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 […]

I attended the SACOG final hearing on unmet transit needs. Apparently the process is repeated every year, so this is just the last one for this fiscal year. I spoke, as planned, on the unmet needs of bicyclists on light rail and level boarding with low floor light rail cars. Board member Steve Cohn welcomed […]

SacRT light rail steep steps for bicyclist

SacRT light rail steep steps for bicyclist

Today in Sacramento will be the last of SACOG’s Unmet Transit Needs meetings. It will start at 9:30AM in the SACOG board room at 1415 L St, Ste 300, in downtown Sacramento, near the northeast corner of Capitol Park. In preparation for that meeting, I’m thinking about the things I’d like to talk about, particularly issues that I’m not sure that others will bring up. Those two are bicycles on light rail, and level boarding for light rail. I’ve said a bit about level boarding in my Portland post, but there is plenty more to say.

The SacRT light rail system has high floor cars. Both the older 100 series cars by Siemens Transportation Systems and the newer 200 series cars by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) have high floors. People must navigate steep stairs from the ground to the car. Disabled people are accommodated by a high boarding platform, but with only one platform at each station (and none for southbound blue line at 12th & I station), those needing level boarding are restricted to one end of the lead car, and all other doors and cars exclude them. Many people who use the train don’t consider themselves disabled enough to use the high boarding platforms, yet struggle with getting up and down the steps. Many bicyclists also struggle with these steps. The handrails which are provided in the middle of the stairs to assist people with the steep steps are themselves part of the problem, as they block people who are carrying items such as strollers, groceries, luggage and bicycles. Continue reading

Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) is working on a project that they call TransitRenewal. It is an effort to rebuild the transit system that existed prior to 2010 when it was decimated by cuts. People who live in the downtown/mid-town/EastSac area mostly notice that the system stops running very early in the evening, but people who live in the more outlying area of the regional suffer from the full extent of the decimation. Signs that say “temporarily no bus service” are found along arterial streets everywhere, as many the routes simply don’t exist anymore. SacRT wants to bring back the most useful of these routes, as well as to extend the schedule by about two hours, ending soon after 11 instead of soon after 8.

The next event in the TransitRenewal process is a hearing on Monday, March 26, starting at 6:00PM, at the RT Auditorium at 1400 29th St, Sacramento. I encourage you to take a look at the website, pick one or a few routes of importance to you, and then go to the hearing and speak about these routes. SacRT hearings are often lightly attended, so your voice has a impact than you’d think. If you can’t attend the hearing, you can comment online, by phone, or at some less formal outreach opportunities.

SacRT was also involved in an effort by Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) to document Unmet Transit Needs. As part of both these processes, I investigated the current situation and possible improvement of several routes that I am concerned about. I recently posted about how to improve bicycle access on light rail, and below are my thoughts about Route 1, which runs from McClelland to Sunrise Mall in the northeast suburbs of Sacramento county. Continue reading