Transit Talk with the General Manager

December 07, 2018
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions

Comments from Henry Li: 

Welcome to the December 2018 Edition of Transit Talk with the GM!

For the last couple of months, the SacRT Forward team previewed transit network alternatives at over 100 community events, showing a range of high frequency or high coverage options that will have a significant impact on the future of transit in the Sacramento region.

These alternatives were created to illustrate the direct trade-offs between high frequency and high coverage, and they represented the two extremes of a spectrum. They were based upon technical analysis, best practices in the transit planning industry, and what we heard from stakeholders and the community. As a result of this effort, SacRT has now developed draft networks for public review and comment.

A presentation of the draft transit networks will be made at the SacRT Board of Directors meeting on Monday, December 10, 2018, in the SacRT Auditorium located at 1400 29th Street.

In addition, during the month of December, SacRT will host a series of open houses that gives you the opportunity to provide additional feedback on how the final transit network will look. Visit for a list of dates and locations.

For some wintertime fun be sure to take advantage of discount admissions at the Downtown Sacramento and Folsom ice rinks.

Ride light rail or any downtown bus route to the Downtown rink and show your valid SacRT ticket or pass to receive $2 off admission. For hours and information, visit and follow @DowntownIceRink.

The Folsom Historic District Association also offers $2 off a skating session to anyone presenting a valid SacRT ticket or pass. Visit for details.

For route and schedule information, visit or call 916-321-BUSS (2877).

Ring in the new year hassle free by taking SacRT for free to and from the New Year's Eve Sky Spectacular in Old Sacramento on Monday, December 31. For a list of light rail departure stations and times on the Blue Line and Gold Line after the 9 p.m. fireworks show and to download the Free Ride Flyer, visit or

SacRT wishes everyone a happy holiday season and invites you to take a free ride on its annual holiday bus. The colorful 40-foot SacRT Holiday Bus will be easy to spot as it travels on different routes throughout the Sacramento region spreading goodwill from through Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

In keeping with the "season of giving," passengers have the opportunity to deposit a cash donation in the farebox. This year, all donations benefit the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA).

Lastly, just a reminder that SacRT will increase weekend light rail service frequency from 30 minutes to 15 minutes starting on Sunday, January 6, 2019. On Saturdays, the 15-minute service will operate from approximately 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Sundays and holidays, the 15-minute service will operate from approximately 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All other times on Saturdays and Sundays/holidays, light rail frequency will be 30 minutes.

Now let's get to your questions.

Sacramento, CA:  Would you consider offering public tours of the North and South RT bus lots on 29th street? I saw some cool looking trams and older buses in there and it would be interesting to see them up close and hear about them.

Reply:  Our bus lots are not open to the public. If you reach out to our customer service department, I imagine we could arrange for a tour so that you can see some of the older buses up close and personal.

Sacramento, CA:  Regarding real-time information for light rail trains, is there any plan to implement a system that will allow passengers to see the arrival time of delayed trains in real-time? For example, I can get that same information regarding busses using the SacRT mobile app and the bus stop number, but anytime a train is delayed the message board stop showing arrival times systemwide and just flashes the same message over and over again about “This line is experiencing delays. The other line is operating on schedule”. I’d be nice to know more about what time they will arrive as opposed to just the same rehashed message over and over. On that same thought, is there any way that stops on a line that are unaffected can keep showing scheduled arrival times instead of the aforementioned “delayed” messages? For example, if the Blue Line is experiencing a 10 minute delay, there’s no reason why the Butterfield station should stop showing scheduled arrival times if the only line servicing it isn’t the one experiencing the delays. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day.

Reply:  SacRT is getting very close to providing real-time information on our display boards for light rail. We anticipate rolling out the real-time arrival information sometime in 2019. We know this will greatly improve the riding experience and we will be sure to advertise far and wide once it is implemented.

Rancho Cordova, CA:  What bus route or route alignment will SacRTD introduce upon implementing the new SacRTD Forward Bus Route Network? Follow Up: What month and/or date does SacRTD expect to roll out the “SacRTD Forward” Bus Network?

Reply:  Thank you for the question. Our draft networks were just published in the SacRT Board Agenda package, item 14 (please see the link in the last question I answered). There will be a discussion during Monday's Board meeting regarding the draft networks and further public involvement over the next month or so. We anticipate the Board adopting a new network during a January Board meeting. Should we follow that timeline, we anticipate rolling out the new network sometime during the summer of 2019.

