Light Rail Rolls

February 17, 2023 General


With automobiles increasingly clogging Sacramento roads, city and county leaders decided to diversify mobility options in the early 1980s. SacRT was commissioned to bring light rail to the region, a move that would allow SacRT to carry more people per hour to downtown jobs. It would be among the first new urban rail lines in the country. 

The first trains rolled out to serve 18.3 miles in March 1987, launching a light rail expansion era that continues to this day. SacRT redesigned some bus routes to shuttle riders to light rail stations to take them to downtown jobs. Light rail ridership jumped to 4 million annually by 1989, and bus ridership remained stable. 

In November 1988, Sacramento County voters approved the Measure A transportation sales tax for road and transit improvements, providing a financial boost to SacRT for upcoming years.