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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Transit transformed from lifeline to lifestyle

Below is the slideshow of the Sacramento Regional Transit Master Plan from the presentation given to the Sacramento Regional Transit board of directors executive committee workshop on March 2. This is a preview of what to expect on April 13, when the final plan will be presented to the board.

There's a line on slide No. 4 that says it all for me: "Moving transit from 'lifeline to lifestyle'."

Once upon a time, planners looked at transportation as roads and bigger roads and giant roads. Do you suppose we've finally reached a point where transportation planning can include a prominent place for transit and the concept of complete streets illustrated on slides 32 to 34?

The final slide shows what the region would get with this vision and what it would cost.

Slide 58

I would be more than willing to pay an extra half-cent sales tax and $180 a year in property taxes in exchange for trains and buses every 5 to 10 minutes and hours of operation that extend beyond commute hours.

While the RT board and staff are enamored with the light rail extension to the airport (see priorities on slide No. 47), bringing real transit service in the form of streetcars to Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova is far more important, especially when it comes time to vote on tax increases.

The document below is a summary of the discussion that took place during the March 2 committee hearing.

RT Transit Master Plan committee discussion
(This comes from the executive committee agenda packet for the April 6 committee meeting.)

UPDATE: An April 16 version of the TransitAction presentation, complete with audio, is available here.


Mattie said...

Where do I send my $180 check?!! I am more than ready and willing to pay more taxes to get better transit!

OldPersonDontUseThis81827 said...

You should read about Denver's FasTracks program if you have not heard of it. In 2004, voters approved a $4.8 billion (thats BILLION as in starting with a B) sales tax increase to fund a huge expansion of their transit system. Includes 122 miles of new light rail and commuter rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, 57 new transit stations, 21,213 additional parking spaces at transit park-n-Rides, Enhanced bus service and FastConnects throughout the region. They pulled it off by showing maps and pictures to the public and showing them exactly what they would get with the plan. It has been so successful that developers have actually been buying land and planning TOD's long before the tracks are even laid. (they have even nicknamed them Transit Ready Developments). Construction is expected to start this year and be complete by 2017-2019.