Summer 2022 Quarterly RIDE
Kenneth A. McDonald
Message from the CEO
For many, summer is a great time of the year because it means family time, vacations and celebrations. However, we often need to be reminded to celebrate the “small things,” which brings me to my CEO inspiration for this season:
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent Van Gogh.
Here at Long Beach Transit (LBT), we make everyday life better with collaboration and new ideas, big and small, that result in continuous improvement. This summer, I encourage you to reflect on the efforts you put forward. Whether they enhance safety, enhance the customer experience, or build engagement within your team, the things you do help LBT customers.
Thank you for the “small things” you do daily to make LBT a public transportation leader!
LBT has been providing unlimited rides to students through the GoPass TAP card program, since partnering with Long Beach City College (LBCC) in February and the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) in April. The program has successfully increased student ridership in the few months since it was launched, and it is expected to grow even more when the new school year starts. LBCC students return to school on Aug. 29, 2022, and LBUSD students return on Aug. 31, 2022. For more information about the GoPass program, visit www.ridelbt.com/gopass.
Transit & Visitor Information Center Mural
Have you seen the new mural at the Transit & Visitor Information Center (TVIC)? The mural was installed in April on the new security gate. The security gate was installed to protect the TVIC during off-hours and the new mural is intended to brighten the Transit Gallery. Entitled “A Silurian Scene,” the new mural portrays the first true fish that appeared around 400 million years ago. In this scene are various sea creatures that existed centuries ago. The artists, Wick Alexander and Robin Brailsford are also responsible for the mosaic tiles at each bus shelter in the Transit Gallery and the art at the bus stop on Pine Ave. in front of the Long Beach Convention Center. Alexandar and Brailsford were chosen to continue the undersea theme seen at each shelter. If you haven’t seen the new mural, be sure to check it out, after hours, of course.
AquaLink is cruising the coast seven days a week on its summer schedule so now is the time to take a relaxing ride on one of Long Beach’s most iconic rides. You can catch AquaLink at either Alamitos Bay or Aquarium Dock 4 for $5 per one-way trip. AquaLink will continue to operate daily through Labor Day. At this time, AquaBus is still out-of-service and due to the Queen Mary being closed, AquaLink is not stopping at the Queen. To learn more visit ridelbt.com/aqualink.
Ride With Pride
Movies on the Beach
Movies on the Beach
Other notable events the Community Relations team went to in recent months include Touch-A-Truck, where folks can take a look at one of our buses up close. The team also represented LBT at Getty 25 Celebrates Long Beach, an arts festival where the Customer Care team also helped, in addition to the Summer Arts Kickoff and Resource Fair at MOLAA.
Getty 25 Celebrates Long Beach
Summer Arts Kickoff and Resource Fair at MOLAA
Growing Our Team
Spread the word, LBT is hiring!
Fabiola Robles, who became Talent Acquisition Manager in April, has been leading the Talent Acquisition team to find people to join LBT. Fabiola and the team attend community events to spread the word about the organization, including job fairs, school events and informational sessions.
“It’s very interesting to see how popular we are,” she said. “A lot of people say, ‘Wow, I’d love to work there,’ at the events that I’ve gone to. I’ve also heard ‘Oh wow, I’ve never thought about being a bus operator, that’s something I could do.’ It’s nice to explain those positions and give people information.”
The biggest demand to fill vacancies are bus operators, with about 50 open positions as of July. In effort to increase staffing, training class sessions recently increased from 8 to 12 per class. Fabiola has also been working with the Safety team, who offer training sessions to candidates to help them successfully secure their Class B license.
You can help fill vacancies at LBT by spreading the word. Do you know people with great customer service skills looking for a new ride? Tell friends, family and others that LBT is hiring and share open jobs on social media! What jobs are available? Just visit www.ridelbt.com/careers to find out.
Transit Ambassador Program
LBT’s Transit Ambassadors are more than your average security guards.
For nearly 5 years, the Transit Ambassador program has supported LBT’s strategic priority of Improving Safety and Service Quality for both employees and customers. Transit Ambassadors not only help with enforcing LBT’s policies, but assist customers with directions, general transit questions and other customer service matters.
Billy Anderson, System Security Manager, who joined LBT in November 2021, oversees the program and the team of eight Transit Ambassadors. Each day, there are four Transit Ambassadors who work the day shift in pairs, then the other four work the swing shift in pairs. The Transit Ambassadors ride buses across LBT’s service area, assisting customers and checking bus stops to ensure they are safe and clean.
“They really take pride in the job that they do, because a good core of the ambassadors live in Long Beach as well,” Billy said. “It’s more than just a job to them, they’re working in the community in which they live in. They take a sense of ownership to it.”
Billy focuses on placing Transit Ambassadors where there are disturbance and crime trends, although for each eight-hour shift they are required to ride on at least ten buses per day on nine routes, in addition to checking at least 20 bus stops. At the close of Fiscal Year 2022, Transit Ambassadors assisted more than 9,000 customers and provided a security presence on 6,000-plus LBT buses.
On average, Transit Ambassadors can hand out up to 100 face masks per day to customers and have contact with unhoused individuals 20 times per week, including referring social resources to those individuals.
While Transit Ambassadors are armed with less-than-lethal weapons, pepper spray and handcuffs, it is rare for their duties to become physical. The goal of the team is to have positive interactions with customers and de-escalate tense situations. When things do get tense, LBPD is called in.
Customers and operators often say they feel safer when a Transit Ambassador is on board.
Long Beach Transit Ambassadors
New Faces at LBT
Please welcome the newest employees at LBT:
College Intern, Service Planning
Manager, Govt. Relations
Customer Care Agent
Luis Garcia Robles
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Mu Hsin Hsieh
College Intern, Service Planning
Kim Ngoc Le
Manager, Transit Customer Amenities
Felipe Neri Martinez
Francisco Ojeda Rivera
Marketing & Comm. Coordinator
Robert Robinson Jr
Administrative Assistant, Risk Management
Transit Fare Counter
Andres Salinas Garcia
Jesse Santa Ana
Luke Scott II
David Smith Jr
Alfonso Trinidad Jr
Congrats to All the Employees of the Month!
Want to make a change to your benefits? The time has come!
Open enrollment begins on Aug. 10, 2022, and ends on Aug. 31, 2022. This is an opportunity for employees to make changes to their benefits and add or remove dependents from coverage.
The new plan will be effective Oct. 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2023.
There are no plan changes, but employees will notice a small increase to medical and dental contributions.
For employees who do not login during open enrollment, their benefits will remain the same.
After open enrollment ends, employees will not be able to make plan changes unless a qualified life event occurs, such as a birth, death or marriage.
You can access your benefits portal to make changes and see your current coverage at compass.empyreanbenefits.com/lbtransit.
Please contact HR Benefits Coordinator, Ingris Lopez at 562.489.8461 for additional assistance.
As the days get hotter and longer, the dangers of working outside increase. Keep these tips in mind to stay cool and avoid heat-related illness:
1. Avoid direct sun and sunburns by wearing sunscreen and a hat.
2. Stay hydrated by drinking about 16 ounces of water before work, then 5-7 ounces for every 15-20 active minutes during hot weather.
3. Pace yourself: know your limits to work safely in the heat and schedule frequent breaks.