Light Rail Makes First Step Toward Natomas

BY CHRIS SHANNON
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

More than 200 hundred people were on hand for Regional Transit’s new Township 9 Station grand opening celebration today, June 15 on Richards Boulevard.

Several government dignitaries attended the event today marking completion of the first leg of light rail service from downtown to Natomas and the Sacramento International Airport.

The new line adds 1.1 miles of light rail track from downtown Sacramento to the River District and two new light rail stations (one at 8th and H Streets and Township 9). The Green Line will operate every 30 minutes Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. There is no weekend or holiday service.

“I know that this probably feels like a really small piece because it’s only a mile to get you from downtown to the River District,” Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby said. “It’s critically important because it’s the first big step north.”

“If we’re ever going to get to the 100,000 people in Natomas and eventually to the $4 billion economic engine that is the airport, we have to take the first step and today is that step,” she said.

The Green Line to the River District completes the first phase of the larger Green Line to the Airport (DNA) light rail extension project which will, when finished, extend light rail service 11.7 miles north from the River District, through the Natomas and end at the Sacramento International Airport.

The project is designed to use many components including double track, bridges over the American River and Highway 99, thirteen light rail stations and seven park-and-ride lots – all proposed for locations in both north and south Natomas. 

Maps distributed at today’s event indicated the line would run up Truxel Boulevard; a controversial issue in the south Natomas community.

“I’m not very supportive of the current route as it’s drafted in the south Natomas area,” said Ashby. “In north Natomas there were ‘set-asides,’ so when people moved in they knew where light rail was going to be and that makes it a lot easier.”

“In south Natomas,  though, there still a conversation that needs to be had about what is the best route.”
 

PHOTOS & VIDEO BY CHRIS SHANNON