SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento Regional Transit is suffering a multimillion-dollar loss in revenue due to fewer riders using the service.
The district has been criticized for poor security and raising fares in the past.
“The declining ridership numbers is the red flag that everyone should pay close attention to,” said Craig Powell with the watchdog Eye on Sacramento. “They need to wake up. They need to see their transit system is in crisis.”
In 2016 there were more than 25 million trips on Regional Transit. That number fell to 22 million in 2017 and 20 million this year.
Regional Transit blames the drop on its efforts to step up on fare enforcement and security, adding 60 fare inspectors trying to catch passengers who don’t pay. It also says rideshare apps are also a factor.
But Powell blames RT’s decision to reduce service and raise rates.
“We urged them not to do it, because we knew based on the experience of other transit systems, that it would crater readership,” he said.
In February, RT launched a new micro transit on-demand service in Citrus Heights to get some of those passengers back. So far, they say it’s been a success.
The service is expanding to South Sacramento and the central city area later this fall.
RT says its security efforts have also reduced crime by 29 percent compared to last year.