Light Rail, One Family’s Perspective

I haven’t ever ridden light rail and this Letter to the Editor in the Sacramento Bee is part of the reason why; the other being the efficiency driving myself brings.

Light rail isn’t for kids

On Sunday, I took my three children (7-year-old twins and an 8-year-old daughter) on our first trip on Regional Transit light rail. We headed from the new Franklin station in south Sacramento at 11:30 a.m. to Seventh and K streets near Old Sacramento.

During our round trip we had men selling pills, marijuana and pot brownies openly in large plastic bags just seats away from my children; homeless men with oversized carts that blocked walkways; people smoking despite “no smoking” signs posted at each station; a man with a pit bull; and a young woman carrying a portable speaker with her phone blasting songs with excessive profanity.

There were no security staff members anywhere in sight on the train. The cars were full of trash and spilled drinks, and the windows were so smeared with dirt and grime that we could barely see out.

The experience left me shaken and saddened. What an unsafe and toxic environment for a family, and what a sad representation for Sacramento. Ironically, this is the same line that one would take from Elk Grove to go to the new Sacramento Kings arena. My advice: Take another means of transportation, especially if you have children. Next time, I will stick to driving.

Doreen Webber, Elk Grove


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.
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