Blue Line (Sacramento RT)
The Blue Line is a light rail line in the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) system. It runs primarily north–south in Sacramento between Watt/I-80 and Cosumnes River College. Along the route, the Blue Line serves North Highlands, North Sacramento, Downtown and South Sacramento. Portions of the Blue Line run along the original initial alignment between Watt/I-80 and 16th Street stations.
|System||Sacramento RT Light Rail|
Cosumnes River College (south)
|Daily ridership||18,435 (Q2 2018)|
|Opened||1987 (as Watt/I-80–Downtown–Butterfield)|
|Operator(s)||Sacramento Regional Transit District|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (standard gauge)|
The first light rail line of the RT opened March 12, 1987. Initial service commenced between Watt/I-80 and 8th & O stations only for the first six months. It was extended to Butterfield that same year on September 5. In all, it was an 18.3-mile (29.5 km) route between Watt/I-80 station in North Sacramento, through downtown, and continuing east on Folsom Blvd. to Butterfield Way station. It was built at a cost of $176 million USD ($396 million adjusted for inflation), which included the cost of vehicles and maintenance and storage facilities. Much of the line, when it was first built, was single-tracked, though improvements over the 1990s allowed much of the original system to be double-tracked. The line was built mainly using a railroad right-of-way, coupled with use of structures of an abandoned freeway project. A limited portion of the route runs on streets, mainly in downtown Sacramento.
The line became more popular than anyone anticipated, necessitating further expansions and improvements to the system.
Sacramento RT has proposed extending the light rail system 11.2-mile (18.0 km) south to the town of Elk Grove in phases.
The first phase of the southern extension opened on September 26, 2003 with 6.3 miles (10.1 km) added from 16th Street station to Meadowview Road. The extension added seven new stations to the system and runs parallel to a railroad right-of-way. The light rail system was reconfigured in June 2005 with the South Line connected to the Watt I-80/Downtown Line and designated as the Blue Line.
The second phase of the southern extension opened more than a decade later on August 24, 2015, with 4.3 miles (6.9 km) added from Meadowview Road to Cosumnes River College. The extension added seven new stations to the system. A fourth station, Morrison Creek, will open as an infill station after the adjacent land had been developed. Sacramento RT added a large parking structure at Cosumnes River College to attract riders from southern Sacramento County and boost ridership. (For more information about this extension, go to the "Blue line extension project" section of this article.)
A third planned phase which would extend the line from its current southern terminus to Elk Grove about 2 miles along Bruceville Road is on hold indefinitely due to a lack of funding. Land use and station accessibility must be improved to qualify the extension for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant funding. Currently construction on this project is not expected to begin until after 2040.
An additional infill station on the line called Dos Rios station is planned between the Globe and Alkali Flat/La Valentina stations in the Dos Rios Triangle neighborhood of North Sacramento. The station is planned as part of a new housing development project that is funded by California's cap and trade system, with an opening date set for around 2023.
The Blue Line begins at its northern terminus, the Watt/I-80 station. From there it initially travels southwest in the median of I-80, utilizing a bridge from an abandoned freeway project, then parallels Roseville Road before turning westward paralleling Arden Way in North Sacramento. (It passes up the Siemens plant nearby.) Then the line turns southwest again running in the median of Del Paso Boulevard, merges into a single track crossing the 12th Street viaduct (Highway 160) over the American River. Reaching downtown, the Blue Line goes back to two tracks going south on 12th, turns west on K Street, and splits into one-way tracks for 7th and 8th Streets where it joins the Gold and Green Lines. It then turns westward on O Street, southward on 12th, then eastward in an alley paralleling Q and R Streets. After passing the 16th Street station, the Blue Line splits from the Gold Line (the Green Line terminates at 13th Street station), crossing under the Bee Bridge before going south in its own right-of-way into South Sacramento. It then jogs eastward along Cosumnes River Boulevard before crossing it and reaching its southern terminus at Cosumnes River College station.
Listing of stations on the Blue LineEdit
Note: former stations are highlighted in gray. The 7th & K platform of the St. Rose of Lima Park station closed permanently as of September 30, 2016.
