There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dear Mr. Transitarian

Here is my dilemma, my son, who just turned 15, finds himself totally annoyed with me for moving us all the way to the other end of Truxel (near Club Center & Natomas) from where we once were. It is too far to ride his bike and I won’t let him cross over the Interstate anyway because he would be killed dead by the crazy non-pedestrian respecting drivers in Sacramento at the entrance/exit ramps for I-80.
I told him he could take the bus from Natomas Blvd and be dumped off by Natomas High School, but then realized I have no idea how to do that. I can’t make any sense of the schedule. How would he go about this? How much would it cost? And, can he always take his bike and have it loaded on the front of the bus? Help me Oh Great Transitarian.

Let's put the bottom line up front: Dumb move on your part.

Sacramento Regional Transit is rightfully criticized for having failed to expand bus service as residential development has spread. Since RT took over for the old Sacramento Transit Authority in 1973, all of its "expansion" has been focused on light rail.

Today, RT has one bus route serving residents north of Del Paso Rd. in Natomas. That's the No. 11. And the No. 11 would be perfect for connecting your kid with Natomas High School -- if he wanted to ride during regular commute hours and didn't mind staying home and helping you around the house on the weekends. The No. 11 ride from Club Center and Natomas to Truxel and San Juan takes 16 minutes and costs $1 with a student ID.

If your son wants to get to Natomas High School on the weekend, he'll have to ride his bike down to Truxel and Arena Boulevard, where he can catch the No. 14 east -- which runs hourly between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. -- and then transfer to the No. 86 west at Northgate and San Juan. The trip will take 39 minutes and cost $1.10 with a student ID.

As for taking the bike, buses can carry two bikes. If a third bike rider shows up, he's out of luck.

RT's Web site at and Google Transit at can help with specific times. But pay close attention to what Google offers for weekend options.

I've blogged before about its suggestion that the wife walk across Highway 50 for the final leg of her commute to work. If you ask Google for suggestions for leaving Club Center and Natomas at 12:02 p.m. next Saturday, May 31, Google Transit says the best option is to wait until Monday, June 2, and catch the first bus of the morning at 6:07. Bring a sleeping bag and a camp stove.

If anyone at RT is listening, the plight of the No. 11 bus in Natomas is still another good example where a little improvement -- evening and weekend service -- would go a long way to improve RT's image as a transportation service of choice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

there is a safe way across I-80 near Truxel for bicycles.

Going South on Truxel,
turn Right (West) on Natomas Crossing Drive, go to the end,
turn Left (South) on the closed street (it's Airport Road).
CAUTION BAD PAVEMENT !!! this street runs into San Juan,
turn Left (East) to return to Truxel.

going North on Truxel
Left (West) on San Juan
Right (North) on Airport Road (At the end of the overpass)
Right (East) through the gap onto Natomas Crossing Drive to the Signal
Left (North) on Truxel

note: verify this before the ride is important, I haven't ridden this in a while.

looking like Martin Mull IS a good thing, especially that way with words you have