The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) celebrated the opening of the agency’s Blue Line light rail extension to Cosumnes River College (CRC), which will significantly improve transit options for residents traveling between downtown Sacramento and the growing South Sacramento corridor.
“Sacramento’s new light rail extension will improve access to jobs, education and other important ladders of opportunity for thousands of area residents, including CRC students, faculty and staff,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The Obama Administration is proud to support projects like this one that spur new economic development, reduce congestion and offer new travel options that will meet the needs of a growing population.”
The expansion offers local commuters an alternative to congested Highway 99 and brings new transit service to the area’s major employers. It will also encourage new retail and residential development in specially zoned areas along the light rail line.
“California’s capital region needs and deserves a robust public transportation network that connects residents to employment opportunities downtown, as well as South Sacramento, and other destinations throughout Sacramento County,” said FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “With continued population growth expected in the coming decades, Sacramento’s expanded light rail system will bring much-needed world class transit options to this growing region.”
The project extends Blue Line light rail service 4.3 miles from Meadowview Road to Cosumnes River College and includes new stations at Franklin Boulevard, Center Parkway and the college, and a new park-and-ride lot. RT estimates the extension will provide approximately 2,800 trips in addition to existing average weekday light rail ridership, which is approximately 39,400.
The Federal Transit Administration contributed $135 million toward the $270 million total project cost through its Capital Investment Grant Program and an additional $7.1 million in other U.S. DOT funds. The remaining cost was covered by state and local funding.