Transit Talk with the General Manager

February 03, 2023
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:
Welcome to the February 2023 edition of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO.

I'd like to begin this month's chat by recognizing the significant role that Rosa Parks played in the American Civil Rights movement and the tie-in to public transit. We will recognize Rosa Parks Day, Saturday, February 4, by "saving a seat" on every bus with a special Rosa Parks sign, and offering free rides on all fixed-route buses, including Elk Grove fixed route service! Please present the free ride flyer available at

This weekend also represents SacRT's first phase of construction for what will be the largest light rail modernization program in our history. One major part of this project is modifying the existing light rail stations to accommodate the new low-floor trains. The first station to be modified is the 59th Street Station along the Gold Line. That work will take place all day on Saturday, February 4 and Sunday, February 5. It will be necessary to shut down service to the surrounding stations as well, so light rail service will be impacted between the 29th Street Station, 39th Street Station, 48th Street Station, 59th Street Station, University/65th Street Station and Power Inn Station. Shuttle buses (bus bridge) will be in place to transport riders between these stations during the closure. Normal light rail service will resume at the start of service on Monday, February 6. Learn more at

As a reminder, today is the last day to submit any comments on the Draft Bus Stop Improvement Plan. Please visit to comment. Input provided from riders will be incorporated into the final document.

We will also be taking public comments starting in February on our 2023 Title VI Program Update. This program includes information about Title VI complaints and how SacRT communicates information about our services, fares, and projects to its riders. The program also includes a service monitoring report, which analyzes equity in services provided among minority and low-income populations and identifies how to communicate with limited-English riders. The public comment period will be open for 30 days and the draft program will be available on our website at

Did you know that SacRT works with many businesses to procure goods and services? SacRT is offering several FREE webinars in 2023 for potential vendors to share How to Do Business with SacRT. The webinars are presented in partnership with the California Capital Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). The next webinar will be held on February 9, 2023 at 9 a.m. Visit to learn how to participate.

Lastly, a reminder that we are continuously hiring! SacRT is a great place to work, with competitive salary and benefits. We offer many different positions. Learn more and apply at

Now let's get to your questions!

Midtown Sacramento, CA:  During the past 24 hours, neighbors around the area of 16th St station have noticed an increased use of train horns at all hours of the day, making it impossible to rest, especially in the early morning. Is this a new instruction train conductors are following? It seems that they do it every time they go through an intersection, at least at 16th St. Thanks,

Reply:  The January storms damaged a number of SacRT's crossing arms. SacRT's Wayside Maintenance team has ongoing grade crossing capital project work from 7am to 3:30pm, daily, at various locations, including the R street corridor from 13th to 17th. While this work is ongoing, the grade crossings are considered unprotected. As a result, train operators are required to stop, prior to entering the grade crossing, and sound their horns while proceeding through. This R street corridor work started this week and should be completed today, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Elk Grove, CA:  Are there any extending light rail from CRC station to Elk Grove soon ?? What is status for this part ?

Reply:  Thank you for your question. The Blue Line Light Rail Extension to Elk Grove is included in the SacRT's Transit Action Plan and the Elk Grove General Plan. SacRT is currently obtaining irrevocable offers of dedication on Bruceville Road within the City of Sacramento. The City of Elk Grove is obtaining right-of-way and irrevocable offers of dedication within city limits. We are continuing to coordinate with Elk Grove and SACOG on supportive land use along the route as we begin the planning effort.

Sacramento, CA:  What is being done about the consistently active drug use on trains? Smoking marijuana which is an issue due to smoke in car, lack of ventilation. Creating health hazards for other passengers

Reply:  We proactively look for the use of any narcotics including marijuana. We do this by having our Transit Ambassadors on trains, guards on the station platforms and our sworn law enforcement officers throughout the system. We appreciate any public assistance by reporting any issues through the free Alert SacRT app. Utilizing the app will trigger an immediate response by someone in our Police Services department.

Sacramento, CA:  Will the new low floor trains have a ramp come out in order for passengers to board?

Reply:  The new low floor trains will have a ramp/bridge plate that passengers can deploy from a button on the outside and inside of the train.

Sacramento, CA:  During peak hours, I’ve noticed that the gold line trains tend to only have one car. Is there a reason for this?

Reply:  The current goal is to have a minimum of two cars per train, based on current ridership. At times, a two car train will experience a malfunction which may require one of the cars to be removed, resulting in a one car train for that trip. However, we make every effort to add a second car back to the train at the earliest possibility. Also, the recent severe winter storms impacted our ability to perform certain high speed train tests necessary to ensure repairs to safety features. However, we have recently worked through a significant portion of our testing backlog, and have the required vehicle availability to ensure we consistently meet the two car minimum goal.

ELK GROVE, CA:  Does the new bus tracker work for ETran? We need one for ETran if not. thanks.

Reply:  Thank you for the question. Elk Grove Transit Services does not work on the SacRT BusTracker due to different technology in the buses. Elk Grove riders should use these app options to track their bus:

Folsom, CA:  Are there any concept drawings available that show the new Hazel and Glenn Stations with the new 2nd track?

