Transit Talk with the General Manager

August 04, 2017
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:

Welcome to the August GM Chat. I would like to begin with an update on safety and security, which is a top priority at the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT).

Back in May, SacRT rolled out an internal Adopt-a-Station program to help improve station appearance along the system's three light rail lines. Members of our executive management team are now working together and collaborating with community partners to determine which security upgrades are most needed to improve our stations, such as lighting, cleanliness and landscaping.

As an example, SacRT's Chief of Police Lieutenant Lisa Hinz and VP of Engineering and Facilities Neil Nance have been working to improve the Watt/I-80 Station. In addition to security measures, such as the installation of 14 new security cameras in the station's stairwells, the station is being painted, and a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design study has been completed. SacRT crews have already removed old vegetation that had provided hiding spots for loiterers.

Starting today, the Watt/I-80 Station's elevators and stairwell will be closed to the public when light rail service is not operating, and trespassers could be cited. SacRT has installed a gate at the top of the station's stairwell that will be locked 30 minutes after the end of service until 30 minutes prior to the start of service each day.

We've increased the number of sworn officers dedicated to patrolling the Watt/I-80 station, and have hired additional armed guards to further expand coverage. We also increased the hours of operation at our Security Operations Center (SOC) located inside the Sacramento Police Station in downtown Sacramento. It is now a 24/7 operation with SacRT officers able to dispatch and respond any time of day to any situation that they see at the Watt/I-80 or any light rail station in the system.

I encourage all SacRT passengers to download the Alert SacRT app that allows riders to discreetly send texts, pictures and video directly to SacRT Police Services if they are witnessing criminal activity on the public transportation system. Working together, we can make the Watt/I-80 and all light rail stations safe and attractive.

On a lighter topic, August is the start of school for most students, and as a show of appreciation, SacRT is offering free rides from Tuesday, August 8 through Thursday, August 10 for the Elk Grove, Folsom-Cordova, Natomas, San Juan and Twin Rivers school districts. Students from the Sac City Unified School District can take advantage of a free ride day on Thursday, August 31.

Additionally, seniors and persons with disabilities can ride free on Monday, August 21, which is National Senior Citizens Day.

Now let's get to your questions.

CA:  I was a commuter on the Blue Line that broke down. I understand that things happen but it would have been much easier on everyone if RT personnel had just take a minute and informed the passengers of the problems. We were told "everybody move to last car", then "get off train" when we arrived back at CRC the instructions were everybody off. It was a security person who directed passengers to shuttle busses. If I had known what was going on, I could have taken my car which was parked in parking lot. It wasn't until we got to City College that one RT personnel apologized for inconvenience. My point is that there needs to be better communication with passengers in those situations. Don't just order them around like cattle.

Reply:  I appreciate your understanding and acknowledgement that things do break or there are events that can disrupt our normal service. What happened on Thursday was a break in the overhead wire that powers the light rail trains. We do have contingency plans in place for when these types of events occur, but it does take time for those plans to be implemented, and consistent passenger communications are always a a challenge. Over the past year we have made significant improvements in how we staff for these service disruptions and how we communicate with our customers. We are relying much more on social media and our AlertSacRT mobile app to alert our customers when disruptions have occurred and when they have been resolved. We know that there is still much more that we can do and will continue to improve our performance when these events occur. We also truly appreciate your constructive suggestions.

Sacramento, CA:  With respect to breakdown on Blue line yesterday, why was the decision made to move passengers from one train to the next at a place with no platform. It was difficult if not dangerous for passengers to have to step off train with no platform or assistance. I almost fell to the ground. There were no RT personnel around to assist passengers.

Reply:  I agree with you, we really do not like to move passengers between vehicles in a train at any location other then a light rail station. However, depending upon what has happened, we may not have a choice and transferring passenger is the best option for both SacRT and the customer.

Sacramento, CA:  I've asked this previously, but it still doesn't seem to be happening. Why is there such a delay, or even no word at all, about train issues? I ask this because 95% of the blue line trains are late. Also, what was with the 2 car blue line trains today? Supposedly, you folks fixed the issue you had yesterday, so what gives?

Reply:  The best way to be alerted to service delays is through our alert app, AlertSacRT. Using the app, you can choose to receive alerts for any significant delay to light rail service.

Sacramento, CA:  There are signs at Folsom Blvd/65th St station indicating the land is available for sale. What is happening here? Will the bus bays be moved to a new location?

