Transit Talk Online Chat with the General Manager – Friday, June 5

April 28, 2020 SacRT in Community

Next GM Chat – Friday, June 5, 2020


May 1, 2020 GM Chat Q & A (more questions and answers coming soon!)

Question 1

When will the Light Rail Station be going back to regular service on weekdays and weekends especially around the 11 o’clock hour  since they are running the Sunday plus service right now the reason i asked this is because i take the light rail station around that time when  i get off work at night 

To meet changing demands from the COVID-19 pandemic, SacRT will continue to operate the following light rail schedule until further notice: 

  • Blue Line – Weekday (Saturday schedule)
  • Blue Line – Saturday (Sunday Schedule)
  • Blue Line – Sunday (Sunday Schedule)
  • Gold Line – Weekday (Modified Saturday Schedule) – Train departs Historic Folsom starting at 6 a.m.
  • Gold Line – Saturday (Modified Sunday schedule) – Train service departs Historic Folsom at 7:30 a.m.
  • Gold Line – Sunday (Regular Sunday/Holiday schedule).
  • Green Line (Operates Monday – Friday)

Question 2

One of your previous updates said that you were adding additional trips to some of the routes, early in the morning.  I have not seen any changes to the route information on your website.  I need an additional ride at the beginning of the workday on either the 21 to Mather, the 82 or 26 to Univ/65th, or the 84 to Manlove.  As it stands, I cannot reach my worksite by public transit.  My commute is Coyle (near hospital) in Carmichael to Tiber LR before 0745; alternatively I can take the #1 line on Greenback in either direction.

You have at least two more months to implement an additional ride.  I am about to start Teleworking from home next week and for the next two months.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Beginning Sunday, June 14, SacRT will add more trips to many bus routes. The ones you mentioned:

Route 21 (Sunrise): Added 25 trips to increase service frequency to operate every 30 to 45 minutes.

Route 26 (Fulton): Added 30 trips to provide one to two extra hours of morning service in each direction, one to three extra hours of evening service in each direction, and increased service frequency during most of the day to operate every 30 minutes.

Route 82 (Northrop/Morse): Added 25 trips to provide extra morning and evening service, and increased service frequency to operate every 20 to 30 minutes during peak commute hours.

Route 84 (Watt): Added 35 trips to provide extra morning and evening service, and increased service frequency all day to operate every 30 minutes.

Please visit for details and to view the schedules. 

Question 3

I paid for a monthly pass for March. I only used my $100 pass for a single round trip during the second half of March ($5.00 value). For those of us who paid for a monthly pass, or for a pass for the second half of March, can we please get a partial refund of at least $25.00 and up to $50.00 (based on individual usage)? Without the refund, we with monthly or second half monthly passes, who are working from home or are without employment, paid for a service we couldn’t use. I essentially paid $50.00 for $5.00 worth of usage and I want as least $25.00 refunded to my account for future SacRT purchases.

Please reach out to our Customer Advocacy Department. They can be reached at 916-557-4545 or 

Question 4

A previous email from Sac RT indicated that train operators would be routinely opening all train doors at each station stop so that boarding and deboarding passengers would not have to physically press buttons to open the doors.

In my experience on lightrail trains since Sac RT announced this policy, only some of the train operators are complying with the policy, and I am required to press a button to open the door about half the time.  

What steps will Sac RT take to ensure that train operators routinely open all train doors at each station stop? 

The operators opening doors automatically was for peak hour commute times. I have sent your message to our Director of Light Rail as well so he can ensure that operators are opening doors during these times. 

Question 5

I understand you have been cleaning your trains and busses before they go out for the day and that you stepped up safety for RT employees, that is important. But how about safety for passengers to avoid exposure to other passengers’ coughs and sneezes. I started telecommuting, due to COVID-19, on 3/19. Earlier in that same week, while riding on the train, I witnessed 3 different instances of people coughing, without covering their mouths, on the light rail car. I wear a face covering to protect others, in case I am asymptomatic. I won’t be protected unless others wear their face coverings. Staying 6 feet apart is not sufficient protection for persons in a small, enclosed environment. You seem to only be concerned with suggesting that people with symptoms stay home. By the time the Stay at Home is lifted, will face coverings (due to asymptomatic exposure) be enforced and not just suggested? If not, what is your reasoning for this unsafe decision?