Reply:  Thank you for your question. We are excited to begin construction in the side track in Folsom later this year. At this time, we don't have concept drawing available. You can read more about the project and the location of the new track on our project website:

Folsom, CA:  Any estimate when power will be restored to 7th & Capitol station?

Reply:  Work has been done to fix the connection at the site. Inspections are currently being done and we expect the power to be reconnected by SMUD within two weeks.

Sacramento , CA:  Hey mr li. When will one of the new Siemens s700 low floor light rail vehicles your agency purchased recently be available for public display and viewing?

Reply:  We will be working on scheduling a public viewing of the new low-floor light rail trains in the coming months, stay turned for plans in April.

Sacramento, CA:  Why isn’t real time information about trains and busses available on Google or Apple?

Reply:  We are currently working on a real-time train tracker option, but it is not available at this time.

Sacramento, CA:  What happened to the real-time bus tracking? It hasn't been functioning very well at all recently and is making it difficult to know where and when the bus actually will be

Reply:  We recently launched a new real-time bus tracker, called SacRT BusTracker. You can track your bus in real-time from a desktop, tablet or download a the free mobile app. Visit to learn more.

Sacramento, CA:  Could the announcement for the train station stops be turned off? They are loud and sometimes it's hard to focus over them.

Reply:  We are required to have audible announcements for passengers that are visually impaired, just as we have visual messaging for passengers that are hearing impaired.

Sacramento, CA:  I have seen a number of news stories about the change to downtown brought about by the pandemic. The current bus network is based on a study done BEFORE the pandemic. Do you envision performing a new study soon to create the POST pandemic network?

Reply:  SacRT will undertake a Long Range Transit Plan in FY 24. This new plan will utilize real-time origin/destination data to provide updated travel patterns. Recommendations from that plan may result in updates to existing route structures. A bus specific comprehensive operational analysis is not currently planned, but could be in the 5 year horizon.

Sacramento, CA:  I've seen a lot of momentum online surrounding the Green Line to the Airport, especially with the announcements of improvements to SMF. My question is, will the Green Line be built to the same standard as the Blue & Gold were, meaning Park & Rides and low-density land use? I think now is the perfect opportunity to collaborate with the City of Sacramento and build some awesome TOD surrounding new stations and a very VERY limited number of park & ride lots before committing to that. It didn't work to build a lot of ridership and didn't create a huge mode shift/reduce VMT for either of the current lines now and there's absolutely no reason to think that it will work again. More housing = more riders.

Reply:  The Green Line to the Airport has long been planned and would provide connectivity to SMF and the entire SacRT system. SacRT is currently revising draft environmental documents for the project, but final environmental impact documents must be completed, and further progress is dependent on securing a matching local funding source that will allow SacRT to enter into the federal capital investment grant program for the remaining funding. For a project to be competitive it will need to demonstrate ridership projections and transit supportive land use.

Rosemont, CA:  Good morning, Mr. Li is there a way I could purchase fare with Apple pay, it is easier and more secure than a credit card? How do I find what bus I would need for Sacramento International Airport?

Reply:  Apple Pay is currently available at our light rail fare vending machines and on board our trains using the Contactless Farey Payment system. SacRT is actively seeking information from fare collection providers on ways to enhance fare collection and deliver additional fare payment options to our customers in the future. As for the Airport Express Bus (Route 142), it is available hourly between downtown Sacramento and the Sacramento International Airport. Visit for the schedule.

Sacramento, CA:  I remember a while back RT had committed to no longer putting advertisements over windows of buses and trains, yet I've seen several new wraps and stickers placed exactly in the same spots. I thought there was agreement that placing ads over the windows was a detriment to the riders' experience and makes it difficult to see where you are at night, what happened?

Reply:  If this is a bus ad, the wrap should not completely cover the all the windows, coverage is permittable up to 50%. Regarding wraps on the light rail trains, the 50% coverage will apply when we go out for a new vehicle advertising contract.

Sacramento , CA:  Will we see any service, whether bus or shuttle, to Delta Shores anytime soon? We can get to just about any other shopping area in Sacramento, Roseville & Folsom by bus & light rail, but not Delta Shores.

Reply:  We have plans for service to Delta Shores in our Short Range Transit Plan; however, at this time, we are still operating only about 97 percent of our full system, due to the continued shortage in operators. Until the operator shortage is abated, and service levels are fully restored to normal, we don’t anticipate adding any new service, with the exception of a new commuter service from Elk Grove which will launch this fall, for which we entered into a full-funding agreement with UC Davis Health.

Antelope, CA:  Hey Henry li. I am a frequent rider of bus routes 84 and 93 and was wondering when there will be additional bus stops between Andrea, Diablo, and antelope Roseville roads and if the stop announcement system for route 84 past walerga and holworthy will announce the stops for antelope and walerga as well as walerga and big cloud way. Every time I’ve ridden it, past the holworthy stop it always only said Elverta and walerga. I just feel that can confuse some riders and when they request to stop they won’t get off at said stop and get off the stops before that one instead.

