Tag Archives: omnitrans san bernardino

Celebrating a 35-Year Journey at Omnitrans

Rudy H. was joined by colleagues and staff in the East Valley body shop to celebrate his 35th anniversary earlier this month.

In 1978, Rudy Hernandez was just a young adult in an apprenticeship at Omnitrans, trying to figure out a viable career path after high school. Three years later, that student program ceased, and Rudy had to seek an outside opportunity, but his sights remained set on Omnitrans. This month, Rudy celebrates a remarkable milestone – his 35th year working with the agency’s Maintenance Department.

“Omnitrans was always very supportive and encouraged me to continue my education, so I went on to junior college while working here in the student program,” says Rudy. “In 1981, the program ended after three years, so I went to work somewhere else. I worked there about three years, but there were a lot of airborne hazardous materials and chemicals at the worksite, and they did not take safety very seriously. I left after applying for a job opening back at Omnitrans and getting re-hired.”

In the late 1970’s, Omnitrans was an up and coming transit agency in the San Bernardino Valley. There was no bus wash in the bus yard back then – just water, a mop, and a broom. Depending on the direction the wind was blowing at that time of day, maintenance staff had to face the bus in the opposite direction to keep from being splashed as they hosed the buses at the end of their run!

“When I came back to Omnitrans in 1984 as a utility service worker, we now had a bus wash, a bigger crew and supervisors who were good leaders and trainers,” says Rudy. “Before that, there was less organizational structure and less guidance when it came to our tasks.”

Over the years, Rudy’s exceptional performance earned him job promotions to mechanic helper, and in 1990, he became an equipment mechanic, the position he has held since. He has always enjoyed doing work that is hands-on and gets satisfaction from finding solutions to new problems he encounters while working on buses. This is how Rudy defines his success and the reason why he has had a rewarding career with Omnitrans.

Although Rudy preferred a career working in the shop rather than pursuing a management role in the office, as a senior employee he has still had the opportunity to help guide and pass down first-hand knowledge and experience to new employees as they come into the shop and begin their own career journeys.

“Sometimes, younger employees come to work here, and they are so quiet that they may not even greet you,” says Rudy. “When I began working here, I attended a training session and the instructor told us to always greet people walking down the hall and to be welcoming. When you are cordial with your co-workers, that helps build relations and become family faster.”

“I developed that habit and have learned that it helps you become a team much quicker, but it takes gray hair to learn that,” laughs Rudy. “When I was younger, I was probably the same way, but eventually you realize that other people are just as important as you are. It’s one big machine and it takes everyone to keep it running.”

Maintenance Director Connie Raya (right) and Maintenance Manager Omar Bryant (left) presented Rudy (center) with a special award of appreciation for his years of service.

Rudy’s managers and peers describe him as a committed, diligent employee – so much so, that after 35 years at Omnitrans, he has a near impeccable attendance record, and never took a sick family day off despite having gone through several losses including his father and both grandmothers.

“Rudy is a reliable, trustworthy, and dependable team member,” says Maintenance Manager Omar Bryant. “He takes his work very seriously and has been a pleasure to work with over the years.”

“I have always been taught to go to work on time, stay focused, and do a good job every day,” says Rudy of his secret to career longevity. “When I had a paper route as one of my first jobs, we had to deliver each paper to each house within a certain timeframe. That’s where I learned the importance of timeliness. Show up on time and do a good job. It’s been that way ever since, and I’ll go out with that mentality.”

Congratulations, Rudy! Omnitrans is thankful for all your years of dedicated service.

Local Volunteers Team Up for a Community Bus Stop Clean-Up Day

Whether we are transporting our San Bernardino Valley residents from point A to point B, or coming together for a beautification day of service, “connecting our community” is not just an Omnitrans slogan – it’s what drives us.

Last month, Omnitrans has the pleasure of partnering with We Are The Change and their dedicated volunteers for a community bus stop clean-up day. More than 20 volunteers of all ages gathered on Saturday, May 18th with the shared goal of improving the cleanliness of the city.

A total of 12 bus stops were cleaned by the end of the day, with all trash picked up in the area surrounding the Waterman and Baseline intersection in San Bernardino.

