The economy decline is still affecting personal lives. California is struggling to stand back up. Our lives have changed and we are looking for different ways to offset that change. Looking for ways to save money. But public transport? Last summer the manifold in my car cracked. I was without a car for a few weeks and had to find away to get to Folsom each day. My son told me I should try the light rail. Seriously? Isn't the light rail for people who don't own cars or cannot drive? No. The Sacramento Regional Transit light rail train is for everyone. My first ride on the train came a few days later and I was apprehensive. What kind of people would be on there? Would anyone judge me?
A man died from the injurues he sustained after walking in front of an oncoming light rail train at the intersection of R and 14th Streets shortly after 6 p.m on Friday. The cars at the downtown intersection were stopped and the railroad crossing arms were down when the man walked south on the sidewalk on the east side of 14th Street, according to Sacramento Police Sergeant Doug Voska. As he approached the edge of the train tracks, the train operator spotted him and sounded the horn; however, the man continued, finally stopping and freezing in the middle of the tracks, "like a deer caught in the headlights," Voska said. The train then went into emergency breaking, but still hit the p
Commuters using the Sacramento Valley Station experienced the City's new Path to Progress this morning on its first official opening day. Although some passengers used the new 500 foot walkway Friday night, the majority of commuters took their first steps on the concrete pathway Monday morning. There to greet passengers from about 4:30 to 8:30 a.m. were representatives of the City of Sacramento as well as Councilmember Steve Cohn, and other elected officials. The New Union Pacific Railroad tracks were relocated 500 feet north to make room for the City’s future Intermodal. The new track alignment also improves safety and efficiency of train operations and will connect the Railyards with th
The Green Line light rail segment's slow start with relatively low ridership, is part of the plan, officials say. Regional Transit’s newest light rail segment has only seen about 150 riders a day, Tony Bizjak reported in Friday’s Sacramento Bee – a low number for a $44 million project that opened with great pomp and circumstance in June. However, Regional Transit Executive Director Michael Wiley disputes those numbers, saying the Green Line has actually been averaging closer to 300 riders per day – and it’s a number he said he’s comfortable with. “Our expectation wasn’t that we were going to achieve really high ridership numbers right off the bat,” Wiley said. “Our plan all along was to
District 5 youth leaders hosted a forum Thursday at Sacramento High School to discuss student concerns about bus transit issues, including frequency of key bus routes during student commute times and improved safety on buses and at bus stops. The students’ concerns stem from a proposed Regional Transit renewal plan which outlines recommended changes to bus and light rail service over the next five years. High school students in the Sacramento City Unified School District do not receive bus service from the district, so they must rely on private transportation, walking, or the Regional Transit system of buses and light rail, Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jonathan
Residents will get a chance to see the design of a planned pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the railroad between Curtis Park and Land Park Wednesday night. The city’s project team will give a construction update at the Sierra 2 Center for the Arts and Community, 2791 24th St., at 6 p.m. 6:30 p.m . Wednesday The bridge is designed to give pedestrians and cyclists safe access over the railroad tracks from the light rail stop at Sacramento City College near the intersection of 24th Street and Sutterville Road. “Currently, pedestrians and bicyclists must use Sutterville Road to travel between Curtis Park and the light rail station,” according to a Department of Transportation newsletter.
The Sacramento Planning Commission gave the green light to plans to re-zone parts of North Sacramento to attract future development. The commission made a recommendation, Thursday night, to the City Council to vote on plans that will allow for more commercial development near a Regional Transit line. City staff formally refer to the plans as the Northeast Line Implementation Plan. Areas near a light rail line that has stations at Globe Avenue and Del Paso Blvd, and at Arden Way and Del Paso Blvd, are the focus of the proposals. The city’s plans also cite areas around Royal Oaks Drive and Arden Way. The City Council is expected to vote on the plans next month. The commissioners approved
Sacramento Regional Transit cut 25 weekday routes and altered numerous others June 20. How is it affecting the daily riders? Mary Glick, 50, takes bus 72 multiple times a week, a line that has been limited by the new cuts. She says she's restricted to what hours she works at her downtown Denny's now, but counts herself lucky to live so close to her house from her light rail station. "It's kind of a bummer," she said. "Thank God it only takes me 40 minutes to walk home." Regional Transit cut the routes to save money and provide a cushion forthe $25 million that was lacking in their budget. However, the cuts could cause even more loss to RT's income. "I don't even know if I can keep
Street closures affect vehicle traffic as well as bus routes. Construction workers dig up old sewage pipes on the west side of 7th Street between G and H Streets this morning. They will also dig up old pipe on the east side of the street which will be the location of the new light rail tracks between downtown and Richards Blvd. New sewage pipes will be laid on the west side of 7th Street. RT construction contractors will close two lanes of 7th Street between F and H streets, effective Monday, May 17 through Wednesday, June 2, 2010. Two lanes will be closed to traffic to perform work associated with RT's Green Line to the River District light rail project, which will extend light rail 1
If you decide to ride on the Light Rail without proper fare this weekend, RT Police will find you. Regional Transit began a series of crackdowns earlier this month on riders riding illegally. On my transfer to the Meadowview Train at the 16th Street station Downtown last week, a dozen of RT Police rushed the train before it left for the next route. Each police officer checked each rider for their tickets or their transit passes. Those who didn’t have fare were issued tickets containing a fine. For the riders who got off at the previous station were welcomed by another group of officers awaiting to check for their proof of fare. RT has lost tens of thousands of dollars in recent year
