Sacramento RT Light Rail

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Sacramento RT Light Rail
Sacramento Regional Transit.svg
Sac RT Siemens.jpg
A Siemens Duewag U2A in downtown Sacramento
Locale Sacramento, CA
Transit type Light rail
Number of lines 3
Number of stations 54[1]
Daily ridership 38,900 average weekday riders
(Q3 2017)[2]
Annual ridership 13.873 million (2012)[3]
Website Sacramento Regional Transit District
Began operation March 12, 1987[4]
Operator(s) Sacramento Regional Transit District
Number of vehicles 36 Siemens-Duewag U2A vehicles
and 40 CAF Class 200 vehicles[4]
System length 42.9 mi (69.0 km)[1]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
Electrification Overhead lines, 750 V DC
System map
Sacramento RT light rail map.png
Sacramento RT Light Rail
System diagram
Parking Bike Locks
Watt/I-80 West
Roseville Road
RT Facility
Royal Oaks
Arden/Del Paso
Parking Bike Locks
7th & Richards/Township 9
Alkali Flat/La Valentina
Sac Valley Station
12th & I*
7th & I
8th & H
County Center
Cathedral Square
11th & K
10th & K
8th & K
9th & K
7th & K
7th & Capitol
8th & Capitol
8th & O
Archives Plaza
13th Street
Sacramento Regional Transit.svg
R Street Yard
16th Street
23rd Street
4th Ave./W. Hultgren
29th Street
Bike Locks
City College
39th Street
48th Street
47th Avenue
59th Street
Bike Locks Parking
University/65th Street
Bike Locks Parking
Power Inn
Morrison Creek
College Greens
Center Parkway
Cosumnes River College
Mather Field/Mills
Cordova Town Center
Iron Point
Historic Folsom

Paid Parking
Sacramento Regional Transit.svg
customer service & sales
Free parking
BSicon lACC.svg *
all stations except
12th & I southbound
Light rail stop at K Street Mall, Downtown Sacramento.

The Sacramento RT Light Rail system (reporting mark SCRT) is a 42.9 mi (69.0 km)[1] light rail system, consisting of three rail lines, 54 stations, and 76 vehicles. It is operated by the Sacramento Regional Transit District.

Sacramento's light rail system, with an average of 38,900 weekday daily boardings in Q3 2017,[2] is the eleventh busiest in the United States.

The creation and maintenance of the light-rail system is pushed by the advocacy group Friends of Light Rail and Transit.


Prior to 1980 efforts by community organizers led by the Modern Transit Society to bring light rail to Sacramento were stopped in their tracks by a pro-bus-only Regional Transit District Administration and Board of Directors.

After many months of very adverse media attention to management failures, all of the senior management was fired, and the majority of the Board either resigned or were replaced.

In 1980-81, a new Board of Directors hired a new General Manager, Bob Nelson, who had been a senior manager in the design and construction of the Bay area BART system.

A management troika of Nelson, RT General Counsel John Kettleson, and Public Affairs Director and Assistant General Manager Bill Green, was successful in completely reorganizing the agency, reversing its negative public reputation, and obtaining swift approval and funding for a bold new light rail project.

In 1987, the 18.3-mile (29.5 km) light rail “starter line” opened, linking the northeastern (Interstate 80) and eastern (Route 50) corridors with Downtown Sacramento. As light rail ridership increased, RT continued to expand the light rail system. RT completed its first light rail expansion along the Highway 50 corridor in September 1998 with the opening of the Mather Field/Mills Station. Five years later (September 2003) RT opened the first phase of the South Line, a 6.3-mile (10.1 km) extension to South Sacramento. In June 2004, light rail was extended from the Mather Field/Mills station to Sunrise Boulevard, and on October 15, 2005 a 7.4-mile (11.9 km) extension from the Sunrise station to the city of Folsom was opened.

In December 2006, the final leg of the Amtrak/Folsom project was extended by 0.7-mile (1.1 km), to the downtown Sacramento Valley Station, connecting light rail with Amtrak inter-city and Capitol Corridor services as well as local and commuter buses. Within the next several years, RT plans to extend light rail beyond Meadowview, South Sacramento, to Cosumnes River College and north to Sacramento International Airport. RT currently operates 97 bus routes in a 418-square-mile (1,080 km2) service area.

