Back-seat Driver: RT looks at closing gap between light-rail cars

11/30/2012 12:00 AM

08/13/2013 11:27 AM

Sacramento Regional Transit officials are looking into light-rail design changes after a man got caught between two train cars and was either crushed or dragged to death.

The 34-year-old man apparently tried to cross between two train cars as the train pulled out of the Globe station Tuesday in North Sacramento.

His body apparently became entangled in the coupler area, and fell to the ground near the next stop.

RT officials said cameras and witnesses indicate the man was intoxicated and apparently had been sleeping on board before he got off at the Globe station.

RT's Mike Wiley said the transit company redesigned couplers in the 1990s, making them harder to climb on. That was after a similar death at that same station.

Coupler jumping has long been a problem with rail lines. RT has signs warning signs on cars.

"I've asked our safety folks to pull out the research to see if there are any (designs) anybody else has come up with that are more effective," Wiley said.

Coroner's officials said they've identified the victim but haven't been able to find any relatives.

Light-rail south line funded

Transit officials got word this week the federal government will grant them $135 million to launch full construction of a light-rail line from Meadowview to Cosumnes River College.

RT officials say they will begin laying track in April, and have the four-mile line running by the end of 2015.

Bridge designs duel in Roseville

Roseville has launched a design competition for two new pedestrian and bike bridges over Dry Creek between downtown and Royer Park.

The new bridges, along with a Town Square now under construction in front of City Hall, will create a more walkable and lively downtown, officials say.

There are two design finalists. Both include an elegant crossing near City Hall.

City officials are inviting residents to vote on which design they prefer. You can vote online until Dec. 6. To see the drawings, go to

Search on for new airport chief

The pay is great, between $172,000 and $190,000. But the task is tough. Sacramento County Executive Brad Hudson has launched a national search for someone to run Sacramento International Airport, as well as Mather and Executive airports.

The application deadline is Dec. 14, and Hudson wants the new person aboard by early next year, replacing retiring Hardy Acree.

County Supervisor Susan Peters has her opinion on the next airport chief's role. The airport has its $1 billion expansion in place. But the airline industry is still in the doldrums. The county airports chief will need "to focus on the finances," Peters said.

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