August 29, 2012

Calif.’s Sacramento RT expands light rail, bus service

Effective Sunday, Sept.r 2, 2012, the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) will implement major service improvements that will extend night service on light rail and nine major bus routes, increase frequency on highly-utilized bus routes and restructure bus routes to better serve riders.

Light rail service will be extended on the Blue Line and Gold Line to approximately 12:30 a.m. (from 10:30 p.m.) on weekdays and Saturdays. Bus service improvements include new service on weekdays in Citrus Heights (Route 95), and new service on Saturdays in Natomas along Truxel Road (Route 11) and in south Sacramento along Center Parkway (Route 54). RT will extend weekday evening/night service on Routes 1, 21, 23, 30, 51, 56, 80, 81 and 82.

Along with the Green Line to the River District light rail extension, which opened in June 2012, these improvements represent the first time RT has added service since budget cuts forced major service reductions in June 2010.  Since that time, RT has rebounded from a 23% reduction in bus service and a 21% reduction in light rail service to begin adding service.

Over this two-year period, RT has worked diligently to reduce operating costs and cut expenses, while continuing to make progress on significant capital projects. In addition to the opening of the Green Line, construction is under way on a five-level parking structure and two light rail bridges for the Blue Line to Cosumnes River College light rail extension. The anticipated award of a Full Funding Grant Agreement in December 2012 will allow construction to begin on the entire project in early 2013. In addition, RT ended Fiscal Year 2012 with approximately $5.5 million in reserves and recently adopted a Fiscal Year 2013 budget that forecasts an additional $4.5 million in reserve by July 2013.

The September 2012 service changes are the first-year TransitRenewal service improvements based on community input. TransitRenewal —  a comprehensive operational analysis of the RT bus and light rail system — resulted in recommendations on how to restore, restructure and “renew” transit service through 2017.

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