Transit Talk with the General Manager

October 02, 2020
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:

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

As part of SacRT's Service Recovery Plan, which restored most service on bus and light rail to pre-COVID-19 levels, I am happy to announce that earlier this week we were able to add service to The Causeway Connection zero emission bus service between Davis and Sacramento.

The Causeway Connection now has all-day service once an hour Monday through Friday. All trips serve the Mondavi Center, Genome Facility, and the Silo in Davis and the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. SacRT and Yolobus operate the Causeway Connection service in tandem. For more information, visit

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. For updated SacRT timetables visit

The other good news I must share is the continuation of RydeFreeRT, the fare-free program for youth and students in grades TK through 12.

The successful ridership program was set to expire this past Wednesday; however, thanks to additional funding from program partner City of Sacramento, RydeFreeRT has been extended through September 30, 2021.

RydeFreeRT waives student/youth fares on bus, light rail, and SmaRT Ride microtransit service across SacRT's service area, which includes the cities of Sacramento, Folsom, Citrus Heights, and Rancho Cordova and parts of Sacramento County. Approximately 220,000 students in grades TK through 12, home-schooled students, and foster and homeless youth are all eligible. Visit to learn more about the program.

On Wednesday, October 7, SacRT is offering free rides system-wide in recognition of California Clean Air Day. Single occupancy vehicles are the single biggest source of air pollution in California. On Clean Air Day, please ask your friends and neighbors to give public transportation a try to help clear the air. Visit to take the pledge to try transit and get more information on this statewide day of action.

Speaking of free rides, SacRT has teamed up with Sacramento County and the Sacramento Kings to drive community members to Vote Center and Ballot Drop Box locations across the Sacramento region to help Drive the Vote.

To make it easy for voters, SacRT is offering free rides system-wide on all bus, light rail, SmaRT Ride and SacRT GO services on the first day of early voting , which is Saturday, October 24. A second system-wide free ride day will take place on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. No flyer or exemption code is necessary to ride free.

SacRT is also offering free rides on SmaRT Ride microtransit shuttles in all nine service zones, with a free ride flyer, from Monday, October 26 through Monday, November 2 with the exception of the weekend because there is currently no Saturday or Sunday SmaRT Ride service. To obtain your SmaRT Ride flyer and learn more about SmaRT Ride, visit

The great news continues - SacRT has just been named the winner of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 2020 Rail Safety Gold Award. SacRT received the top honor for its rail security program, which includes a multi-faceted and innovative approach to reducing crime and fare evasion on the transit system.

SacRT was recognized with the award for its comprehensive approach to reduce crime and make the light rail system safer for riders. That approach consisted of increasing the level of SacRT staff participation in station ownership with the implementation of an Adopt-a-Station program; increased monitoring of the transit system through the use of technology with over 1,000 live-feed cameras monitored 24/7 in real-time from SacRT's Security Operations Center; and increased staffing.

Additionally, SacRT opened the lines of communication between riders and SacRT security units by embracing new technology with the Alert SacRT safety reporting app and the installation of a public address (PA) system to quickly address nuisance behavior at all light rail stations.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who continues to comply with the California Department of Public Health's guidance on required face coverings or masks while riding public transportation or while waiting at bus stops and light rail stations. Remember, wearing is caring. Learn more at

Now let's get to your questions!

Rancho Cordova, CA:  How often are the light rails cleaned on a daily basis? Are the outside doors and button clean too? Same questions for the buses too.

Reply:  Thanks for asking! SacRT has taken a number of precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including the cleaning and sanitizing of our light rail vehicles, buses and shuttles every day. We are hand cleaning and using a deep cleaning fogging mist every night. We are also cleaning and sanitizing all touch points on vehicles and at stations. You can learn more about all the steps we have taken to slow the spread at

Sacramento, CA:  Hi Henry... I have a question about Connect Card... If I lost my Disabled Connect Card why can't I get it replaced online? I ordered a new card online and received it but it was a regular card without my picture therefore I'm being charged full fare everytime I ride... If you can take my money online and load my card then I feel that you should be able to replace it with the correct card. I can answer the security question that I set up to verify my identity. RT wants to increase contactless payments but in the process having to go with to the customer service center increases my risk of exposure to COVID-19 by having to endure what I feel is an unnecessary trip when I can conduct my transaction from the safety of my own home... BTW ZipPass is a very less than desirable option... Can you please let your vendor Bytemark know that it has constant issues with force closing and deleting passes before they have expired... I have contacted customer advocacy and they have replaced several passes but I feel like they don't believe me... This app in my opinion is horrible. I really would like to see RT further integrate it's contactless options to include the public to be able to tap and go using their smartphone device using Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay like Portland's Tri-Met system has done. I know Tri-Met uses INIT the same vendor as RT and didn't know if RT's system could be upgraded to include this module. BTW thanks for all you are doing to help keep the public safe! Regards... Justin Mendoza

Reply:  Thank you for your comments. The Connect Card system will allow discount card holders to replace their cards online. It sounds like either a mistake was made or you may have incidentally requested a new card online rather than ordering a replacement for your existing card. In either case I will reach out to our support team and have them replace your Connect Card with the appropriate discount card. Additionally I will have them look into adding funds to your card to replace the additional fares that you have paid. As for ZipPass and contactless payments SacRT is actively pursuing options that would allow passengers to pay with contactless credit/debit cards. Currently these features are being deployed in our new fare vending machines. In the future we are looking to expand this other areas of our system as well.

Sacramento, CA:  Is this October a "Ride Transit October" like past Octobers have been. Will the GM host rides with the GM?

Reply:  At this time, I am not hosting rides, as we want to make sure we are social distancing as much as possible during COVID-19. But, we are offering two system-wide free ride days this month! The first is on Wednesday, October 7 for California Clean Air Day and the second will be on Saturday, October 24 for the start of early voting.

Closing Remarks:

Thank you for your questions. The next session of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO will be held on Friday, November 6, 2020.