Transit Talk with the General Manager

January 06, 2023
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:
Welcome to the January 2023 edition of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO.

As we begin the new year, the SacRT team and I are looking forward to exciting new ways to better serve our riders.

We already started off the year with January service changes effective January 1, 2023. These changes include minor adjustments to bus routes 23, 51, 72, 81, 102, 105, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 226, 246, 247, 248, 252, and 255. These adjustments will improve on-time performance and connections to other routes. Get all of the details at

We are also excited to share our new SacRT BusTracker app with riders! It can be accessed on a smartphone, tablet or computer to view SacRT bus service in real time, get real-time stop predictions and plan your trip on the go. Learn how to use it at

The start of 2023 brings an update to the Bus Stop Improvement Plan. The draft plan will be released on Monday, January 9, 2023, at SacRT is taking comments on the plan, which will be incorporated into the final document.

The Light Rail Modernization Project is also breaking ground in 2023! This project will modernize the light rail system and include new modern and accessible low-floor light rail vehicles, updated station platforms, and a “passing track” for 15-minute service at Folsom stations. Construction on the “passing track” will break ground in late January 2023. The station modification portion of the project is estimated to begin on Friday, February 3, 2023, at the 59th Street Station. For details, please visit

The end of 2022 and beginning of 2023 have brought lots of wet and stormy weather. Unfortunately, high winds and rains have presented a variety of challenges to our region in terms of power issues, downed trees, flooding and road damage. Please know that SacRT staff worked tirelessly to keep the system operational during last weekend’s storm. Thank you for your patience as our region continues to experience severe winter weather. As a reminder, please remember to know before you go on SacRT! Check, download the free Alert SacRT app for light rail updates, and use the new SacRT BusTracker app to monitor your bus route.

Monday, January 16, 2023, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Please note that we will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule in observance of the holiday. You can show your support by participating in the MLK365 March for the Dream from Sacramento City College. SacRT is offering free rides on light rail to and from Sacramento City College with the free ride flyer. SacRT staff and a SacRT bus will also participate in the march! We hope to see you there!

Happy New Year – Now let's get to your questions!

Carmichael, CA:  Is there going to be any major changes with the new low floor light rail cars?

Reply:  Thanks for asking. The new low-floor light rail vehicles are part of our Light Rail Modernization project, which also includes adding a passing track to provide 15-minute service to Folsom stations and station modifications which are required for use of the new low-floor trains. You can learn more about the project at

Rancho Cordova, CA:  Hi. I have to questions with #1 being the Folsom Passing Track. I see the Glenn Station part of the project mentioned to get a passing track, is teh Hazel section still in the plans to get a passi g track also with this project or has that part been held back? #2 I hear about a project by the city that includes Regional Transit involving traffic signals for pedestrian crosswalks across 29th Street and 30th Street and some grade crossing improvements which is a great idea as 29th and 30th st are challenging streets to cross from the 29th Street Station because of fast and heavy traffic and was wondering would you know if construction on that is also still planned this spring?

Reply:  The side track at Glenn Station will allow for 15 minute service to Folsom area stations. The design for a double track to Hazel is almost complete, but we still need funding for construction. Either way, the side track at Glenn Station will allow for the 15 minute service. The Hazel double track will simply provide more schedule reliability. As for the second question, that is a City of Sacramento project that SacRT is helping with, so we don't have an update at this time.

Rosemont Neighborhood, CA:  Happy New Year Henry and Regional Transit. What’s the status of repairs being performed at the 7th and Capitol Station? I had asked about this issue in December, and from what I remember, you were awaiting work and building permits to be issued by the City of Sacramento in order to begin the process. Have they done their part, and if so, when do you anticipate the work to begin? Thank you.

Reply:  Happy New Year! We have received the permits and the contractor has started the site investigations. Weather permitting, they should have the repair fixed within four weeks.

North Sacramento, CA:  What timeline is it looking like for Regional Transit and its contractors to fully repair the accessible ramp at Globe Avenue Light Rail Station?

Reply:  Hello and thank you for your question. As per the public contract code, we are in the process of obtaining construction bids and do not have an estimated completion date at this time, but we will keep our riders informed as the project progresses.

Carmichael, CA:  Are there any plans to take a look at the existing fare structure and make any potential changes and/or adjustments to it between now and the end of next calendar year at the latest?

Reply:  At this time, we don't have plans to change the fare structure.

Sacramento, CA:  When is the next free ride day and/or free ride week forecasted? I appreciated the times that it occurred in 2022 like Earth Day in April, Clean Air Week in October, and Election Day in November. Hopefully there’ll be one sooner rather than later. I appreciate them and appreciate what Regional Transit is doing, so thank you.

Reply:  At this time, we don't have a date for our next systemwide free ride day, but each month we have different free ride flyer opportunities for different events. Visit for the full list.

Antelope, CA:  Hey mr. Li. When will there be the return of three and four car trains for the light rail? Also, aren’t the folks at via fixing the issue where the gps tells smart rude to go in the railroad tracks?

Reply:  We continue to monitor ridership levels. Currently, two-car trainsets systemwide should be able to meet overall demand. However, if necessary we will add cars during max capacity during peak service.

Sacramento, CA:  Why has there been a huge increase of trains blowing horns every time they stop at Arden Del Paso? Can you please direct the bells away from the park and onto the street? They are also way too loud, but especially the horns need to stop blaring every 10-15 minutes. It's making it totally unlivable, and I don't see a reason for this. Has something changed? Why are the trains blowing horns every single time? People live here! Can you reduce bell noises please?

