SacRT Initiatives

October 15, 2019 General

Fare-Free Transit for Students and Youth

The RydeFreeRT program waives student/youth fares on bus, light rail, and SmaRT Ride on-demand microtransit services across SacRT’s service area, which includes the cities of Sacramento, Folsom, Citrus Heights, and Rancho Cordova and parts of Sacramento County.

Approximately 220,000 students in grades transitional Kindergarten through 12th, home-schooled students, and foster and homeless youth are all eligible. The program began on October 1, 2019. RydeFreeRT is available all day, any day of the week during regular SacRT service hours. SacRT received funding from the City of Sacramento to extend the RydeFreeRT program for a second year until September 30, 2021.

Service Implementation: October 1, 2019

More information:

Light Rail Modernization Project

SacRT was awarded nearly $200 million in funding from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capitol Program and the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) to modernize the light rail fleet, including the purchase of 20 new low-floor light rail trains, low-floor stations, supporting infrastructure and double-tracking in Folsom to provide 15-minute service that will provide better accessibility to passengers with disabilities, bicycles, and strollers, and help reduce traffic congestion on the busy Highway 50 corridor.

On April 15, 2020, SacRT signed the notice to proceed to purchase the first 20 new low-floor light rail vehicles from Siemens Mobility, Inc. SacRT is in the process to purchase an additional 15 low-floor vehicles. The new state-of-the-art vehicles, will also save SacRT money in high maintenance and repair costs that are associated with keeping light rail cars in service past their 30-year useful life.

Service Implementation Expected: 2023 to 2024

More Information:

New Smart Fare Vending Machines

SacRT installed new smart fare vending machines at light rail stations on the Blue Line and in the Downtown/Central Business District. Starting in November 2020, they will be installed on the Gold Line.

New features include:

  • User-friendly touchscreen interface
  • Pay with cash or credit/debit card
  • Accepts Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • Print single ride, daily, semi-monthly, or monthly passes
  • Add tickets or passes to your ZipPass App
  • Pre-paid tickets or passes will be scanned with a QR code reader to print out a ticket
  • Spanish language option available
  • Voice audio option available

 Service Implementation: Expected completion date in early 2021

More Information:

SmaRT Ride On-Demand Microtransit

SacRT is among the first few transit agencies in the nation to implement microtransit on-demand service. With a total of nine active SmaRT Ride service zones, SacRT is the largest microtransit provider in the country, operating with 45 shuttles, nine of which are zero emission electric vehicles (ZEV). SmaRT Ride zones include the following Sacramento communities: Arden, Carmichael, Citrus Heights – Orangevale – Antelope, Downtown-Midtown-East Sacramento, Folsom, Franklin – South Sacramento, Gerber – Calvine, North Sacramento and Rancho Cordova.

SacRT’s SmaRT Ride service is provided through Measure A funding. SacRT was awarded a $12 million grant by the Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) to help expand microtransit on-demand service with a focus on disadvantaged communities throughout the Sacramento region.

Service Implementation: February 2018 – June 2020

More Information:

High Capacity Bus Service

SacRT is assessing opportunities for High Capacity Bus Service along congested corridors in the Sacramento region, including Stockton Boulevard, Florin Road, Sunrise Boulevard, Arden Way and Watt Avenue. High Capacity Bus Service or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is faster and more reliable bus service that is useful to more people for travel to work, school and to meet their daily needs. Some of the strategies include bus-only lanes, signal priority and station amenities.

Service Implementation Expected: Currently in the planning phase

More Information:

Causeway Connection

SacRT and Yolo County Transportation District (Yolobus) operate the Causeway Connection zero emission electric bus service between Davis and Sacramento in tandem, with all-day service once an hour Monday through Friday. All trips serve the Mondavi Center, Genome Facility, and the Silo in Davis and the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. The Causeway Connection service was developed in partnership between SacRT, Yolobus, UC Davis, UC Davis Health, the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, as well as Electrify America, which provided funding for the electric buses and charging infrastructure. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the service began with a modified schedule on May 4 with only 10 trips per day. On September 28, the number of bus trips increased to 30 trips per day.

