Reunited! City of Elk Grove, Sacramento Regional Transit consummate annexation agreement

One of the frequent breakdowns from Elk Grove's former eTran bus service. |

UPDATED 9:30 p.m. | 

At last night's regular meeting, the Elk Grove City Council voted unanimously to an annexation agreement with Sacramento Regional Transit. The annexation into the SacRT Transit ends a long-troubled relationship between Elk Grove and the primary mass transit system serving the Sacramento Region.

The sometimes torturous relationship between the entities dates to Elk Grove's 2000 incorporation the city started its contracted bus services known as eTran. From the start, the bus service was marred by cost overruns on bus expenditures and frequent fleet breakdown. 

The four-year annexation agreement starts on July 1. Before this annexation agreement, Elk Grove contacted bus services with SacRT beginning in July 2019 after not renewing its contract with MV Transport.  

Under the annexation agreement, SacRT will provide fixed-route local, commuter, and paratransit services and maintenance operations for Elk Grove. Part of the service will include one-seat rides to paratransit users and eliminating the need to change buses when leaving Elk Grove. 

During deliberation, Councilmember Kevin Spease asked what recourse Elk Grove has should SacRt eliminates a route the city feels is needed even if it is under-utilized after the four-year contract.

"What recourse do we have, how do we reconcile what we want, versus SacRT may want," he asked.

Answering was city transit manager Mike Costa, who led negotiations for the city, said there were contractual provisions following the initial four-year period based on funding from the city.

"Secondly, there will be the transit liaison position that continues to coordinate and work very closely with SACRT following the four-year service commitment," Costa said.  

Regardless, Costa noted, "it will be up to the SacRt board to the service adjustments whether there will be reductions or changes to service, and of course we are a member of that board, but it would be subject to their ultimate authority." 

During public comment, regional transit advocate Mike Barnbaum praised the agreement. In his remarks, Barnbaum noted how the original Elk Grove City Council took a go-it-alone attitude and said the annexation would better serve users (see video below).

"Reunited, and it feels so good," Barnbaum noted in support of the annexation.  

Updated with video of public comments from Wednesday's meeting. 

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Hooray, one of the biggest financial boondoggles in the City's brief history can finally be laid to rest!

Well, scratch one boondoggle off the list--which one is next? Maybe contracting with the County Sheriffs will be next after a few more lucrative union contracts? Maybe the Animal 'Hilton' Shelter? How about the Household Waste Transfer Station? Or, maybe the heavily subsidized Old Town entertainment district?

So many choices, the suspense is killing me!

Connie said...

Kudos to Mike Barnbaum for “keeping them honest” and not allowing the revisionist histrionics the Elk Grove City Council is famous for to feed the self-aggrandizing egos.
Mike has been a steadfast asset to Elk Grove, always advocating on behalf for our transit riders, trying to keep them safe.

Ask this: When has any council member taken an eTran bus downtown, especially in the summertime when the air conditioning wasn't working? Or in the wintertime when the windows fogged up?

Instead, until active citizens put a stop to it, council members would make EGPD take them downtown to meetings; regional meetings whereby they got stipends for travel expenses and then turned around and billed the city for mileage.

Can you believe active citizens had to force the Elk Grove City Council had to pass a resolution forbidding double dipping? Yep, true story!

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