Omnitrans

Omnitrans

Omnitrans is the largest transit operator within San Bernardino County, California. The agency was established in 1976 through a Joint Powers Agreement and today includes 15 cities and portions of the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. In addition to the southwestern corner of San Bernardino County, Omnitrans provides service to parts of Riverside and Los Angeles counties. Omnitrans currently carries about 15 million passengers per year, and although the system has enjoyed strong growth in recent years, the trend has leveled off and ridership has actually declined slightly in the most recent 24-month period. Omnitrans currently operates 34 fixed routes as well as a general public dial-a-ride service, “Omnilink”, and a paratransit service for the disabled, “Access.” Omnitrans operates throughout the urbanized area of southwestern San Bernardino County: south of the San Bernardino Mountains, from Upland, Montclair, and Chino in the west to Redlands and Yucaipa in the east. The Omnitrans service area covers approximately 480 square miles. Major destinations within the Omnitrans service area include transportation centers, medical centers, educational facilities, shopping malls, business parks, and community centers.

Public transportation

Omnitrans currently operates two types of service: a fixed route and a demand response.

Fixed route

The fixed-route services consist of 34 local fixed-routes including one peak-hour only service, two peak-hour trippers, and one regional express route (Route 91 freeway). Routes are operated with 40-foot buses (and 12 30-foot buses) running primarily along major east-west and north-south corridors. Headways vary from 15-minute to hourly service, with approximately 18 hours of service on weekdays, 13 hours on Saturdays, and 12 hours on Sundays.

Demand response

Access

Access provides public transportation services for persons who are physically or cognitively unable to use regular bus service (ADA certified and/or Omnitrans Disability Identification Card holders). Access operates curb to- curb service with minibuses or vans, complementing the Omnitrans fixed-route bus system. The Access service area is defined as up to 3/4 mile on either side of an existing fixedroute. Service is available on the same days and at the same times that fixed-route services operate.

OmniLink

Omnilink is a general-public, demand-responsive service that operates Yucaipa and Chino Hills. This service circulates through a defined, low-density service-area with minibuses picking up and dropping off passengers. Every hour, the bus returns to a timed-transfer point, for direct, timed connections to the fixed-route system. This type of service is a more efficient way to provide coverage in low-density areas compared to traditional fixed-route service. Service operates approximately 11 hours on weekdays, 10 hours on Saturdays, and six hours on Sundays.

Fares

Omnitrans offers both standard daily fares and discounted multi-trip and multi-day passes. Special fares are also offered to seniors, persons with disabilities, and students. (Source: Omnitrans website)

Rider Type of Fare As of July 2007
Full Fare Rider

Cash $1.35

Day Pass $3.50

7-Day Pass $15.00

31-Day Pass 45.00
Seniors and Persons with Disabilities

Cash $0.55
(includes Measure I subsidies)

Day Pass $1.60

7-Day Pass $7.00

31-Day Pass $22.50
Students

Cash $1.35
(Youths taller than 46" who

Day Pass $3.50
are 18 or under, and in school)

7-Day Pass $10.00

31-Day Pass $33.00
Children of 46 inches and shorter ride free of charge. All Passes Are available for purchase online at the Omnitrans official online store

Ridership

Net ridership is a standard measure to determine how the service is performing on the street. It is also an indicator of how the economy is doing. Ridership changes are measured based on the increase/decrease over the same month in the previous year. An increase of 2% each year is desirable.

Year Ridership %Change
2000 15,118,778 +2.5%
2001 16,754,115 +9.2%
2002 16,925,613 +1.0%%
2003 16,671,990 -1.5%
2004 15,902,857 -4.6%
2005 15,420,743 -3.0%

Recent events and accomplishments

  • September 2005: Omnitrans Maintenance Team places 7th in American Public Transportation Association international bus roadeo and mechanical skills competition.
  • September 2005: Omnitrans Marketing won a first place award in the APTA AdWheel competition for its “Omni Says” radio commercials.
  • February 2006: Fiscal Year 2005 financial audit receives unqualified opinion.
  • March 2006: Employee survey results indicated a 73% job satisfaction rating.
  • April 2006: Overall public perception of Omnitrans improved from 44.2% positive in 2004 to 57.5% positive in 2005 (San Bernardino Annual Survey)
  • May 2006: Omnitrans received WeTIP 2006 Transit Partner Award for our participation in the TransitWatch program.
  • May 2006: Planning Dept. received Advocacy Award from the American Planning Association, Inland Empire Section for the E Street Transit Corridor sbX Rapid Transit Project.

