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The Sacramento RT Light Rail system (reporting mark SCRT) is a 42.9 mi (69.0 km)[1] light rail system, consisting of three rail lines, 54 stations, and 76 vehicles. It is operated by the Sacramento Regional Transit District.

Sacramento RT Light Rail
Sacramento Regional Transit.svg
Sac RT Siemens.jpg
A Siemens Duewag U2A in downtown Sacramento
Locale Sacramento, CA
Transit type Light rail
Number of lines 3
Number of stations 54[1]
Daily ridership 38,900 average weekday riders
(Q3 2017)[2]
Annual ridership 13.873 million (2012)[3]
Website Sacramento Regional Transit District
Began operation March 12, 1987[4]
Operator(s) Sacramento Regional Transit District
Number of vehicles 36 Siemens-Duewag U2A vehicles
and 40 CAF Class 200 vehicles[4]
System length 42.9 mi (69.0 km)[1]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
Electrification Overhead lines, 750 V DC
System map
Sacramento RT light rail map.png
Sacramento RT Light Rail
System diagram
Parking Bike Locks
Watt/I-80 West
Roseville Road
RT Facility
Royal Oaks
Arden/Del Paso
Parking Bike Locks
7th & Richards/Township 9
Alkali Flat/La Valentina
Sac Valley Station
12th & I*
7th & I
8th & H
County Center
Cathedral Square
11th & K
10th & K
8th & K
9th & K
7th & K
7th & Capitol
8th & Capitol
8th & O
Archives Plaza
13th Street
Sacramento Regional Transit.svg
R Street Yard
16th Street
23rd Street
4th Ave./W. Hultgren
29th Street
Bike Locks
City College
39th Street
48th Street
47th Avenue
59th Street
Bike Locks Parking
University/65th Street
Bike Locks Parking
Power Inn
Morrison Creek
College Greens
Center Parkway
Cosumnes River College
Mather Field/Mills
Cordova Town Center
Iron Point
Historic Folsom

Paid Parking
Sacramento Regional Transit.svg
customer service & sales
Free parking
BSicon lACC.svg *
all stations except
12th & I southbound
Light rail stop at K Street Mall, Downtown Sacramento.

Sacramento's light rail system, with an average of 38,900 weekday daily boardings in Q3 2017,[2] is the eleventh busiest in the United States.

The creation and maintenance of the light-rail system is pushed by the advocacy group Friends of Light Rail and Transit.



Prior to 1980 efforts by community organizers led by the Modern Transit Society to bring light rail to Sacramento were stopped in their tracks by a pro-bus-only Regional Transit District Administration and Board of Directors.

After many months of very adverse 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 Nelson, RT General Counsel John Kettleson, and Public Affairs Director and Assistant General Manager Bill Green, was successful in completely reorganizing the agency, reversing its negative public reputation, and obtaining swift approval and funding for a bold new light rail project.

In 1987, the 18.3-mile (29.5 km) light rail “starter line” opened, linking the northeastern (Interstate 80) and eastern (Route 50) corridors with Downtown Sacramento. As light rail ridership increased, RT continued to expand the light rail system. RT completed its first light rail expansion along the Highway 50 corridor in September 1998 with the opening of the Mather Field/Mills Station. Five years later (September 2003) RT opened the first phase of the South Line, 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. Within the next several years, RT plans to extend light rail beyond Meadowview, South Sacramento, to Cosumnes River College and north to Sacramento International Airport. RT currently operates 97 bus routes in a 418-square-mile (1,080 km2) service area.

Operations and headwaysEdit

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.


