Sacramento ,CA, CA:
There’s been several older buses continually breaking down, which causes commuters and other passengers to be stranded or severely late. When will Regional Transit have an entirely new fleet of coaches and get rid of the older/outdated coaches?
Reply: Thanks for asking. SacRTreplaced 30 buses with new Compressed Natural Gas Gillig buses in 2022 with 40 additional new buses coming this year. As new buses begin operation we phase our the older fleet.
Elk Grove , CA:
Why doesn’t RT offer E-tran or E-Van tickets on the Zippass app?
Reply: There are some unique complexities within the fare structure and the design of ZipPass that make offering the former E-Tran single ride tickets difficult. SacRT is looking to procure hardware that will enable mobile tickets to be electronically validated in a way similar to the current Connect Card. This will allow for a more flexible fare structure that can support multiple single ride tickets throughout the region if necessary.
Rancho Cordova, CA:
Was wondering when the six month closure of the Gold Line between Iron Point and Historic Folsom for the passing track project starts? I see that their is a pipe project right now along Folsom Blvd by the city near the Glenn Station and was wondering if that project is holding up the passing track project since it's in the same right of way and though I heard the project would start in October or this month November.
Reply: We aren't able to start construction on the passing track until January 2024, we don't have an official start date yet, but we are working with our contractor. The webpage will be updated at sacrt.com/modernization as we get closer to 2024.
Antelope, CA, CA:
I remember hearing a while back about RT having a project plan of fixing & improving the Watt/ I-80 station, in which it needs substantial improvements. Has that project ceased?
Reply: SacRT is working on a plan to modernize the Watt/I-80 Station, which includes newly redesigned stairwells to be more open and accessible, increased lighting, enhanced pedestrian, bicycle and drop-off vehicle access, and new passenger platforms and bus berths on Watt Ave to improve the customer experience. The project has received state grant funding and we hope to award a construction contract by the end of this year.
When is it forecasted that Iron Point Station will become the temporary turnaround for gold line trains and track construction begins for the double and passing track in Folsom? I saw on the website that it begins in November. Then again, trains are still traveling all the way to Historic Folsom Sutter Street Station.
Reply: The website has been updated recently, but the Iron Point Station turn around will begin in January 2024 when we begin construction on the passing track near Glenn/Robert G. Holderness Station to allow for 15-minute service to Folsom area stations. We are working with the contractor on an official start date.
Hi Henry - Are there any plans for a light rail tracker app? The current system that only says a train is running 15+ minutes late is not very helpful. I don't know if it's my train running late and how late it will actually be. An app that gives real-time arrivals would be a huge upgrade. It would also be really helpful to know how many cars are arriving (I bring my bike and when a 1-car train shows up at rush hour I often can't get on) and whether it's a new low-floor train (when that time comes). Thank you!
Reply: We are currently in the midst of a Passenger Announcement System & Train Technology Refresh project that will upgrade hardware and software equipment on board trains and in stations to create a unified communications infrastructure. Implementing the new technologies included in this project will enable SacRT to both improve operations and attract new riders with amenities like real-time passenger information that will help customers track their train similar to what we do with bus, and provide free Wi-Fi. If all goes well, we hope to offer this by next summer.
Rancho Cordova, CA:
Last Sunday I attended Lakers @ Kings at the Golden 1 Center and was pleased that light rail trains had surprisingly extended their service hours so that folks like myself were able to stay for the 5-minute overtime in which the Kings beat the Lakers 132-127 in an overtime thriller and Golden 1 Center classic game. Based on that, and other revolving factors going on, is the light rail department and the planning department looking at many things and proposing extending light rail hours, especially in anticipation of the new low floor vehicles likely going into service in the July/August timeframe? I am hopeful that this is being looked into and will be implemented as regularly scheduled extended service by the time that August 2024 comes to a close. Thank you.
Reply: Glad to hear you were pleased with our extended service for the Kings game. Our Light Rail Operations team does a good job of monitoring ridership pre-game, during, and post-game to ensure riders have at least one trip back on light rail for major Golden 1 Center events. At this time, we don’t have plans to extend our regularly scheduled light rail service; however, we will continue to monitor ridership. If demand continues to go up, we will open it up for discussion. We do offer extended hours based on estimated attendance at Golden 1 Center events such as NBA games. The good news is that we expect to have 15-minute service (instead of 30 minutes) to Folsom area stations starting next summer.
So, when is the burn in testing going to happen with the new low floor lrv’s and when will Tiber, 13th street, Zinfandel, Cordova town center, Mather field & mills, and sunrise stations be worked on?
