I travel Route 22 almost every day. Since I’m a freelance writer, I like to take the bus down Riverside Drive in Rialto to the local Starbucks, which I call “my office,” to write. And what’s so nice about taking the same bus a lot is getting to know the drivers and some of the other passengers. Plus, I get to relax when I travel. No more honking at the driver in front of you because he doesn’t move when the light turns green, or shaking a fist at the driver who turns in front of you. I just relax and let the bus driver handle it!
Since March 2012, I’ve been riding Omnitrans all over the Inland Empire and sometimes connecting to Foothill transit or Metro into the San Gabriel Valley. Although I gave up my car unwillingly–thanks to an early morning drive on the 210 freeway in which sleepiness and the center divider got the better of the me–I’ve learned that, not only can I get wherever I need to go on the bus, but I enjoy it!
There are three drivers on that route whom I’ve talked to a bit, and they are always so pleasant. Pete always greets me with a ‘hello’. I haven’t been bold enough to ask the names of the other two, but we do joke around a little when I get on or off. It’s nice to see an amiable face when I travel. I always try to smile and say hello so that just maybe I can bring a little brightness to their day.
I know from personal observation that the Omnitrans drivers have an often stressful job dealing with the public. I’ve seen a few situations where the driver is asked a question while they are driving, and they can’t answer fully because they have to pay attention to maneuvering that big bus in traffic. Passengers don’t always understand, and some can get a bit offended. But I’ve never seen a driver lose his or her cool. They’ve always acted with tact and professionalism.
A few times in the last year I’ve had to range a bit farther afield in my bus travels. It can be nerve-racking when you’ve never been somewhere before, and you’re not sure which way the bus goes, what times it arrives or leaves, or at which stop to get off. But I’ve got the Omnitrans phone number stored in my call-list on my cell phone, and the agents always answer promptly and can direct me where I need to go. The online maps and schedules have helped a lot too when I’ve had time to plan my trip ahead.
What I really like is the NexTrip information. It’s nice to know when I have time to take out my glasses and read at the stop before the bus comes, and when I have to put them away to get out my bus pass! Plus, before NexTrip started, I had many times when I’d leave my house for the bus stop, and either just miss it or get there way too early. Now I can check NexTrip online before I leave so that I know exactly when to leave to catch the next bus. So far, it’s always been extremely accurate.
I highly recommend Omnitrans. It’s a great way to travel!
– Lynette Ranger, Omnitrans Passenger
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