Transit Talk with the General Manager

December 01, 2017
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:
Welcome to the December GM Chat.

You most likely read about the recent cyber blackmail attempt on SacRT a couple of weeks ago. The cyber-attack began on the evening of November 18 through the SacRT website portal, and was soon followed by a bitcoin ransom demand with a threat to delete all network files.

In response, the SacRT IT team immediately closed-off all public facing networks to manage the threat. No customer or employee information was compromised and no data files were stolen. The cyber-attack did result in a 30% deletion of files but SacRT follows a rigorous protocol whe.n it comes to backing up its data files, so no significant data loss occurred.

Unfortunately, there was some inconvenience to customers when was down and some functions, such as the SacRT trip planner and online sales, were not available. We thank you for your patience during the ordeal.

To celebrate the start of the holiday season, SacRT's popular Holiday Bus starts today on route 2. The festive 40-foot Holiday Bus travels on a different route each day from December 1, 2017 through January 1, 2018.

As a special thank you to SacRT passengers, fares are not collected on the Holiday Bus but riders do have the opportunity to place a monetary donation (cash or check accepted) in the farebox to benefit the American Red Cross/California Wildfires.

View the schedule at to find out when the Holiday Bus will be in your neighborhood.

Another holiday tradition is taking pictures with Santa Claus so make it easy this year by skipping the mall. Head to the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink instead for your pictures with Saint Nick. SacRT invites skaters to take pictures on Santa's sleigh with the man himself between noon and 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 21.

Ride light rail to the rink and show your valid ticket or pass, and receive $2 off admission. For more information, visit For SacRT route and schedule information, call 321-BUSS (2877) or visit

Now let's get to your questions.

Sacramento, CA:  Hello! Any update on sale/development of Power Inn and 65th stations?

Reply:  We are continuing to work with the developers for both sites and I believe we are making good progress. More to come.

Sacramento, CA:  Is the Sacramento Regional Transit District putting together any potential service changes in the first half of 2018, which would either add weekend service to existing routes, adjust the time on existing routes, add trips to existing routes, or extend the coverage area of existing routes? I fully understand in 2018, going forward, that the Sacramento Regional Transit District is undertaking a major “Route Optimization Study” that will take a look at the entire bus and light rail system, and that perhaps “wholesale” service changes, those that turn the system upside down will likely occur no earlier than the beginning of 2020. I get that. I just hope that there are some short term changes that need to be addressed immediately, hence the way I phrased my question, earlier in this comment. Thank you. :-)

Reply:  SacRT does not yet have plans for major service changes in 2018. Staff is always looking into making minor service adjustments when we can, especially when these adjustments would improve service and are cost neutral. One example of a minor improvement for 2018 will be an extension of Route 65 from Franklin light rail station to the new Delta Shores development off of Interstate 5 and Cosumnes River Boulevard. Major service changes will be studied, analyzed and planned during the ROS.

Folsom, CA:  Earlier this week, Sacramento, along with Detroit, Nashville, and Cincinnati were named as the four finalists in line to get a Major League Soccer franchise for the start of the 2020 MLS Season. In preparation for Sacramento to be one of the two chosen markets for this to happen, what is the Sacramento Regional Transit District doing to obtain additional operating funding for the Green Line, should Sacramento be officially named by the end of this year that it is MLS starting in 2020? For example, has the Sacramento RTD invited the Sacramento Republic FC, the City of Sacramento, the County of Sacramento, and the Railyards Development Corportation to the table to discuss a financial partnership for additional Green Line operating funding so that not 100% of the operating cost of the additional service needed is borne in whole by Sacramento RTD alone? I think a partnership or partnerships for operating funding would be financially healthy for the Sacramento RTD on this matter. Sacramento RTD should not be 100% responsible for the operating cost of the Green Line starting in 2020 should the Republic FC become an MLS franchise in that year. It would not be fair to Sacramento RTD. Would you agree?

