Calif.’s Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) was awarded a $13 million grant from the California Transportation Commission (CTC), which will support the replacement of SacRT’s outdated fare vending machines along with the installation of new digital information signs with updated security features.

Many of the system’s existing fare vending machines are more than 15 years old and only accept cash and coin. The new machines will allow passengers to pay with credit, debit, and Connect Card — the region’s new transit smart card.

“SacRT really appreciates the partnership with one of its major funding partners, the CTC, as these funds are urgently needed. With these state funds, we are looking forward to providing state-of-the-art amenities to our customers,” said GM/CEO Henry Li. “The timing is perfect as we just rolled out our new Connect Card, and these updated machines will ensure that smart card technology is available to everyone, whether they are using cash or credit.”

The grant also provides funds to install a second information sign on all light rail platforms to improve communication with passengers. Right now, many stations only have one digital sign and the coverage is limited to properly inform customers.

The grant funding will also be used to pay for the relocation of a traction power substation that is currently located on land owned by SMUD. The electricity provider intends to build a new substation near 6th and G streets to improve its ability to provide power to the region, but SacRT will no longer be able to maintain its substation on the current easement. A total of $5 million will be allocated to the relocation project, which must be completed by the end of summer 2018.

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