Transit Talk with the General Manager

September 04, 2020
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:

Welcome to the September 2020 edition of Transit Talk with the General Manager.

This past Sunday SacRT began its Service Recovery Plan, which restores most service on bus and light rail to pre-COVID-19 levels.

The Plan includes light rail (Blue and Gold lines), fixed bus routes, all peak-only/express routes and Folsom Stage Line.

SacRT also made some adjustments to several bus routes to improve on-time performance. SacRT and Yolobus will continue to monitor ridership on the Causeway Connection (route 138) and plan on adding additional trips in late September. Due to low ridership as a result of the pandemic, SacRT will continue to suspend service on the 200 series routes, Folsom Stage Line (route 20F) and the Airport Express (route 142); however, airport service is still provided by Yolobus. Jibe Express has reduced service to match current ridership demand. Visit to review their schedules. For updated SacRT timetables visit

SacRT's Service Recovery Plan is an integral part of supporting the region as it reopens by adding more service to ensure people can safely travel to essential destinations. The safety of our passengers and employees remain a number one priority.

SacRT is seeking feedback about the willingness of our riders to take public transit during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Please take a moment to complete the survey:


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, SacRT's SmaRT Ride has experienced steady growth this summer, with August as the highest ridership month to date. It is amazing to see an increase in ridership during a time when most transit agencies have seen such steep declines. This speaks volumes about how important innovative public transit service is in the Sacramento region for essential travel, especially in our disadvantaged communities, to access food, healthcare and frontline jobs during the pandemic.

Lastly, I am pleased to share that construction on the 65 East Project at the University/65th Street is progressing with the new transit center opening just a couple of days ago on September 2. The new bus stops are closer to the light rail station platform. However, this is still an active construction site, so I'd like to remind riders to use all marked crosswalks and sidewalks. Construction of the 65 East Project is expected to continue until May 2022.

Now let's get to your questions!

Rancho Cordova, CA:  I enjoy that Light Rail allows up to 4 bikes per train car. Will the new Low floor S700's be configured with capacity for riders with bikes?

Reply:  Yes, the new low-floor flight rail vehicles will have space for bikes and will be easier to get bikes on board. You won't have to climb the stairs, you can roll the bike onto the train, as it will be level with the station platform.

Sacramento, CA:  I see on your website the prestigious recognition that SmaRTride has received. What’s next as far as growth and moving ahead with this concept? 1) More Zones? 2) Extending all existing zones weekday hours to 10pm to match the time the Downtown zone ends at? 3) Weekend/holiday hours? 4) Something else I forgot or couldn’t think of today?

Reply:  We will be providing an update to the Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) at their board meeting on September 16 at 1:30 pm. If you are a fan of Smart Ride, I invite you to tune in and make public comments. Our presentation will be in the Board packet a few days before the meeting. Smart Ride is primarily funded by a neighborhood shuttle grant from the STA, however, the program will run out of funds next year. We will be sharing with the STA board some statistics on how it has performed, as well as some ways it can be improved, if additional funds are secured for it. SmaRT Ride is a priority service for SacRT and we are continuously pursing grants and sources of funding to allow it to continue.

Sacramento, CA:  Will anything be done about serial poopers, drug addicts and ticket hoppers? It's getting really bad on the trains lately with crazy people and no police. It's like the BART out here now..

Reply:  Although we continue to have challenges regarding people experiencing homelessness and the restrictions of the current health order, our security guards, transit ambassadors, and police officers continue to do everything they can to mitigate these issues. Additionally, Regional Transit has tripled their homeless response team earlier this year and we continue to seek opportunities to partner with local service providers and social workers to compassionately deal with these issues. We recognize that we can't always have someone everywhere all the time. This is where we rely on riders to help. Please use the Alert SacRT app to report problems on transit as you see them. Any reports on the app go straight to our security operations center which is staffed 24/7.

