Tag Archives: sbx station

Station Conversations: New start for a lucky man

Many of our bus passengers have fantastic stories to share about their lives. Take Refugio Salazar. I caught up with him at the sbX Civc Center staton in downtown San Bernardino.

Refugio is going back to school to get his GED and then plans to attend Valley College.

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“I’d like to train as a car mechanic,” he tells me. “I used to work on cars all the time, and I’m pretty good at it. But now the diagnostic equipment is all computerized, so I need to get familiar with that.”

As we talk, I tell him I write stories about our passengers. His eyes light up and he laughs. “I’ve got a story for you. I’ve almost died twice in my life.”

“The first time I was just three-years-old,” he continues. “I was out in the yard and my father was mowing the lawn. The lawnmower blade hit an old silverware spoon that was on the ground. It flew up in the air and lodged in my skull. My parents were scared to death. The doctors told them I would likely have some brain damage since the edge of the spoon was just touching the brain when they extracted it.”

He shrugs and smiles. “I beat the odds though, and never had a problem with that. As you can see, I’m doing pretty well.”

“How did you almost die the second time?” I asked curiously.

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“I was transporting produce in a truck down Mount Baldy Road when I suddenly lost my brakes. I was going about 50 miles per hour and coming up on a steep curve with no way of slowing the vehicle. My choice was to either crash into the side of the hill or take my chances making that curve at high speed,” he shakes his head, remembering. “I choose the curve.”

“As I made a hard turn into the curve something amazing happened. The truck swerved, tipped onto the shoulder and then stopped. It just stopped. For no reason.” Refugio pauses, a look of wonderment on his face. “I’m convinced that someone was looking out for me that day. For some reason God chose to save me.”

“It sounds like you’re a very lucky guy,” I told him.

He nods and smiles broadly. “I am. Life’s good. I’m engaged to my fourth grade girlfriend. I love everything about her, and she loves everything about me. We’re very happy together.”

An sbX vehicle pulls up to the station, and Refugio waves as he climbs aboard.

I wave back. You meet the most interesting people on the bus.

San Bernardino Transit Center Update

See more photos of the San Bernardino Transit Center on Flickr.

 View artist renderings of the finished project here.

Construction is moving along on schedule and on budget for the San Bernardino Transit Center. The project, which is managed by San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), will be complete in July 2015. The facility is LEED Gold, with solar panels on the roof, drought-tolerant landscaping, and a highly efficient heating and cooling system in the building. It will include a customer service/pass sales office, public restrooms, and shelters with real-time bus arrival signage.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is the construction manager, Kemp Brothers is the contractor, and HDR was the designer. The $21 million project is being paid for through a combination of federal transit, federal highway, and state and local funds. The majority are federal transit grants that were awarded to Omnitrans for Bus Facilities.

Sundial art installation at the San Bernardino Transit Center


 View artist renderings of the finished project here.

See more photos of the San Bernardino Transit Center on Flickr.
Photos by Janice Kuhn

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