Tag Archives: public transit students

Go Smart and Student IDs

UPDATED 7/18/2012

If you are a student at a college that is currently participating with our Go Smart program and are experiencing issues with the acceptance of your student ID, here are some facts that will hopefully clarify what is happening.

Cal State Students

  • All IDs are no longer accepted due to end of the pilot program on June 30th and no permanent program to replace it.

Chaffey, Crafton Hills, and Valley Colleges

  • IDs from students enrolled in prior Spring semester are accepted for the month of July.
  • Summer-only students are not included.
  • IDs from students registered for Fall 2012 will be accepted beginning August 1st    
  • The list of accepted IDs is provided by the colleges.  Students must contact the college directly if there is a problem.

Art Institute of California-Inland Empire

  • Student IDs are not considered passes – a separate pass must be obtained at the Campus Store.
  • All passes from previous quarters need to be renewed by visiting the Campus Store. Deadline to renew for the Summer 2012 quarter is July 25.
  • If your pass reads “error” or “invalid” when swiped, visit the Cage to get the card re-coded.
  • Any questions about the GoSmart Program at The Art Institute – visit Student Affairs.

Bus Helps Student Nurse Pursue Her Dream

Crystal Lemus has big dreams for her life. And Omnitrans is helping her get there.

A 21-year-old student at Riverside Community College, Crystal is studying to be a registered nurse. She is fluent in English, Italian, German and Spanish. She’s an avid reader, a lover of Greek mythology and enjoys drawing—especially portraits of people. People fascinate her, and she likes sketching their faces.

In fact, her passion for people and desire to help others is the driving force behind her ultimate goal: to work for Doctors Without Borders. Applicants to the organization must pass strict requirements, including a two-year psychological assessment to help ensure their emotional stability when dealing with the issues that arise in war-torn countries. But the thought of serving in a third world country doesn’t make Crystal at all nervous.  She’s committed to her dream. Her mom died when she was 13-years-old, and she spent two years growing up in foster care. “It really made me want to help people who didn’t have the same opportunities as everyone else,” said Crystal. “We take health care very much for granted in this country. But there are people all over the world who just don’t have the same opportunities and many die because they don’t have health care available to them. I want to help make a difference.”

Crystal has been riding Omnitrans since she was 18. As a full-time student, she relies on it to get her back and forth from her home in Colton to Riverside Community College five days a week. “It saves me hundreds of dollars,” said Crystal. “Before I started using Omnitrans, I had to try to find other students to catch a ride with and pay them $20 to cover gas. On top of that, I was always worried that they might not be on time and I’d be late for class. It was very stressful. Now I just buy a bus pass and it’s so much cheaper. It saves time and gives me the independence to be able to come and go as I need to. I’m also more disciplined in my schoolwork now because I can use the travel time to study or read my anatomy book. I can focus more.”

The bus has also offered some surprising opportunities to put her studies into practice. “About two years ago I was on Route 14 to Fontana when the man sitting in front of me started holding his chest and complaining of pain. He fell forward and started seizing. I ran over to him and held him to keep him from hurting himself. I rolled up a tight tube of paper and used it to keep him from biting his tongue while still giving him space to breath. The paramedics arrived pretty quickly and thanked me for helping him. You never really know when something like that is going to happen and it feels good to have the skills to handle it.”

Crystal recommends Omnitrans to other students as a great way to save money and offers these tips for new riders. “Be sure to check bus schedules in advance so you know which routes will get you where you need to go. If you’re traveling at night, it’s also important to know when the last run is so you don’t get stranded somewhere with no way to get back. The bus drivers are really nice and good about helping when you have questions.”

– 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

Omnitrans A Great Solution for this Newlywed

Omnitrans Rider ProfileTwenty-two year old Susanne Bishop has been an Omnitrans rider for the past four years. She’s an online student at the University of Phoenix, where she’s studying business administration. “Being an online student takes a lot of discipline,” says Susanne. “But I’m pretty good at planning my time and staying on track. My goal is to one day open a health facility that works with special needs kids.”

Susanne is recently married, and she and her husband are expecting a new baby in September. Because her husband’s job is half an hour away in El Monte, he uses the family car to make the commute while Susanne uses the bus to get around town and run errands or go to her doctor appointments. She’s very much an on-the-go type person, and enjoys taking shopping trips, visiting family or grabbing a bite to eat with friends. “Inland Center Mall is one of my favorite shopping destinations. For hair appointments, I like the Savvy Salon on Route 66. They have a great atmosphere, are always friendly and get you in and out quickly. They’re such good people.”

Susanne is very comfortable riding the bus and is happy with the money she is able to save. “I’m so familiar with the different routes that it’s easy for me to get where I need to go,” she explains. “And it would be really expensive for us to have a second car. Right now it costs us about $80 a week in gas just for my husband to drive back and forth to work.”

For some of Susanne’s friends, the thought of riding the bus makes them apprehensive. “They think it will take forever to get somewhere. And they worry about it being dangerous. I tell them it’s not like that at all. And most of the drivers are very nice and helpful and go out of their way to make sure you feel safe and looked after.”

To show them what she means, Susanne will invite friends to take the bus with her and go out for food. “They are always surprised at how fast it is,” she laughs. “The whole experience is nothing like what they expect. I tell them it’s really easy once you know the routes, and you can always just go online and look them up. Now my friends are riding more and more.”

–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

Student rider enjoys savings and independence

Rider profile - Marcus

Marcus, Chaffey College Student

RIDER PROFILE:  Marcus is a part-time student taking classes at Chaffey College. He’s interested in pursuing a career in health, possibly as a nurse. He is bilingual, has strong math and science skills and enjoys helping people– qualities he knows will open a lot of opportunities for him in this growing field.

As with most college students, money is always a concern, and Marcus takes advantage of the Go Smart College Pass program, which allows him to ride the bus for free with his student I.D. “Traveling by car would be really expensive for me,” he said. “I attend school four days a week, and driving there and back costs me about $8.00 a day. It adds up to almost $130 a month–and that’s not even including the trips I take for leisure activities! I enjoy getting out a lot and usually ride an average of 50 miles a day.”

Chaffey College students ride Omnitrans free with their student I.D.

Although he owns a car, Marcus only uses it on the weekend to drive to his job at Costco in Orange County. He’s hoping to transfer soon to the Rancho location, and would like to use Omnitrans for the trip instead. “I like not having to drive. Driving is stressful, expensive and sometimes it can take 15 minutes just to find parking. I can enjoy the ride, listen to my music, or read and just relax,” said Marcus. “I’m also very active and like to travel. Before when I wanted to drive somewhere I had to worry about affording the gas or think about the wear and tear on the car. Now I have no limits. I have the freedom to do whatever I want to do, and I really like that. It’s also very easy to ride Omnitrans because it’s destination-based rather than street-based. You don’t need a lot of transfers.”

His advice to new riders: “It’s a good idea to prepare in advance to get an idea of what do and which stops you need. Go to the Omnitrans website and check out their videos on how to ride the bus. This way you’ll know what to expect. Look through the Bus Book to go over your route, and if you have any questions call the people at 1-800-9-OMNIBUS. They’re really terrific. And don’t be shy about asking your bus driver for help. The drivers are good about explaining things and will look out for new people to make sure they get where they need to go.”

If you are a college student and would like information on the Go Smart College Pass program, visit the Omnitrans website.

–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