SacRT requires that passengers who are ill and/or are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms must cover their nose and mouth with a scarf, a cloth mask or some other effective cover. 

Failure to comply with this requirement may lead to a non-compliant passenger being cited under California Public Utilities Code Section 99107(a)(6) or denial of service pursuant to California Civil Code Section 2188.

SacRT’s requirements are subject to change based on state and local requirements. 

Question 6

Hello Henry,

I’m curious if it is possible to allow the downtown SmaRT Ride to expand further north or merge with the southern SmaRT Ride area. Stockton Blvd would also be a great addition as it has ALOT of essential businesses for public transportation riders. 

Downtown is a GHOST TOWN right now. Even ESSENTIAL businesses like bank branches are NOT OPEN down there. It would be great if the RESTRICTIONS on SmaRT Rides can be lifted for going to OPEN Banks, Major Grocery Stores, Large Healthcare Centers and Major Pharmacy chains like Walgreens.  These are the only necessities for people like myself, without cars.

Thank you for your time…. Take care…

Hello, some changes are planned for SmaRT Ride beginning Monday, June 15. We will be expanding the South Sacramento SmaRT Ride zone to include some of Stockton Blvd. See the map at

Question 7 


Welcome to May 2020. First of all, I want to congratulate the entire SACOG Region on three different California State Transportation Agency Awards. The first being the award for light rail modernization, the second being for a comprehensive program at the Sacramento Valley Station, which involves SacRT, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, and the City of Sacramento, and the third award is the one to the Solano Transportation Authority for more frequent Solano Express Blue Line Service between Sacramento Valley Station and the Pleasant Hill BART Station vía Davis, Dixon, Vacaville, and the Downtown Fairfield Transportation Center. Now, with those congratulations come this months question and answer forum.

1) Has the COVID-19 pandemic caused the Regional Transit District to delay or continue to move ahead on being the ParaTransit Operator for the greater Sacramento Countywide área starting the 28th of next month?

2) Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, will the Regional Transit District be able to institute “Saturday Service” on Route 84 (Watt) during the weekdays to promote greater frequency for essential workers, as well as to promote “social distancing” without the fear of being passed up mid-route due to the vehicle reaching ten passengers along prior bus stops?

3) In order to connect with the Gold Line at 7th & Capitol at 4:54am on weekdays, would the Regional Transit District be able to modify its “Sunday Plus” weekday schedule to allow for a Blue Line trip towards Cosumnes River College to depart Arden/Del Paso at 4:31am? On the current “Sunday Plus” schedule, riders in North Sacramento, traveling South on the Blue Line have no service prior to 5am during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4) The California Legislature is going to resume on Monday the 4th, and allow the public to attend committee hearings as long as social distancing is practiced in the seating area. For May 11th, would the Regional Transit District consider allowing an audience in the board chambers for the board meeting and preliminary budget hearing, as long as social distancing is practiced in the chambers – even if everyone in the room needs to wear a face covering? Thank you.

Plans are still in place for SacRT to begin Paratransit operations beginning June 28. 

On Route 84, beginning June 14, the following changes will be implemented: 

Route 84 (Watt): Added 35 trips to provide extra morning and evening service, and increased service frequency all day to operate every 30 minutes.

For the current time, blue line light rail will continue to operate: 

  • Blue Line – Weekday (Saturday schedule)
  • Blue Line – Saturday (Sunday Schedule)
  • Blue Line – Sunday (Sunday Schedule)

Thank you for your suggestion about connecting to the Gold Line.

SacRT will livestream the May 11 Board meeting. In response to Governor’s Executive Order N-25-20, the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) Board of Directors and other public meetings are closed to the public to follow state and federal guidelines on social distancing until further notice. SacRT Board Meetings are being streamed live at

Question 8

Hi Sacrt:

Do we know when express routes might be back in service? For example:  bus route 129.

