Transit Talk with the General Manager

March 03, 2023
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:
Welcome to the March 2023 edition of the Transit Talk Online Chat! I appreciate you joining me on your Friday lunch hour.

As SacRT moves toward spring, we have many exciting updates to share. One of the most noteworthy is the Light Rail Modernization Project.
The first new low-floor light rail train, which was built at Siemens Mobility in south Sacramento, was delivered last month! This is the first of 28 trains that Siemens is currently building for SacRT. This first low-floor train will go through a rigorous testing process before it can be put into revenue service with passengers onboard. SacRT expects to have the station conversions and low-floor trains ready for service by summer 2024.

The first phase of construction work is currently underway to modify 14 light rail stations between 59th Street and Sacramento Valley stations to accommodate the boarding platform height requirements for the new low-floor light rail trains.

Several light rail service disruptions are planned for multiple weekends in March and April for construction for station modification. During construction, riders will be able to travel between light rail stations through a bus bridge (shuttle buses).

This weekend, March 4 and 5, there are planned light rail service disruptions on the Gold Line and Blue Line due to construction activities. Please plan your travel accordingly. SacRT is replacing concrete at the 39th Street Station in preparation for platform modification construction the following weekend, which will impact Gold Line service. In addition, SMUD is working on a utility pole replacement project that will impact service on the Blue Line. Visit for details.

SacRT is looking forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary of operation as of April 1, 2023! We're celebrating this important milestone by looking back at our history and celebrating what is still to come. We want to celebrate with our riders and will be hosting celebratory pop-up events at different transit centers and stations across the region during the month of April, and the roll out of a special 50th Anniversary edition bus and train that will be in service starting in April.

Another important celebration is Transit Driver Appreciation Day, Saturday, March 18, 2023. Our drivers work 365 days a year, rain or shine, to get you where you need to go. Be sure to take a moment on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, to let them know how much you appreciate them.

The Bus Stop Improvement Plan is now complete! Thanks to the hard work of SacRT planning staff and our partner organization Civic Thread. The final document is available online at

We are also seeking public comment on the 2023 Title VI Program Update, which is available at

Finally, please note that starting Sunday, April 2, 2023, we will implement minor service adjustments on bus routes 72 and 86. New timetables will be available at by mid-March.

Now let's get to your questions.

Carmichael, CA:  Will there be anymore giveaways for SacRT Merch this year?

Reply:  Our SacRT Street Team holds pop-ups and rides transit each week and they have different items to give out to riders. I'm not sure if you are looking for something specific, but we are also getting ready to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and will have some special items to celebrate that milestone.

Northeast Sacramento , CA:  Hey mister li. When will there be new buses to meet the demand for smart ride as I know you already have enough drivers?

Reply:  Thank you for your question. We currently have 45 vehicles dedicated to serving SacRT's nine SmaRT Ride Zones. In January, the Board approved the purchase of 16 cutaway replacement vehicles and we are excited to have them delivered later this year.

Folsom, CA:  The Connect Card Reader screen on the south side of Glenn Station is still dark, impossible to read, and has been like this for months!!! When is this going to be fixed? Please advise.

Reply:  Thank you for reaching out to me with your concern. I’ve reached out to those responsible with maintaining the field equipment to ensure that they are aware of the issue and make it a priority.

Rancho Cordova, CA:  Hi, I seen recently that at the Stockton Blvd grade crossing on the Gold Line, one of the large signal cantilever structures were knocked down again by a big rig and trains are back stopping the proceeding at the crossing. This was the third time this happened since 2020 and was curious are there any plans to prevent this from repeating as I know those cantilevers cost a lot of money plus causing trains to have to stop and go at the crossing before a new one is put up.

Reply:  SacRT is working with the City of Sacramento to address the issues at this location. The city has approved a plan which include prohibiting right turns from 34th onto Stockton. R Street will be turned into a one-way and vehicles will be allowed to turn right and use R street to get to Stockton. The city is expected to work on this plan in the coming weeks.

Sacramento, CA:  Little Italy Historic District was recently designated in a small area of East Sacramento bounded by 48th to 59th Sts and J St to Folsom Blvd. Maybe SacRT could add "Little Italy" to 59th St station?

Reply:  Thank you for the great suggestion. This is something we can consider once our station naming agreement expires, as it fits within a naming designation.

Folsom, CA:  So, when will the watt and 80, and Folsom stations be modernized?

Reply:  We are currently working on the Light Rail Modernization project, which includes adding a passing track on the Gold line to allow for 15-minute service to Folsom area stations. We are still working on funding for the platform modifications for the Folsom area stations. We are currently working on Gold Line station platforms between 59th Street and Sacramento Valley Station. As for the Watt/I-80 station, we are on track to award the construction contract by December 2023 and construction is expected to take two years.

Davis, CA:  When will we see BRT in Sacramento? We have a lot of bus routes that move very slowly through the very spread-out region.

Reply:  We have several Bus Rapid Transit corridors identified in our High Capacity Bus Service Study. We are currently working with the City of Sacramento and Sacramento County on Stockton Blvd and we’re also looking at potential funding programs for planning and environmental for both BRT and Transit Signal Priority.

Sacramento, CA:  Has SacRT experienced any increase in ridership numbers over the last two years ? Can we expect the SmaRT Ride services to continue or for the next few years ? Thank You.

Reply:  Thanks for asking. SacRT is seeing an increase in ridership since the pandemic started. We are back to 70% of pre-pandemic ridership overall. We are still working on securing funding to continue the SmaRT Ride program.

Closing Remarks:
Thank you for your questions. The next session of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO will take place on Friday, April 7, 2023.