Sacramento RT Light Rail
The Sacramento RT Light Rail system (reporting mark SCRT) is a 42.9 mi (69.0 km) light rail system, consisting of three rail lines, 54 stations, and 76 vehicles. It is operated by the Sacramento Regional Transit District.
A Siemens Duewag U2A in downtown Sacramento.
|Transit type||Light rail|
|Number of lines||3|
|Number of stations||54|
|Daily ridership||36,800 average weekday riders|
|Annual ridership||9.7 million (2018)|
|Website||Sacramento Regional Transit District|
|Began operation||March 12, 1987|
|Operator(s)||Sacramento Regional Transit District|
|Number of vehicles||36 Siemens-Duewag U2A vehicles|
and 40 CAF Class 200 vehicles
|System length||42.9 mi (69.0 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (standard gauge)|
|Electrification||Overhead lines, 750 V DC|
Prior to 1980 efforts by community organizers led by the Modern Transit Society to bring light rail to Sacramento were stopped by the Regional Transit District Administration and Board of Directors.
After many months of media attention to management failures, all of the senior management was fired, and the majority of the Board either resigned or were replaced.
In 1980-81, a new Board of Directors hired a new General Manager, Bob Nelson, who had been a senior manager in the design and construction of the Bay area BART system.
A management troika of GM Nelson, RT General Counsel John Kettleson, and Public Affairs Director, Ombudsman and Special Assistant GM Bill Green, was successful in completely reorganizing the agency, vastly improving service, reversing its negative public reputation with a focused positive PR and marketing campaign, and obtaining swift approval and funding for a bold new light rail project.
The light rail system opened in 1987. The new line linked the northeastern (Interstate 80) and eastern (Route 50) corridors with Downtown Sacramento.  More specifically, the "starter line" started at Watt/I-80 station to Butterfield station.  As light rail ridership increased, RT continued to expand the light rail system. In September 1998, the line was extended from Butterfield station to Mather Field/Mills station. In September 2003, Sacramento Regional Transit opened the first phase of the South Line(Now called the Blue Line), which was a 6.3-mile (10.1 km) extension to South Sacramento. In June 2004, light rail was extended from the Mather Field/Mills station to Sunrise Boulevard, and on October 15, 2005, a 7.4-mile (11.9 km) extension from the Sunrise station to the city of Folsom was opened.
In December 2006, the final leg of the Amtrak/Folsom project was extended by 0.7-mile (1.1 km), to the downtown Sacramento Valley Station, connecting light rail with Amtrak inter-city and Capitol Corridor services as well as local and commuter buses. In 2012, SACRT completed the first phase of the Green Line. The second phase of the line is planned to reach to the Sacramento International Airport.  (For more information, go to the "Future Projects" section.) In August 2015, RT extended service south to Cosumnes River College. RT currently operates 97 bus routes in a 418-square-mile (1,080 km2) service area.[needs update]
Sacramento RT Light Rail ridership peaked at 16.8 million rides in 2008, but has declined to 9.7 million rides in 2018, a drop of 42% during that period.
Blue Line: North Sacramento–Downtown–South Sacramento
Gold Line: Downtown–East Sacramento–Rancho Cordova–Folsom
Green Line: Downtown–River District
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Before the June 2010 budget cuts, RT light rail formerly operated from 4:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily with 15-minute headways during the day. After the budget cuts took place, light rail service was curtailed to operate from 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with service every 15 minutes Monday through Friday, and every 30 minutes on weekends and at night. In 2013, RT light rail service was restored to operate more hours again, now operating from 4:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, although the frequency headways remain unchanged. The only exception is the Green Line which operates Monday through Friday only from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. running every 30 minutes throughout service times.
The stations along the network are open-air structures featuring passenger canopies for protection from adverse weather. Twenty-six stations offer bus transfer services and 22 have park-and-ride lots with a total of 10,113 available parking spaces. Works of public art included at several stations were developed as part of the RT Public Art Program, and represent an array of media including, mosaics, sculptures, metalwork and murals. Each was commissioned to incorporate an identity and sense of place unique to the neighborhood surrounding the station.
Most popular stationsEdit
Numbers provided are average weekday boardings and alights:
- 16th Street: 7,100
- Meadowview: 5,400
- St. Rose of Lima Park: 3,900
The LRV fleet is composed of cars from three different builders: 36 from Siemens-Duewag U2A, some of which have been in use since the RT opened; 40 newer ones delivered in 2003 from Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, and 20 Urban Transportation Development Corporation cars purchased from Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and refurbished by Siemens.
|35||1||1912||American Car Company||"California" car||
|Construcciones y Auxiliar
Sacramento RT has several plans to expand the light rail system, but most have been placed on hold due to a lack of funding.
The most recent Sacramento Regional Transit Master Plan, adopted September 2009 included plans to extend the system to Elk Grove, Roseville, and Citrus Heights.
Green Line to Sacramento International AirportEdit
The Green Line extension to Sacramento International Airport will extend service 12 miles (19.3 km) to the airport via the Natomas neighborhood.  The line would extend northwest from the existing Green Line terminus at the 7th & Richards / Township 9 station. The plan to extend light rail to the airport has been in the works since early 1990s, and is the project most requested by residents of the Sacramento region. The agency is currently completing environmental documents for the project.
The project, estimated at nearly $1 billion, would be the costliest in RT's history and securing funding has been a challenge. Transportation officials most recently proposed funding the project with a half-cent sales tax increase in Sacramento County, but the measure was narrowly defeated in November 2016. This project is planned to start construction by the year 2022.
- "RT Fact Sheet" (pdf). Sacramento Regional Transit District. June 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
- "APTA Ridership Report - Q3 2018 Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association (APTA) (via: http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Pages/ridershipreport.aspx). November 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019. External link in
- "Sacramento Regional Transit District (Sacramento RT) | National Transit Database". www.nationaltransitdatabase.org. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Sacramento Regional Transit Light Rail FACT SHEET" (pdf). Sacramento Regional Transit Light Rail. February 2008. Retrieved January 23, 2007.
- "SacRT History". www.sacrt.com. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "Wayback Machine". web.archive.org. October 13, 1999. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "Home". Green Line 2 Airport. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "Press Releases - Sacramento Regional Transit". iportal.sacrt.com. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- "Art on Track – Station Art Along Light Rail" (PDF). Sacramento Regional Transit District. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 3, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
- "Rolling Stock (LRV)". Sacramento Regional Transit. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
- "Siemens-refurbished light rail vehicles to begin operating on new Sacramento Regional Transit line | Siemens USA Newsroom". news.usa.siemens.biz. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
- "Sacramento TransitAction Regional Transit Master Plan: Executive Summary" (PDF). Sacramento Regional Transit District. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- "Home". Green Line 2 Airport. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- Sacramento RT website: "Green Line to the Airport" Archived May 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Bizjak, Tony (January 7, 2015). "When will Sacramento get light rail to the airport? Not soon". The Sacramento Bee. ISSN 0890-5738. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- "Green Line to the Airport fact sheet" (PDF). Retrieved July 10, 2018.
Media related to Sacramento Light Rail at Wikimedia Commons