Reply:  We agree, an increase in local financial support is critical if SacRT is ever going to provide the level of public transit service that this region needs to prosper. Specific to a proposed new soccer stadium, we have had some early discussions with Sacramento Republic FC and the City of Sacramento over service to a new stadium. We do not have any real specifics to share at this point in our discussions.

sac, CA:  Light rail drivers are telling riders that we can no longer bring plastic bags of soda cans on board. I'm in a power chair & this is my only way to recycle the cans, why the change & if this correct why no signs at LR stations. What else is included in this ban? Thanks, Bill

Reply:  Unfortunately recyclables can present a real cleanliness and safety hazard for our riders. The bags often leak creating a mess on the train and can be large when the bag is full, taking up space. This is an RT rule that our operators and security are enforcing. Safety is very important to us and we want to provide riders with the safest and cleanest system possible.

North Highlands, CA:  Will North Highlands be acquiring a small shuttle service route like the route 95 in citrus heights?

Reply:  There is nothing planned for the immediate future, but an increase in routes like the 95 in Citrus Heights is being considered in our Route Optimization study.

Citrus Heights , CA:  When will we see the first improvements on the Watt I80 platform? That's a major hub that needs a makeover.

Reply:  We are in the process of a significant public outreach effort to help us determine the best approach to improving conditions at the Watt I/80 station. As you know, this station has a number of challenges that need to be addressed and our effort is considering everything from a major renovation of the existing station to relocating the bus connections to the lower level and possibly moving them to Roseville Road. There are more public meetings scheduled, if you would like to participate, you can find more information at Look for the Re-Imagine Watt I-80 tab.

Sacramento , CA:  Hello Mr. Li, I know RT has the ROS coming up but I was inquiring as in the short term could the route 65 be extended to the Delta Shores shopping center from Franklin Station?

Reply:  Route 65 will be extended to Delta Shores with our January service changes.

Carmichael, CA:  With ZipPass replacing the original RideSacRT,will some the now-outdated train wraps be replaced as a result?

Reply:  Yes, the train wraps will be updated to reflect the new app.

Natomas, CA:  How soon will the green line to the airport project start?

Reply:  The Green Line project extension to the airport is in the environmental plannng phase. However, light rail extension projects are extremely costly, and will require a large commitment from federal, state and local funding. The ability to secure funding will be the determining factor on the timeline.

South Sacramento, CA:  A commenter earlier today asked about service changes. I read your answer, which included changes to Route 65 going to Delta Shores Shopping Center. Would you be able to clarify when in 2018 that this service changes takes place, and what will the weekday and weekend hours of Route 65 happen to be, once it is changed in 2018?

Reply:  The service changes go into effect on January 7, 2018.

Folsom , CA:  I love the small bus neighborhood service RT has for Citrus Heights. Any chance for a expansion for the Folsom area?

Reply:  We do have some creative plans that will improve the convenience of the City Ride service in Citrus Heights. We hope to provide more details on this in January or February of 2018. With respect to the City of Folsom, the bus service is operated by the City. While we coordinate with them on a regular basis, I am not sure what their current plans are for changes to their service.

Arden Arcade , ca:  Any plans to increase the 82 line's running? It runs now by four major stores, two colleges, and a hospital, and it is packed. 30 minutes is not enough specially during peak hours.

Reply:  We currently do not have any plans to increase the frequency on Route 82; however, staff will be looking at making major service improvements, such as increasing route frequencies, during our Route Optimization Study (ROS). This project is an in-depth study of our entire bus system, with goals to improve service and build ridership through redesign. The ROS is expected to begin shortly after the new year with a number of public outreach meetings, and comments such as yours will help us make this project a success. Although the schedule for the outreach meetings is still TBD, I would encourage your attendance.

Sacramento , CA:  Will you ever consider having the green line run every 15 minutes during the morning peak hours? Thank you.

Reply:  At this time, 15 minute service would not be possible, as there is only one set of tracks to the Township 9 Station. Double tracking is required for 15 minute headways. However, with future development in the area, and planned expansion towards the airport, double tracking will be possible and 15 minute headways during commute time are entirely likely.

Sacramento, CA:  Is there any update on the SVS project to move the platform?