“The volunteers were enthusiastic and worked hard to make the area look great,” said Omnitrans Development Manager Anna Jaiswal. “We are very grateful to We Are The Change San Bernardino and their leader, Luis Ojeda, for recruiting volunteers and organizing a successful clean-up day.”

We Are The Change is a grassroots project started by Luis Ojeda, a San Bernardino resident whose commitment to his city sparked a movement to take action for the betterment of our community.

“Thank you to all who participated, and to Omnitrans for providing water, snacks, and trash bags,” said Luis. “The volunteers were very motivated, and they all did a great job. This is a result of the love that we have for our city, and I invite everyone to be a part of the change.”

To get involved, follow We Are The Change on Facebook to stay up to date on future involvement opportunities. Local organizations and businesses may also become “Trash Busters” and formally join our Adopt-a-Stop program.

Rancho Cucamonga Resident Benefits from Lyft Ride Program

Written By: Ruby Sulca, Travel Trainer

The Special Transportation Services Department offers a variety of programs for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Richard F. (pictured left) is a thriving senior living in Rancho Cucamonga. He has participated in one of these programs, the Lyft Ride Program, for several years. The program gives Richard access to Lyft service to get to medical appointments, run errands, and visit family and friends at half the regular cost.

Richard has spent over 15 years teaching fellow visually impaired individuals how to use technology. He has taught computer courses, both in English and Spanish, throughout Southern California, and serves as an advocate for people with disabilities. Recently, Richard spoke at Capitol Hill on behalf of the visually impaired regarding fair pay for individuals with disabilities.

As a long-time public transportation user, Richard learned how to ride independently at age 15. He first found out about the Lyft Ride Program about three years ago, and became very interested in the discount offered to qualifying residents in our service area. Soon after, he began using Lyft to travel to various destinations.

Richard expresses a high level of satisfaction with the service provided by Client Relations Coordinator Cindy Inclan, and the rest of the Special Transportation Services team. He enjoys the independence and freedom he has gained through the Lyft Ride Program, which gives him the ability to come and go as he pleases at any time or day of the week.

“The Lyft Ride Program is a valuable tool that enhances the quality of life of individuals with disabilities,” says Richard. “You have to put forth the effort to keep your independence and succeed as an individual with a disability.”

The Omnitrans Ride Program offers credit for seniors and individuals with disabilities for both traditional taxi and Lyft service. Available service credit denominations are available up to $150 per month and are sold at a 50% discount. For more information about the Ride Program, please contact Special Transportation Services at (909) 379-7341 or email at ctsa@omnitrans.org.

$1 Summer Youth Fare Returns with an Additional Month of Summer Fun!

This summer, the sun will shine bright, and the rides will be cheaper. With more free time on your hands, Omnitrans makes it easy to get out and explore with $1 bus rides! Due to rising popularity among young riders, the Summer Youth Fare deal returns during June, July, and, new this year, August.

Riders 18 and under may take advantage of the summertime promotion on any Omnitrans route, including: Freeway Express, sbX, or OmniGo community circulators (regularly $1.75 for one-way rides) from June 1 through August 31, 2019. That’s one extra month of discounted rides to summer fun than in prior years.

The discounted fare is also available on smartphones using Token Transit mobile ticketing. To get started, download the free Token Transit app and go paperless. Pay using a debit or credit card then flash your activated pass on your smartphone to the driver when boarding.

Riders should be ready to show bus drivers proof of age or school ID card to confirm eligibility for discount, if asked. To plan your ride, use our online Trip Planner, type in your origin and destination, and you’re off to a summer adventure!

Click here for a list of fun summer destinations you can get to with Omnitrans!

Omnitrans Earns Top Industry Honors in Transit Safety and Security

Omnitrans accepts APTA Bus Safety & Security Gold Awards in Louisville, Kentucky. From left: Omnitrans Director of Operations Shawn Brophy, Director of Maintenance Connie Raya, Safety & Regulatory Compliance Specialist Terry Morocco, Fleet Safety & Training Instructor Kimberly Perkins, Maintenance Supervisor Victoria Chesney, APTA President & CEO Paul Skoutelas.