Reply:  The current bus transfer space at 65th Street is much larger then what SacRT needs both now and as we project our needs into the future. We are offering the land for a transit supportive development that would provide a benefit to both the neighborhood and the transit system. As a part of this effort, we would be reconfiguring the bus transfer facilities accommodating all of the existing routes.

Sacramento, CA:  I realize that RT is not the prime mover for the W. Sac streetcar line, but I wonder if you know whether any surveys were done about possible ridership. What evidence that there is that anyone will ride the thing? Streetcars running in the street (as opposed to having their ow ROW) are no faster than buses and a lot less flexible. Any stalled car will bring the whole line to a stop, as you know from light rail. I just wonder who is pushing this. Is it supposed to be a tourist attraction like cable cars? That would be even more foolish. M Riley

Reply:  Streetcar is a project being developed by the Cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento and is modeled after the very successful streetcar system in Portland. Ridership estimates have been made and if you would like the detail, you can find a considerable amount of information at

Folsom, CA:  I regularly take the 6am train (Gold Line) from Folsom to Downtown Sac and have noticed a dramatic drop in RT staff (transit officers or police officers) checking passengers for valid paid fares. Is there any chance that you can have someone checking fares this early in the morning again?

Reply:  Thank you for your message. SacRT has actually been in the process of hiring 30 new transit agents this summer as part of our effort to bring security in house. We anticipate that you should be seeing more fare inspection staff on your trips in the future.

Sacramento, CA:  What is taking so long to get the elevators fixed at watt-i80 station. Will there. E a permanent fix?

Reply:  The elevators are Watt/I-80 are 30 years old and their parts are obsolete which makes repairs costly as well as time consuming. We expect to have the elevator repaired by the end of August, but we realize this is just a temporary fix. There's $1 million set aside in the new budget to replace the elevators, but now we are considering a complete redesign of the station to eliminate the need for elevators all together. The two-level design of the station poses security challenges that we are working to address. We intend to seek public input on the redesign in the months to come. Please know, we are diligently working to address the challenges and intend to make the Watt I-80 station a model station in the months to come.

Roseville , CA:  Why did you increase your fare

Reply:  Fares were increased in July 2016. There are currently no plans for any additional fare increases. SacRT makes every effort to avoid fare increases. However, prior to 2016, fares had not been increased since 2009. The 2016 fare increase was necessary in response to a $2.7 million budget deficit that was projected for Fiscal Year 2016. SacRT has taken substantial efforts to reduce costs and get its financial house in order. Sac RT has trended below budget for fiscal year 2017. This allowed Sac RT to develop a budget for FY 2018 that is $1.6 million less than the prior year.

Citrus Heights, CA:  What is RT doing to inform its new Connect Card customers about being cited for not tapping in before boarding Light Rail? Like since Light Rail's 1987 inception, it's still not overly user-friendly. Last Friday evening your new communications director returned my call. She was apologetic and very nice. Thanks.

Reply:  SacRT recently finalized a new brochure that will be given to all customers who are receiving their Connect Card for the first time. This new brochure will call out our request to have riders tap on prior to boarding light rail trains. We are also actively working with the developer of our fare inspection app to make improvements that will simplfiy the fare inspection process for our transit agents and give them better information regarding the passes stored on the customers connect card.

Sacramento, CA:  When will sacrt have a .50 fare for downtown like they use to have many years ago. Because I'm tired of paying 2:70 to go see my Doctor that is on 30th and r Street and I live on 12 and p street.. I'm on a fixed income of only 903.00 a month that's a lot of money when you are living on a fixed income because I have to pay rent, smud, pg and e, food, medical bills and meds

Reply:  The Central City Fare that you are referencing was very difficult to manage and resulted in a high rate of fraud unfortunately. Electronic fare options such as the Mobile App and the Connect Card will allow for SacRT to potentially overcome some of the operational hurdles that paper tickets introduce. For example, SacRT recently introduced 90 minute tickets on both our Mobile App and the Connect Card that may be used for round-tripping or transferring between bus and rail.

Elk Grove, CA:  What was the cause of the Blue Line breakdown yesterday & I hope RT is working on adequate contingency plans should a situation like that occur again. It just seemed like no one knew what to do in an emergency like that.

