First came ride-sharing from the likes of Uber and Lyft. Then came the red Jump bikes, now ubiquitous on Sacramento streets, followed by Jump scooters. Next up are electric cars and buses from Electrify America (funded by Volkswagen’s $2 billion “Dieselgate” fine). Now Sacramento Regional Transit District is getting into the action, with a plan to revamp its entire bus route network this summer and make it more user-friendly. And don’t forget the Riverfront Streetcar Project, with plans for construction to start this year on an over-the-river crossing connection between Sacramento and West Sacramento.
California’s Capital City is getting attention nationwide for its alt-transportation methods, which focus on smarter, safer and more efficient ways of getting people from A to B, while reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion in a big way.
But it’s not always a smooth ride. There are multiple complaints about how Jump bikes are blocking sidewalks, and Jump scooters are not that safe for their drivers or the people they run into. There’s talk of the City planning to impose a fee-per-ride ordinance that Jump says is expensive and prohibitive to expanding its services. The streetcar project is in jeopardy, with project bids for construction way higher than expected, and far beyond the project budget. And can SacRT ever get anyone to ride its light rail?
The future of transportation in Sacramento is off to a great start, but how will these bumps in the road affect it? And how will we — as users, taxpayers and voters — affect and be affected by these new We’re talking about it down in the basement at Ruhstaller with the people who are in charge of taking us where we want to go, but differently.
* Jennifer Donlon Wyant, active transportation program specialist for the City of Sacramento
* Jessica Gonzalez, director of marketing and communications for Sacramento Regional Transit
* Jennifer Venema, sustainability manager for the City of Sacramento