Reply:  Thank you for asking! We actually have plans for new bus stops on Route 93, near Diablo and Roseville Road area, to close an existing gap in bus stops. Please see our Draft Bus Stop Improvement Plan (, which is currently available for public review. Today is actually the last day to make a public comment. You can find plans for the Andrea/Diablo area in Appendix E-1, beginning on Page 71. As for the question on the route 84 stop annoucement, I will ask our team to investigate.

Sacramento, CA:  I believe I reported LED not working (23rd Street Station, Eastbound) on October 15th, 2020. I received response, however, it appears no action has been taken to correct Signage Issue. Why is it NOT important to Sacramento Regional Transit to fix their sign?

Reply:  Our IT team is working on updating all of the Electronic Message Boards at stations, the project is not complete yet, but I will make sure they are aware of the issue at 23rd Street Station.

Sacramento, CA:  Will SacRT be replacing outdated rails/ties during the station construction? There's some extremely rough sections of track along the older portions of the Gold Line (like between College Greens & Watt) that need some love.

Reply:  Track ties will not be replaced during any low-floor station modifications, but we are working on a track tie replacement program for the Gold Line from College Greens to 59th Street stations.

Orangevale, CA:  I live in Orangevale and there are no buses, how are residents supposed to get around?

Reply:  Not all of Orangevale is served by SmaRT Ride, but depending on where you live, you may be able to ride our SmaRT Ride microtransit service in the Citrus Heights-Antelope-Orangevale zone, which operates Monday to Friday, from 6 am to 9 pm, and which costs $2.50 per trip. Certainly there are some communities that lack bus service. SacRT currently receives 1/6th of a penny in local sales tax, significantly less than most of our transit peers. Last fall, there was a sales tax measure on the ballot that would have increased local funding for transit among other items, but it did not pass.

Sacramento, CA:  Hello, First, thanks to SacRT staff for your work dealing with the weather the past month. I know it has been difficult but use of the Alert SacRT app has been very helpful as a rider. My question is, I use the Google Maps and Transit apps to track real time SacRT bus information/location. The function seems to have been broken the past few months. Is something wrong with the real time bus data/API/system? This is important since many lines have very infrequent headways. Thanks, Ansel

Reply:  I checked with our IT team and there isn't an issue with our GTFS feeds, but we are double checking with Transit App to make sure there isn't an issue on their end. We also have a new SacRT BusTracker app available with real-time bus tracking information. Its available at

Sacramento, CA:  Do you have any regulations concerning a person that stands at the front of the bus either talking to the driver or to passengers seated on the bus? The previous Driver (female) that changed routes effective Jan 1, 2023 was always distracted and missed passenger stops and even when the new Driver does not engage, but he continues to talk loudly about sports to another passenger (standing at the front, blocking those entering/exiting while he talks loudly, using some profanity. Please advise if there are any guidelines in place as far as him taking a seat. I want to enjoy my commute and he is very annoying to many of us. I appreciate any solutions you may have. This is the driver for route 129 departing at 16:35 on the Arden Commuter. Thank you for your wonderful service.

Reply:  All passengers are encouraged to take a seat when one is available and must stay behind the white line (that is right behind the driver’s area/and boarding). Operators are trained to minimize distractions while driving, including talking to passengers. It will be helpful if we have the specific time and date an incident occurs so we can pull the video, review and apply corrective action if needed and/or coach the operator on how to deal with the situation.

Sacramento, CA:  Hi, Can SacRT change the name of the 4th Ave/Wayne Hultgren Station to Freeport/Wayne Hultgren instead? It just makes too much sense from a branding and marketing standpoint, since Freeport Blvd is a major commerical thoroughfare and 4th Ave is a residential street

Reply:  Thank you for the inquiry to rename the station and understand your suggested naming relevance to the area; however, the 4th Avenue/Wayne Hultgren Station was dedicated to the Mr. Hultgren who founded the Modern Transit Society of Sacramento to promote public transit as an alternative to the automobile and to alleviate congestion and air pollution. Under his determined leadership, the Modern Transit Society organized business and community groups in a successful grassroots campaign that resulted in the opening of the first 18.3-mile starter line in 1987. The California State Senate, the Sacramento Regional Transit District, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, and the Environmental Council of Sacramento recognized his vision and leadership, which led to his unofficial designation as Sacramento's "Father of Light Rail.” As you can read, the station naming was a big community endeavor. We will keep your feedback for future consideration if there are planned changes.

Rancho Cordova, CA:  Does the modernization project include upgrades to the grade crossing signals? I have been seeing work crews replacing the gate mechanisms on crossing signals lately pretty cool to see.

Reply:  The Light Rail Modernization Project is working on modifying stations along the Gold Line for the new low-floor light rail stations, adding a passing track to provide 15-minute service to Folsom area stations and purchasing new low-floor light rail vehicles. The work you are seeing on the grade crossings, are final repairs after the storms last month.

Sacramento, CA:  With regards to the modernization program, what station and/or stations are next up, after 59th is done on or around March 3, 2023?

Reply:  We will roll out a station closure plan after this weekends work on 59th Street Station. Please visit station closure to get details on the next stations next week.

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