Reply: The burn-in testing is scheduled to start at the end of November/ beginning of December. More information on that process will be updated on our website.
As for the station platform modifications, we are updating our website on the project each month, as schedules may shift for various reasons including weather. Right now, the Gold Line stations are scheduled to be complete by June 2024 with full station conversions coming in late 2024.
Rancho Cordova, CA:
Was wondering to accompany the passing track project, are the crossings between Sunrise and Historic Folsom getting any type of upgrades for the future 15 minute service?
Reply: We are excited to begin construction on the passing track near Glenn/Robert G. Holderness Station in January. There will be no changes to grade crossings, except for Glenn Drive and Parkshore Drive.
Citrus Heights, CA:
Much has been happening in the news lately about gas prices in California and the Sacramento area. I have happened to noticed that while gas prices have been fluctuating and have been extremely variable, Sacramento Regional Transit has not revised its fare structure in quite sometime. With things like inflation and interest rates costing individuals and families more, has the district even had any internal discussion on the fare structure? I, for example, have one suggestion, and hope it helps. I would look at a basic fare of three dollars, but a daily pass of six dollars so as to market and promote more daily pass purchases. Perhaps other fare structure sub-topics ought to be considered, especially with the numerous fare categories so as to make the fare structure more simplified. Thank you for looking into this.
Reply: Thank you for your question. SacRT appreciates the ideas and thoughtful suggestions that members of the public such as yourself offer and gives due consideration to each. At this time SacRT is focused on rebuilding ridership. In September, SacRT bus ridership grew to near 90% of pre-pandemic levels, while system-wide ridership was up 17% over September of last year and is now 77% of pre-pandemic levels. Maintaining a consistent fare structure and avoiding increases to fares if possible is crucial in promoting continued growth in ridership at this time.
On route 138, from Davis to Sacramento, we exceeded seats for passengers and 8 people had to stand. It is understood that standing room puts people’s safety at risk due to the route this bus goes. Riders understood that two buses would be dispatched when rider load increased which is starting to occur due to increased riders from the start of the school year.
I was informed by someone on the bus that there was concerns related to this bus running over the causeway at times traveling 65 miles an hour with riders standing, does RT have plans on operating another bus?
Reply: SacRT has begun talks with Yolobus and UC Davis on the next step for the #138 Causeway Connection. Currently, the service is funded 50/50 by UC Davis and a federal CMAQ grant (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality). That contract goes through May 2025, after which, the Federal funds will be mostly or entirely spent. So at this time, we have two major things we're focused on. First, securing the funding to continue the Causeway Connection as it is. Second, to add more trips during the busy peak hours.
Does RT have the capacity to create a "fantasy" map of proposed BRT/LRT lines and extensions? I think that with 2024 on the horizon and a need for a ballot measure to fund transit, this would be the perfect time to do so.
Show us what you guys want to build! Not many people outside the sphere of public transit are even aware of plans that RT has been creating and it would really boost the chances for success (and also maybe shake off the perception that RT doesn't care about investing in new transit expansions).
Reply: Great idea. Right now our team is very busy on other projects, but we will add this to our list. Thank you for the suggestion.
Has RT ever considered collaborating with the City of Sacramento to remove car traffic from the surface tracks that they currently share with the light rail?
It's extremely uncomfortable waiting at stops like Alkali Flat or 7th & Capitol with drivers speeding by mere inches away from the loading platforms, as well as slowing down trains during peak hours with cars clogging up the ROW. Implementing signal priority alongside removing car traffic from transit lanes would help speed up RT trains downtown and make it a more attractive option for those looking to an alternative to driving.
Reply: It sounds like you're suggesting transitioning some of our mixed-flow lanes, where trains share a public street with cars, into exclusive lanes where the light rail would still run on the city street, but that lane would be closed to automobiles. The current mixed-flow design in use on corridors such as 7th/8th Street and 12th Street does seem basically unchanged from an earlier era, when the City was more concerned with maximizing automobile capacity. With the City taking lanes away on many major corridors downtown, and traffic congestion not worsening noticeably, and especially with traffic into downtown being lower post-pandemic, this might be something to consider. We have to be mindful, however, that maintaining the roads is very expensive, and it's a partnership with the City of Sacramento, so we want to be good partners and adhere to a design that will be mutually acceptable for all users and for maintenance.
Signal priority for the trains is a somewhat separate matter, and our staff and city staff have pointed out that a lot of that technology is aging and in need of modernization. Although we are very focused on the basics of modernizing our fleet, upgrades to those signaling systems is an important part of our Capital Improvement Plan.
Also, when are the bus bridges going in place while the double tracking takes place?
