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Sacramento Regional Transit Sees Steep Rider Drop In 2017

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento's Regional Transit is seeing a big drop in customers, and we're getting answers on how many people stopped riding public transportation.

In the last 12 months, Regional Transit has seen more than 2 million fewer bus and light-rail trips compared to the year before, a 10 percent loss. That adds up to a more than $800,000 deficit in fare revenue.

The hope was the Golden 1 Center would attract more customers, but a year after opening and a year after rate hikes, RT just isn't seeing the impact.

"Event ridership is still a fraction of our overall ridership," said Mark Lonergan. "It is focused on a unique purpose, and I think that's what we're seeing."

Now district leaders are looking for ways to boost ridership, including lowering fares for students—a demographic that dropped in the last year.

Officials also say some of the loss may be due to the growing popularity of app-based ride shares, such as Uber and Lyft. Now, RT is experimenting with micro-transit offering people in Citrus Heights point-to-point rides in an effort to compete.

Transit officials are also looking at ways to optimize its routes.

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