Recognized by American Public Transportation Association
San Bernardino, CA – Omnitrans earned top industry honors for its efforts to improve the safety and security of its customers and employees. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) presented the Bus Safety & Security Excellence Gold Awards in a ceremony held in Louisville, Kentucky on May 21.
“These awards recognize our team’s efforts to build a strong safety and security culture through constant vigilance and continual innovation,” said Omnitrans CEO P. Scott Graham. “The public entrusts us with transporting them safely and securely wherever life takes them, and that remains our top priority.”
APTA selected the winning transit agencies based on four criteria: project effectiveness; benefits accrued directly from the positive impact of the program; innovativeness; and project transferability that allows other transit systems to replicate the success.
“These award-winning public transportation programs are models of excellence in the areas of safety and security,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “The implementation of these initiatives demonstrates the ongoing commitment to improving safety and security for their passengers, employees, and communities in the public transit industry.”
On the security front, Omnitrans was lauded for its innovativeness in creating an amateur radio service to ensure the ability to communicate with emergency responders throughout the Omnitrans service area during emergency events, when cellular/mobile and landline telephone services are lost. The Inland Valley Emergency Communications Service HAM radio group has grown from 8 members in 2015 to 22 members in 2019.
On the safety side, Omnitrans implemented a mixture of technology, equipment and training program improvements which contributed to a 32% reduction in preventable accidents since 2012. Efforts included adding audible turn signals and new-generation mobility device securement equipment to all buses. The Agency is also piloting automated collision-avoidance technology.
Safety training innovations include a bus driving simulator used by coach operator trainees to supplement classroom and behind-the-wheel training. Omnitrans also employs two Fleet Safety Trainers who are DMV Certified Examiners which streamlines the process to complete mandated DMV required testing needed to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License.
Omnitrans operates 35 bus routes throughout the San Bernardino Valley which provide about 36,000 passenger trips each weekday. Services include freeway express and local bus routes, the sbX rapid line, and OmniGo community shuttles.