Connecting Davis to Sacramento

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davis-train-depotA lot of people have pushed the idea that with innovation parks will come a demand for housing. But perhaps with innovation parks will come the notion that cheap and affordable housing is only a short train ride away.

In the past few days, I have seen proposed different ways, innovative ways that this may be accomplished. This week for example, the Sactown Magazine published “The Aggie Express.” They see it as a way to connect their city with the best and brightest young minds, but perhaps their idea will work both ways.

They write, “Civic leaders around the world are working hard to attract the best and brightest young minds to their respective cities. Meanwhile, we’re losing thousands per year. Here’s how to get back on the right track.”

“National observers of urban trends have discovered that a city’s most valuable asset isn’t quick and easy access to the airport, but rather a young, educated workforce,” they article notes. “As it happens, many of our region’s best and brightest live about 11 miles west of downtown Sacramento, in Davis. The problem is, the vast majority of UC Davis students aren’t staying in the area when they graduate. Most are taking their fresh new diplomas—along with their aspirations, optimism, energy and ideas—to other cities instead.”

They argue that, according to stats from the UC Davis alumni association, only about 13 percent of living UCD graduates reside in Sacramento County – as opposed to 40 percent for Sacramento State. Sactown Magazine writes, “That’s an alarming statistic, and should be a massive wake-up call for civic leaders here.”

“So what can be done?” they write. “Near the top of the list should be to increase the ease with which students can access Sacramento and, by extension, the rest of our region. The most obvious way to do that is to extend Sacramento Regional Transit’s light rail line to Davis, via West Sacramento, as expeditiously as possible.”

They continue, “Quite simply, we need these students interning at more companies in Sacramento, getting more summer jobs here, and coming here to play—going to concerts, restaurants, nightclubs and sporting events. It’s this combination of career opportunities and quality of life that will help keep them here after they graduate. But it’s critical that we make it easier for them to get here first.”

They add, “As if that weren’t reason enough to bridge the 11-mile gap between our two cities, UC Davis is now looking at creating a third campus—in addition to its main campus and the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento—in the railyards or West Sacramento. A light rail extension to Davis would make this side of the causeway an even more attractive option for the school’s leaders. And it would make the new Davis route an even stronger investment for Regional Transit.”

“The reality is that all major cities compete with each other. They compete for businesses, sports teams, cultural events, conventions, tourists and so on. But young, smart, ambitious people are the greatest prize of all. And while we’re doing a great job of producing them, we’re watching thousands of them leave every year,” they continue.

The magazine reports, “Regional Transit’s chief operating officer Mark Lonergan says that if regional interest—and dollars—were there, a Sacramento-to-Davis extension that would run through West Sacramento could be highly attractive.

“Lonergan believes that not only would the university and its 34,000 students provide a strong customer base, but so would the commuter base between the three cities. He also believes that a route to Davis would complement the proposed future streetcar system connecting downtown Sacramento and West Sacramento, perhaps even sharing some of the same tracks and providing easier access to Raley Field from both sides of the causeway. And downtown Sacramento’s new arena would benefit as well, tapping into a much larger audience for Kings games and concerts.”

Sacramento may see a regional transit option as a way to get students to Sacramento, Davis might see it as a way to transport the highly educated workforce needed for an Innovation Park to Davis, and still provide access to cheap and available housing in the short term.

There is another idea being floated by the Yolo County Visitors Bureau as a way to get bicyclists to ride to Davis, patronize local businesses and get a free train ticket back to Sacramento on the Capitol Corridor trains.

They call the program “Bak2Sac” and they have gotten businesses in Davis involved as co-sponsors seeing it as a way to benefit from increased visitation.

“The program is really pretty simple,” says Alan Humason, executive director of the YCVB. “Come to Davis on or with your bike, and visit participating businesses to pick up a voucher for a free train ticket back to Sacramento.

“The voucher is good for any train leaving after 7 p.m. on weekdays and after noon on weekends. Turn in the voucher at the Davis Amtrak station and receive the train ticket, free. Hop on board with your bike and go Bak2Sac!”

Davis businesses such as Bistro 33, Monticello Seasonal Cuisine, Ken’s Bike-Ski-Board, Haute Again Consignment and Sudwerk Dock Store have stepped up to sponsor, with each location having a procedure for claiming the voucher.

While right now we see this as a way to get people to Davis to frequent businesses, and perhaps in the future it might be an innovative way to get people to commute to Davis for work. And perhaps the sponsors will not be downtown businesses but rather tech companies seeking to find easy ways for their employees to get to Davis to work.

Right now the program is limited to July 15 through December 19 and only available for off-peak trains.

