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 11, 2009

Sacramento Regional Transit staff proposing service cuts

The Sacramento Regional Transit District board will decide tonight whether to schedule a hearing June 8 that could lead to bus service reductions across the city as soon as Sept. 6.

"State funding in the Public Transportation Account (PTA) has been reduced, and RT's State Transit Assistance (STA) share of funding has declined to zero beginning in Fiscal Year 2010. This will continue into future years. At the same time, Local Transportation Funds and Measure A funding have also declined due to the reduction in sales tax receipts. RT's revenues have therefore been reduced substantially in the Fiscal Year 2009 and Fiscal Year 2010 preliminary budgets, meaning that RT may no longer be able to provide the same level of service as in Fiscal Year 2008."
On the block are 18 weekday routes, 12 Saturday routes, six Sunday and holiday routes and four supplemental routes.

These routes do not meet productivity standards. The standards are based on boardings per revenue hour. A route that's below 70 percent of peer routes is considered failing.

And that's not the worst of it:
"Due to the severity of the budget situation, staff is preparing to make an additional service reduction in January 2010 as well."
Weekday routes on the chopping block this year:

6,9,10,18,20,36,37,63,73,75,83,94,95,106,107,140,141,142

Saturday routes:

6,16,24,28,34,47,54,61,62,65,73,74

Sunday routes:

5,8,13,34,82,75

Supplemental routes:

205,249,251,261

The agenda item from tonight's meeting is available here.

5 comments:

ranma9037 said...

If there was a silver lining,it would be that RT is still obligated to run light rail and its strongest core bus routes 365/366 days a year based on past staff reports;but still,is it gonna get to the point that necessity riders like myself will have to ditch certain areas of the Sac metro region due to transit service inequality?Which is why I would never scoff if I met someone who would consider moving to the Bay because of more reliable(and better funded)public transit...

John said...

I'm a big fan of buses. If for no other reason, they move people between the rail lines. Without the buses, you can't live without a car. And living without a car is the big advantage of relying on transit.

Without adequate bus service people won't see the savings of using transit and therefore transit service won't see the support it needs to secure funding to provide a real transit service.

The Derek said...

RT seriously needs to overhaul thier bus routes. The bus routes are too destination based. The bus routes should go from the suburbs to downtown,AND KEEP GOING to the suburbs on the other side of the CBD. Transit routes by nature are going to have the fewest riders near the termini. By lowering the number of termini, the overall number of empty seats will drop. 8th and O would be a good place to a transit center type place where drivers can take breaks/switch shifts etc, since they are close to all 2 (soon to be 3) light rail lines and in the CBD. since the 2, 3, 6, 7, and 62 all parallel each other I'm somewhat surprised that RT hasnt considered (even long term) buying the old SP railroad line and consolidating those routes. They could then use smaller neighborhood busses to move people around locally, including to and from the LRT lines. I'm not a fan of custs but I notice a lot of inefficiency in the way RT operates its bus and LRT lines and it's irritating when they take the easy way out and propose cuts, when they may not have to if they were willing to actually put some effort in streamlining thier operations. One example is the fact they ripped out the temporary tracks at watt ave after building the bridge, when it would have been a perfectly good storage yard so they wouldnt have 4 car trains running at 8:30pm on the gold line.

ranma9037 said...

The Derek:I'm glad to hear that you're not the only one that has considered the intact-but-inactive rail alignment skirting Miller Park and traversing the Land Park/Freeport neigborhoods as a sensibly viable light rail line(likely an southern extension of DNA if not a fourth line)if RT is ever smart enough to even consider it.I've become familiar with this inactive mainline during my regular trips to Oto's.Hopefully,they'll be enough transitarians to at least level the playing field against the NIMBY's if RT is ever smart enough to consider this.Transit-dependent Land Park and Freeport residents shouldn't have to walk an excessive distance from home just to use transit on weekends,especially with a route glut on weekdays that costs more to run weekend bus service...

wburg said...

The railroad line skirting Miller Park is not inactive: it is used by the California State Railroad Musem's "Sacramento Southern" trains. It is out of service south of Baths (where the tracks go over I-5) but there are long-range plans to extend Sacramento Southern tourist trains farther south.

That being said, a joint operation using DLR (diesel light rail) through that route to Old Sacramento (that being the northern end of that line) could serve many parties well: it would mean regular maintenance for an expanded Sacramento Southern tourist line, and commuter activity through Old Sacramento in the morning, and a heck of a marketing tool for visitors to Sacramento who ride the trains on the weekends (around 200,000 a year.)