Operations and headways

Before the June 2010 budget cuts, RT light rail formerly operated from 4:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily with 15 minute headways during the day. After the budget cuts took place, light rail service was curtailed to operate from 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with service every 15 minutes Monday through Friday, and every 30 minutes on weekends and at night. In 2013, RT light rail service was restored to operate more hours again, now operating from 4:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, although the frequency headways remain unchanged. The only exception is the Green Line which operates Monday through Friday only from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. running every 30 minutes throughout service times.


Most popular stations

Numbers provided are average weekday boardings and alights:

  • 16th Street: 4,800[1]
  • Meadowview: 3,000[1]
  • St. Rose of Lima Park: 2,800[1]

Blue Line – Watt/I-80–Downtown–Cosumnes River College Line

Gold Line – Downtown–Sunrise Folsom Line

Green Line – Downtown–Township 9

Future projects

Sacramento RT has several plans to expand the light rail system, but most have been placed on hold due to a lack of funding.

The most recent Sacramento Regional Transit Master Plan, adopted September 2009 included plans to extend the system to Elk Grove, Roseville, and Citrus Heights.[5]

Green Line to Sacramento International Airport

The Green Line to Sacramento International Airport light rail future extension Project will extend service 12 miles (19.3 km) to the airport via the Natomas neighborhood.[6] The line would extend northwest from the existing Green Line terminus at the 7th & Richards / Township 9 station. The plan to extend light rail to the airport has been in the works since early 1990s, and is the project most requested by residents of the Sacramento region.[7] The agency is currently completing environmental documents for the project.[8]

The project, estimated at nearly $1 billion, would be the costliest in RT's history and securing funding has been a challenge.[7] Transportation officials most recently proposed funding the project with a half-cent sales tax increase in Sacramento County, but the measure was narrowly defeated in November 2016.[9][10]

Rolling stock

The LRV fleet is composed of cars from three different builders: 36 from Siemens-Duewag U2A, some of which have been in use since the RT opened; 40 newer ones delivered in 2003 from Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, and 20 Urban Transportation Development Corporation cars purchased from Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and refurbished by Siemens.[4]

Numbers Qty Built Manufacturer Model Notes
35 01 1912 American Car Company "California" car
101–126 26 1985–1986 Siemens-Duewag U2A
127–136 10 1990–1991 Siemens U2A
40 2002
Construcciones y Auxiliar
de Ferrocarriles
301–320[11] 20 1987 Urban Transportation
Development Corporation


  1. ^ a b c d e f "RT Fact Sheet" (pdf). Sacramento Regional Transit District. June 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-09.
  2. ^ a b "APTA Ridership Report - Q3 2017 Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association (APTA) (via: November 2017. Retrieved 2018-02-09. External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ "APTA Ridership Report - Q4 2012 Report" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association (APTA) (via: March 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-13. External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ a b c "Sacramento Regional Transit Light Rail FACT SHEET" (pdf). Sacramento Regional Transit Light Rail. February 2008. Retrieved 2007-01-23.
  5. ^ "Sacramento TransitAction Regional Transit Master Plan: Executive Summary" (PDF). Sacramento Regional Transit District. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  6. ^ Sacramento RT website: "Green Line to the Airport" Archived 2012-05-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ a b Bizjak, Tony (January 7, 2015). "When will Sacramento get light rail to the airport? Not soon". The Sacramento Bee. ISSN 0890-5738. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "Green Line to the Airport fact sheet" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  9. ^ Bizjak, Tony (2016-03-27). "Sacramento unveils $3.6 billion transportation project to-do list". The Sacramento Bee. ISSN 0890-5738. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  10. ^ "What's next for Sacramento roads and transit after Measure B defeat?". The Sacramento Bee. 2016-11-23. ISSN 0890-5738. Retrieved 2018-07-10.
  11. ^ "Rolling Stock (LRV)". Sacramento Regional Transit. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  12. ^ "Siemens-refurbished light rail vehicles to begin operating on new Sacramento Regional Transit line | Siemens USA Newsroom". Retrieved 2016-11-03.

External links

Media related to Sacramento RT Light Rail at Wikimedia Commons

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