SacRT has big plans for our next 50 years. To succeed, we count on your support.

March 21, 2023 General, SacRT Blog


A Message from SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li

Click image above to play the video message from SacRT General Manager/CEO Henry Li on SacRT’s 50th anniversary celebration. 

At the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT), we are pleased to have been of service for 50 years to our region’s residents, but there’s much more to come. The growing Sacramento region needs SacRT to play a bigger leadership role now more than ever. 

We embrace that challenge. Here’s what we have planned next: 

  • This year, we launched the biggest upgrade in the history of our light rail system. We are modifying station platforms on the Gold Line to accommodate a new fleet of modern and easy to use “low-floor” light rail vehicles, which will be ready for passenger boardings in 2024. We then will do the same on the Blue Line once additional funding is identified. 
  • We are in advanced planning for a streetcar line over Tower Bridge into West Sacramento that will better connect the two cities. We have most, but not all the funding we need for that project. 
  • We are laying plans for our next major service evolution, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to operate on our region’s busiest corridors. Buses will operate in their own right-of-way, separated from cars, and will have signal priority at intersections. 
  • We are addressing the area’s housing crisis by helping create “transit-oriented” neighborhoods next to light rail stations. One example: We partnered last year on housing for more than 700 students in a village-like locale next to our University/65th Street light rail station and Sacramento State University.  
  • We will soon partner with developers to build a light rail station and public space serving the new Mirasol Village affordable housing project near downtown. 
  • We just finalized a plan to modernize thousands of our bus stops and will be making those upgrades in phases as money comes available. 

In short, SacRT is poised not only to serve Sacramento better as a mobility agency, but to be a social and economic justice leader, and a champion in fighting climate change. 

Whether or not SacRT can accomplish these goals; however, will depend on our community’s willingness to invest in us. SacRT is in need of a stronger and steadier annual locally based revenue stream. 

To be clear, SacRT is financially stable. A recent national Moody’s Investors Service analysis of SacRT gave our agency an A2 rating, one of the most favorable financial outlooks of any transit agency. 

That solid rating stems from the fact that SacRT has prudently set aside reserves of $75 million that we expect to spend incrementally over the next five years. We have a separate $20 million emergency fund to tap, if need be.  

But, if we are going to meet Sacramento’s growing mobility, economic and equity needs long term, we will need a revenue level that supports forward movement. SacRT currently is allocated just of the county’s one-cent transportation sales tax. Many of our transit agency peers in California metro areas receive far higher sales tax percentages, some of them a full cent. That puts them in a much better position to win federal and state grants to expand and improve their service. 

“SacRT has a bright future,” said agency General Manager/CEO Henry Li. “But we need to grow our public transit. We need strategic, innovative, integrated and flexible transit that is focused on building equity, promoting social justice and fighting climate change.” 

Many of our capital projects – such as our planned BRT lines – would be in a similarly strong position to secure up to 75 percent of the needed project funds from state and federal sources if we can increase the amount of local tax revenues we receive to cover our share. 

We will share more information in the near future about how we can address those financial needs. With your support, we are optimistic that we can not only meet the moment as a community leader and good steward of taxpayer dollars, we can exceed it in a growing Sacramento region.