Help regrow RT

After avoiding cuts and saving bucks this year, Regional Transit asks riders for help

Mike Wiley says things are actually looking a bit better for his malnourished Regional Transit district.

Over the last couple of years, the RT board has cut service and raised fares while the state raided local transit funds and sales-tax revenue plummeted.

Last year, 20 percent of all bus service was cut, and 16 percent of light-rail train service. That, of course, hurt ridership, which also fell 16 percent last year.

But after all that pruning, our mass-transit system is starting to show a few green shoots of recovery.

Not only will the system avoid cuts this year, Wiley also says the RT will be able to put about $4.5 million into reserves.

The plan now is to gradually restore lost services and restructure, renew and regrow what was lost—by about 2017.

That, of course, is somewhat slower than the pace at which the system was cut back—but Wiley and company don’t want to just go back to the way things were.

“We want to make sure to do this in a productive and strategic way. We want to know how we can regrow the system to better meet our riders’ needs,” Wiley told SN&R.

That’s where you come in. As part of RT’s TransitRenewal plan, staff is looking for information from you about how you use the system, and what kinds of improvements you’d like to see.

There will be TransitRenewal booths around the city this week and next. You can also fill out a survey and get more information at

Tuesday, August 16: 3:30-6 p.m. at the Watt/I-80 light-rail station; 3:30-6 p.m. at the Arden/Del Paso light-rail station. Wednesday, August 17: 3:30-6 p.m. at the Meadowview light-rail station; 3:30-6 p.m. at the Florin light-rail station. Thursday, August 18: 3:30-6 p.m. at the Eighth and O streets light-rail station; 3:30-6 p.m. at the 16th Street light-rail station. Tuesday, August 23: 1-3 p.m. at the Arden Fair transit center; 3:30-6 p.m. at the Watt/Manlove light-rail station. Wednesday, August 24: 1-3 p.m. at the Florin Mall transit center; 3:30-6 p.m. at the Mather Field/Mills light-rail station. Thursday, August 25: 3:30-6 p.m. at the University/65th Street light-rail station.