Reply:  Yesterday's problem was caused by a break in the overhead wire that powers the train. We do have contingency plans for service disruptions but they take some time to implement and adequate communications with our customers is always difficult. Over the past year, we have relied more on social media and our alert app, AlertSacRT, to keep customers informed of interruptions or delays in service.

Natomas, CA:  I would like to know how come Los Rios College students must pay a full fare price instead of the "Student fare" to ride Sac RT ? Also, is there a grace period between the day(s) for the semester student passes? If there is, are the ticket agents aware?

Reply:  Los Rios college students pay a transit fee as part of their registration each month and have the option of picking up a free sticker that allows them unlimited boarding's throughout the entire semester. There is no grace period for the Los Rios student sticker. SacRT's current discount fare policy is extended only to K-12 students at this time. Therefore, Los Rios students who do not have the sticker are not eligible for SacRT's student fares.

Sacramento, CA:  Will there be public hearings about bus rerouting? Line 34 would be an obvious one to change, with the loss of Sutter hospital, which that line was intended to serve.

Reply:  We are just about to begin a new Route Optimization Study to evaluate all of our bus routes to ensure they are meeting the current needs of our community. All of our routes will be evaluated and the community's input will be a major element of the study. We will also hold a public hearing on the final recommendations. Since we are at the front end of this process, the dates and times of outreach events and public hearings have not yet been set. Please make sure to check our website for information. We value your input and would appreciate your participation.

Sacramento, CA:  Most recently it seems that there are not as many Transit Officers checking passes on the Gold line in the morning and the afternoon commute hours. Are there plans to hire more Transit Officers to ride the trains?

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of hiring 30 new transit agents this summer as part of our effort to bring security in house. We have not reduced the number of transit agents on the system, but we do change their deployment from time to time.

Rio Linda, CA:  I watched local news on television recently and saw that Anazon is hiring 1,500 people to work all types of jobs at an up and coming 855,000 square feet warehouse located in North Natomas off of Power Line Road and Metro Air Parkway - close to Sacramento International Airport. News reports that I saw indicated that the new Amazon warehouse should open sometime this Fall. Since this is a transit talk forum, my question(s) to you is this: 1) How will new employees be able to ride bus transit to the new facility when there currently isn't any service to where the facility is going to be, and 2) Would Elkhorn/Greenback Boulevard/Lane, traveling through Rio Linda, of course, be a candidate corridor for new transit service from as far east as the Historic Folsom Station through Citrus Heights and Rio Linda to the new Amazon Facility in North Natomas? If so that would be awesome. I'm looking forward to what you have to say about this "looming" challenge and "unmet transit need" as well. Thank you.

Reply:  Thank you for your question. We recognize the Amazon facility presents a great opportunity for Sacramento residents to access a major employer. This comes at a perfect time as we are about to begin our Route Optimization Study (ROS). The study will take an in depth look at our current system and recommend changes to the system that better serves the population as it is today. There will be plenty of opportunity for public involvement and feedback. Please keep checking the SacRT website for updates on the study. Specific to this development, it is difficult for SacRT to respond to a new employer that chooses to locate there facility in an area not served by public transit. SacRT would need to add service at a significant cost in order to reach Amazon's new facility. With limited funding, and many unmet transit needs in our community, service to Amazon needs to be considered in the context of all of the other regional public transportation needs.

Natomas, CA:  Will you extended the hours of customer service for Saturday's? I think it is beneficial for the riders.

Reply:  At this time, there are no plans to permanently change the hours of SacRT's customer service and sales center or the call center. However, the customer service and sales center will have extended on Saturday, August 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is to allow riders an additional opportunity to exchange their pre-paid tickets and passes with a June 30, 2017 expiration date.

CA:  any chance of making the train tickets valid on the buses and vice versa? I have always thought that having 2 systems that don't overlap doesn't make sense.

Reply:  If you use Connect Card or our mobile fare app, you can ride for 90 minutes, including transferring between bus and rail for the price of the single ride ticket. We have not extended that to the paper tickets at this point in time but we are considering it.

South Sacramento/North Laguna, CA:  At the end of this month, some, but not all, of the stores and restaurants in the new "Delta Shores" Shopping Center are opening. Would Regional Transit be serving this new shopping center very soon, and, would service include community circulators and corridor based bus routes that would include the somewhat new Morrison Creek Light Rail Station? It has been brought to my attention that while the Blue Line to CRC will celebrate its 2-Year Anniversary this month, Morrison Creek has yet to be open as a station for boarding and/or alighting trains. Would Opening of stores at "Delta Shores" change that? If not, what will? Thank you.

