SacRT is Awarded Additional State Funding to Improve Light Rail System

April 24, 2020 RT News

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) was awarded two state grants through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) to help make major improvements to the region’s light rail system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support jobs.

The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) awarded SacRT grants to help fund two major projects. SacRT will receive $23.6 million as part of a nearly $600 million Light Rail Modernization and Expansion of Low-Floor Fleet Project and an additional $3.9 million to support connectivity and planning at Sacramento Valley Station (SVS) to prepare for future development at the Railyards.

  • Light Rail Modernization Project:

TIRCP funding will support the purchase of eight new low-floor light rail vehicles to replace vehicles that have passed their useful life. Low-floor light rail vehicles will produce operational efficiencies by speeding up train run times and optimizing boarding convenience and safety along with needed increased capacity. These vehicles, paired with the 2018 TIRCP vehicle investment, will enable an extensive fleet of low-floor vehicles to operate on the Gold Line every 15 minutes between the Sunrise Station and the end of the line at Historic Folsom Station, rather than the existing 30 minutes. SacRT previously secured funding for a second track or a “passing track” near two stations in the Folsom area to provide 15-minute service at those stations. SacRT is also converting 29 light rail stations on the Gold Line to accommodate new low-floor vehicles and purchasing 20 new low-floor vehicles. These improvements to the Gold Line are the first steps in delivering a new modernized light rail system to the Sacramento region, which includes 76 new light rail vehicles and the conversion of all stations across the system to low-floor accessible stations.

  • Sacramento Valley Station (SVS) Transit Center:

SacRT partnered with the City of Sacramento and Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority on a project to improve connectivity of multimodal transit in the downtown core. Funding will support the construction of a new north-side station access route to connect the SVS to the future Railyards Plaza. This will catalyze the neighboring Railyards and River District developments while prioritizing transit ridership and active transportation. The partners also received funding for a Bus Layover Facility Study to accommodate regional, local and zero emission charging infrastructure.

“These grants will make a major difference to improve the quality of life and accessibility on our light rail system,” said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li. “This significant investment in the modernization of the region’s transit system not only shows tremendous support for local infrastructure priorities, it will also enhance mobility by making public transit a much more attractive alternative to driving.”

“Congratulations to Sacramento Regional Transit in your success of securing additional resources so desperately needed,” said Dr. Richard Pan, State Senator representing the Sacramento region. “These projects would help lower greenhouse gases and vehicle miles traveled by our communities, provide reliable public transportation for our daily commuters, and ensure that we are lowering our carbon footprint as a region.”

“With the grants SacRT received from SB 1 and the Cap and Trade funding, the Sacramento region will be able to better connect the Sacramento Valley Station to the future development of the Railyards Plaza as well as update our light rail vehicles,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento). “This is a strong investment in our efforts to reduce GHG emissions, improve public health, and expand access to public transit across the region and California.”

“These funds will help continue to move the Sacramento region forward, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said SacRT Board Chair and Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen. “These funds from SB 1 and Greenhouse Gas Reduction grants not only help our economy, but will provide a better transit network for the region.”

“I applaud SacRT on another successful state discretionary grant award, the third major one on three years,” said SacRT Board Director and Sacramento Vice Mayor Jeff Harris. “These funds will help SacRT procure new light rail vehicles that will dramatically improve the reliability and rider experience. I am also excited that the state has funded construction of the Northside station access tunnel at Sacramento Valley Station. The Railyards is envisioned as a vibrant, dense, infill community and this will help us meet our goals.”

SacRT was previously awarded $150 million in TIRCP funding for the purchase of 20 new low-floor light rail vehicles. A Notice to Proceed with Siemens Mobility in Sacramento was signed this month and the vehicles will be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

CalSTA awarded 17 state grants totaling $500 million to support California’s public transportation system and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change. The grants are funded with proceeds from the State’s Cap-and-Trade auctions.