Sacramento’s Trains are Filthy

According to this story from KCRA Channel 3.

An excerpt.

Tests reveal fecal E. coli, strep on trains, at stations

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —”I wish they would focus more on keeping it clean, make sure the seats are clean,” Michael Armstrong said as he was boarding the Blue Line Train to start his search for a job.

“Even if I have a car, I still take it because it saves on gas,” Armstrong said. “It’s efficient during rush hour. I don’t have to worry about traffic.”

The Sacramento man said he uses light rail frequently to get to school and to look for work. But whenever he gets on the train, he watches where he sits and what he touches.

Armstrong said he has seen it all.

“Blood, vomit, I’ve seen used products,” Armstrong said. “All kinds of stuff.”

While KCRA rode with him on the Blue Line, Armstrong pointed out some bloody bandages lying on the floor of the train under his seat.

“In the medical or any other field like that, it’s an automatic cleanup,” Armstrong said. “And, I don’t understand why it’s any different for the RT.”

Another passenger, Monique Johnson, said she finds filth on the trains on her weekly trips and keeps her children from touching the floor or the seats.

“If you can see the dirt, you know there’s germs,” Johnson said.

Passenger Anna Maquire said it’s not just about cleanliness, it’s about respect.

“The reason I feel disrespected is because I pay. I’m sure everyone else does too. We pay to put all this in,” Maquire said. “I know taxpayer money goes toward it and to pay the people to clean and stuff like that.”

Mike Wiley Sacramento Regional Transit’s general manager insists the trains don’t begin the day dirty.

“The entire interior of the car will be swept, mopped out, wiped down. Stanchions, windows, all of those things get wiped clean, every night on every train,” Wiley said.

Wiley said other crews are on-call to keep the trains clean while they are running.

“We have employees to go out during the course of the day, and will clean up spills, that will clean up hazards, that pick up trash,” Wiley said.

Still, KCRA found railings that didn’t look like they’ve been wiped down in weeks, grungy floors and even bugs crawling around on one train. We found trash over and over.

It’s not just the people riding light rail who wish the trains were cleaner. Joe Gamble is a train operator and a board member of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents operators.

“For some reason it’s something that is unique to Sacramento,” Gamble said. “I’ve been to other places, the Bay Area and their trains are clean.”

Retrieved November 13, 2015 from

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
This entry was posted in Transportation. Bookmark the permalink.