Tag Archives: sbx

New buses in East Valley equipped with USB charging ports, enhancements made to sbX fleet

Every now and then, you’ve got to freshen things up a bit. At Omnitrans, we are doing so by welcoming new coaches to the East Valley fleet, and doing a couple of touch ups to the sbX fleet.

A few weeks ago, 24 New Flyer Xcelsior buses, numbers #1341 to #1364, were made service-ready by our maintenance team and are now out on the road. On the rapid transit front, sbX sports a new interior look and new bike racks. You may have already noticed these enhancements while riding in recent weeks.

The new buses come equipped with USB charging ports between/below seats, which riders may use to charge their mobile devices (cords not included). This is convenient for all, but especially for riders who travel long distances and are looking for ways to keep busy during their commute to and from work or school. Feel free to binge watch your Netflix shows or stream your favorite new album (don’t forget your earbuds, please) without fear of your mobile device battery dying!

New buses equipped with USB ports are identified by a USB decal on the rear.

Not only do our passengers benefit from these enhancements – so does the environment! The near-zero engine on the new vehicles is a game-changer for cleaner air quality. Though our entire fleet has been fueled with natural gas for many years, this further underscores our commitment to improving the quality of the air we breathe.

“This is our first build that has come with the ISL G Near Zero natural gas engine,” says Maintenance Manager Omar Bryant. “It is the latest and greatest engine with the least amount of emissions, exhausting 90% less than the standard.”

Not to be outdone, the sbX rapid transit fleet has recently undergone an interior facelift. Riders will notice new seat upholstery with a brand new color and design. “After regular wear and tear since the sbX launch in 2013, it was time to re-do the seats,” says Omar.

Upgraded upholstery in sbX buses has transitioned from the original red seat covers to a bright blue pattern fabric.

Bike riders are also enjoying more reliable onboard bike securement racks, conceptualized and created in-house by our very own employees last spring. All sbX buses have now been retro-fitted and feature the new bike racks, making commuting by bike and bus simpler and safer for all onboard passengers.

The bike’s rear tires are positioned between the slots on the rack, and a lever bar is pulled up, then tightly secured on the rear tire. The original Velcro straps remain for added support in the center of the bike.

Omnitrans is proud to usher in these enhancement to our local-route and sbX fleet to better serve transit passengers in the east side of the San Bernardino Valley. Let us know what you think in the comments!

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.

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!

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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.

Ride Omnitrans and Get $2 Off National Orange Show Citrus Fair Admission!

PrintIf you’re like us, you can’t wait for next week’s 101st National Orange Show (NOS) Citrus Fair in San Bernardino – who doesn’t love carnival rides, cool vintage displays, and fair food? To make the Fair even better, Omnitrans has teamed up with NOS to offer $2 discount coupons onboard!

While supplies last, simply ride any East Valley Omnitrans route (1 – 29, sbX, 290), and you’ll find coupons for a $2 discount on NOS Citrus Fair admission at the front of the bus. Coupons are good every day of the “Blast from the Past”-themed Fair, April 20 – 24.

Omnitrans provides direct service to the NOS fairgrounds via Route 2 and the sbX Green Line.  sbX operates every 10 to 15 minutes on weekdays.  Route 2 runs hourly on weekdays, and every 20 minutes on weekends.

Additionally, 13 other bus routes connect to sbX and Route 2 at the San Bernardino Transit Center, just a mile away from the fairgrounds. Detailed bus schedules and an online trip planner are available at: www.omnitrans.org/schedules/. For personalized assistance in English and Spanish, call 1-800-966-6428.

Because we don’t want to miss the fun, Omnitrans will have “Old Blue,” its vintage 1958 GMC bus, on display at the fair on Saturday and Sunday.  Stop by to take a photo with Old Blue and Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe (at least their cardboard versions)!  Photos posted online with #OmniRetro will be entered into an Omnitrans photo contest. Stay tuned for more details!

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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.

sbX patrons get $5 food truck meal vouchers

Calling all foodies! The San Bernardino Third Thursday Food Fest is June 18th from 11:00-2:00 outside City Hall. Visit your favorite food truck or try out something new!

As a thank you to our riders, sbX passengers disembarking at the Civic Center Station across from the event between 11:00 and 2:00 will receive $5 vouchers towards a meal from any food truck or food vendor!

Here’s just a few of the delicious offerings you will find there.

