Transit Talk with the General Manager

January 07, 2022
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:

Happy New Year! Welcome to the January 2022 edition of Transit Talk with the General Manager.

SacRT achieved a number of significant mobility achievements in 2021 thanks to our customers, Board of Directors, and partnerships, and we are excited about what endeavors 2022 will bring to the region.

SacRT staff continues to analyze the feedback we received during our Short-Range Transit Plan public meetings. Our goal is to build a Short-Range Transit Plan that best serves the region. We will continue to seek feedback from the public while staff prepares a draft document for public review in February 2022. Visit to stay informed.

I'm happy to report that the Watt/I-80 elevator repair and replacement should wrap up next month. During construction, contractors will need to close the east side of the station and stairs on Monday, January 10 through Friday, January 14. Visit for updates. Thank you for your patience during his much-needed replacement.

With construction on the North 12th Complete Streets Project moving forward, there are two planned Blue Line service disruptions this month. The first is planned for Tuesday, January 18 through Friday, January 21 and the second is Monday, January 24 through Friday, January 28. Visit for details.

As a reminder, there are several events taking place at the Golden 1 Center this month, which means some bus stops will be impacted. Visit for updated G1C event detour information.

With a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, now is great time to remind everyone that whether you are vaccinated or not, SacRT still requires anyone waiting, boarding, or traveling on public transportation or visiting the SacRT Customer Service and Sales Center, to wear a mask. Visit for more on our COVID-19 precautions.

Looking for a new career in the new year? You are in luck, SacRT has a variety of positions available such as engineer, mechanic, procurement analyst, transit ambassador, service worker and more. Check out all current SacRT job opportunities at If you don't see the perfect job for you, don't worry, you can sign up for job notifications and receive emails when new job opportunities become available.

In closing, if you are looking for something fun to do the end of this month, head to the Florin light rail station park-and-ride lot to attend the 2022 TET Festival hosted by Asian Resources Inc. and the Vietnamese American Community of Sacramento. The free festival takes place on Saturday, January 29 and Sunday, January 30 from 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and includes entertainment, carnival rides, traditional cuisine, and more! The move to Florin light rail station will allow for more social distancing. Take SacRT and ride for free. Download the free ride flyer at For Festival information visit

Now let's get to your questions!

Sacramento, CA:  I would like to know why there is not RT officers (those that check if passengers have tickets) on light rail trains. I ride daily and do not see them consistently. It is becoming more uncomfortable to ride light rail because of the unruly behavior of some passengers. Also, they are needed to enforce mask mandates.

Reply:  Thank you for your feedback and for continuing to ride our system. We have over 30 Transit Ambassadors on staff that ride our trains, enforce mask mandates and provide for fare inspection. I am sorry you have not seen them on your recent trips. If there is ever an issue on light rail, you can use the Alert SacRT App to let our Security Operations Center know, where we have staff monitoring our system 24/7.

Elk Grove, CA:  When will e-shuttle be available in the Franklin area?

Reply:  Are you referring to eVan or our on-demand SmaRT Ride shuttles? SacRT's evan service is specific to the city of Elk Grove boundaries. We have a SmaRT Ride microtransit zone in Franklin-South Sacramento. In the Franklin-South Sacramento zone, we have some electric shuttles and some shuttle that operate on compressed natural gas. You can learn more about that zone at

Sacramento, CA:  I ride the green line everyday, for the most part the train is on-time. I had a problem with this line recently when the fire on 7th and 8th at the SMUD Station. The train never came, no notices were available because the strolling advertisement does not work and the connect card swipe machine does not work either. We had no communication from Regional Transit of what was going on. These machines as of today still do not work. What are you going to do about it? Why are there no restrooms at Light rail station for the public? Where are the security guard for the green line? What are you going to do about these and other issues?

Reply:  Hello and I am sorry to hear about your experience. The SMUD substation fire caused SacRT to temporarily suspend our Green Line service. Notices were posted online, on our social media, through our Alert SacRT App and a-frame signs at the station. I am going to instruct my facilities team to visit the downtown stations to see why some of the connect card machines are still not operating.