Reply:  Our Light Rail Operations team said that the grade crossing at Arden Del Paso was out of service and operators were required to use a horn when proceeding through it, but it has been repaired and they are now using their gongs, as required. Trains are required to enter the station with the gong operating. They will on occasion sound the horn if they need to warn pedestrians who appear to be unaware of their movement.

Arden/Arcade, CA:  I’m curious to know about any feedback Regional Transit has received to date on proposed service changes that will be presented later this month. From what I read on the website, there was also a presentation on this topic at the mobility advisory council this week. How is the feedback thus far, and are you anticipating any modifications to the original draft document that is now available for online reading?

Reply:  So far, we have received two public comments, both of which have comments on multiple routes. All comment received will be included in the SacRT Board packet on January 23, 2023.

West Sacramento, CA:  Happy New Year. As both a YoloBus and a Sacramento Regional Transit rider, I am curious to know what your service plans are for Route 142 while YoloBus adds more trips to its new daily Route 42 A/B schedule beginning on Sunday of the Martin Luther King Junior Weekend? Does Regional Transit either anticipate eliminating Route 142 or perhaps instead expanding frequency to two buses per hour with a joint marketing campaign in conjunction with YoloBus that would target airport travel for both airline passengers and airport employees?

Reply:  At this time, we are planning to keep route 142 (Airport Express) on its existing hourly headways and current schedule. The new trips on Yolobus route 42 will be a welcome improvement for riders trying to get to or from the airport, and will help address some of the gaps and bunching that currently exists in the combined schedules of routes 42 and 142.

Citrus Heights, CA:  How are things going in terms of resolving the operator shortage at Regional Transit? Do you anticipate that with regards to bus service that you will be back at full (pre-pandemic) service levels by or before Labor Day Weekend 2023 in early September?

Reply:  At this time, we have nearly 30 new operators going through the hiring process and we continue to hold in-person hiring events every three months, which our hiring process is continuously open online. As we have shared in our service update that is out for public review at this time, that although SacRT’s financial position has been much improved over the past years, without the passage of a new local measure, with one-time pandemic stimulus funding coming to an end over the next two years, and with operator availability continuing to be insufficient for expansion, staff believes that fixed route service levels should remain at current levels for the foreseeable future. Significant SmaRT Ride grant-based funding is also ending on June 30, and this service will be evaluated for future financial sustainability. We will continue to closely monitor and evaluate options over the next year and will keep the public informed regarding any service changes.

Citrus Heights, CA:  Previous local transit agency became RT in 1973, if memory serves. Any plans for a golden anniversary observance? Thanks. — RT customer since 1977

Reply:  Yes, our 50th Anniversary will be in April 2023, and we are working on celebration plans and will share with our riders and community soon. Thanks for riding!

Sacramento, CA:  Why is there no stop between Broadway and 16th St stops stations? That is a huge distance. I think there should be one on 19th and U St. A pedestrian path could be made between the two parking lots to the stop.

Reply:  SacRT has a 19th & T Street station in its Capitol Improvement Plan, however, it is not funded. It is a little under a mile from 16th Street to Broadway, which is longer than our downtown station spacing, but on par with our spacing outside of downtown, and with typical light rail station spacing.

Citrus Heights, CA:  I wanted to express my appreciation for the quick actions and effectiveness of the Bus Stop Improvement Project. SacRT planners and Civic Thread hosts listened and took notes of our observations. This is clearly evident now, as witnessed this week along Route 25. Yes, I'm happy to see you've restored Bus Stops #4603 and #4662 along Dewey Drive in Citrus Heights. Residents can now use these bus stops instead of walking really long distances to either Coyle Ave or Greenback Lane. These also appear now in the online Bus Tracker and on the red LED displays inside buses. So these are "signs" (pun intended) that 2023 is off to a great start. Thank you so much to everyone involved.

Reply:  Thank you for the compliment. Be sure to watch for the draft Bus Stop Improvement Plan and public comment period, which will be posted and opens on January 9, 2023. Visit for details.

CA:  What are Regional Transit’s contingency plans with regards to even more rain, wind, and inclement weather on the way for the region for most of the next ten days?

Reply:  SacRT continues to monitor inclement weather conditions and work with our Operations and Safety teams if there are impacts (such as flooding and power outages) to bus and light rail service. We notify customers if there is a major service disruption via our alerts page at and via our Alert SacRT app (free to download at the App Store or Google Play). We post information on social media to encourage customers to check before they ride.

Folsom, CA:  When will Real Time arrival schedules be available for Light Rail?

Reply:  We are moving forward with real-time train tracking and we are currently applying for grant funding to implement this important notification system for our riders.

Citrus Heights, CA:  Route 103 became Route 193. Going to Roseville, it made sense to keep it. A year back or so, RT phased it out. (Great Recession fallout: June 2010 was when RT services took a bath.) Could you please give us a status update regarding this route? Thanks! — RT customer since 1977.

Reply:  Route 193 is one of five bus routes that’s currently entirely or partially suspended. It was suspended in April 2022 due to the prolonged operator shortage at SacRT. It was one of the routes chosen for suspension due to low ridership since the pandemic. SacRT is currently considering extending that suspension beyond April 2023. Details on that are available online at

Closing Remarks:
Thank you for your questions. The next session of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO will take place on Friday, February 3, 2023.