Reply:  Hello. Thank you for your question. SacRT will soon be initiating a Route Optimization (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our entire transit system. During this process will be examining how changes in population, employment centers, etc have impacted ridership and service over the years. There will also be ample amounts of public throughout the process, so please keep checking the SacRT website for me more details and updates on the study.

Sacramento , CA:  Why are lightrail trains running 3 cars instead of 4 cars during afternoon commute?

Reply:  Unfortunately, our fleet of light rail vehicles is aging. Nearly half are more than 30 years old and have become less reliable through the years. As a result, we have fewer vehicles in service. Our maintenance team is working diligently to make repairs, but the parts are obsolete which means it takes longer to repair and is more costly. Our hope is the community will support a dedicated source of funding down the line, so that we can purchase new light rail vehicles. Until then, we are doing our best to keep the fleet maintained and repaired when break downs occur. We really would like to have four vehicle trains during our peak commute hours, but we simply do not have the option to do this in a consistent manner.

Hayward, CA:  I know that funding is limited but I see potential for a Shuttle that goes down from the Amtrak Station on I Street to 12th and I Light Rail going towards Watt and I-80. Especially on hot days like this. Not every one of us do deboard the Amtrak train is going towards Folsom and going to other light rail stations is quite the walk to get to Watt I-80.

Reply:  Hi. Thank you for your question. You are correct, funds are very limited and SacRT does its best to accommodate our customers as much as possible. We are soon to begin our Route Optimization Study (ROS). This will be a comprehensive review of our system and will lead to new service recommendations or changes to existing services. There will be a significant public outreach effort and I would encourage you to continuously check the SacRT website for details and information on the study effort.

Sacramento , CA:  Hello Mr. Li, I would like a contact person to inquire about a partnership alliance for the goal of planting California Golden Poppies along the various lightrail lines with the intent of providing both beautification and education concerning the long historic tradition of poppies and railway. We would like to put together a project that would plant this state flower in areas where it can grow to provide improvement over what is essentially an uninteresting or dismal experience in between stations along RTs routes.

Reply:  That sounds like am interesting idea to explore. Our consideration is always safety first as vegetation near the tracks can undermine the foundation. There might be one or two locations where there is enough land far enough away from the tracks to maintain rail safety. Our VP of Communications and Partnerships, Devra Selenis would be your contact for this idea. She can be reached at

Sacramento, CA:  Hello Henry, Are there going to be more bus services around the CRC and Franklin light rail station or in general? I live on Jacinto Avenue, and it would be convenient for a bus to go from CRC station to Franklin station or vice versa.

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of beginning a Route Optimization Study (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our current services provided. The ROS will seek to optimize our current services offered as well as lay out plans to expand service in the future. However, a dedicated funding source will need to be identified in order to accomplish a major service expansion.

Sacramento, CA:  Hello Henry, I am a light rail rider. I am wondering if SacRT will make more lightrails. For example one that runs through all the colleges around the Sacramento area. More south to north and east to west? There's only one blue and one gold. I believe there should be more.

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of beginning a Route Optimization Study (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our current services provided. The ROS will seek to optimize our current services offered as well as lay out plans to expand service in the future. However, a dedicated funding source will need to be identified in order to accomplish a major service expansion.

Sacramento, CA:  Hello Henry, Is it possible to have more bus services that goes from Sacramento to West Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Roseville, Folsom, and CRC?

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of beginning a Route Optimization Study (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our current services provided. The ROS will seek to optimize our current services offered as well as lay out plans to expand service in the future. However, a dedicated funding source will need to be identified in order to accomplish a major service expansion.

Sacramento, CA:  Hello Henry, In general, I believe we should have more bus services. What do you think?

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of beginning a Route Optimization Study (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our current services provided. The ROS will seek to optimize our current services offered as well as lay out plans to expand service in the future. However, a dedicated funding source will need to be identified in order to accomplish a major service expansion.

Sacramento, CA:  Hello Henry, Is it possible to make the bus services go longer pass 10? I study late at sac State and CRC and would like to have a safe ride home. There's been a lot of mishaps in the Sacramento area. Very dangerous.

