New light rail to provide Sacramento better access with future project

Daisy Aguilar

With the Sacramento Regional Transit’s Green Line serving the community since 2012, future plans aim to better serve surrounding cities as well as students with its extended light rail project.

The Green Line, also known as the Downtown-Natomas Airport light rail extension, currently runs 1.1 miles north from Downtown Sacramento at 13th Street to Richards Boulevard and 7th Street at the Township 9 development, making it the first connection from Downtown to the River District.

Sacramento City Council Member and RT Board Member Steve Cohn from District 3 said although the Green Line may not have many benefits at the moment for a number of people, including students, once the light rail extension is complete, that is expected to change.

“I think the benefits will be that it would connect most college campuses and once it is connected to the airport you can also access Downtown directly,” Cohn said. “It is a really great connection.”

Although Sacramento State and other college students may not be using the Green Line as frequently, Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and RT Board Member Phil Serna said it is also a way for students to get downtown for internships. However, Serna said the Gold Line continues to be the preferred line.

With the ultimate goal of having the Green Line reach the Sacramento International Airport, Serna said both North and South Natomas would be included as part of the project that began with phase one in the River District.

According to Cohn, students from around Sacramento, commuting to their campuses on public transportation, would be able to reach their destination at a more reasonable time.

Consumes River College will be the only school to have an actual light rail station through the Blue Line that goes from Watt Avenue to Meadowview by next year. Student commuters taking the Green Line will have the option of transferring in Downtown from eight different stations to reach their schools.

RT spokesperson Michael Young said the Natomas area is in need of better transportation to both Downtown and colleges.