Understanding the connection between public transportation, economic development and the financial health of the region, a group of business leaders began expressing a strong need to improve RT. In 2014 Supervisor Serna convened a working group to develop a set of recommendations intended to improve the overall quality of the RT infrastructure. Upon assuming the Chairmanship, I appointed an Ad Hoc Committee to assess those issues, and develop specific recommendations and actions which RT can then adopt. The Ad-Hoc includes Supervisor Serna, myself and a number of the business leaders who worked on the original report, and have generously donated their time to this effort. The goal is system wide improvement for all riders.
The Ad Hoc divided its work into four working groups, including (1) Stations and Shelters, (2) Safety and Security, (3) Rolling Stock, and (4) Communications. RT has also contracted with a national expert to provide advice and recommendations to the working groups and the Board, on a range of concurrent and related issues. RT and the business leaders are collaborating to develop a number of venues for public input, both in person and through the use of technology. Finally, RT has also signed an MOU with SACOG Executive Director Mike McKeever to take advantage of SACOG’s expertise in modeling and land use planning.
There is little doubt that RT needs to do a better job on each of these fronts, and with the development of the Entertainment and Sports Complex (ESC) and a gradually-improving economy, we have an opportunity to expand ridership and improve the quality of service.
A successful public transit system is critical to Sacramento’s long-term success. It is vital for meeting our environmental targets included in the Metropolitan Transportation Plan; it is central to our economic prosperity, and can also greatly facilitate housing and community building. For these reasons and more, I will be dedicating significant time and effort over the next 9-12 months to ensuring this initiative’s success. If you have thoughts or ideas about how we can improve the system, please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On another note, May is Bike Month – I look forward to seeing you out on the trails.
In addition to his council duties, Jay works as an independent consultant and policy advisor on education reform and youth policy and strategies.