September 23, 2013

Omnitrans, Cal State extend free ride program

A photo of the sbX bus rapid transit line station platform under construction on the CSUSB campus. 

A photo of the sbX bus rapid transit line station platform under construction on the CSUSB campus. 
Students at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) can get free rides through the new “Go Smart” program, which offers them unlimited rides by swiping their college IDs on Omnitransbuses.

“We are proud to be partnering with Omnitrans on the sbX line to bring rapid transit service to our campus,” said Bob Gardner, CSUSB VP, administration and finance. “When the San Bernardino Transit Center project is completed in 2015, the direct connection between sbX and Metrolink will greatly expand commuting options for our students.”

CSUSB participated in the Go Smart pilot program in 2011-12. During that year, more than 194,000 bus trips were tallied by more than 3,000 students who used the program, which represented about 17% of enrollment. But funding challenges kept the University from continuing Go Smart the following year.

“We applaud ASI and the Administration at CSUSB for supporting a program that saves students money and saves our environment,” said Omnitrans Director, Marketing, Wendy Williams. “Just one student riding one day on transit instead of driving eliminates 20 lbs. of carbon emissions. Plus, students can expect to save over $2,800 per year in auto, fuel, and parking expenses by switching to transit.”

Students can use their college ID card to ride Omnitrans at any time on any route, not just trips to and from campus. ID cards are swiped in the fare box on board buses which allows the agency to capture usage data by school, by route and even individual ID.

Without Go Smart college students would have to pay $1.50 per trip or $4.00 for a one-day pass to ride the bus; 7-day passes are $15 and 31-day passes are $47.

Other area colleges participating in the Omnitrans Go Smart program include Art Institute of California – Inland Empire, Chaffey College, Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College. During the 2012-13 academic year, students at these partner schools took more than 1.4 million bus trips.

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