Reply: Bus bridges for the Folsom 15-Minute project will begin when construction on the passing track begins in January 2024. We don't have an official start date yet, but more information will be shared in December leading up to the service disruption.
Will the Folsom passing track allow for service that is more frequent than every 15 minutes? If not, what infrastructure improvements would be required to allow service every 10 minutes?
Reply: The current passing track project at Glenn/Robert.G Holderness Station will only allow for 15-minute service. In order to provide service frequencies less than 15 minutes, double tracks will need to be installed between Marketplace Lane and Hazel Station. At this time, we don't have the funding for a second passing track.
a) Has ridership recovered post-Covid? What are their plans for bringing it back to regular levels/increasing ridership?
b) Do they have plans to increase access between Davis and Sacramento with the introduction of Aggie Square?
Reply: Ridership has grown significantly post-COVID. In September, SacRT bus ridership grew to near 90% of pre-pandemic levels, while system-wide ridership was up 17% over September of last year and is now 77% of pre-pandemic levels. SacRT plans to continue the pattern of growth through continued promotion of successful offerings like RydeFreeRT and developing long term partnerships with entities such as Los Rios, where the students recently voted to extend the Los Rios Student pass agreement for 5 more years. SacRT is currently looking at a Bus Rapid Transit corridor along Stockton Boulevard, which would connect into the new Aggie Square.
East sacramento, CA:
When will the remaining gold line stations not currently announced be worked on for the new low floor vehicles?
Reply: We are updating our website on the project each month, as schedules may shift for various reasons including weather. Right now, the Gold Line stations are scheduled to be complete by June 2024 with full station conversions coming in late 2024.
Would Sac RT consider converting the Green Line into a branch of the Gold Line so we could have more frequent service east of where they meet? For example, Sac RT could run trains to Sac Valley Station and to 7th/Richards every 20 minutes, combining to provide service every 10 minutes east of where they meet.
Reply: This is exactly the purpose of the SVS Loop project. We have a project to take the Sacramento Valley Station, rebuild it with a north/south orientation, just west of 5th Street, and connect it to 7th Street via F Street, under the 5th Street and 6th Street overpasses.
With the Sac Valley station connected to the 7th Street track, Gold Line trains could go to Sac Valley, serve Amtrak, and then continue on to Richards Blvd, basically like you're describing.
This would be great for a number of reasons. First, it would provide much better service to the River District, giving them direct service on the Gold Line, rather than having to make a transfer from the Green Line. Second, it would get rid of the redundancy we have now with the Green Line, where it travels through downtown all the way to 13th Street. Having the Green Line slotted in between Gold Line and Blue Line trains doesn't always work ideally and makes it a little more challenging to manage trains and timetables in downtown, so combining the Green Line and Gold Line would be great.
This is all described in SacRT's Network Integration Plan, and is the vision for the SVS Loop project:
Has Sac RT considered converting the Green Line into a branch of the Gold Line? For example, Gold Line trains could alternate between ending/starting at Sac Valley Station and 7th/RIchards every 20 minutes, combining to provide service every 10 minutes south and east of I St.
Reply: This seems like a similar question to one already answered. Although the part about 20 or 10 minute headways is new.
We've looked into 10 and 20 minute headways. It probably would not work that great. If the Gold Line is on 10 or 20-minute headways, then the Blue Line needs to be, as well. That's a major cost, to bump both lines up to every 10 minutes during the day.
In addition to the cost, this would increase the frequency in the downtown area to every five minutes, between the two lines. This would really push the limits of the system. For example, the crossing gates at 15th and 16th Streets (at R Street) the gridlock to nearby intersections could become problematic.
As we are seeing a growing concern with connected and more frequent service plans like you see in Seattle or Atlanta. We would like to hear your thoughts on how we could do that more here in Sacramento
Reply: In 2019, our SacRT Forward project was a major re-design of the system. That redesign actually positioned us well for the pandemic, however, there is still a lot that has changed in the past four years. First, the demand for commuter services has decreased significantly from the pandemic and telework. Second, SacRT has annexed Citrus Heights, Folsom, and Elk Grove and also brought ADA paratransit service in-house. SmaRT Ride, although technically still a pilot project without permanent funding, has been established as a popular service, but needs service standards and integration into SacRT's normal service change policies. With the region continuing to grow, SacRT and its partners at SACOG also have increasing interest in reassessing how transit serves longer distance travel across the region. This may mean greater exploration of how Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) can fill that role.
Are there any plans to increase accessibility between Davis and Sacramento with Aggie Square? Will the number of buses increase, the number of buses each hour, etc?
