Sacramento Light Rail gets a makeover, but how will we pay for it?  And If we expand it, how will we increase ridership?  Will it help if Gas Prices hit $10 a gallon?   In Europe, mass transit is widely used; why?  

Here’s what’s happening:

  • New Trains, Improved Accessibility: The new low-floor trains are more accessible for riders with disabilities.
    • Sustainable Future: These state-of-the-art trains are built with sustainability in mind.
    • Supporting Local Jobs: The new trains are built in Sacramento by Siemens Mobility’s local train factory, the region’s second-largest manufacturer.
  • A Phased Approach to Modernization:  RT’s Modernization Project is a multi-year initiative.  The new trains are just one piece of the puzzle. Other improvements include:
    • Accessible Stations: All 53 stations are being converted to accommodate the low-floor vehicles.
    • Double Tracking: Adding double tracks to increase capacity.

Sacramento RT needs to increase ridership, which, according to the Bee in February 2023, was only 70% of what it was pre-pandemic.  I have lived in Sacramento since 1991 and have never ridden on Light Rail.  I have taken the bus from Land Park to Downtown, but that’s it.  How about a PR Campaign?  “Light Rail gets you there on time – safely.”

With funding from the State down and Sacramento’s marginal financial condition, rationalizing the investment requires a long-term view. You can’t rely on raising fares. Alternative revenue sources must be maximized, including public subsidies (Federal programs). To increase ridership, Step 1 is to increase awareness and change consumer perception. What say you?

Check out the recent article regarding SAC RT investment in the future.  Sacramento Regional Transit