Monthly Archives: June 2012

APTA Applauds Passage of Transportation Bill

Statement by APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy:

“On behalf of the 1,500 members of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), we commend the Congress for passage of a bi-partisan surface transportation bill titled “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP21)”.  Previously, the public transportation industry was operating under nine short-term extensions of the surface transportation authorization since 2009.  MAP21 provides for stable funding for public transportation for two years and will go through September 2014.  This new bill will provide for a greater degree of certainty for public transit agencies and private sector businesses as they maintain, plan and implement public transportation projects.  It includes improvements to keep our systems in a state of good repair; streamlines delivery of public transit projects; provides funding for new start projects and for a bus replacement and a bus facility program.

We urge the President to sign this bill into law because investing in public transit is essential to creating American jobs and boosting our economy.  We applaud the Congress for moving forward a measure that will have a great impact on the millions of Americans who rely on public transportation everyday for their transportation needs.  We look forward to working with the Congress and Administration as we help implement this jobs bill for the nation.”

Omnitrans buses not in service July 4th

Omnitrans offices will be closed and our buses will not be in service on July 4th in honor of Independence Day.

We wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday!

Kick’n It At Regal Cinemas

When Buster heard that Regal Cinemas San Bernardino Stadium 14 would be opening in downtown San Bernardino, he honked his horn in delight.  A new movie theater in his own home town!  He could get there on Route 14 in no time at all.

Located just a hop, skip and jump from the 4th Street Transfer Center on 450 N. E Street in downtown San Bernardino, Regal Cinemas offered everything that a little bus mascot would want:  Easy access to Omnitrans bus stops, stadium style seating, to accommodate Buster’s
“ junk in the trunk” and an ultra-awesome snack bar.

Although Regal Cinemas officially opens Friday, June 29, Buster enjoyed one of the sneak peak showings earlier this week.  He saved some time by purchasing his ticket at one of the fully-automated ticket stands.   Buster loved the little whirring sound of the ticket dispensary.  Then, he carefully selected his snacks from the amazingly well-stocked concession stand and trundled off to enjoy his movie.

Buster was delighted to find that the theater offered RPX, (the Regal Premium Experience), which promised a breathtaking IMMERSIVE 3D experience, high-impact GIANT SCREENS and powerful, uncompressed SURROUND SOUND. And it was true.   It was as if he was REALLY THERE INSIDE THE MOVIE!  Buster had to hang on the retractable cup holder a few times to keep from falling out of his seat!

Buster had such a great time that he signed up for the Regal Crown Club loyalty program, which rewards frequent moviegoers.  He also made plans to come for the Summer Movie Express program, where select G or PG rated movies are screened for only a dollar at 10 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Regal Cinemas is going to be a great destination that Buster will add to his growing number of fun summer activities.   After all, what would summer be without a blockbuster movie?  Like an ice cream cone without ice cream.  Or pool without water.  Or a mascot without a dance move.

–Janice Kuhn

Homeless newlyweds get fresh start with Omnitrans

Three years ago Corey and Maryrose Boggs were homeless and living on the streets in San Bernardino County. Omnitrans played a key role in their journey to self-sufficiency.

Corey was 19 and Maryrose was 18 when they met on the Internet and fell in love. However, there were major complications to overcome. Corey was living in Chicago and had recently lost his job. His plan was to find work and save up money for six months so the two could meet in person and get married. To Maryrose, that felt like an eternity. Unable to wait, she held a garage sale, sold most of her belongings and flew to Chicago to be with Corey.

Four days later, they got married at Corey’s uncle’s house church, Potter’s Field Ministries, in Bridgeview, IL. When they flew back to California, they faced less than ideal circumstances as they bounced from place to place, living briefly with relatives, staying at homeless  shelters, and working for a short time at a Christian-based farm for room and board. “”We even slept in a bush for a short time,”” laughed Corey. ””You can tell a woman really loves you when she’s willing to live with you in a bush!””

With little money and few resources, the two relied heavily on public transit to help them overcome their circumstances. “We used Omnitrans to do everything,” said Maryrose. “We rode the bus to get to the library to do job searches, to the Salvation Army so that we could shower and to the plasma center so we could donate plasma to get money for food and fares. For a while we even rode Omnitrans out to Crafton Hills College and used their library computers to take online college classes.”

At one point the couple posted an ad to Craig’s List, asking for a bus pass donation just so they could keep going. A good Samaritan responded, meeting them at an outlet, and buying both of them a 31-Day pass. It was an amazing and unexpected gift for the grateful pair. “The man told us he’d been through hard times himself,” said Corey. “And that he felt it was important that we all look out for one another.”

This October, Corey and Maryrose celebrate their third wedding anniversary. The two now live happily in a nice apartment in Illinois where Corey works in sales doing door-to-door marketing. He plans on going back to school and finishing his business degree. He offers two pieces of advice to others who find themselves out on the street.

“Don’t be an idiot and decide to do drugs. You need a straight mind to find a job and get out of your situation. There’s so many things you need to think about all the time. For instance you can’t shower just anywhere, and it’s a lot harder to get work if you’re dirty. You have to be able to find the resources you need to get help. Also, take advantage of public transportation in your area. Omnitrans was a huge lifesaver for us and opened the door to more opportunities. If you can, invest in a 31-Day Bus Pass. We did a lot of one day at a time passes, but it is so much cheaper if you can buy the longer passes. You will save a lot of money that way.””

