SacRT and Yolobus to Operate New Electric Bus Service

December 10, 2019 General, RT News

New shuttle will connect Davis and Sacramento across the Yolo Causeway

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) and The Yolo County Transportation District (Yolobus) will begin operating electric bus service across the Yolo Causeway to better connect Sacramento and Davis. The new service, called the Causeway Connection will launch on Monday, April 6, 2020.

Last night, during two separate board meetings, both the SacRT Board of Directors and Yolobus Board of Directors voted to approve the new service. The Causeway Connection bus service will connect the UC Davis Campus with Downtown Sacramento and the UC Davis Medical Center.

SacRT, Yolobus, UC Davis, the City of Sacramento, Electrify America and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments have partnered on the new public intercity express bus service.

“This signature investment represents the best in regional collaboration,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We are partnering to reduce vehicle miles traveled and carbon emissions, connecting downtown Sacramento with the economic engine that is UC Davis, supporting our university students by reducing transportation costs, and leading the country in pioneering multi-agency cooperation to go green.”

Currently, the UC Davis shuttle operates hourly between the UC Davis main campus in Davis to the Medical Center in Sacramento and is funded by UC Davis and operated by a private provider. The new electric bus service will operate every 20 minutes during peak hours and every hour during midday.

The 12 new shuttles were purchased by Electrify America, the Volkswagen subsidiary, as part of its $44 million Green City initiative to promote electric vehicle adoption in Sacramento. The new 40 foot low-floor buses have 33 seats, two wheelchair spaces, bike racks, free WiFi and USB charging posts available at all seats. The service will operate in tandem by SacRT and Yolobus. Each transit agency will operate six of the shuttles.

“We are very excited to launch this zero-emission frequent bus service that will help connect two major hubs,” said SacRT General Manager and CEO Henry Li. “SacRT is always working to grow our services and create better mobility solutions for the region.”

“This service will help increase access and mobility options for residents of Davis and Sacramento and improve congestion along the I-80 corridor,” said Yolobus Executive Director Terry Bassett. “This partnership will increase the number of trips connecting key regional destinations by up to 73 percent.”

“The Sacramento Area Council of Governments is delighted to support SacRT and Yolobus in this significant boosting of transit on one of the busiest routes in our region,” said SACOG Executive Director James Corless. “The new service will help reduce both congestion on the causeway and greenhouse gas emissions by taking many solo commuters out of their cars and onto electric buses.”

“The two transit agencies have exercised industry expertise in public transportation service and logistics to design routes that better meet traveler needs, help reduce environmental impact and improve overall service for the local communities they serve in a meaningful way for years to come,” said Richard Steinberg, Senior Director of Marketing, Communications and Green City Initiatives, Electrify America.

The cost to ride will be $2.50 or $1.25 for discount eligible riders. Many UC Davis students and faculty will also be eligible for additional discount programs through UC Davis.

Operating costs for the bus service are expected to cost approximately $1.6 million annually, and will be funded over the next three years by a combination of fare revenue, a $3 million grant for improving air quality, assistance from UC Davis, a first year contribution from the City of Sacramento, and SacRT operating funds.

The Proterra E2 Catalyst buses purchased for the service are made in California at Proterra’s factory in the City of Industry. Electrify America is also paying for bus chargers to be installed at SacRT and Yolobus yards, as well as UC Davis and the UC Davis Medical Center.

Photos of bus and charging infrastructure being installed at SacRT.