Tag Archives: omnitrans

Public transit trial gains a new rider for Omnitrans

Being a one-car family when you have to juggle appointments, schools and job can be challenging, but ridesharing can definitely make things a bit easier. Silas Molina, an Eligibility Worker for the County of San Bernardino, lives in Mentone with his wife Anne and their four children. For the past 2 1/2 years he’s been carpooling to the office in the morning with a co-worker, and his family has been picking him up in the afternoon.

When his co-worker went out on vacation a couple of weeks ago, Silas was forced to look for an alternative means of transportation. “It was impossible for my wife to drop me off in the mornings because she had to get the kids to school. My only other option was to take the bus. So I started riding Omnitrans.”

The experience was nothing like what he had expected. “I was intimidated at first,” he admitted. “I expected tons of people and long travel times. But it worked out really well. It takes me exactly one hour to get to work every day, and the bus has always been on time. The trip is pleasant, and I can read, listen to music or even work on my computer.”

In fact, his experience has been so good that Silas has made the decision to continue to use Omnitrans for the ride home once his co-worker returns.

“My wife and I calculated the expense and realized that it cost us $6 a day just for her to pick me up from work,” Silas explained. “And it’s also more convenient for her to be able to stay home with the kids in the afternoon. The bus has been a positive experience for me, and the one-hour ride isn’t bad. I’ll generally listen to NPR or take a short nap. It’s a good way to decompress from work before going home to be with my family. And you can’t beat the savings!”

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 Kughler Carlson at  juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

From jungle to city, Omnitrans rider loves to travel

Omnitrans customer Jennie Aceves loves to travel, from daily trips around the city to exploring the world. Her favorite experience was a trip to Guatemala where she worked for a time as a missionary.

“I loved being able to hike through the jungle and swim in the lake with the fish,” said Jenny. “It was beautiful, and I liked the feeling of making a difference. I was in charge of the youth group and some of the elderly there and it was my job to make sure they were all served hot meals each day. Being in that environment makes you appreciate what you have, and I feel very blessed with the life I’ve been given.”

When her car broke down two years ago, Jennie decided it was just too expensive to buy and maintain another vehicle. She was comfortable with public transit and had been riding Omnitrans off and on since she was in high school simply because it was so convenient. Making the switch to being a full-time rider seemed the obvious choice. She would still be able to easily get to all her normal destinations and for much less than it used to cost her in gas!

“My favorite thing about Omnitrans is how easy it is to transfer. I almost never have to wait long between buses because of the way the schedules are set up. I can usually get to wherever destination I need within a half hour to an hour total travel time. It’s convenient for me.”

This week Jennie was one of the first passengers to ride one of the twenty new Xcelsior model buses that Omnitrans has added to its fleet. She was impressed. “The new bus was really nice,” said Jennie. “It felt very spacious and comfortable. And I like that Omnitrans is keeping up with the times to provide good, efficient transportation that is also healthy for the environment.”

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

First trip on the Omnitrans New Flyer Xcelsior

This afternoon the first of the Omnitrans New Flyer Xcelsior buses hit the streets on its maiden voyage. Passengers on Route 14 were excited and happy to be the first ones to have the opportunity to ride. “We’re making history!” someone shouted from the back of the bus, and everyone laughed.

People loved the new fleet graphics and gave the bus high marks for coolness, comfort and roominess. They can’t wait to ride again!

Coach Operator Elaine Sanchez was at the helm of the New Flyer Xcelsior for the historic trip. Elaine was recently honored with the  Omnitrans Employee of the Quarter award for her outstanding customer service.

Omnitrans CEO Milo climbed aboard on his way to a meeting, always happy to get a chance to meet some of our passengers.

This mom and her new baby were among the first passengers to board.

Renee Compton was the first wheelchair passenger on the New Flyer Xcelsior

Mr. Jones was the first bike passenger to join us on the trip. He just recently starting biking and taking Omnitrans to save the expense of gas money.

Click here for more passenger photos.

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

A bus driver’s favorite moment

Omnitrans passengers love coach operator JoJo for her no-nonsense attitude and sense of humor. “I keep it real,” she laughs. “I try every day to provide the best service I can.”

Recently JoJo was driving a route out in Muscoy, when she noticed a woman standing about 100 yards from the bus stop, appearing lost. “She was dressed to the nines and in the absolute middle of nowhere. From the way she was looking around, I had a pretty strong feeling she was trying to catch the bus.”

