Friday, August 19, 2011

Service Expansion in Omni-Land

Omni's September Bus Book is nearly out, and with it comes a few changes. I want to call your attention to two of them.

First, the new "Interim Transfer Centre" in downtown San Bernardino. San Bernardino's "downtown transit mall" has long been the target of my ire. Rather than having a single, coordinated location at which bus transfers took place, riders (including myself) would often have to walk two or three blocks to find the appropriate bus shelter. I have seen transit malls done well, in Long Beach and in Portland, but never in San Bernardino. It's therefore a welcome surprise that, rather than waiting until the opening of the new E Street Transit Centre some years away, Omni has decided to consolidate all of their bus operations now, at an interim location on 4th between F and G.

Second, Omni has one small, yet important, service extension. In Chino, the OmniGo #365 will forge a brand-new inter-county connection between Foothill Transit and Omnitrans. Rather than having to either walk/bike a ways or take the 365 and 65 all the way to Montclair, riders can transfer to the Foothill #291 and #497 on one end of the OmniGo #365. Not only should this be a boon to local riders, putting them within one peak-hour transfer of Los Angeles, but it should also provide a good "anchor" on the far end of the line, ensuring steady ridership for the fledgling OmniGo service. Bravo, Omni!

So when do we get to start adding service?

2 comments:

  1. >In Chino, the OmniGo #365 will forge a brand-new inter-county connection between Foothill Transit and Omnitrans

    As I am always interested in inter-agency connections (especially in places where they didn't exist before), I took a closer look...

    Both the Foothill #291 and Omni #365 terminate in large, one-way loops. Foothill uses Gounty, Towne and Riverside back to Garey. Inside this loop there is a medium-sized shopping center. The layover is (I think) at Towne and Riverside.

    #291 runs every 15-20 minutes on weekdays, 30-minute service nights and weekends.

    Omni #365 also operates in a large loop, following Peyton, Riverside, East End, and Chino. Unfortunately, the map is not clear on which direction the loop is operated in, or whether the loop is operated before or after the layover (Chino/Emerald, just east of Peyton)

    #365 runs every 60 min, not nearly as frequent as the Foothill bus. It would have been nice to have a timepoint at the transfer point to aid in making connections. As it is now, too much guesswork is needed for a new or occasional user.

    Foothill #291 map: http://www.foothilltransit.org/BusSchedule.aspx?busnumber=291
    Omni #365 map: http://www.omnitrans.org/routes/list/pdf/route_365.pdf

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  2. I didn't say it was a *good* connection, only that it's possible. Hopefully, as the connection becomes more established, it will become more useful.

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