At SacRT we rose to the challenge in 2022. Here are some of the highlights

December 28, 2022 SacRT Blog

This past year saw solid growth at the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT), as the agency and community transitioned to what hopefully are the later stages of the COVID pandemic. Riders returned to buses and rail in solid numbers. Meanwhile, SacRT moved forward with modernization efforts and expanded key growth initiatives. And, on the lighter side, we got one happy groom to the church on time! 

“While the last two plus years have brought about many challenges and unpredictability, it’s been amazing how many transit projects we have been able to progress despite the consequences of a multi-year global pandemic,” said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li. “Because of our extraordinary customers, Board of Directors, dedicated employees, partners, and community, SacRT has managed to forge a strong path forward to address social equity, tackle climate goals, and raise the bar for creative mobility solutions.”

Looking back at 2022, we can revel in our many achievements that kept the Sacramento region moving. Here are just a few… 

Students ride in record numbers: 

SacRT buses and trains carried more students than ever this year, we estimated nearly 320,000 student boardings. This has put us on pace for over 3.5 million student rides this year thanks to SacRT’s nationally groundbreaking RydeFreeRT program. 

Riders return post-COVID: 

We accommodated a systemwide ridership increase of 34 percent in 2022, with expectations of even more riders in 2023. 

Free ride program expands: 

SacRT offered free rides to over 50 events, starting with the Tet Festival in January, ending with  SacRT’s Hiring Events, including free rides on Rosa Parks Day, Capitol Beer Fest, Cinco de Mayo, Veterans Day, Chalk It Up, Citrus Heights Sunday Funday, among others. 

Light rail modernization: 

We advanced SacRT’s light rail modernization project. We are getting ready to receive delivery of the first of many new low-floor light rail vehicles and will start station modifications on the Gold Line in early 2023 to accommodate them. The new low-floor trains will make light rail easier to ride for people with wheelchairs, walkers, bikes, strollers and luggage. 

New buses: 

We received 30 new GILLIG low-floor buses to address service needs and reliability. And we have 41 additional new buses on the way in 2023.  

SacRT’s civic role grows: 

SacRT provided free rides to vaccine clinics, warming and cooling centers, and voting sites as part of our leadership role in promoting community health and civic participation. 

Telling our story: 

In an effort to better connect with our community and riders, SacRT launched the “SacRT in the Community” blog to share positive stories about riders, community partnerships, and staff. 

Hiring surge: 

We hired 273 new employees this year, the most in many years. That includes more than 130 new bus and shuttle operators as well as 29 maintenance workers and 21 transit ambassadors.  

Library train launched: 

SacRT partnered with the Sacramento Public Library to promote riding and reading by decorating a light rail train to look like a virtual library inside, with colorful bookshelves, and QR codes that allow riders to download books and movies, or learn about other library programs, such as English lessons and job training. 

SmaRT Ride microtransit service grows: 

We expanded two SmaRT Ride on-demand shuttle zones this year in Elk Grove and in Natomas-North Sacramento (including the McClellan Park business center). SacRT has nine SmaRT Ride zones making it one of the largest and fastest growing microtransit services in the nation. 

Transit-oriented development (TOD) success: 

SacRT played a key role on the most notable “transit-oriented” project in the region - the newly opened Wexler student apartments, housing more than 700 residents at 65th Street and Folsom Boulevard, becoming the first student housing TOD in Sacramento. We sold property for the project to be built adjacent to our University/65th Street light rail station. 

Helping the unhoused: 

SacRT’s social service practitioner, Rose Arteaga, connected more than 350 unhoused individuals to programs that offer shelter, mental health, alcohol and drug, primary care and other health services. She also arranged a rail safety partnership between SacRT and California Operation Lifesaver. 

Bus Stop Improvement Plan: 

SacRT partnered with Civic Thread to conduct a review of nearly 800 bus stops along 60 corridors, with a focus on underserved communities, putting us in position to do upgrades in the coming years. The analysis included 400 comments from riders and residents. 

Improved paratransit service: 

We launched the SacRT GO paratransit service mobile app, which provides an additional option for customers to manage their paratransit transportation while on the go and contracted with UZURV – the Adaptive Transportation Network Company to quickly expand capacity for SacRT GO riders to ensure reliable and timely service. 

We got Ansel to the church, on time! 

Sacramentan Ansel Lundberg loves transit. So, on his big day - his wedding - he and his groomsmen chose to get there on light rail. Here are some fun photos of Ansel and Britany Reddish Lundbergs’ wedding: 

With your continued support, all of us at SacRT look forward to another year of successes ahead in 2023.