East Valley and West Valley LCNG Stations Omnitrans began operation of both its new, odorless liquefied compressed natural gas (LCNG) fueling stations at the San Bernardino and Montclair operations facilities by June 2002. The stations fuel the agency's alternatively fueled fleet of more than 100 buses. The east valley station houses two 30,000 gallon, double-walled storage tanks and the west valley station houses a 20,000 gallon double-walled storage tank. The tanks store liquefied natural gas (LNG) at - 250 degrees Fahrenheit, using vacuum pressure and insulation to keep the fuel cold. As needed, the liquid is pumped out of the tanks and passed through a vaporizer, which changes the fuel from a liquid to compressed gas state for transfer to the bus fuel tanks. In order to keep up with approximately 11,000 gallons of fuel demand daily, and to ensure that tanks are "topped off," LNG is delivered to the facility six days per week via tanker truck.

Environmental Review of Omnitrans Facilities In March 2004, Komex H2O Science completed a study to evaluate any potential environmental and health impacts of Omnitrans' three fueling facilities, located at 1700 W. Fifth Street, 234 South I Street in San Bernardino, and 4748 Arrow Hwy. in Montclair. The study was mandated by legislation (SB1927) authored by State Senator Nell Soto, and its purpose was to determine whether or not Omnitrans’ fueling facilities pose a health threat to surrounding neighborhoods. It was found that the risk from Omnitrans does not exceed risk management guidelines set out by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Hybrid Vehicles In November 2002, Omnitrans put the nation’s first electric/gasoline hybrid transit bus into service. Since then, an additional bus has become operational, and the final of the three hybrid buses is being tested. The bus utilizes the latest in alternative fuel technology to drastically cut smog producing emissions. The Omnitrans hybrid buses are the first in the United States to feature the ISE Research Thunder Volt TB40-H drive system, combining unleaded gasoline with electricity instead of diesel or compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel. According to a study conducted by the California Air Resources Board, this combination provides a significant reduction in smog producing emissions, over and above both diesel and comparable alternatively-fueled vehicles. The final vehicle currently being tested has been awarded the Air Resources Board’s first – and only – non-diesel hybrid certification for use as an alternative fuel system in California’s transit vehicles. Simply replacing one diesel bus with another that utilizes the Siemens-ISE-Ford Thunder Volt hybrid system (as Omnitrans’ does) has the same effect on emissions as removing more than 200 cars per year from the road.

The Board’s certification opens the door to the widespread use of this electric/gasoline hybrid system, which combines unleaded gasoline with electricity instead of diesel or compressed natural gas (CNG). This combination has proven to create the lowest emission system of any type for a 40-foot vehicle. In terms of nitrous oxides (NOx) emissions, for example, Omnitrans’ electric/gasoline hybrid bus releases 4 grams per mile, compared to 30 grams per mile for a diesel bus and 14.34 grams for a CNG bus. Similarly, when measuring particulate matter (PM) emissions, Omnitrans’ electric/gasoline hybrid bus releases NO measurable particulate matter, in comparison to nearly 0.25 grams per mile of emissions from a diesel bus, and 0.03 grams for a CNG bus.

Bus Rapid Transit Major Investment Study In response to the community’s growth and the increasing demand for faster, more convenient transit service, Omnitrans is in the process of implementing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. A BRT system is based on a light-rail transit principle, but instead of trains and tracks, it uses buses that are integrated with key components of the automobile transportation infrastructure, such as roads and right-of-way, intersections, and traffic signals. Our first step to incorporate the technologies is to conduct a comprehensive Major Investment Study of the E Street Corridor. This Study which began in Fiscal Year 2003, is scheduled for completion in Fiscal Year 2006.

Future Transit Investment Study A Future Transit Investment Study (FTIS) was created in fiscal year 2003 to develop transit, and related funding, to meet the needs of the growing number of people and jobs in the San Bernardino Valley. The FTIS includes programs designed to accommodate the expected population and employment growth, and an increasingly aging population. It was also the first step to identifying the future BRT corridors for the San Bernardino Valley. The renewal of Measure I in November 2004 was the necessary step to make this study a reality.

Fontana Transit Center Expansion In fiscal year 2003, Omnitrans, in coordination with the City of Fontana, completed a renovation and expansion of the Fontana Transit Center, located at Orange Way and Sierra Avenue in the City of Fontana. The renovation/expansion added 4 bus bays and permits easier transfers between bus routes and Metrolink, as now all bus transfers occur within the Center, and not on the adjacent streets.

