Tag Archives: omnitrans planning department

A closer look at September 8th Service Changes

Video presentations by Omnitrans Service Planning Manager Jeremiah Bryant
Service Planning Manager Jeremiah Bryant, Analyst Carolann Williams, and Scheduling Analyst Victor Cuate

Service Planning Manager Jeremiah Bryant, Analyst Carolann Williams, and Scheduling Analyst Victor Cuate

This is the biggest service change Omnitrans has introduced in years, and we know our riders have lots of questions as to how this is all going to work. In the two presentations below, Omnitrans Service Plannning Manager Jeremiah Bryant will take you through each of the route changes to show you what’s new and why with easy to follow route maps and visuals.

Still have questions? We’re here to help! Drop us an email at contact@omnitrans.org or add your comment to this post.

Planning intern presents at D.C.conference

Omnitrans planning intern Edson Ibanez recently had the opportunity to travel to the Transportation Research Board (TRB) conference in Washington D.C.  The annual conference engages more than 7,000 scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest by participating on TRB committees, panels, and task forces.

“This was my first time in D.C. It was really exciting to have the opportunity to talk with the executive directors from TRB and meet Anthony Foxx, the US Secretary of Transportation. I also liked learning about up and coming topics like Bus Rapid Transit, which is something I’m very interested in—especially with our upcoming sbX launch later this year. It was interesting seeing how BRT has been adapted all over the world, Although it’s just now getting here to the states, it’s been very popular in other countries for a long time.”

A TRB Minority Fellows scholarship covered Edson’s registration and travel expenses to the conference where he presented his academic research in the form of a poster titled “Integrating Transportation Hazards in Hazard Mitigation Plans: Findings in California Cities,” which compared hazard mitigation plans of 10 large California cities and offered recommendations based on his findings. He believes it is important for cities to partner with transportation agencies to integrate a transportation hazard component at the local level within their hazard mitigation plans.

Professor Richard Willson (Department Chair
of Urban and Regional Planning at California
State Polytechnic University, Pomona) and
Edson pose for the TRB Minority Fellow Program.

“Los Angeles and San Francisco both demonstrate a transportation component within their hazard mitigation plans, and I believe they could be used as a template for other cities. Looking at climate change is important as well. Studies have shown that we will be seeing a significant rise in sea level in the next 50-100 years which can impact our coastal regions. Heat waves are another concern as sustained increased temperatures can melt certain rail lines.”

Edson’s goal is to one day work as a transportation planner.

“My passion is public transit and social justice. What can we do for the working poor? What can we do for the urban poor? How can we better accommodate our services for low income minorities? Something that can provide an option for me to work on these issues would be amazing. I’ve been at Omnitrans for about 5 months now, and I really enjoy the experience I’m getting. One of my recent projects was analyzing ridership data for Route 365 and actually going out on the route and riding it. We were looking at possibly extending it to a residential community to better serve high school students in that area—basically adding a tripper. We also had to see how it would affect route time. After researching it, we were able to determine that it would not have a significant impact on route time, so we will be implementing the change in an upcoming service plan.”

– Juno Kughler Carlson

Rahtz featured in Mass Transit’s 40 under 40

Interim planning director Anna Rahtz has been selected as one of Mass Transit’s “40 Under 40,” which recognizes outstanding young individuals making a name in the public transit industry.

Criteria for selection included job commitment, leadership, industry involvement and contribution, achievement in  her position, innovation in her field, and a commitment to making an impact in transit.

Someday I hope to see public transit fully integrated into American communities and widely accepted as a choice mode of transportation,” says Anna. “I would like to see public transit agencies with stable funding, providing high-frequency express routes and strong local routes that compete with the automobile.”

For more details about Anna and her projects, read the full article online at Mass Transit Magazine.


SB native intern moves ahead

Thirteen months ago intern Alvaro Gomez came to Omnitrans to intern in the planning department. This month he leaves us to attend graduate school at the University of Southern California where he will continue his planning studies. He believes Omnitrans has given him a greater understanding and insight into the policies, development and economy at work in this area.

“The scope of the projects and organizations Omnitrans is involved with beyond just the cities would surprise most people.  I was very fortunate to have our planning director Rohan Kuruppu and planning project manager Anna Rahtz mentor me and give me the opportunity to attend so many different meetings and workshops. It’s given me some fantastic opportunities, and I’ve been able to meet a lot of people who have a real passion for public transit, economic development and livable spaces.”

The experience, he says, further impressed upon him the pivotal role the agency plays in the local community. “I was fortunate to be here at a time when so many new projects are on the horizon,” said Alvaro. “I grew up here in San Bernardino and it’s encouraging to see the growing movement to revitalize the area. Working with Anna and Rohan, I was able to assist with the research and grant writing for major projects like sbX and the San Bernardino transit center. It’s exciting to have the chance to be a small part of something that will have such a positive, long-term impact on people’s lives.”