Omnitrans snags the gold! We are proud to be recognized by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for improvements made to the safety and security of our customers and employees. The Bus Safety & Security Excellence Gold Awards were presented in a ceremony held in Louisville, Kentucky on May 21.

“These awards recognize our team’s efforts to build a strong safety and security culture through constant vigilance and continual innovation,” said Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham. “The public entrusts us with transporting them safely and securely wherever life takes them, and that remains our top priority.”

Winning transit agencies were selected by APTA based on four criteria: project effectiveness; benefits accrued directly from the positive impact of the program; innovation; and project transferability that allows other transit systems to replicate the success.

“These award-winning public transportation programs are models of excellence in the areas of safety and security,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “The implementation of these initiatives demonstrates the ongoing commitment to improving safety and security for their passengers, employees, and communities in the public transit industry.”

On the security front, Omnitrans was lauded for its innovative creation of an amateur radio service that ensures our ability to communicate with emergency responders throughout our service area during emergency events, when cellular/mobile and landline telephone services are lost.  The Inland Valley Emergency Communications Service HAM radio group has grown from 8 members in 2015 to 22 members in 2019.

On the safety side, Omnitrans was commended for implementation of technology, equipment, and training program improvements which contributed to a 32% reduction in preventable accidents since 2012.  Efforts included the addition of audible turn signals on buses and new-generation mobility device securement equipment to all buses. Currently, Omnitrans is also piloting automated collision-avoidance technology.

Safety training innovations include a state-of-the-art bus driving simulator used by coach operator trainees to supplement classroom and behind-the-wheel training.  Omnitrans also employs two Fleet Safety Trainers who are DMV Certified Examiners, which streamlines the process to complete mandated DMV required testing needed to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License.

Omnitrans is appreciative of all the dedicated employees whose contributions have led to this prestigious industry recognition! Below is a video highlighting the improvements that garnered us this “nation’s best” award.

National #GetOnBoard Day 2019

Representing California’s 35th District, Congresswoman Norma Torres (third from right) supports National Get on Board Day.

Today we celebrate National Get on Board Day, sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Get on Board Day is a national awareness and advocacy day highlighting the many ways public transit provides economic, social, cultural, environmental, and safety benefits for all Americans.

Get on board for public transit and sign the online petition to pledge your support for investments in public transportation in the United States!

A message from Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes, representing California’s 47th Assembly District:

Why you should #GetOnBoard for public transportation (click to enlarge):

Ride Omnitrans and Save $2 on National Orange Show 2019 Fair Admission!

The National Orange Show Fair is back for its 104th year in May! Join us to talk transit and all good things San Bernardino in between carnival rides, after enjoying a pig race, even over funnel cake or a refreshing lemonade. To add to the fun, Omnitrans has partnered with the fair once again to offer $2 off admission coupons for Omnitrans riders.

The fair kicks off Wednesday, May 1st and ends Sunday, May 5th. To save on admission, simply ride any of our East Valley routes (1-29, 208, 290, and sbX) and grab a $2 off coupon onboard behind the driver’s seat. This coupon guarantees a $2 discount on admission and is valid only on Saturday, May 4th. Click here for fair opening and closing times, plus regular cost of admission.

While at the fair, come hang out with the Omnitrans squad at our booth on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday next to the Citrus Building! Buster the Bus, our friendly mascot, will be there meeting and greeting kids – and grown-ups – of all ages, and our attractive 1958 GMC vintage bus Old Blue will also be on site for you to step into for a transit ride back in time. Snap a selfie and make sure to tag @omnitrans!

Omnitrans provides direct service to the NOS fairgrounds via Route 2 and the sbX Green Line.

  • sbX operates every 10 to 15 minutes on weekdays, and every 20 minutes on Saturdays.
  • Route 2 runs hourly on weekdays, every 55 minutes on Saturdays, and every 30 minutes on Sundays.

You can easily connect to these routes at the San Bernardino Transit Center, located just a mile north of the events center. For a personalized trip, check out our Trip Planner online or call 1 (800) 966-6428 for assistance.