“And have faith. Being together was always the most important thing for us,” added Maryrose. “We trusted in God and our love for each other.”

Corey agrees. “I can say with 100% certainty that our future is solid. When you’ve gone through living on the street together, you know there is nothing you can’t survive as a couple.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson

“Infinite Love” symbolized Maryrose and Corey’s love and commitment to each other

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!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Omnitrans rider dreams of teaching high risk kids

Almost eight years ago, Chanel Mason was diagnosed with a medical condition that made it impossible for her to drive. Since then she has relied on Omnitrans for all her travel needs, from picking up groceries to going to school. Riding the bus allows Chanel to maintain her independence and gives her the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of being a teacher.

“Education has always been important to me. When I was in 12th grade, I was scoring 100% on all my work. I went to my teacher because I was worried. How would I know if I was actually learning and improving? The teacher told me to just be happy that I scored 100%,” Chanel laughed. “I don’t think that way. I always want to be growing and learning new things.”

Her goal is to eventually teach first grade because she loves the curiosity and personality of that age group. “I really want to work with high risk kids,” said Chanel. “I grew up poor and I understand the kinds of challenges they have to deal with. I think I’m someone they could relate to and that I could make a difference in their lives.”

As a Cal State University of San Bernardino (CSUSB) student, finances are still an important issue for Chanel and she does what she can to stretch her resources. Over the past year she was able to take advantage of the Go Smart college pass program, which allows students at participating colleges to ride Omnitrans for free with their student ID. “Go Smart was a huge help,” said Chanel. “Instead of paying for bus fares, I was able to use that money for textbooks I needed. There are a lot of us at Cal State who really relied on that program and it’s going to be hard for us when it ends this month.”

The funding for the Go Smart program ends June 30th. Students at other participating colleges have opted to continue the program by voting yes on a referendum that would add a $7.50 transportation fee to their college fees each semester. CSUSB chose not to hold a student referendum at this time.

This week, Chanel was very excited to discover she was the winner of the Omnitrans Dump the Pump photo contest on Facebook. Her prize was a free 31-Day Bus Pass that she plans on using for school this fall. “Every little bit helps,” she said. “Without Omnitrans I would be in a lot of trouble.”

_______________________________________________

If you want to see the Go Smart program continue at CSUSB for the 2012-13 school year, please make your voice heard. Tell them why this program is important to you and other students.

Contacts:

Commuter Services
909-537-7433
Email: Rideshare@csusb.edu
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CSUSB

ASI Associated Students Inc.
909-537-5932 or 909-537-5930
Email: asi-pres@csusb.edu
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/asi.csusb

– Juno Kughler Carlson

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!

Do you have a great Omnitrans story to share? Let us know!
Email juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

sbX Construction update for June 25-29

To establish a safe work environment for crews and the public, the construction crew has implemented traffic control measures that allow for at least one lane in each direction to be open during construction. Maintaining access to businesses is a high priority as part of this project. As such, signage is placed throughout the corridor to inform the public that they are open for business.

Kendall Drive and Palm Avenue Park-and-Ride-Facility
Parameters: South of Kendall Drive and Palm Avenue intersection
Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Specifics: Restroom window installation, restroom plumbing activities
LANE CLOSURE: NA

CSUSB
Parameters: New bus station location on campus
Day Work: Mon. – Fri. from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Specifics: Traffic control implementation, roadway leveling, irrigation activities, bus platform activities
LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect at select locations.

E Street
Parameters: Select locations between 10th Street and Hospitality Lane
Day Work: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Night Work: Sun. – Fri. from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly
Specifics: Driveway, curb and gutter work continues, roadway concrete cutting, storm drain activities, electrical activities, traffic control implementation, tree and landscape removal, relocate bus shelters, street light removal in select locations
LANE CLOSURE: Parking and lane nearest the curb along the east side of E Street between 10th Street and 6th Street has been eliminated.

Hospitality Lane
Parameters: Select locations between Diners Court and Tippecanoe Avenue
Night Work: Mon. – Fri. from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Specifics: Driveway, curb and gutter work continues, concrete curing, landscape activities, continue work on bus pads, electrical activities
LANE CLOSURE: North side of Hospitality Lane nearest the curb is closed.

Various Bus Station Locations
Parameters: Little Mountain Drive, Shandin Hills Drive, Marshall Boulevard, Highland Avenue, Baseline Street
Day Work: Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Night Work: Sun. – Fri. from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. nightly
Specifics: Irrigation activities, electrical activities, underground utility work
LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect at select bus stop locations.

 

About sbX
The sbX BRT Project is the first-of-its kind express service to be constructed in the Inland Empire. It is the beginning of an intermodal public transit system in the San Bernardino Valley that will help reduce vehicle congestion while providing the public an environmentally friendly alternative that is sophisticated, cost effective, and time efficient.

The 15.7-mile corridor spans between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. It will include 16 art-inspired stations at key university, government, business, entertainment and medical centers as well as four park-and-ride facilities.

Fireworks not permitted on public buses

Planning your 4th of July celebrations? Be aware that, for the safety of our passengers, the transportation of fireworks is not permitted on any Omnitrans vehicle.

Our offices will be closed and the buses will not be running on Wednesday, July 4th. Please remember to plan in advance to make alternate arrangements for your holiday travel.

We wish you and your families a safe and happy Independence Day!