In appreciation for the contributions of the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces, Omnitrans introduced a discount fare for US military veterans on January 5, 2015.
“It’s our way of saying thanks to those who have served to protect our freedom,” said Omnitrans CEO/General Manager P. Scott Graham, himself a veteran of the US Marine Corps. Approximately 79,000 veterans reside in the Omnitrans service area of the San Bernardino Valley.
A kickoff event was held at the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Medical Center in Loma Linda, California. Representatives of Omnitrans, its Board of Directors, the VA Healthcare system, 211-Vetlink, and San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs all hailed the new discount fare as a well-deserved benefit for those who served in the armed forces.
Osvaldo Maysonet, Veterans Specialist at 211-Vetlink and former Marine sergeant who served in the Iraq war, is credited with leading the charge to get Omnitrans and several neighboring transit agencies to implement a veteran discount. “This will have a big impact on affordability for our veterans,” Maysonet said. “We have many vets in San Bernardino County who are dealing with low income or no income. Access to affordable transportation will connect them with education, healthcare and employment opportunities and possibly help them to become taxpayers again.”
At the kickoff event, Omnitrans donated 500 veterans 1-day bus passes to VA Healthcare system programs. Veteran resources were on site to offer assistance and information. San Bernardino County Veterans Affairs issued nearly 100 free photo ID cards for veterans. The IDs verify eligibility for the new bus fares and can be used to earn discounts at other “veteran-friendly” businesses in the county.
The veteran fare provides a 50% discount on fixed route bus fares and passes to US retired military personnel with ID. This includes those who served in the US Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. Additionally, Omnitrans introduced free rides for uniformed active duty military members, police and firefighters.