In yet another consequence of the new arena going in, there might be a long overdue upgrade—in cleanliness and security—to the local light rail to encourage more people to use it to and from games, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.
In what’s being described as an unprecedented move, Sacramento Regional Transit officials agreed this week to collaborate with a group of major downtown business owners on a speeded-up effort to improve the transit system before a sports and entertainment arena opens downtown.
The business group, which includes Kings basketball partner Mark Friedman and downtown developer David Taylor, publicly challenged the transit agency last week to improve the safety, cleanliness, customer service and branding of light rail or risk turning off potential new riders in late 2016 when the arena opens.
“Crumbling infrastructure is rampant throughout the system,” Friedman said.
Early estimates suggest that several thousand arena event-goers are likely to consider taking light-rail trains, many of whom had never used the transit system before. The business group’s members were blunt in their assessment that RT is not yet providing service safe and convenient enough to retain those potential new riders.
RT board Chairman Phil Serna, who convened the business group for input a few months ago, said the agency likely will set up a committee later this month to work with the business leaders on ways the agency can improve service.
It remains uncertain how the two groups will work together, and whether the partnership will bring new money to the cash-strapped transit system. RT has struggled financially since the recession, cutting back on service and maintenance, and only recently began trying to rebuild.
The business group made a series of presentations and recommendations to the RT board at its Monday night meeting, starting with a slide show by Taylor showing several downtown stations with overflowing garbage cans, dirty sidewalks, graffiti and other blighted conditions. Taylor suggested the agency try to partner more with adjacent property owners to keep stations clean.
Retrieved January 14, 2015 from http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/article6276249.html