Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Sacramento adjusts LRT security measures

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Responding to rider complaints over safety and to future service expectations, Sacramento Regional Transit District (RTD) is adjusting its security measures on board light rail transit operations.

RTD said it will place a security guard on every LRT train operating after 6:30 p.m.; another two security guards will travel along each LRT line on the system as an additional measure during that time.

RTD also is rearranging the schedule of 26 armed, uniformed officers, including city police officers and sheriff's deputies serving RTD on contract, to increase police presence during nighttime and weekend operations, Sacramento Police Lt. Norm Leong, who oversees Regional Transit Police Services, told local media.

Residents past and present have at times told Railway Age Sacramento's LRT system is perceived as vaguely dangerous at certain times of the day. RTD acknowledges that riders have offered similar complaints to the agency. Two incidents so far this year, both involving shootings (one by police), have heightened concerns.

The adjustment also is being made in anticipation of future rider growth, including the influx of riders expected by the NBA Sacramento Kings and adjacent entertainment complex planned for downtown.

RTD says about 39,000 LRT riders travel between the peak hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays, but ridership is far less outside of that period. "That's the difference," Leong said. "You have more people in the system during those (peak) hours, so you don't feel alone."