Waffle chicken

Wings ‘N Waffles will bring its famous Waffle Chicken Sandwiches to San Bernardino. Soul Wraps, Turkey Burgers, Kid’s Meals, & dessert waffles are also on the menu. Try their perfectly seasoned, one-of-a-kind wings & waffles combinations

belly bombz

The Belly BombZ Korean BBQ food truck is back! Try their delicious Sriracha Lime, Firecracker, Soy Caramel, or Spicy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings. Belly BombZ will also be serving tender Pork Belly Sliders, Steamed Rice, Bomb Dust Fries and more.

Piaggio

Love Argentinian food? The Piaggio food truck returns with mouth-watering empanadas, burritos, tacos, and braised pork over fries.

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Want to indulge without the guilt? The Greenz on Wheels food truck features healthy sandwiches, wraps, and salads.  From Chinese chicken salad, tuna salad, steak salad, veggie salad, Greek salad and more, they have something to fit every taste.

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Los Lobos Truck, 2014 Winnerof the Best LA area food truck, will bring their sensational ribs, salads, wachos, and more.  Be sure to try their famous Green Dragon Wachos!

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What could be more refreshing on a hot day than a delicious saved ice treat from Sweet’n Snowie?  Buy a cup of shaved ice, and head over to the Flavor Station to pick your flavor. Mix and match as much as you want to make your own signature creation!

burgerRolling Burger Barns is serving up fat juicy burgers, fried mac and cheese bites, corn nuggets, onion rings and more. Those brave enough may want to try their Farmer’s Protein Delight: 2 1/3 lb. patties, 3 thick slabs of bacon, 4 creamy slices of cheese, and topped off with a fried egg.

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If hot dogs and brats are your thing, head over to The Greasy Weiner and try one of their award-winning original  handmade hot dogs and sausages. They also offer vegetarian options, specialty fries, and sliders!

banana-donutLast but not least, Haute Burger brands itself “Where classy meets trashy.” They offer gourmet burgers like  Wowie Maui, Trashy Burger, and Porc Chic. If you’re feeling really adventurous, try their decadent Banana Donut that includes peanut butter, chocolate, carmelized bourbon, banana, and banana cream.

 

sbX Friday giveaway: Movie Tickets

Giveaway-cinema
Are you ready for the last giveaway of our sbX anniversary week? Join us at the Court Street station between 1:00 and 3:00 tomorrow to get a free Regal Cinema ticket! We only have 100, so arrive early to get yours while supplies last.

But wait–there’s more! You can also enter our sbX Anniversary Sweepstakes for a chance to win the Grand Prize:  free bus passes for a year, dinner for four, cinema tickets for four, and four  IE 66ers baseball tickets.  Click here to sign up for the prize drawing. Good luck!

How to ride sbX – what you need to know

Have you ridden the sbX BRT Green Line yet? It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

Check out our video for everything you need to know on how to ride right on sbX!

Transit Center Platform Takes Shape

People passing by the Rialto Avenue and E Street sbX station can begin to see what center-running stations will look like. The installation of station artwork will be done toward the end of the project.

During the past month, construction crews have been working on the Rialto Avenue and E Street sbX station – one of six center-running stations throughout the project. Motorists driving past the Rialto Avenue station will see that a raised concrete platform and steel canopy structure have already been built.

Construction of the San Bernardino Transit Center is expected to start in fall 2013.

This specific station will allow riders to easily transfer to other modes of public transit across the street at the future site of the San Bernardino Transit Center. Riders will have the option to connect to the new Downtown San Bernardino Metrolink extension, which can take passengers all the way to Union Station in Los Angeles or transfer to Omnitrans regular bus service. There are also plans to provide passenger rail service from the transit center to Redlands through the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, which is currently in the environmental phase.

Crews have begun constructing the new curbs and gutters along the south side of Hospitality Lane.

Elsewhere in San Bernardino, there has been significant progress on E Street as new curbs, gutters and sidewalks are being built on the west side between Rialto Avenue and 6thStreet. On Hospitality Lane, traffic control has been removed on the north side of the street between Tippecanoe Avenue and Commerce Center Drive East. On the south side of Hospitality Lane, crews have already begun to build new curbs and gutters between E Street and Tippecanoe Avenue. New driveways and sidewalks will be constructed in the coming weeks and months.

– Robert Chevez
rchevez@westboundcommunications.com

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