SacRT Recognized with National Award for Safety

October 1, 2020 SacRT in Community, SacRT News

The Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) has been named the winner of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 2020 Rail Safety Gold Award. SacRT received the top honor for its rail security program, which includes a multi-faceted and innovative approach to reducing crime and fare evasion on the transit system.

“SacRT continues to be a national leader in innovative public transit practices and a community pillar for the people of the Sacramento region,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. “This award is a culmination of the hard work Henry Li and his team have undertaken to provide safe, secure, and efficient transportation for all of their riders and employees. As we continue through this tough time, we must make the vital investments in our public transportation that will allow SacRT’s example to continue to shine on the national stage as we overcome the transportation challenges of the future.”

SacRT was recognized with the award for its comprehensive approach to reduce crime and make the light rail system safer for riders. That approach consisted of increasing the level of SacRT staff participation in station ownership with the implementation of an Adopt-a-Station program; increased monitoring of the transit system through the use of technology with over 1,000 live-feed cameras monitored 24/7 in real-time from SacRT’s Security Operations Center; and increased staffing.

Additionally, SacRT opened the lines of communication between riders and SacRT security units by embracing new technology with the Alert SacRT safety and security reporting app and the installation of a public address (PA) system to quickly address nuisance behavior at all light rail stations, ensuring rapid and thorough action by the SacRT Police Services (RTPS) team.

“In recent years, SacRT has been aggressively seeking light rail safety and security improvements through enhanced leadership, new community partnerships, strong performance accountability and by pursuing light rail modernization efforts,” said SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li. “We are very thankful for APTA recognizing our improvements by awarding the Gold Award for Rail Safety.”

SacRT has placed a high priority on putting customers first by implementing a best in class safety and security program that has resulted in the following performance successes:

  • Presented with the 2019 national Federal Transportation Security Award (TSA) Gold Standard for System Security – One of less than 10 transit agencies to be recognized among 3,000 nationwide
  • Implemented a new transit ambassador program that moves away from traditional fare inspection to an inspection and customer service related role for positive engagement with riders and the communities we serve
  • Enforce a Paid Fare Zone at every light rail station
  • Completed a system-wide station improvement plan where we invested $8 million for increased lighting and safety provisions
  • Successfully launched Re-Imagine Watt/I-80 Station to identify improvements that could increase security and safety
  • More recently, SacRT has implemented best safety practices to keep customers and employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

“SacRT has made great strides in reducing crime and making the safety of its customers and employees a top priority,” said SacRT Board Chair and Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen. “These efforts have resulted in a safer and more secure environment for riders, which resulted in a ridership increase year-over-year preCOVID-19.”

The APTA Bus and Rail Safety & Security Excellence Awards recognize public transit providers for their innovative and proactive safety and security programs. These awards help to build the industry by benchmarking successful programs so other systems can implement and fine-tune their programs based on the findings of their peers.

“Congratulations to the award-winning public transit systems for their successful safety and security transportation programs that are models of excellence for the industry,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “The implementation of these initiatives demonstrates the ongoing commitment to improving safety and security for their passengers, employees, and communities in the public transit industry.”

The 2020 Rail Safety Gold award will be presented to SacRT at APTA’s TRANSform Conference & EXPO in March 2021.