Transit Talk with the General Manager

May 07, 2021
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
Transit Talk with the General Manager
Opening Remarks:

Welcome to the May 2021 edition of Transit Talk with the General Manager.

I will start this month's chat with a reminder that SacRT is offering free transit rides for everyone who needs to get to a scheduled COVID-19 vaccine appointment location. This includes all vaccination sites in Sacramento County within SacRT's service area, including hospitals, pharmacies, and other immunization locations.

You can ride for free on SacRT's fixed-route bus, light rail, Folsom Stage Line, SmaRT Ride, Causeway Connection or SacRT GO paratransit services. Simply show a COVID-19 vaccine appointment confirmation in the form of an email, text or vaccine card, which will serve as valid fare on the date noted in your appointment confirmation. Visit for details.

Just a reminder if you ride with us, SacRT requires masks on all transit vehicles, while waiting at stations or bus stops and at SacRT's Customer Service and Sales Center, even if you have been fully vaccinated. As I have stated from the start of this pandemic, the safety of our customers and employees is a top priority for SacRT so thank you for continuing to comply with this important mandate. Free masks are also available at SacRT's Customer Service and Sales Center. Learn more at

As the state begins to reopen, and local businesses start to bring back and hire staff to handle the increase in customers, SacRT is making it easier for you to get to that job interview in the Central City. Every Wednesday from May 5 through June 16, 2021, SacRT is offering free rides on bus, light rail and SmaRT Ride on-demand microtransit to help job seekers connect with job opportunities in the Downtown, Midtown, R Street and Broadway districts. Visit for details. Learn more about who is hiring and what to know at

SacRT is holding a virtual public hearing on SacRT's Fiscal Year 2022 Preliminary Operating and Capital Budget. The hearing will be live streamed on YouTube on Monday, May 10, 2021, during the regularly scheduled SacRT Board of Directors Meeting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the public meeting and hearing is being held virtually. Visit for details.

After operating e-tran and e-van services under a service contract since July 2019, I am happy to announce that SacRT and the City of Elk Grove formalized an annexation agreement that will officially bring the City of Elk Grove transit services into SacRT as a member entity effective Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Under the annexation agreement, SacRT will provide fixed-route local, commuter and paratransit services and maintenance operations for e-tran.?By annexing into the SacRT District, Elk Grove will benefit from SacRT's transit expertise as the largest public transit provider in the region. As part of the agreement, SacRT is committed to a seamless transition with no impact to current riders. To learn more about the transition visit

In 2017, SacRT unveiled the Alert SacRT mobile reporting app to provide a quick and discreet method for reporting safety, security and facility concerns directly to SacRT staff using a smartphone or tablet. We have recently updated the app to provide additional features and benefits. The Alert SacRT mobile reporting app now allows users to choose to receive light rail service alerts for each specific light rail line, Blue, Gold or Green. The light rail line alert options can be found by clicking the "More" button and then click on "Service Alerts" for the specific lines. The free app is available for download from the App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android). Users without a smart phone can send texts directly to RTPS at 916-318-3330.

Now let's get to your questions!

Rancho Cordova, CA:  What service improvements are scheduled for Rancho Cordova and do they include Sunrise Station and Sunrise -Douglas neighborhoods. Thank You, Donald Childs

Reply:  Thank you for asking, we are in the process of developing several potential service improvements in Rancho Cordova, including potentially more Rancho CordoVan service to the Douglas Blvd area, commuter service on the Sunrise Blvd corridor, and potentially greater coverage and hours of service in the Zinfandel office park area. We are looking at a potential September 2021 implementation for these service improvements.

Sacramento, CA:  When will the new fare machines be stocked with Connect Cards for purchase ?

Reply:  At this time staff is focused on completing the installation and field testing of the new fare vending machines. Once that is complete, we will focus on integrating the systems to allow for Connect Card fares to be loaded at the machines.

Sacramento , CA:  I clean up at my local light rail stop to help keep it clean. There are a few things I consistently see that would make the stops a bit better. Cigarette butt disposal containers. So many butts thrown on the ground everywhere. Why can’t there be containers specifically for cigarette butts attached to every trash can? More trash cans needed, especially at the far ends of the train stop. It makes it difficult to throw away when the train is coming and it’s too far to reach, so it gets thrown on the ground. Can the stops be beautified more? Updated drought tolerant flowering plants, added shade trees, remove old woody shrubs, and update sprinkler systems? If it is clean and pleasant looking, it would invite those that would not normally use the Light Rail. Also, I would encourage an “Adopt-A-Stop” as a way to get the community involved and take pride in keeping their stop clean. This volunteering would be free labor and involve the neighborhood while removing the workload from RT. There are a lot us who clean them just because, and they would love to have support from RT to continue to do so. Thank you.

Reply:  Thank you for helping us keep our stations clean, that is one of our top priorities. We currently have an "Adopt-A-Station" program, which stations are assigned to SacRT employees. I'm sorry to hear that cigarette butts are an issue at your station, as smoking is prohibited in our stations, we will take a closer look at that issue. If you do see any issues at stations or bus stops, you can also report it on the free Alert SacRT App. You can send a text and/or photo directly to our Security Operations Center, which will have staff assigned to the station to clean up or fix any issues.

Sacramento, CA:  With the great news that has been mentioned in this forum in previous sessions about SmaRTride as well as low floor light rail vehicles, 15-minute Gold Line frequency to Folsom, and the opening of the Morrison Creek Station happening shortly, is there any good news that you’re able to share in regards to the fixed route bus side of the house that riders could benefit from?

Reply:  We are looking at bus service improvements in the Rancho Cordova area that could take effect this fall as well as a restoration of the 142 Airport Express bus. More information will be available in the coming months.

South Sacramento , CA:  Will Connect Card be on IPhone one day as the Clipper card doing in the Bay Area?

Reply:  Connect Card is a card based electronic fare system in which all of the fare information is stored directly on the card and therefore can not be stored on a cell phone. Clipper is transitioning to an account based electronic fare system where the fare information is stored in an online account and can be redeemed by either a smart card or cell phone. SacRT is considering technologies similar to this as we look towards the future of fare payment for transit riders. In fact, SacRT has partnered with the California Integrated Travel Project to launch a demonstration program that will soon allow passengers to pay their fare on board light rail vehicles using a contactless credit/debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. More information of this demonstration program will soon be made available to the public.

South Sacramento , CA:  Now that E-Tran will be annexed come July 1st, will there be any service improvements in the future, especially with Route 56?

Reply:  Under the agreement, SacRT will not make any changes to the routes for at least the first six months. But we are looking at ways to improve service in the future. We will be adding more information to the website next week about the annexation, visit for more information.

Sacramento, CA:  Thank you for instructure meeting on new light rail low floor cars .I am still concerned about this new ramp ? Will you explain about policy of 90 minutes? And when full Map from Elk Grove to Folsom , the Airport for ADA and difference for Senior Riders Thanks

Reply:  Thank you for your questions. As for the new low-floor light rail vehicles ramps, more information is coming soon. The 90-minute practice on SacRT GO paratransit trips was discontinued on May 3, 2021. SacRT GO Reservation Specialists will now schedule a return trip at the requested time or as close as possible to the requested time. If you have any other questions please contact a SacRT GO Reservation Specialist at 916 321-BUSS (2877), select option #2, for reservations select option #2 again. The reservations line is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. As for the updated ADA map, we should have a new map available prior to July 1, 2021.