The US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced that the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) has opened the Blue Line light rail extension to Cosumnes River College (CRC) in Sacramento County, California, US.
The extension will improve transit options for residents travelling between downtown Sacramento and the growing South Sacramento corridor.
It offers local commuters an alternative to congested Highway 99 and brings new transit service to the area’s major employers, as well as encourages new retail and residential development in specially zoned areas along the light rail line.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: "Sacramento’s new light rail extension will improve access to jobs, education and other important ladders of opportunity for thousands of area residents, including CRC students, faculty and staff."
The 4.3-mile rail extension will run south from the existing Meadowview station to CRC.
The project also includes four new stations at Morrison Creek, Franklin Boulevard, Center Parkway and CRC, as well as a new park-and-ride lot.
FTA acting administrator Therese McMillan said: "California’s capital region needs and deserves a robust public transportation network that connects residents to employment opportunities downtown, as well as South Sacramento, and other destinations throughout Sacramento County.
"With continued population growth expected in the coming decades, Sacramento’s expanded light rail system will bring much-needed, world-class transit options to this growing region."
According to RT, the extension will provide about 2,800 trips in addition to existing average weekday light rail ridership, which is around 39,400.
For the $270m total project, the FTA has contributed $135m through its capital investment grant (CIG) Programme, and an additional $7.1m in transport department funding, while the remaining cost was covered by state and local funding.
Image: The project extends Blue Line light rail service 4.3 miles from Meadowview Road to CRC. Photo: courtesy of US Federal Transit Administration.