Reply: SacRT has begun talks with Yolobus and UC Davis on the next step for the #138 Causeway Connection, which connects Davis with Sacramento once an hour. Currently, the service is funded 50/50 by UC Davis and a federal CMAQ grant (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality). That contract goes through May 2025, after which, the Federal funds will be mostly or entirely spent. So at this time, we have two major things we're focused on. First, securing the funding to continue the Causeway Connection as it is. Second, to add more trips during the busy peak hours.
South Sacramento , CA:
Will there be any service changes in the future?
Reply: We actually have a number of potential service changes on the horizon for 2024 that will likely be going out for public review in the next month or so and then to the SacRT Board in January Most notably, this will include our operating plan for 15-minute light rail service to Folsom next summer. But we are also looking at adjustments to the bus service in Folsom, as well as adding some service on several major routes, to help bring more evening service that was lost over the years.
I watched the last board meeting on your YouTube Channel and kind of caught a staff member mentioning that the Regional Transit District is going to do another comprehensive operational analysis in calendar year 2024. What will that entail, and if any major service changes are in the pipeline, would September 2024 be the most ideal for any major changes to be implemented, or a different month?
Reply: No service changes are currently planned as a result of the COA. The service changes would be an outcome of the planning process which has not yet begun. If any changes are recommended as an outcome of the COA, an appropriate implementation date will be determined at a later time. Our near term changes include the implementation of our 15 minute light rail service to Folsom in the summer of next year.
What is the light rail service disruption scheduled for the 18th and 19th of November? I was not able to see what station or stations are being reworked over the weekend that is immediately prior to the Thanksgiving Weekend. Thank you.
Reply: If you visit sacrt.com/stationclosures we update information on which stations are closed due to the station platform modifications. For November 18 and 19, crews will be working on the Historic Folsom Station with a bus bridge on the Gold Line between Sunrise and Historic Folsom stations.
Riders have said that their complaints are falling on deaf ears. What is the best way to make complaints to RT? And is there a community outreach plan to combat this stigma?
Reply: Sorry to hear that your experience. We have a Customer Satisfaction Team that can help with any questions.
The Customer Advocacy Team can be reached by phone at 916-321-2877, Option, #3, then Option, #6 or they can fill out an an online feedback form or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Customer Advocacy Hours:
Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed most holidays)
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sacramento , CA:
Hi. I seen that back in September at the Stockton Blvd grade crossing on the Gold Line has been repaired and trains now can run smooth again with the new Cantilever protecting it. About a few weeks after the new cantilever was installed, it already has some minor scuff marks at the bottom of the mast from what seems like a truck attempted to turn right off 34th St onto Stockton Blvd disobeying the no right turn signs. This is a repeated problem at the intersection and I seen 3 cantilevers knocked down since 2020 and each time the crossing is damaged trains have to stop before passing. I was wondering if their was any projects being planned to prevent this problem as I seen that R St was converted one way for trucks but some are still passing it and turning right at Stockton Blvd off 34th St. Each time the cantilever is damaged it results in a service disruption.
Reply: We are continuing to work with the City of Sacramento on ways to improve the intersection and protect the cantilever.
How come there is no RT fixed route service along the 15/16th street couplet? Seems like there would be a lot of potential for ridership given the centrality of the streets to downtown??
Reply: Historically, SacRT's downtown network was built around the 7th/8th Street couplet, where the greatest concentration of offices is, as well as direct transfers to/from light rail. Actually, before light rail, it was 9th and 10th Street. 19th/21st Street has always been our midtown north/south corridors. We have, at times, debated shifting it to 15th/16th Street, which has become a lot more lively and active. We've always seen 19th/21st Street as a little easier to operate on a reliable schedule, because the train is elevated over 19th/21st Street via the Bee Bridge, whereas on 15th/16th Street, the trains can often back up traffic. The flip side of course is that some riders might like a direct transfer from Route 62 to light rail at 16th Street. The question is how many people really want or need that transfer, versus the schedule reliability on 19th/21st Street. Persons wanting to catch light rail from the Route 62, may already be transferring at 4th Avenue. Although a 16th Street transfer would definitely work nicer for riders going out to Folsom on the Gold Line.
This is probably something we'll revisit with our upcoming comprehensive operational analysis, which I discussed in response to another question.
Will SacRT have any more events to celebrate its 50th anniversary?
Reply: We are still in the planning process, but we hope to do a final 50th Anniversary celebration with public events in 2024 when we show off the new low-floor trains. Stay tuned!
With increased traffic and numerous construction sites delaying route times. Will RT and CalTran come together to help create a Bus only HOV lane in the near future?