Route 129 is operating Monday through Friday. You can view its current schedule at 

Question 9

We left off asking about whether or not attendance would be allowed at the May 11th Board Meeting with “social distancing” in wake of the California State Legislature allowing attendance at their legislative committee hearings as of May 4th. Now lets continue the question and answer session.

4) Regarding the preliminary 2020-2021 budget, riders like myself fully recognize that ridership and revenue is not where it was forecasted to be at because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Does the preliminary budget call for major service reductions with all that is going on lately, and to prepare for a “new normal” of transit service? How can riders better prepare themselves for drastic service cuts in wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?

5) Some entities like CalTrans are now taking advantage of lighter traffic volumes to address major road repairs. Would SacRT be taking a similar approach with regards to starting and completing major capital projects that are eventually tied to bus and light rail service?

6) Speaking of construction, it is very noticeable with regards to what’s going on at the University/65th Street Light Rail Station. Is this a project, with lighter traffic volumes and lighter than usual ridership that is going to speed up and be forecasted to be completed sooner than the original timeline?

7) With regards to Board Meetings in general, assuming that Regional Transit is unable to allow the public in the board chambers on May 11th, would it then appear that the July 2020 Board Meeting will be the first Board Meeting that the public will once again be allowed inside the board chambers?

8) “Sunday Plus” has been in effect since March 23rd. It has now also been a full calendar month with this schedule in effect, plus some weekday service improvements. How long does SacRT expect to continue operating the “Sunday Plus” schedule for, considering that some aspects, but not all aspects of California are in the infancy stages of re-opening?

That concludes this month’s questions of the question and answer forum of Transit Talk for May of 2020. Lots to get to and much to learn over a global matter that has no handbook to prepare anybody for.

Beginning Sunday, June 14, service will be added back to many routes. Please visit to learn more. 

No capital projects are currently planned. Already scheduled construction is currently underway at the 65th St transit center. At this time, construction is still expected to complete in summer 2022. Please check out the article about construction in the May Next Stop News 

We will keep riders informed on the plans for future Board of Directors meetings. These are subject to change based on state and local regulations. 

Question 10

Hi Mr.Li

Thanks for SacRT’s life line service during this challenging time. With the recent stimulus and plans for another round of stimulus can we expect any funding for transit systems across the country and for our in region, the green line extension to the airport in particular ? This project would have the potential to create a number of local jobs and improve transit in the natomas region.

Thank You

Thank you for your message. At this time, we are not sure what the future transit funding may look like, but we will keep our riders updated as we learn more. Thank you for your support of public transit! 

Question 11

I discovered that my car won’t start, so took light rail today. 1 person per seat. Only one passenger besides me was masked.

Anyway, I guess I can still ask questions. I have sent in questions to many webinars & never heard one actually be asked.

I just saw some of the info re the WiFi buses. I’m a senior citizen community college student. Can I use it? Do people sit outside the bus, social distancing? I imagine that it will be crowded because the need is great.

Will RT be able to make it financially with having to have passengers social distance?

I see that someone is already digging up 65th light rail station. When will it be finished?

RT said that the money from selling most of the station would go to acquiring ground-level trains. When will that happen?

Thank you.

The WiFi bus works within an 1,800-foot range. Nobody goes inside of the bus, it all accessible from outside of the bus. We ask people to social distance when using the WiFi buses. It is open for anyone to use. 

Construction is underway at the University/65th Street Transit Center. SacRT sold its property to allow for the building of a transit oriented development next to the light rail station. Construction is expected to be complete in summer 2022. You can read more about it at

That is correct, proceeds from the sale of that property will go towards purchasing low-floor light rail cars. We have issued a notice to proceed on the purchase of 20 low-floor trains. They are expected to be in the fleet in 2022. Read more at:

April GM Chat

Due to COVID-19 and the current orders to “shelter in place,” SacRT changed the format of the GM Chat for the month of April. The questions were emailed to Henry Li, and the answers are provided below.