Citrus Heights, CA:  The SacRT BusTracker desktop app you announced in early December is very useful. I really like the color-coded approach for different bus routes and showing where vehicles are in real time. My favorite use of this is to calculate how successful I'll be in making a connection between 2 buses. For example, I was recently along Fulton Ave and wanted to return home to Citrus Heights. My 2 choices were to either take 26 north and transfer to 23 by El Camino Ave or go further towards Watt Ave and transfer to the 1. I saw the 26-to-23 connection had a comfortable margin of 8 minutes while the 26-to-1 connection was very iffy. This was especially useful at 8:30PM during a dark, foggy night..... So I'd like to thank those who developed this software. I use it daily before riding and during actual trips too. Sometimes I've improvised trips in the moment. To market it even more, I'd like to suggest screenshots be taken of actual use cases and examples then posted on your website and social media.

Reply:  I'm glad to hear you like it. We are still working on a few improvements before we begin promoting it more. We are also working on launching a new SacRT BusTracker App, which we hope will be ready in the next couple months. Our Marketing team is working on a relaunch announcement for the SacRT BusTracker.

Sacramento , CA:  Why are so many of the electronic signs always out of order and I don’t see as many transit officers as you stated previously on the Blue Lines.

Reply:  SacRT is in the process of updating malfunctioning electronic message boards at several light rail stations. Unfortunately, parts for the units are delayed due to ongoing supply chain issues. For updates on train delays and disruptions, please download the free Alert SacRT App from the App Store or Google Play, or visit We have 30 Transit Ambassadors riding different trains, I'm sorry you haven't noticed them recently, but will share your comment with our security team. Thanks for riding!

Folsom, CA:  Can the recently federally approved Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act allow for us in Folsom to have weekend/holiday service on bus lines? While we have light rail, bus service will allow for travel to destinations beyond the stations, and at an affordable price. Neither I nor my neighbors on weekends and holidays like to rely upon ride hailing services (Uber and Lyft) for first mile/last mile travel to and from light rail stations. I hope this will be addressed in 2022 in the overall work plan.

Reply:  The new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents many opportunities for SacRT and our region. The five year bill increases formula funding to transit by approximately 30%. We are always looking for ways to improve the mobility of all Sacramentans and we are exploring additional weekend service. Thank you for your feedback.

Citrus Heights, CA:  I'm grateful the Holiday Bus ran this year. I took it for several routes throughout Sacramento. I especially appreciated the onboard music, it was a very well done mood-lifter. Other riders also commented positively on the overall spirit. So now I'm wondering, why wait 12 months for the Holiday Bus to reappear? We do have other holidays throughout the year. If there is such a thing as "Christmas in July," what if it returned then? It could be redecorated with other holiday themes. For 4th of July, it could have American flags, fireworks and similar Independence Day drawings. The onboard music can be patriotic songs. And the fundraising aspect could be directed towards a veterans organization. The Holiday Bus can also be run for a few days in advance of the actual holiday so it visits different parts. Therefore, how feasible is it to repurpose the Holiday Bus for this and other holidays?

Reply:  Great idea! The challenge is it costs to wrap a bus, so we would need to keep it on for at least a month, but I will pass this idea on to my team to see what we can come up with. The Marketing team is looking at some ideas to expand the Holiday Bus next year to possibly include light rail. Thanks for riding.

Sacramento, CA:  Happy New Year everyone. Will there be weekend service for the Smartride for all of the zones? Even for the Elk Grove zone?

Reply:  Happy New Year! At this time, we don't have the funding to include weekend service on SmaRT Ride. At some point, if we can get additional funding for the program, we would like to expand to weekends.