The National Orange Show is located at 689 S E St., San Bernardino, CA 92408.

Guide to May 2019 Service Changes

Time to “spring” into spring – and while you enjoy the warm weather and fun, why not let Omnitrans get you where you need to go? We’re making a few service changes effective Monday, May 6, 2019 that are designed to streamline your ride:

  • Route 2:  Minor time adjustments have been made on Saturdays.
  • Route 3:  Minor time adjustments have been made on weekdays.
  • Route 14:  Run times have been adjusted every day.
  • Route 19:  Eastbound 6:58 am trip has been eliminated on Sundays.
  • Route 22:  An end-of-the-line time point has been added at Alder Ave. and Casa Grande Dr. A time point has been added at Riverside and Cactus Aves. A time point at Riverside and Easton Aves. has been removed. Run times have been adjusted every day.
  • Route 61:  Run times have been adjusted every day.
  • Route 66:  A time point has been added at Foothill Blvd. and Cherry Ave. Run times have been adjusted every day.
  • Route 82:  Tripper service to Oleander and Santa Ana Aves. has been eliminated. Minor time adjustments have been made on weekdays.

Please keep in mind that minor adjustments also may have been made to other routes, so definitely check your Bus Book before making a trip. See you on board!

Omnitrans offers free mobile day pass for Earth Week 2019

Don’t normally ride transit? Be kind (and overall awesome) to the Earth and ride Omnitrans free any day the week of Earth Day – April 22-26, 2019!

Our transportation use is responsible for 26% of greenhouse gases emitted in the United States. Riding Omnitrans for just one day, instead of driving your car, cuts carbon emissions by 20 pounds. Over a year, that translates to nearly 5,000 pounds of emissions! Our fleet of 178 transit buses is powered by natural gas, resulting in less pollution, which means cleaner air for us all to breathe.

If we’ve convinced you to go green for Earth Week, here’s how to redeem your mobile 1-day pass:

  • Download the free Token Transit app by texting TOKEN to 41411 or click here from your smartphone.
  • Once your account is created, visit www.tokentransit.com/omniearthweek2019 to access the free pass beginning on April 22. One per person.
  • That’s it. That’s the trick. You’re ready to save on gas and leave your car at home. Simply flash your paperless pass to the driver when boarding Omnitrans.

But wait – there’s more! We want you to let the world know what you’re doing to honor it and help preserve it. Omnitrans will be giving away three pairs of Regal Cinemas movie tickets to randomly drawn winners. To participate:

  • Post a photo of your act of kindness to the planet on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, tagging @Omnitrans. This can be a selfie of you riding the bus or picking up trash at a bus stop or transit center, for example.
  • The picture must be shared during Earth Week, April 22-26, 2019. The three winners will be chosen and contacted on Monday, April 29, 2019.

For personalized trip planning assistance, use the online Trip Planner at Omnitrans.org, or give us a call at 1-800-966-6428. The free day pass is good on any of the Omnitrans bus routes, including sbX rapid transit and OmniGo community shuttles, but not on Access paratransit service.

If your transit commute requires train and bus, Metrolink is offering free rides on Monday, April 22, 2019. For those details, visit Metrolink.com.

Rate Your Omnitrans Experience for a Chance to Win!

As your public transit provider, your feedback is crucial to our growth. Last year, your responses to the Customer Satisfaction Survey garnered us an 83% overall customer satisfaction score. This year, you can let us know how we are doing for another chance to win one of our exciting prizes (below).

Click the following link to complete our survey & be entered to win:

Click here to complete the survey (English)
Haga clic aquí para completar la encuesta (español)

Submit your survey anytime through the end of the day on Sunday, April 14, 2019 to be entered into a prize drawing for one of five gift packs, which include:

  • One $10 Subway gift card; and
  • One full-fare 7-day bus pass

Thank you for your participation and providing your constructive feedback. Your honesty helps us to better serve you!

Omnitrans and several other mid-sized agencies in North America form the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG), established in 2011 to measure performance and share best practices. The information gathered from your surveys this spring will help provide a comprehensive overview of the bus rider experience nationwide.