Regional Transit services currently have a very low share of all transportation trips (1% of all trips, 2% of commute trips and approximately 20% of commute trips into the Sacramento Central Business District). That said, ridership has been growing overall, particularly on the Light Rail services. But if transit is going to play a part in Sacramento's Smart Growth future then it has to attract a greater number of riders and increase its "mode share" (the proportion of total trips that use transit). At present transit in Sacramento is seen as providing "lifeline services for transit dependent members of the community". As part of a Smart Growth future, transit use must become a "lifestyle choice" for a greater proportion of the community. People will use transit because they want to, not just because they have to.
Research by Regional Transit and other transit agencies has consistently identified the following key attributes for a successful transit system:
- Fast journey times
- Direct services
- Reliable and punctual services
- Affordable fares and simple ticketing systems
- High quality information
- Accessible for All - easy access to/from transit stops/stations, and getting on/off vehicles
- High frequency services
- Safe and secure services
- Clean and friendly services
- Efficient service that provides value for money
- Convenient transfers (if required).
These attributes are applicable regardless of the type of transit...Light Rail, bus, neighborhood shuttle, paratransit service, commuter rail, Bus Rapid Transit, Streetcar etc. As we work towards the more detailed content of the TMP these attributes will be used to test or "sense-check" the various policies and projects that are being considered.