Calif.’s Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) Board of Directors approved staff recommendations to use funds resulting from cost-cutting measures and operational efficiency savings to reduce fares in an effort to invest back in the Sacramento community. Given the success that SacRT has had at controlling costs during the last couple of years, the district now has more flexibility to pass the savings back to customers by implementing improved and more frequent services. This is the first general fare reduction in SacRT’s 47-year history.
The basic single ride would decrease by 25 cents, and the discount single ride would decrease by 10 cents. The basic monthly pass would decrease by $10, the discount monthly pass would decrease by $5, the paratransit single ride would decrease by 50 cents, and the super senior fare would decrease by $2.
Fare changes also include the reimplementation of a 25-cent transfer ticket, which allows riders who purchase a single ride ticket with cash to transfer between bus and light rail, light rail to bus, or bus to bus. Riders are already able to transfer for free using electronic fare media using ZipPass or Connect Card. An aggressive implementation schedule would allow SacRT to roll out the fare reduction as early as October 2018 to benefit the largest percentage of riders.
SacRT is focused on building ridership and promoting the use of a system that is clean, safe, and convenient for its customers. Fare reductions, re-introduction of transfers and service improvements will make the network more convenient for riders to use.
“SacRT has been able to control costs through organizational changes and operational efficiencies. These efforts have helped to build reserves of approximately $10 million and promote a more stable, long-term financial outlook,” said Patrick Kennedy, SacRT board chair. “Given the success SacRT has had at controlling costs, we can grow ridership through fare reductions and other measures.”
In addition, SacRT will increase weekend light rail service frequency from 30 minutes to 15 minutes starting in January 2019. On Saturdays, the 15-minute service will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Sundays and holidays, the 15-minute service will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All other times on Saturdays and Sundays/holidays, light rail frequency will be 30 minutes.