Ivan Ventura grew up in Rialto but his heart – and his home – are in San Bernardino. During the day, the 24-year-old ironworker can be seen along the Omnitrans sbX corridor mounting canopy frames at station platforms throughout northern San Bernardino. At the end of the day, he heads home to be with his family in a house he recently purchased in northern San Bernardino, not far from Glen Helen Regional Park.
“This is the ideal job for me,” Ventura said. “You can’t always choose where to work, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
It wasn’t always this easy for him. Fresh out of a four-month apprenticeship with Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 416 of La Palma, one of Ventura’s first assignments was nearly 200 miles away, at a solar power plant construction project near Primm, Nevada, where he was involved with installing panels. Ventura is proud to be a part of the team constructing the first of 10 planned BRT corridors in the San Bernardino Valley.
“It’s a matter of civic pride,” he said. “As long as people take care of it and it stays free of graffiti and other symbols of urban decay, I think it will really help bring this city back.”
In a city with an unemployment rate of 16.6 percent, according to the July 2012 report from the California Employment Development Department, Ventura is one resident fortunate to have remained gainfully employed throughout his young adult life. That’s important because the sbX project has created more than 200 jobs. About one-third of those jobs are occupied by residents of San Bernardino County.
The sbX Bus Rapid Transit (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.
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