Finding Independence Again

June 22, 2023
Pictured (Left to Right) Francis M., Community Mobility Specialist, Omnitrans and Mr. Kelly | Written By: Dominique Mackey

According to some, aging can mean renewed wisdom, resilience, and peace. For others, it’s a sign of increased dependence.

Mr. Kelly, has encountered both sides of the spectrum when it comes to aging. Mr. Kelly is a San Bernardino resident in his 70s. He leads an active life and enjoys the freedom to “get up and go.” However, not having access to a car has interrupted this lifestyle.

Fortunately, Mr. Kelly discovered Omnitrans travel training program and decided to give it a try.

The Omnitrans Travel Training program provides one-on-one or group assistance to seniors (age 62+) and individuals with disabilities on how to utilize public transit. The program is free to participate in and is available to qualifying individuals who reside in the Omnitrans service area.

Mr. Kelly received an assessment from Francis, a Community Mobility Specialist at Omnitrans, and soon began training.

“I first taught him about safety when using the fixed route,” shared Francis. “We practiced crossing the street safely and using the crosswalk. We always want to teach our clients safety first.”

“[I] make sure when cross[ing] the street [to] look both ways.” added Mr. Kelly. “Go to the light instead of crossing in the middle of the street.”

Mr. Kelly and Francis travel trained to the San Bernardino Transit Center and later the Fontana Transit Center.

“He really enjoyed exploring that place [Fontana Transit Center], it was like a whole new world for him,” said Francis.

The program supports riders with recognizing bus routes, utilizing the bus book to plan a trip, transferring to other buses, and paying for fares and passes. 

Through travel training with Omnitrans Mr. Kelly has experienced increased access and connectedness to the world around him. Most importantly, Mr. Kelly is now comfortable completing essential tasks related to his health and wellness on his own.

“I catch the bus to go to the store and get food,” said Mr. Kelly. He also shared that he oftentimes takes the bus to get to his medical appointments.

Mr. Kelly successfully completed the travel training program and reinvigorated a life of independence for himself. 

Omnitrans travel training program is unique and catered to the needs of each individual.

Participants in the program receive a day pass while travel training. Upon completion of training, participants receive up to six months’ worth of free passes.

Because of the positive experience Mr. Kelly had with Omnitrans travel training program, he shares the information with others. “When I see someone that needs it, I let them know,” said Mr. Kelly.

“Everyone’s transportation needs are different,” said Ruby S., Mobility Services Coordinator. “Travel training is extremely important for our community because it gives individuals the independence to live their daily lives.”

Mr. Kelly was very pleased with the travel training program. “It was a good experience,” said Mr. Kelly. “It’s a nice program and I’m glad I’m in it.”

Our needs are unique as we grow older and may simply require a different approach. Learning to accept the inevitable changes that aging brings is important but remember life can still be full.

Thoughts on “Finding Independence Again

  1. Congratulations Mr Kelly on your NEW ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE! I sincerely hope you have a Wonderful year of fun and exciting new ADVENTURES ON #OMNITRANS HOORAY FOR YOU!!! BIG HUGS FROM ME TO YOU!!! YOU ROCK! What an inspiration to many other seniors who are possibly in the same situation!!! God Bless! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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