Sacramento, CA:  In regards to the increased frequency of light rail service, how come it only begins at 9am on Saturdays? As it is, my first morning connection on Saturdays at 8am has a bad transfer to light rail for years now, the increased frequency would make the waits between arrivals more bearable.

Reply:  Without knowing which specific connection you're talking about, it's hard to address your question completely, but we based the frequency on when ridership tends to pick up. We also take into consideration shift times. Sometimes an extra hour or two puts us over the limit on what we can do without needing several more operator shifts. This allows us to operate more cost efficiently.

Rancho Cordova, CA:  I have read your issue paper for the Sacrt forward presentation but don't see a next step. What happens after the 30 day review process?

Reply:  On Monday we will be presenting draft networks to the Board of Directors. The Board and public will provide feedback on the network and we will then kick-off another round of public involvement. SacRT will be hosting a number of open houses and then will be back in front of the Board of Directors during our January meetings to adopt a new network. Please continue to be involved in the process as rider feedback is critical to putting together our new network.

Folsom, CA:  The commute from Folsom to sac is sooooooo long. I’m considering RT. I’m nervous as I’ve heard it’s dangerous. How can RT reassure me that I’ll be safe on the trains?

Reply:  We definitely understand how difficult it is to sit in traffic! It takes up so much of your day, can be so boring, not to mention frustrating! I would definitely recommend taking public transit. We have an extensive police services staff, with sworn police officers, security guards and transit agents. Transit agents are currently on almost every train. We also have a safety and security app called Alert SacRT, that allows you to discreetly and anonymously report issues directly from you smart phone. You can even call RT police services directly from the app. Also, please be assured that you are always on camera in the SacRT system. All vehicles and stations are monitored from our security and operations center 24/7. Thanks for your interest in giving SacRTa try!

Sacramento, CA:  Reading up on the recent ideas regarding the SacRT Forward proposals from last month, I am very concerned about its proposal to merge the 21 and 72 routes. Both of these routes were split from their parent routes (Routes 1 and 80/84) due to the sheer length of both of them and subsequently causing a lot of schedule issues, merging them into another super route relives my fears will bring back these issues especially in the Rosemont area and especially on weekend schedule. What is likely going to be done to make sure a lot of these issues are prevented?

Reply:  We are no longer proposing to combine #21 and #72, mostly for the reason you suggested. One of the things that staff and consultants observed about the SacRT system was that there are some routes that are too short and don't go to enough destinations without a transfer. So there are some routes where we sought to combine two short routes into one. But after further evaluation, we agreed with you that #21 is already a fairly long route, so it would be better to leave #21 and #72 as separate routes.

Rancho Cordova, CA:  Can you please restore service to the Rancho Cordova library? People need to get their reading materials.

Reply:  We restored service to the Rancho Cordova library in 2015. You can take #28 Fair Oaks there:

In some of our conceptual work for SacRT Forward, our route restructuring project, we did consider eliminating #28 service on Folsom Blvd, including to the library, but as of right now, we are no longer considering that.

For more info on SacRT Forward, please check out Item #14 on our agenda for our Board of Directors on Monday, December 10. We will also have a series of open houses on SacRT Forward in the coming weeks.

Board Agenda - Monday 12/10/18:,%202018%20-%20%20Agenda.pdf

SacRT Forward Agenda Item #14:,%202018%20-%20Agenda%20Item%2014.pdf

Open House Schedule:

Sacramento, CA:  Please bring back the 63 or at least a shuttle

Reply:  I will bring your request to the attention of our Planning Department. We have been working on a complete redesign of the bus network, called SacRT Forward. Planning staff will be making a presentation to our Board of Directors on Monday, December 10. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at 1400 29th Street. We will also have a series of open houses on SacRT Forward in the coming weeks.

Board Agenda - Monday 12/10/18:,%202018%20-%20%20Agenda.pdf

SacRT Forward Agenda Item #14:,%202018%20-%20Agenda%20Item%2014.pdf

Open House Schedule:

Comments from Henry Li: 

Thank you for your questions. I'd like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season!

Closing Remarks:

Thank you for your questions. I'd like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season!