Sacramento Regional Transit District Rolls Back Fares

August 28, 2018 General, RT News

Board Approves Sweeping Ridership Building Initiatives, Including Fare Reductions,  25-Cent Transfers, and 15-Minute Frequency for Light Rail Service on Weekends

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) Board of Directors approved on August 27 staff recommendations to use funds resulting from cost-cutting measures and operational efficiency savings to reduce fares in an effort to invest back in the Sacramento community. Given the success that SacRT has had at controlling costs during the last couple of years, the district now has more flexibility to pass the savings back to customers by implementing improved and more frequent services. This is the first general fare reduction in SacRT’s 47-year history.

The basic single ride would decrease by 25 cents from $2.75 to $2.50, and the discount single ride would decrease by 10 cents from $1.35 to $1.25. The basic monthly pass would decrease by $10 from $110 to $100, the discount monthly pass would decrease by $5 from $55 to $50, the paratransit single ride would decrease by 50 cents from $5.50 to $5, and the super senior fare would decrease by $2 from $42 to $40.

Fare changes also include the reimplementation of a 25 cent transfer ticket (allows riders who purchase a single ride ticket with cash to transfer between bus and light rail, light rail to bus or bus to bus). Riders are already able to transfer for free using electronic fare media using ZipPass or Connect Card. An aggressive implementation schedule would allow SacRT to roll out the fare reduction as early as October 2018 in order to benefit the largest percentage of riders.

            Fares Current Fare Roll Back Fare
Basic Single Ride $2.75 $2.50
Discount Single Ride $1.35 $1.25
Paratransit Single Ride $5.50 $5.00
Basic Monthly Pass $110 $100
Basic Semi-Monthly Pass $60 $50
Discount Monthly Pass/Sticker $55 $50
Discount Semi-Monthly Pass/Sticker $30 $25
Super Senior Monthly Pass/Sticker (age 75+) $42 $40
Transfer Ticket N/A $0.25

In addition, the SacRT Board recently adopted a Student Monthly Pass reduction from $55 to $20 for students in grades K through 12, and a fare reduction for Los Rios Community College District students taking 1 to 3 units from $20 to $5 per month.

“I am pleased that SacRT has been able to stabilize our financial outlook to reduce fares and improve  service for all of our customers,” said Henry Li, SacRT General Manager/CEO. “SacRT has spent the past three years relentlessly improving SacRT’s efficiencies and effectiveness, and building reserves. The hard work of our staff and board has paid off, and now the Sacramento community can receive the benefits.”

SacRT is focused on building ridership and promoting the use of a system that is clean, safe and convenient for its customers. Fare reductions, re-introduction of transfers and service improvements will make the network more convenient for riders to use.

“SacRT has been able to control costs through organizational changes and operational efficiencies. These efforts have helped to build reserves of approximately $10 million and promote a more stable, long-term financial outlook,” said Patrick Kennedy, SacRT Board Chair. “Given the success SacRT has had at controlling costs, we can grow ridership through fare reductions and other measures.”

In addition, SacRT will increase weekend light rail service frequency from 30 minutes to 15 minutes starting in January 2019. On Saturdays, the 15-minute service will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Sundays and holidays, the 15-minute service will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All other times on Saturdays and Sundays/holidays, light rail frequency will be 30 minutes.

Prepaid tickets that were purchased by customers at the previous fare rate will not be exchanged or refunded; however, customers can continue to use prepaid tickets in the future. In the meantime, SacRT encourages customers to use the prepaid tickets that were previously purchased before the new fare changes go into effect.