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of beginning a Route Optimization Study (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our current services provided. The ROS will seek to optimize our current services offered as well as lay out plans to expand service in the future. However, a dedicated funding source will need to be identified in order to accomplish a major service expansion.

Sacramento, CA:  Hello Henry, Is it possible to have more bus services at light rail station in Folsom and Rancho Cordova?

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of beginning a Route Optimization Study (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our current services provided. The ROS will seek to optimize our current services offered as well as lay out plans to expand service in the future. However, a dedicated funding source will need to be identified in order to accomplish a major service expansion.

Sacramento, CA:  I appreciate you suggesting the Alert app for finding out about delays. Does it provide any more information than the Rider Alert at your website, which tells me nothing more than there is a delay. I can figure that out when the train doesn't arrive on time. Essentially is the Alert App informative or just says what the sign says at the train stop

Reply:  The intention of the Rider Alert page on the homepage of our website is to let riders know about planned service disruptions, such as detours. The Alert SacRT app is intended for more real-time information, such a bus bridges and other unplanned service disruptions. I would encourage you to download the app. It will provide you with useful information.

Sacramento, CA:  It is possible to have more bus services that goes from Sac State to all of the state departments in downtown. A lot of students have internships with the state and would like a more convenient commute.

Reply:  Hi. Thank you for your question. SacRT is always looking for opportunities to improve service. We are about to begin our Route Optimization Study (ROS). This will be a comprehensive review of our current service and the outcomes will be recommendations for new and improved service system wide. There will be a significant amount of public outreach and I would encourage you to follow the study by checking SacRT"s website for details and updates on the study.

Natomas, CA:  What is the status on the Natomas Flyer that utilizes Sac RT drivers and buses in regards to honoring and allowing riders to use their Connect Card???

Reply:  Natomas Flyer fares were introduced on the Connect Card in conjunction with the full public launch on June 15th. In addition to this, we hope to soon add the Natomas Flyer sales center as a retail location for the Connect Card where customers can go to reload their cards.

Natomas, CA:  What happened to the "Green" train for the green line?

Reply:  That particular train has been at the yard for its preventative maintenance. We do our best to keep that train out on the line as it is easily recognizable. However, we occasionally need to take it out of service for upkeep.

Sacramento, CA, CA:  Despite the $13 million grant from California Transportation Commission, the Blue Line from Cosumnes River College to Sac City College was nonoperational yesterday morning, August 3rd, with no notice, causing major delays for tax-paying citizens that depend on public transit to get to work. Do you have any comment on this, or can we expect unreliability in the future, despite the $13 million in grant awards?

Reply:  The $13 million in grant funding is dedicated to construction projects and not available for operational expenditures. SacRT has not received this funding yet, but should receive it when the projects have been awared to a vendor.

Sacramento, CA:  Why can't we just have a concrete ramp for the wheelchairs at Watkin 80 instead of the horrible elevator?

Reply:  SacRT is diligently working to repair and maintain the elevator at Watt I-80. As for a concrete ramp, there is simply not space to allow for a ramp from the ground level all of the way to the overcrossing. We are evaluating an option that would move all of the buses to the lower level improving the connections between buses and light rail.

Sacramento, CA:  Henry...I would like to take the opportunity to thank Wendy Wlliams...RT's new Director of Marketing for the energy that she is bringing about to better the District..if her openness and transparency in her position truly makes her a great fit to RT's executive team... She is very passionate about helping RT change its face to the region...I find her rejuvenated energy very refreshing and I wish her much success as she doesn't have an easy job

Reply:  Thank you for your kind words. Wendy is a great addition to the SacRT team and we are happy to have her.

Sacrsmento , CA:  Please explain why you can't put back Bus 36. I took 36 often & could get anywhere in the city. Standing room only 4:30 6:00pm.

Reply:  I appreciate your suggestion, we will take a look at.

Sacramento, CA:  Henry...I personally wanted to thank you for the time that you provided me to come down to RT and meet with you and Wendy truly have brought a new energy to RT and mission to restore transit excellence to the region...your sincerity and genuine concern truly shined as we discussed synergies on how to better promote RT to the public...I fully believe in your commitment in putting "public first" as we strive to bring back world class transit to a member of the public and a transit advocate I wholeheartedly support you in this mission and am willing to do whatever necessary to advance RT...through my grassroots initiative @SacRTGoesForward on Facebook and Instagram I am able to share the many positive experiences that I encounter on a daily basis...I realize it is going to take much time and effort to bring about a strong transit system but in the end it is going to be well can be proud of RT's employees on every level...your vision is great and I stand behind you 110 percent!