When Jojo pulled the bus over, she saw that the woman wasn’t alone but had two small girls with her, dressed in ball gowns. The three quickly boarded the bus, thanking the driver profusely for picking them up. The mother explained that they were on their way to a quincenera but that they hadn’t been sure where to catch the bus to get there. If JoJo hadn’t stopped for them, they would never have made it in time.

Finally the family arrived at their destination. As the little girls climbed down from the bus, they handed JoJo a thank you note they had written for her during the trip.

“You know,” said JoJo. “Sometimes people ask me why I like being a bus driver. This is why. It’s really not about the money or the pats on the back when you do a good job. It’s about people who need you and the feeling you get when you know you’ve made a difference in their lives. It’s about moments like this. This–this is the best.”

 

 

 

 

 

sbX construction update for July 2-6

Please note: Due to the Independence Day holiday, crews will not be working on July 4th, 2012

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: Install restroom windows; ramp grading 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; curb and gutter activities, utilities work on bus passenger platform
LANE CLOSURE: Traffic control in effect.

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 (includes grading and removal in some locations); roadway cutting; storm drain activities; electrical activities; irrigation activities; traffic control implementation
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 (includes paving, grading and removal in some locations); concrete curing; landscaping activities; continued 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; storm drain activities; platform structure grading, pouring and curing
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.

Visit the Omnitrans sbX Facebook page!
http://facebook.com/omnitrans.sbx

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.”

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

Buster’s Destinations: Library Adventures

Everyone enjoys a good summer book or two to read by the pool and Buster is no different.  After all, he does spend a lot of time at the Ruben Campos Community Center, getting some sun by the pool, and reading the Bus Book cover to cover might get old even for Buster.  So, one sunny day he boarded the Route 15 and traveled to the Sam J. Racadio Library in Highland to stock up on reading material.

After perusing the children’s books, he settled on a few favorites:  I Need My Monster, Where the Sidewalk Ends and his favorite Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day.

After checking out the library’s calendar, he was amazed to learn that there’s more happening in the library than just books.  For instance, there is the Animal Ambassadors program, Fridays 3:30 – 4:00pm, where children can learn, touch, and feel rescued animals and insects.  Oh my!  And Movie Nights with a different featured film every Tuesday!  He also thought the “Better Biking With a Biker” program, happening the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 PM, would be right up his alley, since Buster uses his bike and Omnitrans to get around town.

Buster was so excited about the library that he hopped back on the Route 15 and visited the A.K. Smiley  Public Library in Redlands.  He was just in time for Library Days on June 15 and 16, which features a special exhibit of rare items and treasures about Redlands, the local area, and Southern California from 10am to 5pm.  He wanted to take part in the “Library Discovery” game, and perhaps sit in on the readings for kids from rare children’s stories of Old.  He might even go back for Pajama Story Time on Tuesday nights at 7:00 PM. The choices!

Buster’s trip library trips were so fun that he made a note in his travel diary to visit other libraries in the Omnitrans service area.

Omnitrans is pleased to participate in the 7th Annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 21. Dump the Pump is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association to encourage the public to give up their car for the day and use public transportation. In recognition of Dump the Pump day, Omnitrans will offer free rides on all fixed routes on June 21 (free ride coupon required). To download your free ride coupon, visit us on omnitrans.org.

–Janice Kuhn

Alternate bus stops planned due to construction

Several new areas of the SbX corridor will be starting construction on Monday, June 18th.

Alternate stops planned for Cal State San Bernardino
Construction will be starting at Cal State San Bernardino which will cause the temporary closure of our bus stop. On Monday, we will adjust our stop to an area in front of the Coyote Book Store.  The stop will only be at this location for one week, and we will relocate to an area on Coyote Way near the Student Fitness Center and Jack Brown Building.  We will be at this location until the end of September or sooner if access is permitted back at the original stop area.

Alternate stops planned along E Street
Construction activities will also be starting on E Street between Orange Show Road and Hospitality Lane.  Bus stops in both directions at E Street & Orange Show Road and E Street & Century will be out of service.  We will have stops in both directions at E Street & Chandler.  Our bus stops further south at E Street & McKay will remain in service.

We will also provide an adjusted stop at E Street & Orange Show Road to serve the northbound E Street & Orange Show Road closed stop.  E Street & Orange Show Road, southbound, will need to use either the preceding stop at E Street & South Mall or our temporary stop at E Street & Chandler.

For Omnitrans bus information call toll-free 800-966-6428.

For the sbX Project Helpline call toll-free 855-729-6397