Light rail expanding service hours in FolsomBy: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
Light rail service in the region is taking another leap forward in customer convenience. Officials from the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) announced they will be expanding service hours on the Gold Line, to and from Folsom stations, for the first time since the service began in October of 2005.
“SacRT’s goals are to improve connectivity, provide transportation that reflects current travel patterns and develop a state-of-the art transit system that the Sacramento community is proud of,” said General Manager and CEO Henry Li. “By expanding evening light rail service to Folsom, we will be able to link more people to resources and opportunities to provide the best transit service possible.”
Beginning on Sunday, June 17, the Gold Line will provide 30-minute service to the Historic Folsom Station. The last train will depart Folsom at 11:30 p.m. and arrive in Downtown Sacramento after midnight.
Historically, regular service hours in Folsom ended around 7 p.m., with evening service only for special events. With expanded service hours in place, riders will be soon able to consistently count on light rail for their late night transportation needs.
“It’s exciting to see SacRT moving forward at such a rapid pace to improve public transportation for everyone in the region,” said SacRT Board Chair and Sacramento County Vice Chair Patrick Kennedy. “I truly believe we are seeing a bold and rapid transformation of our transit system, as promised by General Manager Henry Li when he began leading the agency about two years ago.”
The expanded service will directly impact four light rail stations at the end of the Gold Line - Hazel, Iron Point, Glenn and Historic Folsom. Service will continue until 11:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“Evening service is the first improvement to come on the Gold Line and double tracking will soon follow, now that funding has been secured,” said SacRT Director and Folsom Councilmember Andy Morin. “This means residents will enjoy the convenience of 15-minute light rail service all the way to Folsom, from morning until late night.”
SacRT is partnering with the Folsom Chamber of Commerce and the City of Folsom to celebrate the new evening service.
On Thursday, June 14, at 5 p.m., SacRT and friends will gather at the Historic Folsom Station for a brief ceremony, followed by “Summer Stroll on Sutter,” a street festival hosted by the Folsom Chamber and the Folsom Historic District Merchants Association. The effort to extend the Gold Line service hours has had strong support from the Folsom business community, including from the Greater Folsom Partnership (GFP).
“We are very excited to welcome SacRT’s evening light rail service, which will significantly improve mobility for the region, allowing convenient transportation for shopping, dining and entertainment,” said GFP’s Economic Development Consultant Will Kempton. “It will also allow a new commute option for individuals who work a non-traditional schedule.”
SacRT expects ridership on the Gold Line to increase in both directions during the evening hours, as passengers discover they are able to enjoy popular evening destinations in Folsom, downtown Sacramento, and everywhere in between, by riding light rail instead of driving.
“The need for fast and reliable transportation by our gold-mining forefathers and foremothers in the 1800s is not much different than our own today. With the tremendous population growth in the Sacramento region, expanded Folsom service hours will be a welcomed transportation option for commuters traveling on the highway 50 corridor,” said City of Folsom Mayor Steve Miklos. “Offering more transportation options to and from Folsom will have a significant positive impact on the city’s high quality of life and workforce development.”