Reply: Although the freeway construction and the other countless construction projects around town do delay our buses, we see the best payoff right now and over the long run being signal priority. SacRT's fleet has been fully equipped with real-time locators for some time now. And over the past decade, the predictive software and the traffic signal controller technology have become a lot better, to the point that it is much easier to set up a signal priority program, which can be adjusted and scaled very easily. We recently applied for federal grant money with the County of Sacramento and several of our other regional partners to pilot TSP on both Route 72 (Rosemont) and Route 81 (Florin and 65th Street).
We do not have many corridors where we have more than four buses per hour, and we do not have plans to make a huge jump on any corridors--we have more needs getting to 15-minute headways on more of our corridors throughout the region. So that can make the value proposition for a bus lane somewhat tenuous. That said, we are also beginning planning work on Bus Rapid Transit for Route 51 (Stockton/Broadway) and the City of Sacramento has already adopted plans to allow a bus lane on Stockton Blvd. We believe this could really help make the bus even more competitive with driving and attractive to riders.
Has ridership recovered in numbers since the pandemic, or has there been any changes in the number of riders per month?
Reply: Ridership has grown significantly post-COVID. In September, SacRT bus ridership grew to near 90% of pre-pandemic levels, while system-wide ridership was up 17% over September of last year and is now 77% of pre-pandemic levels.
For the past three months,a new batch of 2200-series Gillig buses have entered service.In how many phases are they being delivered to replace remaining 2600 and 2800 series buses?
Reply: The 2900 to 2800s will remain and service and have been retanked. The 2600s have been retanked and are still in their useful life. All new 2200s have been delivered and placed into service.
The Causeway Connection seems like a great example of successful cooperation between SacRT and Yolobus. When will SacRT work with Yolobus to coordinate schedules between SacRT Line 142 and Yolobus Lines 42A/42B to provide service every 30 minutes to the airport, instead of every 50 minutes and then 10 minutes, for example?
Reply: We have a great relationship with Yolobus, but their vision for Route 42 doesn't lend itself to synchronized schedules with our #142 Airport. The "old" Yolobus 42 was just a simple 60-minute bus, always the same, which was easy to schedule the #142 around. The problem was that it didn't always take 60 minutes. Sometimes it was a lot longer. And ridership was a lot heavier at some times than others. So Yolobus has adjusted the running times closer to reality and adjusted the frequency of the trips to better match demand. This makes sense for them, because it serves a lot more than just the airport. But it makes it challenging for us to sync the #142 around their #42.
We also like having the #142 run all the way down to 15th Street to serve more hotels, but for Yolobus, with such a long route, going all the way out to Woodland and Davis, they feel they are better off going only to 9th Street, and saving a few minutes in Downtown. So this also makes it difficult to market the two services together.
We have been talking to dozens of students and parents who are concerned with Safe and walkable bus stops for their schools. We are lucky to have free transportation for students but want to see how we can improve bus stops distance and safety for our Sacramento Students?
Reply: Sidewalks are ultimately under the jurisdiction of the local city or county, but we work very closely with them to relay to them issues and review their plans. We also recently applied for $15 million of federal funds to fund the implementation of our Bus Stop Improvement Plan. Part of that $15 million would actually go to our local city and county partners for sidewalk improvements, curb ramps, crossings, etc., that would improve safe routes to transit.
South Sacramento, CA:
While I have seen that 2024 will be a big year for the gold line, the City of Folsom, and the new train cars, is anything big being planned for the blue line and/or bus service in the South Sacramento and Elk Grove areas?
Reply: We actually are just getting under way with the City of Elk Grove on a study on the next steps for fixed-guideway expansion into Elk Grove. What that means is either light rail or bus rapid transit, going south on Bruceville. When the City of Elk Grove annexed into SacRT, we made a commitment to look into this and there has been great interest from the City in this effort.
We also are going to embark next year on a new comprehensive operations analysis. So much has changed since SacRT Forward in 2019, not the least of which is the annexation of Elk Grove into SacRT. With SacRT Forward, we set out to try to get all our bus routes to have seven days of service, and ideally, at least every 30 minute frequency. But Elk Grove (as well as Folsom) does not come close to meeting this standard. So that is almost certainly something we'll look into.
Given the community’s hardship that most transit riders have, has there been thoughts on lowering or discounts on fairs?
Reply: At this time SacRT is focused on rebuilding ridership. In September, SacRT bus ridership grew to near 90% of pre-pandemic levels, while system-wide ridership was up 17% over September of last year and is now 77% of pre-pandemic levels. Maintaining a consistent fare structure and avoiding changes to fares if possible is crucial in promoting continued growth in ridership at this time.