If you have other SacRT questions not answered below, including questions about the modified schedule, or SacRT’s response to COVID-19, please call Customer Service at 916-321-BUSS (2877).


April 3, 2020 GM Chat Q & A

Question 1

I am a long time public transit passenger (since 1986).  I am also a state employee, of a department deemed essential by the Governor.  In this current crisis I am driving to and from work, both to minimize my risks and, more importantly, because your Sunday schedule does not enable me to reach my office by 0800, which is my start time.

I would like to fall back on public transit, if the car fails, but I see no way to do so at this time.  Even an alternative routing via the #1 line OB and the 21 line SB to Mather field LR would not get me to work on time.

Would you consider adding an extra run weekday mornings, for those people still working that are essential for their businesses?  My position requires a typewriter, accountable items kept under lock and key, and customized software I cannot access from home. Therefore, I, personally, will not be able to work from home.  I hate having to rely on an unreliable vehicle without a feasible backup. Has there been any other interest along these lines?

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Thank you for your message. We certainly understand your dilemma with getting to work during this challenging time. At this time, we are evaluating rider’s needs and how to operate our transit system in the safest way possible.  We are adding additional frequency, including earlier start times, to five bus routes on Monday, April 13.  

Question 2

Is the light rail from Arden and Delpaso running still to downtown? I have a doctor appt

Yes, light rail is operating on a modified schedule. Please view the current modified schedule at

Question 3

Thank you, Mr. General Manager, for the difficult, decisive actions you have taken amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As a regular light rail and bus rider I appreciate all your efforts to keep us Sacramentans who depend on public transit “on the move.”

A particular shout-out is in order for the crews who clean and have maintained the light rail vehicles spotless during the past few weeks. It gives me great comfort to know that all of you are going that extra mile to assure our safety.

Thank you very much for your message! The safety of riders and employees is our top priority. I am very grateful to SacRT employees who are showing great dedication to keeping our transit system operating. Thank you for your support!

Question 4

With the bus route revisions, a time point could be added for route 61 at Riverside and Florin. This is a connecting point for route 81, also it was always (and still is) a time point for routes 102, and 103. This would help many of us with timing to get to the stop, especially with lack of access to the tracker system. I know that adding time points isn’t easy, but this one existed before the revisions on the #2 and #3. Thanks for checking into this. 

Thank you for the suggestion. In the immediate term, with a number of mission critical tasks being priority, we cannot prioritize adding a new time point here. So for now, I would suggest you continue to use the nearby time points at Rush River or 35th Ave to approximate the arrival at Florin. You mentioned that you lack access to the Tracker system. Real-time has been working both on and via the Transit app, so if you have access to either of those, or to on a desktop computer, we are recommending use of those tools.

Question 5

Given these circumstances which are severely limiting income for some of us,  would you consider temporarily discounting the regular rate passes? For example, you can make the RT Monthly and Semi-Monthly passes the same cost as the Senior & Disabled Passes.  Or perhaps a 25% reduction? This could be readily done on the Connect Transit Card. This also would only last during the COVID-19 period. Thoughts?

Thank you for your question.  Staff has discussed many options as they relate to fares in these trying times.  At this time we have not chosen to reduce or eliminate fares. We do understand that passengers are riding the system less frequently.  For connect card users we are suggesting that they switch from monthly passes to cash value. Cash value is more flexible and will allow you to only pay for the rides that you take.  Additionally there are free transfers and a daily cap (equivalent to daily pass price) that will prevent passengers from paying too much money in a given day.

Question 6

A lot has obviously been going on since the March Chat, so without further adeu, I want to get to some questions.

1) Would you consider changing the “Sunday Plus” schedule to an “Expanded Saturday” Schedule instead? This would help to add some frequency to routes that would need it for “social distancing” purposes, and, not only that, but YoloBus, it is my understanding, already put in place “expanded Saturday” service when they made their respective “COVID-19” temporary service changes.

2) The April 2020 service changes, which have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will those and other planned service changes for June 2020 be all put on hold until Sunday, June 21, 2020?

