Transit Talk with the General Manager

June 02, 2023
Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
General Transit Questions
Opening Remarks:
Welcome to the June 2023 edition of the Transit Talk Online Chat!

New low-floor light rail trains continue to be delivered to SacRT from the manufacturer, Siemens Mobility. As more trains arrive, SacRT is working on the extensive testing process required to be able to get these trains out on the light rail system.

The new trains are currently undergoing dynamic testing, which requires the trains to be on the track during revenue service to test multiple mechanical systems. You can read more about the new low-floor train testing process here:

Thank you for your patience, as this testing requires service disruptions. Bus bridges (special shuttle buses) are in place on the north area Blue Line between Watt/I-80 and Royal Oaks stations while testing of the new low-floor trains take place on the tracks between those stations during late night hours. Train testing began on May 3, 2023, and is expected to last through October 2023.

SacRT is also continuing work on the station platform modifications along the Gold Line to meet the height requirements of the new low-floor light rail trains. For information on all the upcoming station closures, please visit

We appreciate patience from our riders as we go through these steps to prepare our light rail system for the new trains that will greatly improve the customer experience. It will be worth the wait!

If you are looking for a new career, look no further than SacRT! We will be holding two hiring events this month where anyone is invited to come in-person, apply and learn more about working for SacRT. Those events will be held Tuesday, June 6, 2023 from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Thursday, June 15, 2023 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., but you can apply anytime online at

SacRT is extending the RydeFreeRT fare-free for youth program into the 2023/2024 school year! New RydeFreeRT cards with a valid date of June 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024, are now available for students/youth to ride the entire SacRT transit network, including SacRT buses, light rail, and SmaRT Ride on-demand microtransit service for FREE!

Some students may have received the new RydeFreeRT card from their school. However, if they did not receive one, they can get one at SacRT’s Customer Service and Sales Center located at 1225 R Street (adjacent to the 13th Street Station) or at a participating Sacramento library location. For more information, visit or call 916-321-BUSS (2877).

Lastly, SacRT will be offering free rides to the annual Sacramento Pride Festival. The 2023 Sacramento Pride Festival will take place on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day on Capitol Mall between 3rd and 7th streets. Get the free ride flyer at

I know that June is going to be another great month for SacRT and its riders!

Now let’s get to your questions!

Sacramento, CA:  Hello, When will SacRt add an additional cart to the lightrail? The am commute hours have been crowded during the weekdays. Two carts are not enough, please add the third cart.

Reply:  Thank you for riding. We have been closely monitoring ridership on our light rail system, especially during peak hours. If ridership warrants it, we are prepared to add a third car to the consist.

Sacramento, CA:  I have questions about inaccessible ramps and lifts at light rail stations throughout the service area. Ramps at City College, Sacramento Valley Station, and Globe Avenue, along with the lift at the 8th and Capitol Station are all out of commission as mentioned in the general alerts section of the Regional Transit website. What is the project status/timeline in getting the necessary repairs done to make these stations fully accessible again, recognizing that each is a unique situation and have circumstances that do not necessarily relate to the fact that what’s happening at one station is not necessarily the same at another station. Thank you for allowing me to state my comment/question here before you in the month of June.

Reply:  SacRT acknowledges the inconvenience and limitations that the out of service features are creating for our customers. Due to accidents and wear and tear we have repairs in process at several locations. SacRT is moving as quickly as possible to repair each site you mentioned. The repairs may take several weeks to several months at some of our sites. We will continue to provide alternative travel options, including shuttle bus service as needed, until the repairs are complete. We will update the information on our website at as the repairs are projected to be completed.

Folsom, CA:  What’s the latest information that you can share today on the Folsom track project? When should riders begin preparing to make their own scheduling adjustments to account for any upcoming planned bus bridges and/or route and schedule changes on the F-10 to connect to/from the Gold Line at the Iron Point Station, assuming that both the Sutter Street Station and the Glenn Drive Station will be closed for the duration of the project timeline?

Reply:  You are correct that the Historic Folsom and Glenn Stations will be closed during construction; however, SacRT will be operating shuttle bus service between the Folsom stations during construction. We anticipate that the closure will begin in fall 2023 and will be completed in summer 2024. This construction schedule will be finalized in the near future. For more information on the project, visit:

West Sacramento , CA:  So, are the new light rail trains still being tested at night?

Reply:  Thank you for the question. We are very excited for the new low-floor trains. Train testing began on May 3, 2023, and is expected to last through October 2023. The new trains are undergoing dynamic testing, which requires the trains to be on the track during revenue service to test multiple mechanical systems. You can learn more on the new low-floor train testing process here:

Folsom, CA:  Do you have an estimated Date when construction will begin on 2nd track in Folsom?

Reply:  We are excited to add additional track that will allow for 15 minute headways to Folsom. The construction schedule will be finalized very soon, but should begin this fall. More information on the project is available at

Citrus Heights, CA:  Are there any free ride days and/or weeks that are upcoming where it is open to all, a free ride flyer is not necessary to show proof? Riders like myself and others I ride with appreciated what Regional Transit did back in April, and were wondering if there is anything planned and/or coming back soon.

