Omnitrans will cease operations of its OmniLink demand response transportation in Chino Hills and Yucaipa after August 29. Ridership on the general public dial-a-ride service has declined in recent years as customers have shifted to OmniGo community shuttle routes launched in 2010.
OmniLink provides on-demand, point-to-point transportation through advance reservation on weekdays only, while OmniGo operates on regular routes seven days a week. Omnitrans also provides regular “big bus” service to Chino Hills and Yucaipa as well as Access demand response service to transport qualified persons with disabilities.
Before Omnitrans launched OmniGo routes in 2010, over 45,000 trips were tallied on OmniLink annually. By fiscal year 2013-14, fewer than 18,000 OmniLink trips were booked, a decline of 61 percent. In contrast, OmniGo ridership is up 45 percent since 2011. In the past year, OmniGo routes in Yucaipa provided 72,055 trips and in Chino Hills, 51,912.
“Of all OmniLink trips taken in the past year, about 80 percent them start and end within a short walk of an OmniGo route,” explained Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams, “and with the subsidized cost of a passenger trip on OmniLink more than triple that of OmniGo, it was time to make the change.”
OmniGo route 365 in Chino Hills will expand its coverage area to include trips to the Butterfield Ranch area effective August 25th. “We had several students in that area using OmniLink to get to Chino Hills High School and Townsend Junior High, so we added morning and afternoon OmniGo trips to provide that connection,” said Service Planning Manager Jeremiah Bryant.
Benefits to using OmniGo compared to OmniLink include lower fares, weekend service and no need to make a reservation. Omnitrans will notify current OmniLink customers through on board flyers and a mailing which includes a free one-day pass for OmniGo.
The Omnitrans Board of Directors approved elimination of OmniLink service in May, following public hearings held in March, as part of a package of service changes and a fare increase which take effect September 2.
More information on OmniGo service is available at: http://www.omnitrans.org/services/omnigo/
Complete information on Omnitrans September service and fare changes is available at: http://www.omnitrans.org/blog/2014/07/29/guide-september-service-changes/