Transit Talk with the General Manager

February 02, 2018
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:

Welcome to the February 2018 GM Chat.

On February 12, SacRT will debut SmaRT Ride, a new on-demand transit service in the city of Citrus Heights. SmaRT Ride will enable residents to hail rides using a smartphone, similar to other ride-sharing services. It's easy to schedule a trip when you need it. Just download the free Microtransit by TransL?c app from the App Store or Google Play. You can track your ride in real-time on a map, and it's only $2.75 per trip or $1.35 for eligible discount riders (seniors, students, and persons with disabilities); or, riders can use their SacRT monthly pass.

The new service in Citrus Heights is a six-month pilot program that we hope to expand into Orangevale and Folsom, as well as other communities in the Sacramento region. SacRT is excited to be among a select few transit agencies across the nation leading the way in this new on-demand, microtransit frontier for the transit industry. We believe this type of service could be the future for SacRT's neighborhood bus service, which will conveniently connect more people and places to our existing system. For more information about this exciting new service, visit

This Saturday, February 3, is the 20th annual Sacramento Museum Day. Visitors are treated to free or half-price admission at 26 participating local museums and destinations. Better yet, because many of these museums are easily accessible by public transit, SacRT has partnered with Sacramento Museum Day to provide free public transportation on bus and light rail for event day participants.

To ride for free, customers must present a SacRT Museum Day flyer to the bus operator when boarding, or have ready for inspection when riding light rail. In addition, SacRT will operate two supplemental shuttles to make traveling between museums even more convenient - look for buses with "Sacramento Museum Day Shuttle" on the electronic headsign at the front of the bus. Please wave to the operator to let them know you would like to board the bus. Don't forget to visit to print out your Museum Day flyer and ride SacRT for free on Saturday, February 3.

SacRT's new service to Delta Shores is turning out to be a big hit. Route 65 was extended in early January to reach the new shopping center, which features popular retail stores such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby. This is the first in a series of upcoming changes slated for the SacRT system, which is currently under evaluation as part of a comprehensive Route Optimization Study. Visit for schedule and map details.

Lastly, a reminder that the student monthly pass for grades K through 12 is on sale through June 30 for only $20 (or $10 for each semi-monthly pass). Monthly pass stickers are good for unlimited travel on bus and light rail in the SacRT service area and can be placed on a valid school issued photo ID card. Monthly passes are also available for purchase on our mobile fare app, ZipPass, making it even easier for students and parents to take advantage of the great price. Again, visit for details.

Now let's get to your questions.

North Highlands, CA:  Greetings, Mr. Li: I was wondering if you could answer a service question for me. First of all, I fully understand that you are currently re-imagining the Watt/I-80 area/vicinity and that you are doing a comprehensive route optimization study. That being said, and I am fully aware of that through your website and in the news, my question is this: With current service the way it is now aligned along the Watt Avenue Corridor, is there any possibility, even as remote as it is, to “improve” frequency on both Route 80 and Route 84 so that each route is on a 30-Minute frequency, rather than a 60-Minute frequency? Generally speaking, this would improve Watt Avenue to a 15-Minute tranist corridor in terms of frequency. Hopefully this is a little to do that would make a big difference in the lives of the riders along this constantly busy thoroughfare stretching from West Roseville to the North, and East Elk Grove to the South. I hope you agree. Thank you for holding this transit talk so folks like me can get questions off our back like this one I had for today.

Reply:  Watt Avenue is one of our busiest corridors with over 5,000 riders per day between several routes. We'll be taking a close look at exactly what you described. If you read about the System Reimagining in Houston, there was a very big emphasis on prioritizing good frequency on strong, major corridors. We have the same consulting team on board for our Route Optimization, and expect that will be a conversation we have. Obviously, there are tradeoffs. But we see a lot of benefits to improving frequency on Watt Ave.

Sacramento , CA:  Is there a possibility of replacing the signs for the bus stops at 65th St light Rail they look old and dated

Reply:  SacRT recently entered into a purchase sale agreement for a portion of our 65th Street property that will enabled Transit Oriented Student Housing to be built on the property. As a result of this new development, SacRT will be relocating our bus transfers to 67th Street. New signage for busses will be included in this project when it moves forward. In the meantime, we will replace the existing signs to improve the appearance of the current facility.

