Transportation

RT offers free light-rail rides to Maroon 5 concert

Light rail train arrives at station nearest Golden 1 Center arena
Light rail train arrives at station nearest Golden 1 Center arena

Sacramento’s light-rail operator will offer free rides this Saturday to Maroon 5 concertgoers at Golden 1 Center downtown, the agency announced Tuesday.

It is the second of 10 scheduled free-ride offers that Sacramento Regional Transit plans in the coming months, focused on events at the arena. Agency officials say they hope the free rides will entice more downtown visitors to try light rail and become regular paid riders.

The transit agency also will throw a party at its Sunrise station from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, including music by a Maroon 5 cover band. RT has boosted service and security on most arena event days, and has added guides at stations and near the arena downtown to help orient new riders.

RT officials say they plan to offer another free ride day on Oct. 27, for the Sacramento Kings regular season home opener.

The first free-ride day two weeks ago during the Kings’ FanFest event drew heavy ridership, estimated at more than 20 percent of arena attendees. About 10 percent of attendees at the arena-opening Paul McCartney concert last week paid to take light rail to the arena, a higher number than city officials had expected.

“Regional Transit has been integral in making transit to downtown’s new entertainment district safe, simple and fast,” said Kings President Chris Granger in a statement Tuesday.

RT recently established a website at www.gosacrt.com to help new riders navigate the system. It includes a trip-planning program that shows users the best routes to get from their chosen starting point to the arena or other destinations, and it gives travel times for those trips.

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak

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