3) Some routes are not currently operating as early in the morning as they used to due to the “Sunday Plus” schedule going into effect back on March 23rd. For some of my fellow riders, they are having to use Transportation Network Companies to travel from light rail stations to their workplace for those that have to report to their job sites. Does Regional Transit recognize this, and if so, will some routes have early morning trips restored so that people can take the bus to work from a light rail station? One excellent example of this is restoring early morning Route 75 trips from Mather so that folks can get to the VA Hospital for essential work trips and job duties. Thank you. Back at lunch.

We are continuing to evaluate the needs of riders, and balancing that with the decrease in ridership, and keeping our riders and employees safe. We are analyzing how the current schedule is working, and will make adjustments as needed.

We are not sure when the April service changes will begin, and how this may affect future service changes. Again, our focus is keeping riders and employees safe as we get through this challenging time. 

Question 7

I see the smart ride particularly in Citrus Heights as just a supplement to the fixed route bus service. As it stands right now, bus 21 only runs just once an hour on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not talking during the coronavirus crisis. I’m talking only under normal circumstances, When things get back to normal what I would like to see happen eventually is smart ride buses running on Saturday and Sunday as well to supplement fixed route bus service. Also, the last time that I used smart ride, I had to wait over an hour and a half taking a ride from my house on sunrise Boulevard near Antelope Road down to the Walmart neighborhood market. However, coming back was definitely not an issue. I will say that there was definitely miscommunication amongst the drivers and dispatch though for coming back. Guess it would be that there aren’t enough smart ride buses and I heard add an earlier RT board meeting earlier this year, was it in January or February that on some smart right bus is that for those people in wheelchairs, that the wheelchair lift may not work. I use a cane. So I don’t need a wheelchair lift. But I know many people who are in a wheelchair. I hope that this November that we can put a Measure on the ballot for local funding for public transit. The last time the ballot measure passed was in 2006. We tried again in 2016, That which was 10 years later, that which failed. Here it is just four years later after that measure failed. So that we have to try again the Guard list of what the Republican Party says. Thank you. I’m not talking about the current crisis we are in now. I’m talking about after we get out of this crisis.

Thank you for the feedback. We do hope to expand SmaRT Ride services in the future, and this would be subject to funding availability. 

Question 8

Hi, Henry,

I have one suggestion:

When the bus service returns to normal schedule, please add one more #106 trip from Pocket Transit Center to Downtown at 2:13pm. Because:

  1. My cost:  I can go to Sprouts Market, Shun Fat Market at South Land Park Drive, Bel Air Market and CVS Pharmacy on Rush River Drive for $2.50.

I tried many times to request this additional trip before. I asked the #6 drivers to relate the request. I asked the advocacy lady to relate this to the scheduling team. She suggested I ride Paratransit. It costs $5.00 each trip, and $20.00 for the 4 stops. I am on fix income and she did not understand the $20.00 would be enough for 8 trips for me.

  1. Your cost:

It could cost 1 hour’s expense for driver wage and natural gas.

I know that Sac RT does not make profit to provide the service. It has government assistance to run the agency. So, it does not make much difference to cost may be $100.00 more to RT, but it means a lot more for a few old ladies who are on fix income.

  1. My convenience:

#106 has 7:00am, 8:00am, 2 trips to Downtown from Pocket Center and no return trips. #106 has 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 3 trips from Downtown to Pocket and no return trips.

That means I can go to Downtown in the morning and only can come back home in the afternoon. How can I visit my 90 years old mom on Havenhurst Drive and shop on #106 either in the morning or afternoon?

  1.   Your convenience:

I wonder if you can make a few more tickets, with the return trips bus not emptied.

  1.   It is not just me who wants the return trips.

There was one time, I rode on #62. I heard another old lady complain about the inconvenience without the return #106 trip. She had to walk from Freeport and Fruitridge to South Land Park Drive. I believe there may be a few more old ladies who have the same problem.

Thank you for allowing me to voice this need.

Thank you for your suggestion about Route 106. We appreciate this type of rider feedback. This has been passed along to our Planning Department. 

Question 9

How long is the modified schedule going to last?