Elk Grove, CA:  What is the latest status on the relationship between SacRT and the City of Elk Grove? I currently use E-Van, and would think that SacRT-GO would be a better option. I am told that we currently have to transfer between services at Cosumnes River College. I was further told by an operator that had Elk Grove and SacRT gone from doing a contract of service to actually being in the SacRT District itself, then this transferring of service would not occur, and that we would, let’s say, be able to go from Elk Grove to most other jurisdictions within Sacramento County without the CRC transfer being necessary. Will there be a day that will come that our trips will be smoothed out by virtue of an annexation and this existing contract of service coming to an end, for the benefit of the riders and the two parties of interest, here?

Reply:  Last year, SacRT and the city of Elk Grove entered into a contract for SacRT to provide operations and maintenance related to eTran and eVan service. You are correct, if the city of Elk Grove annexed its transit services into SacRT's, SacRT GO's boundaries would be expanded to reflect the service obligation and you would not need to transfer in the scenario you describe. A recent example of this occurring is in 2019 when the city of Folsom joined SacRT's district.

Sacramento, CA:  Hi Mr.Li, Thank you to all SacRT employees for the hard work and committment during these challenging times. With the board voting no for the light rail connector project to West Sacramento, could that funding be used for extension to the airport ? If no, when can we expect any meaningful progress in terms of funding/extension activities for light rail either to the airport, further east towards Roseville or south towards Elk Grove ? Thank You.

Reply:  Thank you for following our Board items. The project secured specific funding sources and they would be relinquished should the project not move forward. We continue to seek funding to expand our light rail system throughout the Sacramento region in order to provide the best mobility options possible.

Sacramento, CA:  When will the Airport Express be restored? I happen to work at the airport, and a neighbor of mine is a frequent business traveler. Both of us loved it because between YoloBus and Regional Transit, service was frequent between Downtown up to the Airport. I hope this service comes back soon, and so does my neighbor. Thank you.

Reply:  We may be able to restore limited trips in the Spring. We will continue to follow airport passenger traffic counts and coordinate with airport officials on returning airport service.

Rancho Córdova, CA:  How far away is the district in receiving its first shipment of low floor light rail vehicles?

Reply:  We expect to receive our first low-floor light rail vehicle by November 2022 and will be ready for service in April 2023. You can learn more about the Light Rail Modernization project at:

Sacramento, CA:  How safe is the light rail and buses? Are they cleaned everyday? I am planning on using it for work. Please let me know ASAP.

Reply:  Great question, we clean and sanitize all our vehicles, trains and facilities every day. We also require employees and riders to wear a mask or face covering and we promote social distancing by blocking off certain seats. The safety of our riders and employees is our top priority. Learn more about all the COVID-19 precautions we have in place at

Sacramento, CA:  Hi. Why are bug city transit systems like sf muni having so much trouble runing there buses I was shocked to see nearly 40 bus lines not runing on frecent visit

Reply:  I can't speak for other transit agencies, but many are seeing an 80%- 90% drop in ridership, so they have cut services. We just added service back to nearly 100% of pre-COVID-19 service levels. SacRT is currently seeing about a 60% drop in ridership. You can learn more about our service recovery plan at

Sacramento , CA:  Good afternoon. I’m wondering will we ever get some RT services to Delta Shores shopping center? There are so many stores & restaurants but anyone using transit has no access. Thank you.

Reply:  We have no plans to restore service to Delta Shores. When the area fills in with more residents we can look at adding service. At this time, the populations of residential density doesn’t support adding it in right now.

Folsom, CA:  How long will it be before Route 20F will be restored, or, better yet, is SacRT having meetings with our city staff on a reimagined bus network within Folsom City Limits, such that whatever comes out of it, will be better for the City, SacRT, and the riders too? One thing is for sure, is that we definitely could use weekend service on our bus lines, and be on par with the rest of the SacRT District service areas. Light rail on the weekends is fantastic, but light rail stations are not our only destinations within Folsom City Limits. We need better bus service too. Thank you.

Reply:  Folsom Stage Line Route 20F heavily relies on student ridership. We will take a look at restoring service on that route, once ridership demand returns. We work with the City of Folsom on any service changes and it may be possible to explore improving routes in the future with public input.

Closing Remarks:

Thank you for your questions. The next session of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO will be held on Friday, October 2, 2020.