60s and ‘70s music to emulate the environment of the Route 66 heyday of San Bernardino’s past.

As for being on the historic thoroughfare, which is rapidly transforming into a transit corridor, the Rodriguezes are excited. “I see the sbX line greatly benefitting my business,” she said. “People will be able to move easier, safer, faster; it will provide quick connections to other parts of the valley; and it helps the environment because the buses will run on clean fuel, which reduces pollution.”

Jovi’s Diner is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

– David Rutherford
david.rutherford@omnitrans.org

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Visit Omnitrans sbX on Facebook
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx

 

 

LLU Employee loves public transit

Carmen Fernandez at the May 2 Loma Linda University Employee Benefits Fair

Carmen Fernandez can’t wait for the start of passenger service of the first sbX corridor, so she can have lunch more with her sister.

The Colton resident, a nine-year photographer for Educational Support Services at Loma Linda University’s School of Dentistry, currently uses Omnitrans Route 2 once a week to meet her sibling, who works at Sam’s Club in San Bernardino near the popular rows of restaurants on Harriman Place and Hospitality Lane.

She also takes routes 8 and 9 to visit her parents and get to her acupuncture therapy sessions in Redlands; and routes 19 and 325 to get between home and work. She has a car but chooses to use public transit because she shares the car with her daughter, a boxer who trains at a gym in Reche Canyon.

“I choose to do it,” Fernandez said of bus riding. “Three miles is a little too far to walk, and I could park free in two of the lots. It’s convenient, so why not?”

She also takes advantage of her employer’s rideshare incentive, which allows her to purchase a $47 monthly pass for $22.

Carmen, a native of Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, sees bus service with Omnitrans as less frequent but more reliable. “I consider bus riding a game, which makes it fun for me,” she said, “especially with NexTrip. It’s more precise than relying on the Bus Book. That makes it fun. I think most people who don’t use the bus think it’s boring. The drivers who know me stop if they see me and I’m running a little behind. It’s exciting.”

–David Rutherford
david.rutherford@omnitrans.org

Do you like this story and want to use it for your blog or newsletter? All our stories may be freely re-posted and shared with others!

Visit Omnitrans sbX on Facebook
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx