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The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire Climbs Aboard College Bus Ride Program

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San Bernardino - More than 2,000 students at The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire are joining other local college students who are packing Omnitrans buses. The two organizations will partner for a two-month pilot program starting on May 7, allowing students from The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire to ride Omnitrans with a swipe of their college ID card.

The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire, located at 674 E. Brier Drive in San Bernardino, is served by Omnitrans Route 2, which provides 15-minute frequencies on weekdays. The school offers Associate and Bachelor programs in design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts.

"We are excited to be joining the 'Go Smart' program and offering this benefit to our students," said John Andersen, Dean of Student Affairs, The Art Institute of California - Inland Empire. "This program not only helps students get to and from school but also benefits the community decreasing carbon footprint and traffic congestion." The pilot program is funded by The Art Institute -Inland Empire and if embraced by the student body for the initial trial (May through June) the program will transition into an ongoing program.

"The tremendous success of the 'Go Smart' program is a major contributor to our total ridership being up 8.2 percent year to date," said Omnitrans Director of Marketing Wendy Williams. "We are seeing students make a choice to save money and save the environment by using transit."

Students at Chaffey, Crafton Hills and San Bernardino Valley Colleges and California State University San Bernardino have racked up over 1 million bus rides since a one-year pilot program was launched last August. Over 22 percent of enrolled student have utilized the program and in the process have eliminated more than 68 tons of emissions compared to driving to campus.

Students can use their student ID card to ride Omnitrans at anytime 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. Omnitrans offers trip planning at 1-800-9-OMNIBUS or www.omnitrans.org.

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