Happy Birthday, Light Rail!

Sacramento’s starter line opened 20 years ago, and Regional Transit is celebrating by offering free rides all day on Friday, September 14th.

Sure, our light rail system doesn’t get you EVERYWHERE you want to go, but think of it as an actual 20 year old:

– It thinks it can do everything

– It still mooches off others for funding

– It still hasn’t quite decided where it wants to go in life, but definitely has big aspirations

Like many modern 20 year olds, it is also bilingual. “Empuje para abrir las puertas.”

So, get on out there and ride those rails — you never know what you’ll hear!

Public hearing tonight on RT changes

Even though the state budget is not yet complete, Regional Transit is planning to reduce its operations due to the probable inclusion in that budget of $1.3 billion in public transit cuts. In addition to internal cost-saving measures it looks like RT is set to make changes to 20 or more routes. Sac RT has released an announcement with a list of routes slated for trimming (PDF). RT Rider blog has more documents to peruse. RT Driver had some pretty tough words for the RT leadership when the announcement of Arnold’s cuts came out.

There is a public hearing about the proposed cuts tonight at 6 p.m. at the 29th and N RT office.

In honor of the 50E, my line of choice and one of the doomed routes, check out “Stockton Boulevard” by Stars & Garters on Chris Macias’ Sunday Single…

FREE annual RT pass

If you are an RT commuter, make sure to check whether your employer belongs to a Transportation Management Association. I inquired with the South Natomas TMA here at the widget factory about purchasing monthly RT passes at a discount and was told that those are not offered. Because free annual passes are offered to anyone who asks. That’s a $1000 perk. It’s definitely worth a call but obviously there are several different commuter groups in town with different agreements so YMMV.

RT Rider Poll: Which seat do you take?

When I got on the bus the other day I realized that unlike on an airplane, where you have solid reasons for preferring an aisle or window seat, on a bus your choice of seat is much more instinctual. You choose window or aisle without really thinking about it. I suppose maybe an aisle seat is more likely to deter seat sharing, but I really think the choice is more deep-seated than that. Also I wanted to test out this polling plugin. So read on and take the poll if you will…

Continue reading “RT Rider Poll: Which seat do you take?”

Weirdo at the Bus Stop

And by that I mean ME. This morning, late to the bus as usual, I ran out the door with two bags and coat pockets full of stuff that could easily have been consolidated into one cute little purse, if I was the organized type. I proceeded to rifle through those bags and pockets in order to do the following while waiting for the (late) bus: brush hair, put on lipstick, put on earrings, eat breakfast, take a multi-vitamin, put on socks and, finally, consolidate bags/pockets. All while daydreaming up a story about why the dog at the neighboring house was howling when he is usually quiet. So my question, SacRaggers, is: am I the only one who functions at this level at a bus stop? What weird things do you do, or have you seen others doing, while waiting for RT?

Regional Transit: The Soundtrack

If you’re like me, you enjoy musical accompaniment on your RT commute. Be it the popular Apple iPod device, a Walkman, or the songs in your head, there are certain tunes that really fit the bill for your particular route and time of day. For example, on a rainyish day like today, crossing the river on I5 heading into Natomas, Sufjan Stevens was where it was at. After work, heading uptown on the 50E I’m thinking maybe something a little more rockin.

Well, I want to hear from you. Leave a comment with your route and some songs that make it rock (or make it roll) for you. Perhaps we could get a mix CD going…so feel free to also donate several thousand dollars for permissions if you’d like to see that happen!

The real live bunch from Coney

A few observations from my morning RT commute today:

I saw a “tag” under the I-5 J street offramp that read “The Warriors,” as in the dystopian 70s gang film. Does this mean that the kids are getting smarter (or at least more into kitsch popcult references)? Or does it mean that graffiti artists are just getting older. Any other Warriors fans out there?

Can anyone tell me what they’re doing with those long narrow concrete pillars on the site of The Towers? There are several dozen sticking out of the ground at different heights which leads me to assume they are being tested for strength or something. Anybody have any experience with skyscraper construction?

Ho’s on the Light Rail

There hasn’t been much news on the Light Rail beat – just the usuall guys smoking huge fatties right in front of the police, etc. – but last night I witnessed a totally rad fight. A middle-aged business woman was getting on the train while a teeny-bopper Hallaback girl was getting off. They bumped into each other in the aisle. This prompted said Hallaback girl to go OFF, yo. She started screaming immediately (and now I will curse in the manner of Buster from Arrested Development) “F YOU, YOU B” to which the other woman simply and elegantly flipped the bird. The girl had to get off the train – it was her stop after all – but she continued yelling through the open doors, “I F-ed YOUR HUSBAND LAST NIGHT, B, AND HE PAID ME FOR IT TOO, HO!” This was repeated numerous times, louder and louder. I spent the next three stops trying to solve the riddle of whether being paid to have sex with someone’s husband wouldn’t in fact make you the “ho.” Light rail is SO much better than driving.