Sacramento, CA:  Hi Henry, I'm a local light rail commuter, specifically at Power Inn Station going into downtown. There has been ongoing crimes from these past few months at the parking lot of that station area. I've seen car windows smashed when the owners of the vehicle are not present. I've had two of my vehicles' catalytic converter stolen on separate days and it's been tough dealing with these situations when there's a lack of security on guard. I understand it's a public parking lot and all, but as a citizen of this city of Sacramento who utilizes the light rail Regional Transit in order to go to work, it's pushing me back a lot and difficult to live on day to day. All I ask is to amp up the security to protect our vehicles to prevent these crimes from happening. Thank you. - JH

Reply:  I am truly sorry to hear about your experiences at our Power Inn Station. I want to make sure that you are reporting these crimes to our SacRT Police Services. You can report crimes to SacRT via our Alert SacRT app or to report a crime in progress, you can call our Security Operation Center 24/7 at 916-556-0275. SacRT contracts with the Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento Sheriff’s Department for a fulltime police force. We also have two of these officers who are dedicated Detectives. If you have not had a chance to report these crimes please don’t hesitate to do so. We have video camera coverage of our stations and actively investigate reported crimes such as these. We will definitely increase security and address these concerns immediately.

Rancho Córdova, CA:  Happy New Year!! I saw a short list of resolutions SacRT made on its Facebook Page, of which one caught my attention and that of my neighbors. The resolution to break ground on the new Dos Rios Light Rail Station. On a related note, here in Rancho Cordova, it is a long distance between train station stops traveling from Butterfield to Mather Field/Mills. We are hoping that SacRT can soon break ground on a new “Horn Road” light rail station. What is the status of this project, or has this opportunity been shelved?

Reply:  Yes, we do have $500,000 in federal funding for the design of a new Horn Road Station, but we still need to obtain matching funds. We also need to make a final determination on the scope with the City of Rancho Cordova prior to moving forward with the design. This includes a funding plan for construction of the station.

Sacramento, CA:  A short time ago, Routes 88 and 86 shifted in Downtown from 9th and K to a new terminus on J at 11th. Construction in the area has not recently allowed for the layover on J at 11th to proceed. It has been disrupted by others. When will those responsible, outside of SacRT, allow SacRT to once again use J at 11th to lay over bus routes 88 and i6 again?

Reply:  Thanks for your question. We were originally told that the J Street construction would not impact the J & 11th Street terminal at all, but there were some changes. We now expect the construction to be clear in February 2022.

Elk Grove, CA:  How are things going with regards to the Short Range Transit Plan? When is the next public meeting about this project?

Reply:  Thank you for asking. The next round of public workshops for the Short-Range Transit Plan have not yet been scheduled, but will be some time in the next couple months. There will be a presentation to SacRT's Mobility Advisory Council on Thursday, February 3rd, which is also open to the public and accessible via Zoom. We will keep the latest information on the process on our website at

Sacramento, CA:  Hi! I really like how San Francisco and San Jose show live bus locations right on the Google Maps app as opposed to a web browser application. Is there any chance for us to get that in Sacramento?

Reply:  We recently launched a new real-time bus tracker called SacRT BusTracker, but it isn't 100% ready. Right now, we have the desktop option available and we are working on launching the app version in the next couple months. You can visit the webpage at

Sacramento, CA:  I receive newsworthy emails from SacRT. I recently received the Email about service cancellations and staffing shortages. Service cancellations are frustrating. I have personally experienced them firsthand. I normally leave for work on trips that are scheduled earlier than when I should leave, just in case a service cancellation is going to directly impact me. In the meantime, what is SacRT doing to address the existing problem, and how short or long of a timeline does this matter hope to be resolved by?

Reply:  We apologize for the unprecedented challenges we are facing. The COVID-19 pandemic and the workforce shortage are major challenges for all business right now, including us here at SacRT. We are actively working to hire more operators and held two in-person hiring events in December, where we had more than 200 people interested in careers at SacRT. We are in the processes of training dozens of new operators this month and hope to reduce the cancellations we have been experiencing. Thank you for riding and we hope to have this issue resolved as soon as possible.

Closing Remarks:
Thank you for your questions. The next session of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO will take place on Friday, February 4, 2022.