Last week’s fatal stabbing of 68-year-old Bernice Nickson took place at a downtown Regional Transit stop. While it would be hasty to let one incident determine RT’s entire reputation, the incident does beg the question: Are Regional Transit stops hubs for crime? Alane Masui, assistant general manager of communications for Sacramento RT, said no. She said that when crimes take place on the street, transit stops are just easy landmarks to associate with the incident. “It’s more of a perception than a reality,” she said. “When something occurs, people try to put the incident in context, and transit stops serve as regional landmarks.” There are about 3,800 bus stops and 47 light rail stati
Regional Transit wrapped up their talks about service cuts earlier this week, though there was still plenty of room for finger pointing and analysis at the District 1 Candidates Debate. "Natomas is losing all routes on the weekends as my understanding," said candidate Angelique Ashby. "That means people have jobs elsewhere on the weekends and they are going to ride the bus, they can't do that anymore." Ashby said she didn't understand why current District 1 Councilmember Ray Tretheway, who is on Regional Transit's Board of Directors, did not fight to keep a route in Natomas. "I don't understand how he can let them all go," said Ashby. "We certainily pay into that tax system that provide
Dozens of bus routes in the Sacramento region will vanish and light rail will slow down on the weekends as a result of sweeping Regional Transit budget cuts. The agency’s board of directors slashed bus, light rail and paratransit service Monday night to resolve a $10.6 million deficit. One of the major budget fixes scales back night service seven days per week. The RT board decided that light rail, bus and paratransit trips that now begin after 9 p.m. will cease. Public transportation will also be slower on weekends. Right now, light rail picks up passengers in 15-minute cycles during the weekend. The cuts mean that riders can catch the light rail every 30 minutes on weekends, explained
Sacramento, CA- Early Thursday after noon, a small blaze broke out off of Hing Avenue, near Franklin and 47th. The fire was contained to the dry field area between the homes and railroad tracks. Light Rail service was minimally impacted. Trains were briefly delayed during the high part of the blaze then permitted to move through at a reduced speed due to limited visibility resulting from heavy smoke, per on scene RT rail worker. Several structure firefighting engines were in place to protect the homes along the field, while brush rigs and crews moved through the field to attack the fire and bring it under control. Per Captain Doucette, the cause of the fire is unknown.
"When are the Operators going to get a furlough day?" Hearing that question from one of Regional Transit's Admisistrative staffers who happens to be a close friend of mine, I had to pause and chuckle. The powers that be at Regional Transit have taken on the arduous task of bridging a 9 Billion dollar budget defecit, and that ain't no easy fix. Furloughs, hiring freezes, unfilled vacancies....the list goes on and on but makes nigh a dent......See, the problem lies with how Regional Transit recieves, and in turn allocates funds from the Fed's and the State. Why are we facing service cuts and possibly layoffs? Simply put, our Operational bucket is almost empty while our Capital Bucket
If it wasn't a serious situation, it would have been almost humorous today as a Sacramento Police Department motor officer stopped Jaywalkers left and right at the railroad crossing on Broadway between 19th and 20th Streets. Some may say it's just revenue for the police department, while others contend that the Jaywalkers coming and going from the Broadway Light Rail station are a true traffic hazard as they weave in and out of vehicles. According to the California Vehicle Code, "Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk." The citing officer stated that fine
As everyone who reads the news or watches TV knows, California’s budget process has been a disaster. This is not too surprising considering the state of the economy, the fact that it takes a two-thirds majority to pass the budget, and the inability of the Democrats and Republicans to work together on anything. But what was surprising was that a recent transportation lawsuit won by Sacramento neighborhood and environmental groups was unexpectedly caught up in the middle of it. In June of 2007, Neighbors Advocating Sustainable Transportation (a coalition of Sacramento neighborhood and community groups, and the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS)) filed a lawsuit over Caltrans’ inadeq
A downtown bound Sacramento Regional Transit train collided with a sedan at the Stockton Blvd. crossing this afternoon. The green sedan, carrying only the driver, somehow ended up in the path of the on-coming train when it was struck. No injuries were sustained by the single occupant of the sedan or by any light-rail passengers on board. Officer Schumacher with the Sacramento Police Department confirmed the lack of injury in the incident saying only that the vehicle was on the wrong side of the crossing arm. Richard Williams was working across the busy street and heard the accident but said that he did not see it happen. “It looks like the arms came down before we heard the crash,” s
In no particular order here are ten green benchmarks in Sacramento during 2008: The City Council voted in August to allocate $650,000 to count trees in the city as well as to gauge the health of our conifers. TV's CBS 13 assigned an "outrage alert" to the move inferring it was misuse of precious funds. Mayoral candidate (now Mayor) Kevin Johnson echoed similar sentiment. BTW a tree limb did fall on a campaign party in June for then-incumbent mayor Heather Fargo causing some injuries. Sacramento lost its only progressive talk commercial radio station in June as Talk City 1240 became Rejoice 1240 KRJY with a format known as hip-hop gospel. This reporter read some of the newscasts for a tim
Is it safe for individuals to ride the light rail alone at night? In a word, no. I ride the light rail on a regular basis, and have had considerable time to evaluate both the strengths and weaknesses of the system as a whole. The major problems are a lack of security, a lack of reliability, and a lack of destinations. The system suffers from a lack of sufficient/effective security on trains and especially in stations. There are no security guards at most station stops, though the busy stations such as 16th street typically do have 1-3 guards during peak hours. The trains are equally destitute of security/authority; I have never seen a train with more than one security guard, and most tr