We are considered an essential service and will do our best to run service for our community. As our region continues to respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the recent County of Sacramento order to self-isolate, we temporarily reduced service to a Sunday schedule seven days a week. We will continue to operate Monday through Friday Green Line light rail service, some of our peak commuter/express routes, SmaRT Ride microtransit service (in all zones) and Folsom Stage Line bus service.

SacRT is committed to protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of our customers and employees. We are undoubtedly in unprecedented times and realize that the situation regarding COVID-19 is ever changing at incredible speed.

We know each decision we make has a broad impact far beyond our operations. Keeping that in mind, SacRT has made the difficult decision to temporarily reduce service. However, SacRT is adding in extra buses to busier routes and more light rail train cars to allow for recommended social distancing. We are also continually monitoring ridership on each route to see if additional service should be added.

SacRT has been deemed an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means we continue to serve those who rely on public transit for vital access to resources, health-care and employment. Since this situation is very fluid, we will adjust as the situation changes. We do not have a hard date at this time.

Question 10

Do I have to pay fare?

Fare is expected; however, we understand that we all must practice social distancing. With that being said, we are proud to share many ways to pay your fare without having to touch devices (contact less payment methods). Our Zip Pass and Connect Cards are a great way to pay and there is no need to touch fareboxes. For riders paying cash or with a paper ticket, they can pay their fare by depositing it in the metal box located above the front wheel-well and pick up a paper daily pass or transfer near the box after payment is made. For Connect Card users, they can tap their card at the Connect Card reader located on the yellow pole. ZipPass mobile fare app users just need to show their active screen to the bus operator while standing behind the white line, which is located on the floor approximately four feet from the bus operator.

Question 11

How are you handling social distancing on your bus and train?

SacRT is continually adapting our operations and business to meet these changes. SacRT’s number one priority is the safety of our customers and employees. We encourage everyone to practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet between you and other people, including our operators and employees.  To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, SacRT is transitioning to rear door boarding effective immediately. Passengers requiring ADA ramps, utilizing mobility devices or need priority seating may continue to use the front door for boarding. SacRT is reminding riders to practice social distancing when riding bus and light rail vehicles by staying at least six feet away from other riders and operators when possible. To protect operators, SacRT is currently installing a protective plexi-glass barrier on each bus by the driver’s seat and adding a detachable chain barrier above the white line to further reduce exposure.

SacRT has been deemed an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means we continue to serve those who rely on public transit for vital access to resources, health-care and employment. While we are happy to report that no SacRT employee has tested positive for COVID-19, implementing rear door boarding is an important precaution to help keep everyone safe.

We encourage customers and the public to stay informed of SacRT updates by checking our COVID-19 page at, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for alerts.

Question 12

Have the hours of operation been reduced for Customer Service or the Sales Center?

Customer Service (via phone) hours have not changed. Customer Service Representatives are able to help you Monday-Friday from 6:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Sales Center is open; however, hours are reduced. Sales Center is open Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Question 13

Is SacRT allowing passengers to board the bus from the rear doors?

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, SacRT is transitioning to rear door boarding effective immediately. Passengers requiring ADA ramps, utilizing mobility devices or need priority seating may continue to use the front door for boarding.

For riders paying cash or with a paper ticket, they can pay their fare by depositing it in the metal box located above the front wheel-well and pick up a paper daily pass or transfer near the box after payment is made. For Connect Card users, they can tap their card at the Connect Card reader located on the yellow pole. ZipPass mobile fare app users just need to show their active screen to the bus operator while standing behind the white line, which is located on the floor approximately four feet from the bus operator.

Question 14

I cannot track my bus in the RT Tracker. Why?

Currently, we have reduced service due to the COVID-19 and are running our a “Sunday Plus”. With that change, there are a few routes that are not showing in the application and we are sorry for the inconvenience. For up to date information, you can always check your schedule here: And you can also reach out and talk to one of our Trip Planners and they would be happy to help you plan your trip!

Question 15

Is SmaRT Ride available during this time?

Yes! You can request your ride by using the convenient app and/or book online. For up to date information, go here: