Light rail station closed for a month

 The light rail station at 12th and I streets closed Monday for renovation work and will reopen Sept. 7.

The most noticeable improvement will be the installation of an elevated ramp to replace the old wheelchair lift, making access to the train for people in wheelchairs much more efficient and quicker, said Alane Masui, spokeswoman for Sacramento Regional Transit.

“This is a major improvement for this station,” she said.

Other improvements include repainting, new seating and redone landscaping, Masui said.

Light rail users questioned Tuesday were in favor of the improvements.

“It’s hard for me to climb up the steps onto the train,” said Danny Frias, who walks with a cane and rides light rail every day. “I’ve got a bad back, and I always use the ramps when I can.”

Kathleen Andrews, who rides light rail every workday, said the temporary closure is a minor inconvenience, but well worth it.

“It’s going to be a major improvement,” Andrews said. “For a while, I needed to use a walker, and I couldn’t get off (at the 12th and I streets stop) without assistance.”

With the new ramp, she added, riders needing to use things like walkers and canes will be able to do so without help.

Average daily ridership for the station is 1,316 passengers, and Masui said they will still be able to use light rail, but will have to use either the station at 12th and D streets or the Cathedral Square station at 10th and K streets/11th and K streets.

“We don’t expect any delays in service on the light rail line,” Masui said, adding that construction won’t get in the way of trains passing through the temporarily closed station.

Funding for the approximately $190,000-project came mostly in the form of a grant from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments with almost $21,000 from Regional Transit Measure A funds, according to Masui.

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.

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