SacRT, and many local politicians, want the Green Line to the Airport to be the next big transit project in the region. I have doubts, and have written about them before (Green Line to the Airport, Open houses on Green Line to the Airport, linking the colleges?, SacRT light rail extensions). Jarrett Walker, my favorite writer on transit, has posted Keys to Great Airport Transit, a great analysis […]

SacRT is holding community open houses on the Green Line to the Airport in early December. December 1 in North Natomas, December 2 in Sacramento, and December 3 in South Natomas. Details are at http://www.sacrt.com/glopenhouse.stm. As I’ve written before, I don’t think that an extension to the airport makes economic sense, with likely low ridership and […]

I attended the Blue Line extension to Cosumnes River College (CRC) Grand Opening this morning at Meadowview station and then at CRC station. It was a lot of fun. There were more politicians in one place that I think I’ve seen, and they were justifiably proud of their part in supporting this extension, some having worked on it for years. [Photos on Flickr]

A number of speakers talked about linking the colleges, in this case Sacramento City College and Cosumnes River College. An increasing number of students apparently take classes at more than one campus in order to get the ones they need, so this extension is expected to help them, whether they don’t have a car or just choose to get around in a more convenient and more responsible way. Folsom Lake College’s Rancho Cordova Center is very close to the Mather/Mills light rail station. The Cosumnes River College’s Elk Grove Center will be on light rail if the Blue Line is extended to Elk Grove (Blue Line Phase 3). American River College’s Natomas Center will be on light rail if the Green Line is extended to Natomas. All of these connections are great, for students and for the community.

Unfortunately, American River College’s (ARC) main campus in North Highlands was barely mentioned. Brian King, Chancellor of Los Rios Community College District, said that ARC was served by a robust bus system. Unfortunately, that is not true. ARC is served by Route 1 (Greenback) on a 15 minutes frequency, and Route 82 (Howe-65th) on a 30 minute frequency, which is hardly robust service. Route 82 only runs until 9:30PM, missing students with later classes or who are staying to study, and who need to make connections to other buses or light rail to get back home.

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SacRT is considering a number of extensions to the light rail system, beyond the opening of the Blue Line extension from Meadowview station to Cosumnes River College, which will occur August 24.

These are:

  1. lpa_mapGreen Line to the Airport, also known as DNA (Downtown, Natomas, Airport). This project is likely in two phases, first from the current end at Richards Blvd to somewhere in North Natomas, and second the rest of the way to the airport. Information on this project is on the SacRT website. This project is furthest along, and the draft EIS/EIR is now being prepared. The map of the “locally preferred alternative” is at right, and this links to the larger map on the SacRT website.
  2. Blue Line to Elk Grove. This project has been talked about, particularly as the line to CRC has approached completion and generated discussions of whether or not Elk Grove residents will be willing to change from bus to light rail at CRC. So far as I know, there are no publicly available documents on this extension, but it is included in the 2009 Transit Action Plan updated Scenario C (below).
  3. Blue Line Northeast Corridor. This project would extend the line to the northeast, to American River College, Citrus Heights, or Roseville. Though this project was part of the original vision of the light rail line when constructed back in the 1970s, it has not received much notice while I’ve been in Sacramento. So far as I know, there are no publicly available documents on this extension, but it is included in the 2009 Transit Action Plan updated Scenario C (below).

SacRT_TransitActionPlan-ScenarioC

Each of these extensions are worth exploring in detail, but for now I’m posting because I have two ideas I want to share.

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In the recently announced round of grants under the CalSTA Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, SacRT received funding to refurbish the remainder of light rail vehicles from San Jose. The money is from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund using proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions. The statewide total was $224M. 7. Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) […]

The condition and future of Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT), particularly the light rail system, has been much in the news recently:

Everyone these days seems to want a better transit system. The problem is that no one wants to pay for a better transit system. The business leaders who suddenly want a modern, appealing, well-maintained light rail are the same ones that have worked over the years to suppress efforts at increasing the tax base for operation of the system.

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SacRT has joined the 20th century! There are now twelve fare vending machines that accept credit and debit cards for purchasing tickets. Though the machines are all located at light rail stations, the tickets can be used on SacRT buses as well. Most months I buy a monthly pass, but since in February I am […]

I was at the Arden – Del Paso light rail station this evening after seeing a play at Big Idea Theatre, waiting for the last Blue line train back downtown, and in walking around noticed a big problem with lights. Of the lights at the station, 40% were out. But there is a thicket of […]

bike lockers at SacRT light rail Glenn station in Folsom

bike lockers at SacRT light rail Glenn station in Folsom (SacRT rental, BikeLink, bike racks)

If you are a light rail user, you may have noticed bike storage lockers at some of the stations. Two types of lockers exist:

  1. rental lockers at 19 SacRT light rail stations, which are listed on the SacRT “Biking with RT” webpage
  2. on-demand lockers at 3 SacRT light rail stations in Folsom, plus the Folsom Pedal Stop bike station

The rental lockers work well for people who routinely commute the same route to and from work, and are leased for 6 months or 13 months at pretty reasonable rates. The downside to rental lockers is that they can be used by only one person, and are empty when not in use by that person. Mike Mattos, SacRT Chief of Facilities & Business Support Services Division, said that these lockers were mostly purchased at the time of rail extensions, and they are repaired and replaced from operating funds. They move lockers from one station to others as demand changes. They have explored on-demand systems, but have not installed any because they don’t feel that any vendors so far meet their criteria. He pointed out that the downside of on-demand systems for typical commuters is that they don’t then have a guaranteed space at their station.

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The other item I want to talk about at the Unmet Transit Needs meeting today is bicycle capacity on SacRT’s light rail system. I’ve written about bikes on light rail previously, and won’t repeat that detailed post here, except to say again that SacRT is not meeting the needs of transit users with bicycles on […]