Reply:  thak you for your kind words and support.

Sacramento, CA:  With new companies coming into Sacramento, I suggest more bus services to those companies or around them. Any thoughts on that?

Reply:  Hi. Thank you for your question. We recognize there have been lots of changes in Sacramento over the years and population and employment. We are about begin our Route Optimization Study (ROS. This will be a comprehensive review of our existing service and the outcomes will be recommendations on improving service and delivering the best system we can to meet the needs of community as it continues to grow. I would encourage you to follow the Route Optimization Study (ROS) by checking SacRT's website for updates and opportunities to provide input.

Sacramento, CA:  On your website, you mention that with most of the trains at their 30 year lifespan, that you would need a huge financial boost, in order to replace the trains. Other than sticking it to the riders to pay, not only your huge salary, but the salaries of others in RT, how to you plan on getting this much needed money to pay for new trains? Is there even a plan in place? Or is most of what is said to the public, just lip service in order to get us off of your back?

Reply:  It is true that a huge financial commitment is required to replace SacRT's aging light rail trains. Improving transit will require a dedicated source of funding from the local community. SacRT receives approximately five times less local funding than other transit agencies of the same size. In November 2016, residents voted down a bond initiative which would have provided additional local funding to purchase light rail vehicles. The measure needed 67% of the vote to pass, and it failed by just 1.5%. SacRT is committed to doing a better job of educating the public about the value of transit in a community. We want our community to know SacRT takes 60,000 vehicles off the road every commuting day and consider the positive impact on our air! Transit provides numerous benefits, and we need to educate our residents better. Our hope is that down the line the community will vote yes to increasing the local contribution.

Sacramento, CA:  Henry...I would like to know how the new ZipPass mobile app is going to vary from the pilot API RideSacRT? The name of the pilot app makes it more easily identifiable than than the name ZipPass...I'm also curious if there were any cost savings involved in changing last thing...RT had several light rail vehicles wrapped advertising the RideSacRT app...what will happen to them as the pilot app is phased out? Will they be re-wrapped and if so at what cost

Reply:  Initially the ZipPass app will have a very similar look and feel to the RideSacRT app. The ZipPass name was chosen primarily to allow for regional transit partners to join the app in the near future. The RideSacRT name was exclusive to RT and did not promote a regional partnership. The new app will also bring new features that are not available such as the ability to load money into your account with cash at our customer service location. The pilot app was initially given to SacRT for free during a promotional period prior to the competitive bidding process that led us to selecting our new vendor.

Sacramento, CA:  Just downloaded the App. Hopefully next month I will be telling you how great it is.

Reply:  Great! I think you will find it very useful.

Sacramento, CA:  Hi Mr. Li, Regional Transit has made improvements, such as better security and more cleanliness at stations like Watt-I80, but will you consider continuing to improve existing facilities, trains, and lines, before more expansion? Karen - Passenger: Gold and Blue Lines, and Route 1.

Reply:  It is our our intent and hope to continue to make improvments within the constraints of our available funding.

Sacramento, CA:  Are there plans to improve the connection between route 67 and the Folsom-bound Gold Line train on weekends? Even without detours such as the State Fair stop, it still seems extremely difficult for a connection given that both run every half-hour. This in turn leads to other complications later down the line with certain buses running once an hour.

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of beginning a Route Optimization Study (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our current services provided. The ROS will seek to optimize our current services offered as well as lay out plans to expand service in the future. However, a dedicated funding source will need to be identified in order to accomplish a major service expansion.

Sacramento, CA:  Will there be any safety improvements at 29th Street in regards to Crossing between the light rail platform and the bus platforms. Most drivers going down 29th and 30th streets do not yield to pedestrians making those Crossings very unsafe

Reply:  SacRT unfortunately does not have jurisdiction to make changes to city street crossings. I would recommend voicing your concern to the city of Sacramento as well to see if any improvements can be made.

Sacramento, CA:  Hello Henry, Can the light rail go faster than it normally does?

Reply:  There are certain rules on how fast trains can travel in certain areas. On track that is separated from cars and out in an open area, light rail trains can travel up to 55 mph. However, in urban areas such as through downtown Sacramento. Trains share lanes with vehicle traffic and must abide with speed limits and traffic lights.