|Watt/I-80||1987||Yes||RT bus lines 1, 15, 26, 84, 93, 193|
Placer County Transit
|Watt/I-80 West||1987||Yes||No transfers on site|
|Marconi Arcade||1987||Yes||RT bus lines 25, 86, 87|
|Swanston||1987||Yes||No transfers on site|
|Royal Oaks||1987||No||RT bus lines 13 and 23|
|Arden/Del Paso||1987||Yes||RT bus lines 13, 15, 19, 23, 88, 113|
|Globe||1987||No||No transfers on site|
|Alkali Flat/La Valentina||1987||No||RT bus line 33|
|12th & I||1987||No||No transfers on site|
|Cathedral Square (westbound: 10th & K, eastbound: 11th & K)||1987||No||RT bus line 129|
|St. Rose of Lima Park (eastbound: 9th & K)||1987||No||RT bus lines 30/38, 62|
E-tran, Yolobus, Jibe
|St. Rose of Lima Park (southbound: 7th & K)||1987-2016||No|| Gold and Green Lines|
Many RT buses
|7th & Capitol (southbound); 8th & Capitol (northbound)||1987||No|| Gold and Green Lines|
RT bus lines 11, 30/38, 51, 62, 86, 88, 102, 103, 106, 107, 109, 129, 134
E-tran, Yolobus, Jibe
|8th & O||1987||No|| Gold and Green Lines|
RT bus lines 11, 51, 102, 103, 106, 107, 109
E-tran, Yolobus, Jibe
|Archives Plaza||1987||No||Gold and Green Lines|
|13th Street||1987||No||Gold and Green Lines|
|16th Street||1987||No|| Gold Line|
RT bus lines 106, 109
|Broadway||2003||No||RT bus lines 51, 62|
|4th Avenue/Wayne Hultgren||2003||No||RT bus line 62|
|City College||2003||No||RT bus line 11, SmaRT Ride Franklin−South Sacramento service area|
|Fruitridge||2003||No||RT bus line 61, SmaRT Ride Franklin−South Sacramento service area|
|47th Avenue||2003||Yes||SmaRT Ride Franklin−South Sacramento service area|
|Florin||2003||Yes||RT bus line 81, SmaRT Ride Franklin−South Sacramento service area|
|Meadowview||2003||Yes||RT bus lines 56, 105, SmaRT Ride Franklin−South Sacramento service area|
|Franklin||2015||Yes||SmaRT Ride Franklin−South Sacramento service area|
|Center Parkway||2015||Yes||SmaRT Ride Franklin−South Sacramento service area|
|Cosumnes River College||2015||Yes||RT bus lines 56, 67, 68, SmaRT Ride Franklin−South Sacramento service area|
E-tran bus lines 110, 114, 115, 116
Blue Line extension projectEdit
The 'Blue Line to Cosumnes River College light rail extension Project' — the second phase in the South Sacramento Corridor Study — started construction in 2011 with the Consumes River College station. This extension has been planned for a long time, since 1994, when leaders where planning the first phase of the Blue Line. To address budget constraints and construction impacts on local citizens, the construction of the Blue Line was later broken into two phases. On May 2012, RT entered into the final design of Phase 2 of the Blue Line. The draft environment document, required for the project to go forward, circulated and a Record of Decision was received to RT in December 2008. The line was expected to be completed on September 2015, but the line opened ahead of schedule on August 2015. The first phase of this study (Downtown Sacramento to Meadowview Road) has been completed and is operating. Both Blue Line extensions are component in the 10-year Rail Development Plan for a new light rail corridor in the South Sacramento area.
- Morrison Creek Station (In Construction)
- Franklin Station
- Center Parkway Station
- Cosumnes River College Station
Extension planning issuesEdit
The line is currently ending at the college in response to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) land use, station accessibility, and federal grants needs. Other changes include: a new station at Morrison Creek (midway between Meadowview and Franklin Stations); improved pedestrian access to Franklin and Center Parkway Stations; and a 2000—car parking structure at Cosumnes River College, replacing a previously planned surface parking lot.
California's ongoing financial crisis also contributed to the decision to terminate the Blue Line extension project at Cosumnes River College. Expansion to Elk Grove is covered in the TransitAction Plan, which is tied to the SACOG Blueprint, and a schedule has yet to be determined.
Blue Line galleryEdit
- RT Quarterly Ridership Report (PDF) (Report). Sacramento RT. June 2018. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- Sebree, Mac (February 1988). "Sacramento Light Rail". Pacific RailNews, pp. 16–17. Glendale: Interurban Press.
- Bizjack, Tony (August 24, 2015). "Transit advocates, riders celebrate opening of light rail's south line". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- Masui, Alane (August 22, 2015). "RT Celebrates Grand Opening of Blue Line to Cosumnes River College Light Rail Extension" (Press release). Sacramento Regional Transit District. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- "Information Center - Blue Line". Sacramento Regional Transit District. Archived from the original on 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
- Official Blue Line extension website: "In order to compete for Federal funding, terminus stations (such as the one proposed at Cosumnes River College) need to provide sufficient parking to claim ridership. A computer model generates the anticipated demand for spaces required at each of the stations. The model calculated a demand of 2,000 spaces for the College." Archived 2013-08-20 at the Wayback Machine . accessed 4.14.2013
- South Sacramento Corridor Phase 2 Project
- https://www.sacog.org/2020-metropolitan-transportation-plansustainable-communities-strategy-update. Missing or empty
- "SacRT Initiatives – Sacramento Regional Transit District". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
- Moffitt, Bob (December 21, 2018). "New Light Rail Station Coming To North Sacramento". Capital Public Radio. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- Blue Line to Cosumnes River College (CRC) light rail extension project Website Archived 2013-08-20 at the Wayback Machine . accessed 4.14.2013
- Official Blue Line extension website: Project Schedule (completed and current) Archived 2013-08-22 at the Wayback Machine . accessed 4.14.2013
- Official Blue Line extension website: Current Construction Activity (Latest Construction Activity + Lane Closures Updates webpage) Archived 2013-08-22 at the Wayback Machine . accessed 4.14.2013
- "Official Blue Line extension website: Blue Line extension Map (with route, stations, and flyover bridges)". Archived from the original on 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
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