Blue Line (Sacramento RT)
|System||Sacramento Regional Transit District|
Cosumnes River College (south)
|Opened||1987 (as Watt/I-80–Downtown–Butterfield)|
|Operator(s)||Sacramento Regional Transit District|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (standard gauge)|
The Blue Line is a light rail line in the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) system. It runs primarily north-south in Sacramento between Watt/I-80 and Cosumnes River College. Portions of the Blue Line run along the original initial alignment between Watt/I-80 and 16th Street stations.
The first light rail line of the RT opened March 12, 1987. Initial service commenced between Watt/I-80 and 8th & O stations only for the first six months. It was extended to Butterfield that same year on September 5. In all, it was an 18.3-mile (29.5 km) route between Watt/I-80 station in North Sacramento, through downtown, and continuing east on Folsom Blvd. to Butterfield Way station. It was built at a cost of $176 million USD (1987), including the cost of vehicles and maintenance and storage facilities. Much of the line, when it was first built, was single-tracked, though improvements over the 1990s allowed much of the original system to be double-tracked. The line was built mainly using a railroad right-of-way, coupled with use of structures of an abandoned freeway project. A limited portion of the route runs on streets, mainly in downtown Sacramento.
The line became more popular than anticipated—in fact, so popular that further expansions and improvements were necessary. Two new stations at 39th and 48th streets opened in 1995, and a 2.3-mile (3.7 km) extension to the Mather Field/Mills station opened in 1998. In June 2004, a further extension from Mather Field/Mills to Sunrise was opened.
On September 26, 2003, the South Line opened for 6.3 miles (10.1 km) between the 16th Street station on the Watt/I-80-Downtown-Mather Field/Mills line and a station at Meadowview Road in the south end, which is the first phase of a planned longer 11.2-mile (18.0 km) line to Elk Grove. The extension runs parallel a railroad right-of-way. When it opened, 7 new stops were added to the system. Following a June 2005 reconfiguration of the light rail lines, the South Line merged with the Watt I-80/Downtown line (formerly part of the previous Watt/I-80-Downtown-Sunrise line) effectively combining the old line with the new, and was redesignated the Blue Line. The former original portion of the Watt/I-80-Downtown-Folsom line was redesignated the Gold Line.
On August 24, 2015, a second extension opened to Cosumnes River College, adding three new stations and 4.3 miles (6.9 km) to the line. A fourth station, Morrison Creek, is scheduled to open in 2017 after development near the station is built.
Listing of stations on the Blue Line
Note: former stations are highlighted in gray. The 7th & K platform of the St. Rose of Lima Park station closed permanently as of September 30, 2016.
|Watt/I-80||1987||Yes||RT buses 1, 15, 19, 26, 80, 84, 93, 103
Placer County Transit
|Watt/I-80 West||1987||Yes||No transfers on site|
|Marconi Arcade||1987||Yes||RT buses 25, 86, 87|
|Swanston||1987||Yes||No transfers on site|
|Royal Oaks||1987||No||RT buses 22 and 23|
|Arden/Del Paso||1987||Yes||RT buses 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 25, 88|
|Globe||1987||No||RT bus 15|
|Alkali Flat/La Valentina||1987||No||RT bus 33|
|12th & I||1987||No||No transfers on site|
|Cathedral Square (westbound: 10th & K, eastbound: 11th & K)||1987||No||No transfers on site|
|St. Rose of Lima Park (eastbound: 9th & K)||1987||No||Many RT buses|
|St. Rose of Lima Park (southbound: 7th & K)||1987-2016||No||
Gold and Green Lines|
Many RT buses
|7th & Capitol (southbound); 8th & Capitol (northbound)||1987||No||Gold and Green Lines|
|8th & O||1987||No||Gold and Green Lines|
|Archives Plaza||1987||No||Gold and Green Lines|
|13th Street||1987||No||Gold and Green Lines|
RT bus 6
|Broadway||2003||No||RT buses 51, 62|
|4th Avenue/Wayne Hultgren||2003||No||RT bus 62|
|City College||2003||No||No Transfers on site|
|Fruitridge||2003||No||RT buses 61, 205, 252|
|47th Avenue||2003||Yes||No Transfers on site|
|Florin||2003||Yes||RT buses 54, 65, 81|
|Meadowview||2003||Yes||RT buses 4, 5, 47, 56,
|Morrison Creek||2017 (planned)|
|Cosumnes River College||2015|
Blue Line extension project
The 'Blue Line to Cosumnes River College light rail extension Project' — the second phase in the South Sacramento Corridor Study — commenced construction in 2011.   The first phase of this study (Downtown Sacramento to Meadowview Road) has been completed and is operating. Both Blue Line extensions are component in the 10-year Rail Development Plan for a new light rail corridor in the South Sacramento area. Completion of the project, including four new stations, and initiating revenue service is anticipated to begin in September 2015.  The current project will extend the Blue Line south to a new Cosumnes River College—CRC terminus.
- New stations
- Morrison Creek Station
- Franklin Station
- Center Parkway Station
- Cosumnes River College Station
Extension planning issues
The line is currently ending at the college in response to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) land use, station accessibility, and federal grants needs. Other changes include: a new station at Morrison Creek (midway between Meadowview and Franklin Stations); improved pedestrian access to Franklin and Center Parkway Stations; and a 2000—car parking structure at Cosumnes River College, replacing a previously planned surface parking lot.  
California's ongoing financial crisis also contributed to the decision to terminate the Blue Line extension project at Cosumnes River College. Expansion to Elk Grove is covered in the TransitAction Plan, which is tied to the SACOG Blueprint, and a schedule has yet to be determined. 
Blue Line gallery
- Sebree, Mac (February 1988). "Sacramento Light Rail". Pacific RailNews, pp. 16–17. Glendale: Interurban Press.
- Bizjack, Tony (August 24, 2015). "Transit advocates, riders celebrate opening of light rail's south line". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- Masui, Alane (August 22, 2015). "RT Celebrates Grand Opening of Blue Line to Cosumnes River College Light Rail Extension" (Press release). Sacramento Regional Transit District. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- Blue Line to Cosumnes River College (CRC) light rail extension project Website . accessed 4.14.2013
- Official Blue Line extension website: Project Schedule (completed and current) . accessed 4.14.2013
- Official Blue Line extension website: Current Construction Activity (Latest Construction Activity + Lane Closures Updates webpage) . accessed 4.14.2013
- Official Blue Line extension website: Blue Line extension Map (with route, stations, and flyover bridges).
- Official Blue Line extension website: "In order to compete for Federal funding, terminus stations (such as the one proposed at Cosumnes River College) need to provide sufficient parking to claim ridership. A computer model generates the anticipated demand for spaces required at each of the stations. The model calculated a demand of 2,000 spaces for the College." . accessed 4.14.2013
- South Sacramento Corridor Phase 2 Project
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