Service Implementation: May 2020

More Information:

Airport Express Shuttle Service

SacRT launched a new express bus route with service between downtown Sacramento and the Sacramento International Airport in partnership with Yolobus in January 2020. The new route 142 operated seven days a week every 20 to 30 minutes combined with Yolobus downtown/airport routes 42A and 42B. Due to ridership impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, SacRT temporarily suspended its airport bus service. Yolobus continues to offer hourly service between downtown Sacramento and the Sacramento International Airport.

Service Implementation: January 2020

More information:

University/65th Street and Florin/Meadowview Light Rail Station TODs

SacRT progressed transit oriented development (TOD) investments that have been 30 years in the making, which included signed purchase sale agreements for properties at University/65th Street Station (Symphony Development), Arden Way (Community Housing Works) and Cemo Circle (USA Properties). SacRT closed on the purchase sale agreement of its first TOD property at the University/65th Street transit center in November 2019. The buyers, a joint venture between The Martin Group, Symphony Development and AECOM Canyon Partners, are approved to build the “65th East” project, which includes 223 college student focused housing apartments with ground floor retail.

The development is adjacent to one of SacRT’s busiest transit centers and light rail stations, utilized by more than 40,000 light rail riders and 30,000 bus riders per month. The deal included the reconstruction and modernization of bus stops on 67th and Q streets. The new bus stops are closer to the station and have all new ADA compliant crosswalks, making it easier and safer to connect to transit. Construction is expected to be completed in August 2022.

Service Implementation Expected: Continuous

Zero-Emission Bus Rollout Plan

In accordance with the California Air Resource Board’s Innovative Clean Transit regulation (CARB ICT), SacRT is releasing a Rollout Plan to transition its bus fleet to 100 percent zero-emission (ZE) by 2040. The CARB’s ICT regulation requires all public transit agencies in the State of California to transition from conventional buses (compressed natural gas, diesel, etc.) to zero-emission buses (battery-electric or fuel cell electric) by 2040. The regulation requires a progressive increase of an agency’s new bus purchases to be zero-emission buses (ZEBs) based on their fleet size.

By 2040, CARB expects all transit agencies in the state to be operating only ZEBs. To ensure that each agency has a strategy to comply with the 2040 requirement, the ICT regulation requires each agency, or a coalition of agencies (“Joint Group”), to submit a ZEB Rollout Plan (“Rollout Plan”) before purchase requirements take effect.

Service Implementation Expected: 2040

More Information:

Dos Rios Light Rail Station

SacRT was awarded $17.6 million from the Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities program, which will be used for the construction of the Dos Rios light rail station in the River District. The new Dos Rios Station planned, for North 12 Street, will be served by the Blue Line.

Service Implementation Expected: 2022

More Information:

Light Rail Extension to Airport/Natomas Communities

The Green Line to the Airport project will extend light rail approximately 13 miles north from downtown Sacramento to the River District, the Natomas communities and the Sacramento International Airport and include up to 16 light rail stations.

The Green Line to the Airport light rail extension will provide a safe and affordable alternative travel choice to the congested I-5, as well as convenient connections to a variety of existing neighborhoods and planned infill and transit-oriented developments (TOD) such as River District, Railyards, Sleep Train Arena site and Greenbriar as well as to the Sacramento Valley Station and Sacramento International Airport. In so doing, the extension project would reduce congestion along I-5, energy consumption, and air and greenhouse emissions; support the goals, policies, and strategies in the City of Sacramento General Plan, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS), and the Sacramento International Airport’s Master Plan. The extension also leverages opportunities for infill and TOD within the region and enhances economic development in these areas.

Service Implementation Expected: Draft EIR completed. With funding, the project could start in 2021.

More Information:

Light Rail Extension to Elk Grove

Extend the terminus of the Blue Line approximately two miles along Bruceville Road to Elk Grove Boulevard.

Service Implementation Expected: Currently in the planning phase