Regional Transit is Born

February 17, 2023 General


The Sacramento region grew dramatically in the post-World War II era, becoming a sprawling metropolitan region. Mass transit services however had not kept pace. By the beginning of the 1970s, Sacramento city and county leaders decided to create a “regional” transit system that would offer modern, integrated service to both the central city and suburbs. 

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) officially launched on April 1, 1973, operating bus routes throughout the city and county, and contracting to provide service to south Placer County and Yolo County. The new district essentially replaced the Sacramento Transit Authority, which mainly operated within Sacramento city limits. 

The timing proved fortunate for Sacramento. Within a few months, an OPEC oil embargo created extreme gas shortages in the United States. In Sacramento, it sent thousands of new riders to transit. By decade’s end, the new SacRT agency had more than doubled its permanent bus fleet to 223 and quadrupled its workforce to nearly 500 employees to handle the increased rider demand.