Reply:  Yes, we received grant funding to offer some additional systemwide free ride days into 2024. Our next systemwide free ride day will be on Saturday, July 26, 2023 to celebrate national disability independence day. Our Marketing team will have more information on the free rides in the coming weeks.

Citrus Heights , CA:  So, is there still a special wrap bus to celebrate 50 years of your company?

Reply:  Yes! SacRT operated the 50 Year Anniversary bus on different routes every day in April to allow community members across the region enjoy the bus. Hopefully you will see it out on the system soon. We plan to continue operating the specially wrapped bus through the end of the year.

CARMICHAEL, CA:  It has been well documented that Bay Area transit systems are in serious fiscal trouble and are looking at draconian service reductions.I'll flip the narrative here:what has RT been doing RIGHT where our 'better funded' peers in the Bay Area have done wrong?

Reply:  While SacRT can't hypothesize on other transit agencies and what particular difficulties they may have faced because of the pandemic, we can tell you what SacRT has done to manage and mitigate the negative fiscal impacts of COVID-19 while maintaining the highest level of service to the public. SacRT quickly recognized a reduction in ridership and appropriately adjusted the frequency and volume of service to reduce expenditures while still meeting demand. SacRT implemented several additional cost cutting measures including a general hiring freeze, budgetary restrictions, and a reevaluation of all projects. SacRT also recognized the value and time sensitivity of Federal stimulus funds, and therefore shifted various existing funding sources between capital and operating to maximize the benefit and extend the period of use for these one-time funds. And we have forged various agreements with community partners to offset a decline in fare revenue while we build back ridership to 100% and above.

Rancho Cordova, CA:  What’s the latest happening on trip cancellations? Has there been a month over month improvement in this area, and has it had an impact recently with regards to near-term future bus service expansion that any planned service expansion would have to be delayed due to addressing the trip cancellations?

Reply:  SacRT did see an improvement in missed trips in April 2023 (1.7%) compared to March 2023 (2.1%). SacRT is continuously recruiting Bus Operators to address the driver shortage which many transit agencies across the country are facing. Our Bus Operations Management Team and Supervisors/Dispatchers continue to work tirelessly to respond quickly and avoid trip cancellations. We are holding two in-person hiring events this month in an effort to recruit more drivers.

Sacramento, CA:  Does the passage of the debt ceiling bill in Washington, D.C. have any positive or negative impact to the Sacramento Regional Transit District, or none whatsoever?

Reply:  We are thankful an agreement has been reached to raise the debt limit. The legislation establishes budgetary caps on both defense and nondefense spending for fiscal years (FY) 2024 and 2025. After enactment of the bill, the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations will divide total funding among the 12 Appropriations Subcommittees and provide each Subcommittee with an allocation for its bill. The total allocation for the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittees will be critical to efforts to fund public transportation at the authorized levels of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Arden/Arcade Community, CA:  Last month, I believe it was, it was mentioned that there will be no service adjustments made in the month of June, and that the next opportunity for service adjustments will be September 2023. Would you have any information available today as to what Regional Transit is considering adding, subtracting, or adjusting in September 2023 or would that be a question better answered for the next transit talk session either in July or August? Thank you.

Reply:  Frequency on the SacRT Airport Express Bus (Route 142) is every 60 minutes seven days a week. We have been in conversations with the airport to try to identify funding opportunities to increase service frequency. We have also been looking at route 11 for potential service increases and extension to the airport.

Carmichael, CA:  I like the bus tracker app that Regional Transit has developed. Will a train tracker app be available as a tool/resource soon so that when riders are at stations they don’t have to solely rely on scheduled train arrivals/departures, but rather rely for trains what is currently in place for bus service. I would love to track a train in similar fashion to how it is today to track a bus. Thank you.

Reply:  I'm glad you like the SacRT BusTracker app. We are in the works to roll out a train tracker app, we don't have a rollout date yet, but it is a resource we know will be very helpful for our riders.

South Sacramento, CA:  I enjoy the fact that I can “tap and go” on light rail. Wasn’t this coming to the bus routes, next? What’s the timeframe for this to debut on bus routes? Thank you.

Reply:  SacRT is partnering with other transit agencies in the area on a joint procurement of the hardware needed for the contactless payment devices. SACOG is leading this effort and was scheduled to release the scope of work on it this week. Once bids are received and a vendor is selected we will have a better idea of the timeline for installation. We are excited to bring this new technology to our bus fleet.

Antelope, CA:  So, when will the university 65th street station be raised as well as light rail stations east of it, including sunrise and historic Folsom?

Reply:  SacRT is currently working on platform modifications to meet the height requirements of the new low-floor trains in our downtown stations on the Gold Line. We are scheduled for construction efforts at the University/65th Street Station on the weekend of July 1 and 2, 2023. Hazel and Iron Point stations are scheduled for later in July 2023. More information on the station closure schedule is available at

Closing Remarks:
Thank you for your questions. The next session of Transit Talk with the General Manager/CEO will take place on Friday, August 4, 2023.