SacRT Awarded $30 Million to Improve Light Rail System

July 8, 2022 RT News

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) was awarded $30 million in state grant funding through the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) to help make major improvements to the Sacramento region’s light rail system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support jobs.  

The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) awarded SacRT funding to help fund three major projects. SacRT will receive $23.6 million as part of a nearly $600 million Light Rail Modernization Project an additional $5 million to support connectivity and planning at Sacramento Valley Station (SVS) to prepare for future development at the Railyards, and $1.5 million for contactless fare payment devices onboard buses and light rail vehicles.  

  • Light Rail Modernization Project: SacRT is currently working on modernizing the light rail system with new low-floor light rail vehicles, converting 29 light rail stations on the Gold Line to accommodate new low-floor vehicles, and adding a “passing track” at the Glenn/Robert G. Holderness Station in Folsom to provide 15-minute service, rather than the existing 30 minutes. 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 operating times, and optimizing boarding convenience and safety along with needed increased capacity.
  • 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-south aligned light rail station 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.
     
  • Contactless Fare Payment on Transit: SacRT partnered with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Visa, Littlepay, and SC Soft to offer a contactless method for payment on board light rail trains to help improve the customer fare payment experience. The innovative touch-free fare payment technology allows riders to tap a contactless credit, debit, prepaid card, or contactless-enabled mobile or wearable device (e.g., smartwatch) to pay fare when boarding light rail trains. The TIRCP funding will help expand the program to buses and on all new light rail trains.  

“SacRT is truly thankful for the 2022 funding from the California Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program,” said SacRT Chair Steve Miller. “These funds put us one step closer to replacing our aging light rail fleet with entirely new and modern, low-floor vehicles that will improve accessibility for all riders.”   

“I want to thank CalSTA Secretary Toks Omashakin and Chief Deputy Secretary Chad Edison for these grant awards that will help modernize SacRT’s light rail system and provide connectivity to regional partners,” said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li. “Over the last few years, we have secured millions of dollars to improve the convenience and accessibility of our light rail system to the customer experience and quality of life for the Sacramento Region.”   

“Congratulations to Sacramento Regional Transit in your success of securing new funding from the competitive TIRCP program, (TBD quote) With this state funding, SacRT will help lower greenhouse gas emissions in our region, and improve public health and mobility across the region and California.”  

SacRT was previously awarded $265 million in funding for the light rail modernization project, which includes the purchase of 44 new low-floor light rail vehicles. Siemens Mobility in Sacramento is building the new train cars and the first cars are expected to be delivered in summer 2022.

CalSTA awarded nearly $800 million to 23 projects statewide to expand transit and intercity rail service and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. TIRCP funding is provided through Senate Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, and from the Cap-and-Trade program proceeds. More information on the projects awarded can be found here: https://calsta.ca.gov/press-releases/2022-07-07-calsta-awards-800-million-for-tircp-projects