Chino/Ontario Agricultural Preserve Transit Plan In fiscal year 2004, Omnitrans, the City of Chino, and the City of Ontario were awarded a grant by Caltrans to develop a specific transportation plan for the newly developing Agricultural Preserve areas of Chino and Ontario. This area in particular presents a unique opportunity in that it is the largest undeveloped area left in Southern California. By integrating transit into the design initially, a community can be built around multiple modes of transportation, rather than just the automobile, giving the residents the opportunity to choose how they like to travel, rather than restrict them to the automobile. The benefits of performing the transit planning tasks before development goes in is that the infrastructure that needs to be in place to support transit such as right-of-way, easements, sidewalks, curb cuts and bus turnouts can be planned and designed during the development review period and the engineering phase rather than after the fact. Advanced planning will result in fewer costs to the agencies involved and more expeditious delivery of service to the occupants of the area.

Chino Transit Center Construction of the Chino Transit Center was completed in January 2005. This facility is located on Sixth Street in between Chino Avenue and “D” Street. There are seven bus bays with shelters, information kiosks, and a Coach Operator restroom facility. In February, Foothill Transit Line 497 started providing service from the Chino Transit Center, to the Chino Park-and-Ride, City of Industry Park-and-Ride, and Downtown Los Angeles. Future transit operators that may stop at this facility include Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Riverside Transit Agency (RTA). Rail service has also been identified as a possibility linking the Transit Center to the Pomona Metrolink Station to the north along an existing rail spur.

90% Customer Satisfaction In February, 2004 Omnitrans customers gave the transit agency their seal of approval in a recent Attitude an Awareness Study, more than nine in ten riders gave Omnitrans a positive performance rating. Since the agency learned its first 90 percent customer satisfaction rating in its 2000 Awareness Study, this is its second consecutive customer service milestone.

Facility Expansion In March 2003, new office space was created at the Omnitrans Montclair Facility. This expansion was necessary to accommodate the growth that has occurred in the west end of Omnitrans service area, and necessary staff additions to meet this growth. With a complete overhaul, new office space, dispatch office, drivers lounge, workout room, and kitchen were created. Prior to the expansion, many spaces had to perform double duty. Additional expansions are planned in the coming years, as the future mid-valley facility in Rancho Cucamonga becomes funded and additional space is required at Omnitrans East Valley facility in San Bernardino.

Active fleet

Omnitrans currently operates a fleet of 175 fixed route vehicles and a fleet of 101 Omnilink/Access vehicles. The table below gives information related to the different coach types currently in Omnitrans’ fleet. In addition to its Revenue Vehicle fleet, Omnitrans also has an original 1958 GM TDH 4801, which has been restored with Omnitrans original paint scheme and logo and is used for local events.

3 of the TMC RTS buses were sent out on an emergency lease to Valley Metro of Phoenix from February 2007 to May 2007 to cover for a bus shortage.

Vehicle Type Manufacture Date Number in Fleet Vehicle Length Seats Available Fuel Type
TMC 1992-1993 24 40.0'-40.3' 37 Diesel
Orion 1996 24 40.8' 37 CNG
Neoplan 1997 7 40.6' 37 CNG
New Flyer Hybrid 2000 3 40.8' 37 Gasoline/Electric
Ford Goshen 2000 91 23.8' 37 CNG
New Flyer 2000-2005 104 39.9'-40.8' 37 CNG
Thomas 2003 12 32.9' CNG
El Dorado Aerotech 2004 10 23.1' 16 Gasoline

Governance

Omnitrans is administered by a Board of Directors, made up of the Mayor or Council Member from each member-City and all five Supervisors of the County of San Bernardino. Each City has one alternate Board Member who is designated by the City Council. The County representatives have no alternates. The alternates vote only in the absence of the official representatives. It is required under the JPA that the Board of Directors meet at least one time each quarter of each fiscal year. The Board of Directors holds its regularly scheduled meeting on the first Wednesday of each month at 8:00 a.m. in Omnitrans Metro Facility (San Bernardino) Board Room. All meetings are held in compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act. Board meetings are presided by the Board-appointed Chair. In addition, a Vice-Chair is elected by the Board. The CEO/General Manager is the Secretary to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is responsible for such acts as adopting the budget, appointing the CEO/General Manager, appointing a technical committee, establishing policy, and adopting rules and regulations for the conduct of business.

List of cities with Omnitrans bus stops

Website

Omnitrans is also actively utilizing the most current web enabled applications to improve its services to customers and the general public. Information about routes and schedules and new programs and press releases as well as requests for proposals are available online. In addition, Omnitrans passengers are now able to purchase their passes online, eliminating the need to make an extra trip and come into Omnitrans offices or pass outlets to get a new pass.

External Links

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