SACRAMENTO, CA:  Can you explain what happened to Blue Line yesterday

Reply:  Yesterday's problem on the Blue Line was caused by a break in the overhead wire that powers the train. A bus bridge was in place for approximately 7 hours between the City College and Cosumnes River College light rail stations. Service was restored prior to the p.m. commute.

Natomas, CA:  Are bus or train drivers able to contact RT police to issue tickets for drivers that purposely cut the bus/train off or deliberately drive recklessly in front of them?

Reply:  Bus or light rail operators do have the ability to contact SacRT's police. Our police officers could issue a ticket to a driver who they observed violating a traffic law, such as driving in a reckless way around bus or light rail trains.

Natomas, CA:  Why is the bus 15 scheduled to leave at 14 and 44 minutes after the hour when the Watt/I-80 train drops off at that time at 8th and O street. Riders such as myself have to wait another half hour because of that minute difference? Are you able to instruct Route 15 drivers not to pull off until after the train (Watt/I-80 bound train) passes them which will ensure the riders an opportunity to get on the bus. I have been told that the bus driver inverse have a three minute grace period. If that is true, are you able to make that change or give that instruction? Thank you

Reply:  Thank you for your feedback, I will pass this on to our scheduling department.

Natomas, CA:  Appreciation Student Service A majority of schools in Natomas do not start untill the third week of August, like Westlake Charter. Can this appreciation service be extended for students whose school has not started? Also, will all bus drivers know of this current service?

Reply:  Our Free Ride Days were approved by the SacRT Board of Directors earlier this year, and we have educated our drivers about the days and district's to be serviced. We did our best to reach as many students as possible, but some of the smaller private schools and charter schools were not included. It would be very difficult to manage a program that provided free rides for every school in our service area. We did are best to reach as many students as possible.

Sacramento, CA:  I will be wondering what Regional do to Transit eliminate the problem of the elevator at Watt and I-80. Being a disabled & in a wheelchair I have to use it. Is old,outdated and damaged by feces and urine and 30 years of use. And it is so slow criminals use it to rob people.... I understand it would be hard to afford that's why Regional Transit should consider just eliminating it and making a concrete ramp for us wheelchairs. That would be less expensive practically maintenance-free and last forever. The heart of many of the problems of the whole system light in that Watt and I-80 elevator. It is dangerous and a biohazard please consider helping eliminated

Reply:  SacRT is working diligently to repair and maintain the elevator and Watt I-80. There is simply not space sufficient to allow for a concrete ramp from the ground level to the overpass. We are considering an option that would route all of the buses on Watt Avenue to the lower level eliminating the need for the elevators and stairs. This would improve bus to bus and bus to rail connections and would allow us to provide a much better transfer facility. This would be at the expense of an increase in travel time for our customers as well as some increase in operating cost. We are still studying this option and should have a recommendation shortly.

Sacramento, CA:  I take the 6:30AM and the 4:20PM Folsom train and it seems like it is common to only have three cars, instead of the usual 4 cars. When can riders expect to have 4 cars on a routine basis?

Reply:  Unfortunately, nearly half of our light rail fleet is 30 years old. As a result, they breakdown more often and take time to repair because of parts obsolescence. We need to replace 36 vehicles at a cost of $160 million. This is going to require a dedicated source of local funding. In November 2016, the voters narrowly rejected a measure that would have given SacRT more funding. Currently, we receive five times less local funding than other agencies our size. We need to do a better job at educating the public about the value transit provides to a community. Our hope is that residents will support us, once they realize we are working to be good stewards of the taxpayer's dollar. We are dedicated to running SacRT like a business with good customer service. I'm sorry to say, we will not be able to provide four car trains in a consistent manner until we have a more reliable fleet.

Sacramento, CA:  How does a person without access to a smart phones and apps receive service updates? What on-board and at station updates are you making?

Reply:  On-Board train and bus operators have the ability to communicate with passengers as needed. SacRT is in the process of installing PA systems at our light rail stations where announcements can be made to those present at the station as well. We plan on completing this project by the end of this year.

Sacramento, CA:  Proporcionar actualizaciones y alertas en español, por favor.

Reply:  Currently our alert app is only available in English. If you are unable to translate or do not understand the posted alert, you are welcome to call our language line. This can be reached by contacting our Customer Service dept (916-321-2877) who can transfer you or you can call the line directly at 503-459-0166, dept code #1 for Spanish.