Most popular stationsEdit

Numbers provided are average weekday "on & offs":

  • 16th Street: 4,800[1]
  • Meadowview: 3,000[1]
  • St. Rose of Lima Park: 2,800[1]

Blue Line – Watt/I-80–Downtown–Cosumnes River College LineEdit

Gold Line – Downtown–Sunrise Folsom LineEdit

Green Line – Downtown–Township 9Edit

Future projectsEdit

Future plans include extending the Green Line to the Sacramento International Airport via the neighborhood of Natomas.[5] A planned extension to Roseville, once a top priority, has been on hold for years. Extensions to Elk Grove, Roseville, and Citrus Heights are part of the Sacramento Regional Transit Master Plan, adopted by RT in September 2009.[6] The light rail system may also serve as the basis for the proposed Sacramento Streetcar.[7]

Green Line future extension projectEdit

The Green Line to Sacramento International Airport (SMF) light rail future extension Project will extend service 12 miles (19.3 km) to Sacramento International Airport. Future new Green Line stations, South to Northwest from the existing 7th & Richards/Township 9 Station, are:

  • Sequoia Pacific Station (Optional)
  • West El Camino Station
  • Pebblestone Way Station
  • San Juan Station
  • Gateway Park Station
  • Arena Blvd. Station
  • (Unnamed station)
  • East Town Center Station
  • North Natomas Town Center Station
  • Commerce Parkway Station (Optional)
  • Club Center Drive Station
  • Greenbriar Station (Optional)
  • Metro Air Park Station (Optional)
  • Sacramento International Airport -SMF- Station

Blue Line extension projectEdit

The 'Blue Line to Cosumnes River College light rail extension Project' – the second phase in the South Sacramento Corridor Study – commenced construction in 2011.[8][9][10] The first phase of this study (Downtown Sacramento to Meadowview Road) has been completed and is operating.[8] Both Blue Line extensions are component in the 10-year Rail Development Plan for a new light rail corridor in the South Sacramento area.[8] In August 2015, the 4.3 miles (6.9 km) extension opened, with a final cost of $260 million.[11] 11,000 riders are expected to use the new stations daily. The project extended the Blue Line south to a new Cosumnes River College—CRC terminus.[8]

New Blue Line stations, north to south from the existing Meadowview Station, are:[12]

  • Morrison Creek Station
  • Franklin Station
  • Center Parkway Station
  • Cosumnes River College Station

Planning issuesEdit

The line currently ends 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 (halfway between Meadowview and Franklin); improved pedestrian access to Franklin and Center Parkway stations; and a 2000 car parking structure, replacing previously planned surface parking, at Cosumnes River College.[8][13][14]

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.[8][14]

Rolling StockEdit

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.[4]

Numbers Qty Built Manufacturer Model Notes
35 01 1912 American Car Company "California" car
101-126 26 1985-1986 Siemens-Duewag U2A
127-136 10 1990-1991 Siemens U2A
40 2002
Construcciones y Auxiliar
de Ferrocarriles
301-320[15] 20 1987 Urban Transportation
Development Corporation


  1. ^ a b c d e f "RT Fact Sheet" (pdf). Sacramento Regional Transit District. June 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-09. 
  2. ^ a b "APTA Ridership Report - Q3 2017 Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association (APTA) (via: November 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ "APTA Ridership Report - Q4 2012 Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association (APTA) (via: March 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-13.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ a b c "Sacramento Regional Transit Light Rail FACT SHEET" (pdf). Sacramento Regional Transit Light Rail. February 2008. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  5. ^ Sacramento RT website: "Green Line to the Airport" Archived 2012-05-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Sacramento TransitAction Regional Transit Master Plan: Executive Summary" (PDF). Sacramento Regional Transit District. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Bizjak, Tony (1 May 2017). "Sacramento streetcar line gets $50 million in congressional budget". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Information Center - Blue Line". Sacramento Regional Transit District. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  9. ^ "Project Schedule - Blue Line". Sacramento Regional Transit District. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  10. ^ "Current Construction Schedule - Blue Line". Sacramento Regional Transit District. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  11. ^ Bizjak, Tony (August 24, 2015). "Transit advocates, riders celebrate opening of light rail's south line". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Gallery - Blue Line". Sacramento Regional Transit District. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  13. ^ 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." . accessed 4.14.2013
  14. ^ a b South Sacramento Corridor Phase 2 Project
  15. ^ "Rolling Stock (LRV)". Sacramento Regional Transit. Retrieved 2016-11-03. 
  16. ^ "Siemens-refurbished light rail vehicles to begin operating on new Sacramento Regional Transit line | Siemens USA Newsroom". Retrieved 2016-11-03.