Bikes Help Keep Light Rail Moving

Cargo Bike Stories

sac regional transitRT’s light rail facilities on Academy Way encompass a 12-acre site that includes administrative offices, two maintenance facilities for servicing 97 light rail vehicles, two substations, and space for parking.

For light rail technicians who often need to navigate the sprawling campus, there are a limited number of RT vehicles available for transportation, and walking can sometimes eat into valuable work time. Work trucks tend to be too big to be used extensively in the train yard, and are often reserved for service calls, so bikes have become the popular choice of transportation at Academy Way. Eight bikes have been equipped with baskets or large platforms to carry parts and tools. The two and three-wheelers hemp save on fuel costs, decrease pollution and increase productivity through shorter trip times between buildings.

“We’d be on foot without the bikes, and our tools can get a bit heavy,” Anthony Montoya, Light Rail Technician, said. “They’re a nice option to have.”

The bikes are maintained in-house by Cam Piini, Light Rail Technician, who takes on the task when his workload hits a lull at the shop. Piini has tinkered with bicycles since childhood and continues to enjoy refurbishing them as a hobby in his home garage.

“Working on bicycles is a past-time activity of mine,” Piini said. “I enjoy the work, and keeping the bikes in shape for everyone to use.”

According to light rail supervisors, bikes have been available for employee use going back as far as the late 1990s. The opening of the expansion facility in 2008 increased the need for short-range transportation and new bikes were purchased [from Practical Cycle]. A recent order brought the total to eight, just in time to celebrate May is Bike Month.