West Sacramento, CA:  I am concerned and frustrated by challenges faced by disabled riders on RT's light rail. I ride the Blue Line almost daily, and frequently there is either no working audio for the names of stops or working visual or neither working or incorrect names of stops. When riding at night, it can also be a challenge to read the names of stops on platforms, especially through the windows of light rail cars with advertisements on the windows. Can we expect improvements?

Reply:  The stop announcements on the train normally work automatically, however, service disruptions can throw off the regular schedule and operations, which can throw off the stop announcements. In these cases, the operators are supposed to manually announce the stops. Please let us know if you are riding and this is not happening, through our Customer Advocacy line at 557-4545. We've also been working on more and better signage and schedule info at the stations, including real-time train arrivals. Also, we've been rolling out a public address system for the stations. At the moment, it is not automated, so we mostly use it for special events and by our security personnel, however.

Rancho Cordova, CA:  Recently, RT extended a new, reduced rate to students regardless of income level ($10 semi/$20 monthly), lower even than the prior rate for low-income students, changed the language so that kids 5 and under (instead of simply UNDER 5- yes, my Kinder got carded!) may now ride at no cost, and partnered with tomorrow's Museum Day event to offer free/unlimited rides to participating museums upon presentation of this RT flyer: All of this has/will benefit my family directly, and I want to say Thank You to you and your Team.

Reply:  Thank you for your comments. We are excited to reduce the monthly fare for students and hope you will help spread the word. Museum Day is always a great community event and we are excited to provide free rides to museum patrons. Thank you for your continued support.

Sacramento , CA:  I heard from a light rail operator that SacRT was considering piggybacking off of San Diego Transit for light rail cars can you shed some light on this?

Reply:  You are correct, we are working with San Diego to add options for new light rail vehicles to a procurement that they are planning to release later this year. This is a great opportunity for SacRT, by working with San diego, we will save 1 to 2 years off of the delivery time for new light rail vehicles once we have the funding in place to procure them.

Sacramento, CA:  The consultant in the Houston ROS project (which was 3 years vs. RT's 1 year) spent 2 years in a community oriented process that held multiple meetings and forums with the public. When are meetings scheduled for the Sacramento ROS project?

Reply:  Thank you for your question. A Route Optimization Study is a major undertaking, and we are very committed to working with the community to take input, hold forums and conduct virtual workshops. Our schedule is aggressive, but we are also flexible and will adjust the schedule, if necessary. We intend to begin holding community meeting starting in May. Please, make sure to follow our web page as we move along in the process. We are very excited to redesign our network and will need input from all sectors of the community, if we are to be successful. We look forward to working with you.

Antelope , CA:  hello Henry, any possibility for wifi on the light rail? and big thanks for choosing jarrett walker consulting group, I believe frequency will change many people's view on RT. thanks

Reply:  We do not currently have any plans to add public wifi to our trains or buses. It is difficult to put sufficient bandwidth on a bus or train that provides a meaningful service for our riders. Also, many riders already have data plans that work for them and diminish the need for public wifi access. I appreciate your comments concerning Jarrett Walker. We are excited over the potential service improvements that will come out of our route optimization study.

Sac, CA:  Is RT working with city/county to improve bus stop paths of travel so they meet accessibility guidelines?

Reply:  We collaborate with local jurisdictions on a variety of projects including improving mobility around our bus stops and light rail stations. We take accessibility extremely seriously and are working to ensure that all of our stations accommodate all of passengers. If there is a specific bus stop that you have a concern with, please let us know and we will take a look at what improvements can be made.

Sacramento, CA:  When will RT be able to provide real time audio updates on station platforms for train arrival and departure times?

Reply:  We are currently working to install GPS on our light rail cars, so that we have real-time train information available. This must come first before we roll-out real-time audio. We anticipate the roll-out could take another year, as this is quite a complicated project. This is a top priority for SacRT and we are committed to bringing real-time train information to our customers. We appreciate your patience as we continue to make strides toward providing excellent customer service.

Closing Remarks:

Thank you for your questions. The next session of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO will be held on Friday, March 2, 2018.