Freeloaders beware: Sacramento parking enforcement hits RT’s ride-and-share spaces

New contract cracks down on illegal parking at RT lots

This is an extended version of a story that ran in the June 1, 2017, issue.

The Sacramento Regional Transit Authority is putting a stop to motorists illegally hogging its ride-and-share parking spaces.

In the past, the agency struggled to issue enough citations to make moochers feel the pain. But that will change now that RT is contracting its parking enforcement out to the most merciless ticket-writers in the region—meter-readers for the city of Sacramento.

“Once [Sacramento employees] start their enforcement, we’ll have a 30-day warning period to let drivers know,” said Devra Selenas, an RT spokeswoman.

Sending a cautionary note to commuters is paramount, as Sacramento’s parking enforcement team is renowned for its ability to issue $65 tickets just seconds after a meter expires. The mercenary enforcers will be stalking light-rail stations at Watt/I-80, Watt West, Roseville Road, Meadow View, Power Inn, Florin and Franklin under the agreement.

Rather than have RT pay a fee for the city’s services, Sacramento’s parking authority is entering into a headhunter-style contract that allows it to keep the net revenue for every ticket it writes. In a staff report to the City Council, the Sacramento Public Works Department wrote that this exchange “will be sufficient to cover all operational expenses incurred under the proposed agreement.” The report added that “all citation revenue earned will be deposited into the General Fund.”

Selenas said RT’s main interest in the contract is getting more public servants circulating through its parking lots.

“On our end, the real benefit is having a greater presence in those areas for our riders,” Selenas noted. “They’re uniformed personnel who can keep an eye out for problems. They’re in contact with the police. It makes the parking lots generally more safe.”