The Sacramento Regional Transit Board has voted to lower the price of fares for K-12 students starting January 1st, 2018.
Sacramento Regional Transit is the main means of transportation for many Sacramento residents. Most young people who don’t have cars can’t always rely on their parents to get them around so they must rely on the RT system. But just how reliable is Sac RT?
According to the American Public Transportation Association’s 2011 Public Transportation Fact Book, Sacramento Regional Transit is ranked as number 47 out of the 50 Largest Transit Agencies in the country with 154,000 miles traveled by customers. According to WalkScore, Sacramento is ranked at 22, with a score of 32, compared to other large cities across the U.S.
Riders of Regional Transit often complain about it’s services.
In September 2009, Regional Transit took away transfers, a pass for ten to twenty-five cents extra for those who had to take more than one bus to get to their destination. This caused riders to have to pay the basic fare upon boarding a different bus, or buy a daily pass.
“When the transfers stopped and the fares increased that was a major setback.” says Chelsea Davis, a RT rider. ” You either have to pay the fare with each different bus or pay for a daily pass. If you’re taking more than two buses, it’s just easier to get a daily pass.”
Buses are often not on time and transfers don’t match up, causing riders to have to wait longer for the next bus or light rail train. Buses will leave when the light rail is arriving and vice versa.
“The buses are known for showing up late and sometimes don’t show up at all at their allotted time slot,”says Anthony Gonzalez. “This conflicts with a customer’s schedule; especially if they have a job, meeting, or class they have to go to.”
With basic fares at $2.50 per bus and $6.00 for a daily pass, riders ages 19-61 have it the hardest. Fortunately, students at any of the Los Rios colleges or at Sacramento State University can pay a low fee for a bus pass to ride all RT busses and light rails for the semester. Los Rios, however, does not provide bus passes for the summer term.
Even at peak hours, Monday through Friday, 6:00 am – 9:00 am and 3:30 pm – 6 pm, most busses run no less than every 30 minutes, with the exception of busses 1,23,30,51,81, and 86. Most busses run every 30- 60 minutes after 6:00pm everyday. Some busses stop running completely after 6:00pm. The light rail runs every 15 minutes during peak and midday hours and every 30 minutes on weekends and evenings.
The bus stop at 65th and Broadway, a stop on bus route 81 going towards Florin and Riverside, is not only hidden behind an electric pole, but the sign is not there at all and there is very little lighting. Riders have been passed by buses at this stop and other stops with similar problems.
“ I once was almost passed by a bus driver,” says Jessica Harvey, former student and RT customer. “When the driver did see me and I got on, he argued with me about whether it was my fault that I wasn’t visible.’
During the evenings, bus stops and light rails stations have to be light enough for people to see. Some bus stops and light rail stations do not have adequate lighting.
This all makes it harder for riders to get to their destinations quickly, safely, and hassle-free.