Reply:  We are working with the City of Sacramento over the exact location of the new station platform and the current train storage that we have in the SVS station. This work is being done as a part of the streetcar project and will need to occur before the streetcar begins operation.

South Sacramento, CA:  In regards to Route 65 to Drlta Shores, I see the date you mentioned is January 7, 2018. What will the operating hours and days of operation be, once Route 65 is changed on January 7th?

Reply:  At this time, service to Delta Shores will be consistent with the current Route 65 schedule, with service Monday through Friday, starting in the 6:00 a.m. hour and the last trip during the 7:00 p.m. hour.

Sacramento, CA:  Will the buses ever be equipped to accept credit card or debit card transactions for fare?

Reply:  The fare boxes on our buses have the capability to accept debit/credit cards but this feature is currently not functional. The problem is with the banking arrangements and associated fees and risks that would be a part of activating this feature on our bus fleet. We understand that there may be some banking changes coming that would make accepting debit/credit cards on our buses feasible. We are always keeping track of the latest developments in this area because it would provide a significant customer benefit. As an alternative, you can use either our mobile fare app, Zip Pass, or Connect Card both of which provide similar convenience.

Sacramento, CA:  Can my son get $2 off at the ice skating rink if he shows his Connect Card? Thank you.

Reply:  Yes, Connect Card works for the discount. Have fun at the Ice Rink!

Sacramento, CA:  I was informed that I may put in a request for Clear Channel to provide a bus stop covering at a RT bus stop. I would like to request a bus stop covering for the bus stop at Northborough and Club Center Drive. My son with his two elementary student friends have to wait to be picked up at this stop by bus number 11. The children have no protection from the outside elements and it would be a great asset if one was placed...I have tried to make an attempt to submit request online with RT Customer Advocacy but I constantly receive a prompt stating ‘504 Error Internal Portal’..should I call..what are my options for putting in my request.

Reply:  We will look into the Customer Advocacy online form. In the meantime, you can send them an email at

Sacramento, CA:  Can bus drivers refuse to give their first name if asked by a rider (for complaint purposes)? Thank you.

Reply:  A bus driver's name is not required for complaint purposes. If you have the correct date, time, location and the route number or bus number, that is sufficient information for us to determine who the operator is.

sacramento, CA:  why is there no service for bus 54 on Sat or Sunday as well as no bus service to the Power Inn Lightrail

Reply:  Currently, we do not see a high demand for weekend service on Route 54, or service to the Power Inn light rail station; however, that may change once the public outreach meetings for the Route Optimization Study (ROS) begin.

Sacramento, CA:  I just found three expired student discount rt tickets (6/30/2017) and my receipt, but it is past the exchange date that was in August of 2017. Will there be any other opportunity to get an exchange or receive my money back? Thank You

Reply:  Unfortunately, it is outside of the ticket exchange window and we won't be able to exchange them at this time. Good news is that current tickets are valid through June 30, 2019, so you have plently of time before you have to worry about those expiring.

Carmichael , CA:  The neighborhood ride service like in citrus heights is very useful. Can we other neighborhoods with this service? Or at least can RT consider. It'll benefit the city for small neighborhoods

Reply:  Yes, SacRT does consider neighborhood ride service when we look at making service improvements, and we agree that this type of service can be very beneficial to small neighborhoods.

Sacramento, CA:  Will you ever consider making bus line 19 Run ever 30 minutes? Are you aware of the time delay when the bus leaves Watt to come back towards the Norwood area. It’s usually 15-20 minutes late and it’s not always during peak times.

Reply:  Currently, we do not have specific plans to increase frequncy on Route 19; however, we will be analyzing and considering frequency changes for all bus service during our Route Optimization Study (ROS).

Rancho Cordova, CA:  What's the progress on getting the UTDCs running on the Gold Line also?

Reply:  The timeline is still TBD. The UTDCs are still only operating on the Blue line; however, the Gold line stations have received all of the modifications to accommodate the UTDCs.

Closing Remarks:
Thank you for your questions. The next session of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO will be held on Friday, January 5, 2018.

On behalf of everyone at SacRT, I wish you Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!