RT to add electronic message signs

DSC08859
Creative Commons License photo credit: freya.gefn

Regional Transit announced via their “Next Stop News” brochure that they have begun installing electronic billboards at “key light rail stations.”

Initially, scheduled train arrival times will be displayed on the signs, as well as service disruption information and other RT news. Real-time train arrival times will be displayed starting in spring 2011 using GPS to track the movements of RT vehicles.

This is a pretty nice addition to the light rail commute. If the trains could only serve more people it would make up for the thrice annual cuts to bus service. Continue reading “RT to add electronic message signs”

RT service changes: Tahoe Park getting the shaft

neighborhood rideIn the upcoming September service changes for RT, my beloved Tahoe Park apparently drew the shortest straw and will be hit with 2 cuts out of 11 total changes.

  • 37 – Tahoe Park – 21st Avenue – Weekdays – Eliminate; Route 8 provides alternative service.
  • 83 – 14th Avenue – Weekdays – Decrease service frequency from 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

I’m not really sure how Route 8 can provide alternate service to Tahoe Park as their routes (8, 37) don’t intersect.

Continue reading “RT service changes: Tahoe Park getting the shaft”

Public transit budget grab was illegal, court says


this poster should have
been illegal too

News & Review’s Cosmo Garvin blogs about Regional Transit’s EPIC WIN last week when the California 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled (in the case SHAW et al. v. THE PEOPLE ex rel. CHIANG, as Controller, etc., et al.) that a portion of the money taken from Public Transportation Account in the last 3 budget years must be repaid. Garvin points out that there is obviously no money in the state’s wallet to pay out, so it remains to be seen what will happen.

What should happen, to borrow a phrase, is the political heads of Gov. Schwarzenegger and many other elected officials on a platter. What would happen to a businessperson who shifted money around in order to pay his company’s bills and did something illegal?

Silver lining on RT’s 2009 rate increase

If you’re an RT user I’m sure you know that fares are going up in 2009. An extra two bits for a single fare, and actually also an extra quarter for a transfer, up to 50 cents. So a basic ticket plus transfer is $2.75, almost double the same type of fare on SF Muni, I’m discouraged to learn. However I suppose you could pretend that all of SF would be within the “Central City zone” for Sac RT, in which case a comparable fee will only be $1.60. But that takes some pretending.

However, the silver lining is that RT riders will not experience any service cuts when 2009 comes. In fact, according to the latest “Next Stop News” the only service changes will actually be additional service on several lines.

I like RT’s General Manager Mike Wiley’s moxie; the press release about 2009 fare increases quotes Wiley: “RT could not absorb an $18.3 million raid by the state of California without asking our riders to pay more…”

What do you think though, RT riders? Increased costs or service cuts? Are you going to be happy to pay more knowing that at least for the time being you won’t have to deal with changes to your route?

Railyards project receives cash

As reported by the Biz Journal, the city has received an additional $17.9 million in funds tied to the almost $24 billion transportation and infrastructure money approved by us voters in 2006. Construction on the railyards is supposed to begin next year.

The money approved in prop 1B is for “creating infrastructure and affordable housing near transit.” Somewhat ironically, $18 million is exactly the amount Regional Transit expects to lose when the budget is passed. (although by the time the budget is passed we’ll all be tooling around in jet-packs.) Perhaps some of that money can be redirected toward transit near which to build more affordable housing?