Carmichael, CA:  There is a lot of us that would like the 9/10 back it is not safe for our child(ren) to being walking on the street of Dewy and or crossing madison to get to school.. when can you guys bring this line back... to make our kids safe again...

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of beginning a Route Optimization Study (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our current services provided. The ROS will seek to optimize our current services offered as well as lay out plans to expand service in the future. However, a dedicated funding source will need to be identified in order to accomplish a major service expansion.

Sacramento, CA:  Hello Henry, A lot of people from the Sacramento area attend Florin High School and there are no convenient bus routes to Florin High School besides bus #5. Many students would like to take the bus but the routes are not perfect for students in the high school area or far away. Some people live in the Meadowview area and go to Florin High School or even in the CRC area. These a financially unstable family that need the transportation help.

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of beginning a Route Optimization Study (ROS) that will take a comprehensive look at our current services provided. The ROS will seek to optimize our current services offered as well as lay out plans to expand service in the future. However, a dedicated funding source will need to be identified in order to accomplish a major service expansion.

sacramento, CA:  Why so many Route Optimization Study (ROS) answers to people's questions? Shouldn't SACRT have already anticipated these issues?

Reply:  SacRT is always seeking to become more efficient and better our service to our riders. Minor changes to our service can and will likely be made during the process of completing the ROS. However, without a dedicated source of funding to support new or expanded services, any major changes to service will be difficult to accomplish.

Natomas, CA:  What is the policy on boarding the bus before the next schedule/run/drive is supposed to take place. Some drivers for bus route 15 allow the riders to sit on the bus at 8th and O, especially if it is hot before the bus leaves 14 or 44 minutes after the hour. One driver says that he doesn't have to open his doors, regardless of weather untill it's time to drive off? What's the rules or policy if there is one?

Reply:  For security purposes, SacRT aims to avoid having passengers on a bus during the layover period between operators. However, our rule is that in very inclimate weather, we do let passengers board during layovers for their convenience and comfort.

Sacramento, CA:  How long will the ROS take

Reply:  The ROS should be completed by the summer of 2018.

Sacramento, CA:  Mr. Li, as you can see by the number of questions you have received, there are a lot of us that are very unhappy with Sac RT's service. What is your main objective(s) to helping RT get back to where it should be?

Reply:  I see this large number of questions as a positive sign. I am happy to see the community this involved in a dialogue about transit. This is exactly what we need, more people involved in the discussion about making transit better. My plan is to continue to expand this dialogue across the community, so that Sacramento county as whole understands the needed support for transit. With dedicated local support, we can make SacRT better.

Natomas, CA:  Bus Bridge The bus to bridge is a process that I believe needs to be better organized. I feel that there should be collapsible signs for people to stand to know where to board the bus bridge. The signs can be put out by the first bus driver on scene or the RT supervisor. What will you do about it, if anything? How many busses are deployed to participate in the bus bridge during emergencies? Yesterday, from CRC to SCC (around 1pm). The bus driver that the riders believed should have transported the stranded train riders, said he was tired and needed a break and directed us to wait for the next bus to transport us. A few riders complained to the Sac RT (Folsom Police officer). I believe A RT supervisor ( who was present) could have been more vocal and visual during situations like this. The next bus came 15 minutes later after waiting 25 minutes. The trip was standing room only from CRC to SCC and took a hour and a half on one bus. That was a total of two hours for me, for a normal train ride that would take 20 minutes. I personally feel that was entirely to long. I feel that the bus was overcrowded and that the bus driver should have support, for example, like another driver at the same time driving the route. I also believe the route should be split up instead of one driver going to all the stops. Once I experienced this process, I understood why that one bus driver choose to take his break and not continue driving right away another shift. What will be done to improve this bus to bridge process for future crisis if anything at all?

Reply:  We understand your frustration as it is a difficult situation for everyone. The problem is that light rail service disruptions occur unexpectedly and it takes time to put in place a bus bridge. Finding available drivers to service a bus bridge and then conveying the information to our customers are the challenges. Sometimes the operations runs smoothly and sometimes it is more difficult. We try to encourage our passengers to download the Alert SacRT which will provide you with current bus bridge information and we also post information on Facebook and Twitter.

Closing Remarks:
Thank you for your questions. The next session of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO will be held on Friday, September 1.