Tag Archives: vetlink

Vets Ride Omnitrans Free on Veterans Day

Transit agency partners with VetLink on Trip Planner Launch 

Veterans2014Images_RGB

In appreciation for the contributions of the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces, Omnitrans is offering free bus rides to US military veterans on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11.

Veterans may simply show retired military ID when boarding any Omnitrans bus including the sbX rapid line, freeway express and local bus routes, or OmniGo community shuttles. Accepted IDs include those issued by US Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs, and San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs.

“It’s our way of saluting those who served to protect our freedom,” said Omnitrans CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham, himself a veteran of the US Marine Corps.  Approximately 79,000 veterans reside in the Omnitrans service area of the San Bernardino Valley, stretching from Yucaipa in the east to the Los Angeles County line in the west.

omnitrans veterans fare

In January 2015, Omnitrans introduced a reduced fare category for veterans.  “Since then, we have tallied over 100,000 rides taken by local veterans,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams.  Osvaldo Maysonet, 211 Access & Mobility Coordinator for VetLink was instrumental in advocating for the discounted veteran fare.

“The introduction of a veterans fare by Omnitrans has meant the world to our veteran population of the San Bernardino Valley,” said Maysonet. “The thing I like the most is that Omnitrans sees this veteran fare not as a financial burden, but as just a small token of appreciation for their service to our country.”

Osvaldo Maysonet flag

VetLink’s Osvaldo Maysonet, above, was instrumental in advocating for Omnitrans’ discounted fare for Veterans. VetLink will introduce its 211 Trip Planner Tool at the San Bernardino Transit Center on November 10.

211 VetLink Trip Planner

VetLink will launch its new trip planner tool at a ceremony at Omnitrans’ new San Bernardino Transit Center on Tuesday, November 10 at 10:30 am. The trip planner is a web-based tool that conveniently assists veterans, service members, and their families in finding and learning about available transportation services and programs within San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. This tool can be accessed through a personal computer, tablet or mobile device. More event information here.

All Omnitrans bus routes will be running regular schedules on November 11. The Veterans Day free ride offer is not applicable to Access service for persons with disabilities.

Personalized trip planning assistance is available through the Omnitrans information center, at 800-9-OMNIBUS (800-966-6428), or online at www.omnitrans.org.

Positive public response to proposed veterans fare

Omnitrans public meeting

Osvaldo Maysonet and Jeremiah Bryant discuss the proposed veteran’s fare

Omnitrans held public meetings at its San Bernardino facility Wednesday to gather comments regarding a proposed fare policy change. The new policy would provide a discounted fare for Veterans and a free fare for Active Duty Military and Uniformed Police and Fire Officers.

Veterans Specialist Osvaldo Maysonet was on hand representing VetLink, an organization which helps connect veterans, active military, and their families with the services and destinations they rely on every day.

“This proposal will have a big impact on affordability for our veterans,” he said. “We have many vets in San Bernardino County who are dealing with low income or no income. Access to affordable transportation will connect them with education, healthcare and employment opportunities and possibly help them to become taxpayers again.”

Maysonet pointed out that there is a huge pride factor in being acknowledged for your service. “Somebody recognizing you for your military service without you having to ask—it really feels good.  The Veterans Committee is very appreciative of this kind of public recognition. We’ve seen the great example with RTA, and how the number of veterans using public transportation continues to climb thanks to their discounted fare.”

He strongly believes that the Omnitrans proposed fare policy will help also raise general awareness of public transportation among local veterans.

“Many of them have never considered taking public transit before,” Maysonet explained. “This will make them consider it and encourage them to become regular riders. And they will tell others. We love sharing with our brothers and sisters about perks that we receive because we’re vets. That spreads like wildfire.”

Omnitrans Service Planning Manager, Jeremiah Bryant said that the public comment response to the proposed fare has been overwhelmingly favorable. “The feedback we’ve gotten from the community is that our military men and women deserve this.  They feel it is a small way we can give back to those who have given so much to our country.”

Omnitrans proposes a discounted fare for Veterans and a free fare for Active Duty Military and Uniformed Police and Fire Officers.