In addition to his interest in planning, Alvaro is also an avid cyclist and biking advocate. He was recently featured in an Omnitrans instructional video on how to load your bike on a bus rack (see below). “I like the flexibility of being able to combine bus and bike–especially for longer commutes–and I think we’ll see more people taking advantage of that in the future. One of the things I would really like to explore is connecting and expanding our current bike infrastructure in southern California. We have a lot of bike paths in this area, but many of them are not connected and maintenance isn’t what it should be. I’d love to see more people ride.”

For now, he’s leading by example. “It’s been interesting watching people in my own neighborhood react when they see me on my bike. It’s infectious. There have been a bunch of kids who have decided to pull out their old bikes and go for a ride. It reminds them of how much fun it can be.”

-Juno Kughler Carlson

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Email juno.carlson@omnitrans.org

Behind the Scenes in Planning

Omnitrans Planning team, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The Omnitrans Planning Department is always thinking about the future, and right now one of their biggest projects is the San Bernardino Transit Center (SBTC). The SBTC will be located on the southwest corner of E Street and Rialto Avenue. It will be the major transportation hub in downtown San Bernardino with connections between the new sbX service scheduled to start early next year, thirteen local Omnitrans routes, other regional transit providers, extended Metrolink service and future Redlands Rail service.

Rohan Kuruppu, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

For Planning Director Rohan Kuruppu, planning is about accomplishing a desired future. “We are one of the fastest -growing regions in the country. It is our responsibility to ensure we have a state-of-the-art transit system that is efficient, safe and reliable while meeting the area’s economic and environmental goals.”

Anna Rahtz, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Project manager, Anna Rahtz, works with cities and developers to ensure we have a good balance  between land use planning and transit planning. It is critical to have the right balance of housing, jobs and activities along our transit corridors. Intensity and density of activities drive ridership. Anna’s current projects include bus stop improvements as well as the San Bernardino Transit Center. She likes the fact that her work has a strong positive impact on her community. Anna is also a frequent bus rider and takes the bus to  local meetings whenever possible.

Scott Begg is a Planner I specializing in mapping and spacial analysis. His day typically centers on Title 6 analysis, Geographic Information System (GIS) work, smart mapping, and statistical and route analysis. Scott believes that mapping and spacial analysis provides an important overview of people, businesses, neighborhoods and other statistical information. His work helps connect people with jobs and other critical destinations.

As a Planner II, Brenda Ramirez analyzes our routes, tackling challenges like realignment, crowding, requests for service and sub-recipient monitoring for human service transportation agencies. Currently Brenda is working on the proposals for Omnitrans fare modifications. She feels the best part of her job is knowing that people can get from their homes to their destinations efficiently and safely.

Jeremiah Bryant is our resident data geek and service planning manager. He uses the statistics, mapping and route analysis provided by Scott and Brenda to analyze geo-spacial relationship demands to see where service needs are greatest. He must balance ridership demands and customer experience with financial constraints and available resources. Jeremiah also does peer analysis, ridership forecasting and responds to customer and city inquiries.

Planning intern Alvaro Gomez works on grants, research and writing projects. He grew up in this area and feels that working at Omnitrans gives him greater insight into the policies, development and economy at work in the San Bernardino Valley.

Administrative secretary, Tembi Morales, makes sure the office runs smoothly. She handles the daily office operations, purchase orders, requisitions, invoices and documents. Tembi also oversees the setup and preparations for meetings hosted by the department.

Omnitrans planning, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

Together, the planning team is constantly reviewing the needs of our ridership and looking for ways to continue to grow and optimize Omnitrans service while maintaining  low fares. Each plays an essential role in providing the detailed information and analysis that will maximize our budget and resources.

sbx map and planning department, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

To meet the region’s growing demand for faster and sustainable transit options Omnitrans works to design the most optimal service in partnership with the cities, county and the FTA. As a result, our sbx Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) express service is scheduled to begin early next year along one of the highest volume transit corridors in our system, a 15.7-mile span between northern San Bernardino and Loma Linda. This sbX corridor will include 16 art-inspired stations at key university, government, business, entertainment and medical centers as well as four park-and-ride facilities.

Rohan Kuruppu, photographer Juno Kughler Carlson

The sbX 60-foot articulated vehicle is a full 20-feet longer than our regular fixed-route buses. Each will hold 41 passengers and have a standing capacity of 65. Our sbX BRT vehicles with operate in their own dedicated bus lane and offer optimized service with fewer stops and more frequent runs.  For a closeup look at some of  the premium features of the sbX BRT, click here.

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