It is not clear that this is really going to encourage people to bike across the causeway and take the train home, but this is only the beginning of such thinking.

In both cases, the question will ultimately involve funding. As Sactown notes, “Would West Sacramento or Davis or Yolo County or perhaps even the university be willing to share some of the cost (of expanding regional transit)? If so, such a train could jump to the top of Regional Transit’s priority list, right where it belongs.”

They continue, “Or could private dollars be available? In 1988, developer and then-Sacramento Kings part-owner Gregg Lukenbill offered that he and his partners would contribute up to $30 million to help fund a light rail extension to their Natomas arena and to the airport. He told The Sacramento Bee, “If they pay their fair share, we’ll pay our fair share and get the damn thing built in three or four years.””

They argued, “It didn’t end up happening, but that’s the kind of pioneering talk that built the West.”

The bottom line is that these do not have to be the solutions or even part of the solutions, but it is time now to start thinking outside of the box and outside of a car-trip across the causeway to address our commuting solutions and our housing-jobs balance. It may be that, as we continue to expand, we will take a different view about how we can get people from affordable housing to work.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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46 thoughts on “Connecting Davis to Sacramento”

  1. Tia Will

    I would highly encourage this kind of regional thinking. Moving towards the provision of an improved public transportation system in this area is a win-win situation. Providing people with more transportation choices has many benefits both for the individual and for the involved communities. Many people ( our mayor for example) are currently able to take the train to work. With better connectivity on both ends, many more of us who cannot now, either because of location or variable work hours, would be able and very happy to use public transportation.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      A decade ago smart planning spoke of the need to put housing with the jobs. But improvement to public transportation may make that thinking obsolete. Now we can focus more on economies of scale and try to put people where housing is cheap and jobs where they make the most sense.

  2. Mr. Toad

    What I thought was interesting about the article in the Bee yesterday was the authors desire to build light rail so that the human capital of Davis with its value added by UCD could be enticed to move to Sacramento. How refreshing to see people wanting to harvest the bounty of our most valuable, talented and precious resource, our students. Contrast this with Davis where our college students are treated with disdain by their neighbors and housing policies enacted and maintained over decades encourage these individuals to leave as quickly as possible.

    Light rail to Sac what a great idea. I was in D.C. recently and never had to wait more than five minutes for a metro train. I wonder what such a line would cost? Too bad Davis is broke from our profligate employee packages and lack of economic development. Perhaps if we started planning it now we could break ground in about 100 years after a measure JJJ vote and working through our deferred maintenance backlog. Of course if we build it we only want it used to take people out of Davis because otherwise it will lead to more crime.

      1. Mr. Toad

        Talk is cheap David. Lay out some numbers. It would be great to see light rail to Galt and to the airport and to Davis. The DC metro was fast and cheap.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Here’s what I see – and I don’t have numbers yet.

          SACOG – the city of Davis has gotten numerous SACOG grants and SACOG specializes in transportation and regionalization

          UC Davis – UC Davis is talking about a third campus in Sacramento, how about putting money – billions in research possibilities, millions from investors – for a way to make it easy to get there.

          West Sacramento – they want be a commercial center, here’s their chance to invest

          Innovation Parks – We are going to be investing billions in innovation parks – this is a way for the investors and private developers to get their workers to their parks

          City of Sacramento – They want to the employees as the SacDowntown article implied, well, then the city and businesses need to chip in as well.

          This is all just a start. And there is more coming on this.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            In Rob White’s presentation on July 1, he calculated $250 average to build per square foot times 4 million square feet is about $1 billion. That’s just for Mace. The others are looking to build more, so you are looking at $2 to $3 billion just in construction.

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      TOAD: “Light rail to Sac what a great idea.

      We don’t need light rail to Sacramento. We have very good train service now on Capitol Corridor.

      Although I usually bike over to Sacramento–it’s a very easy ride–I realize not everyone cares to do that. But what you can do is bike to the SP Depot in Davis and take your bicycle with you on the train. The Capitol Corridor cars are very well suited for bicycles on the lower level. Then, once you arrive in the capital, you can easily bicycle anywhere around downtown or midtown Sacramento. If you need to go further–say to Folsom–you can put your bike on RT and ride light rail to your destination.

      Note: If you are doing some light shopping in Sacto, a bike + train trip is less convenient. However, if you invest in some cargo equipment, you can carry quite a lot.

      Note2: Another very wise investment for bike riders going out of town is a quality tail light (not a cheapie). Amazon sells a very good one called a Cygolite Hotshot 2-Watt for $33. You want to make sure cars approaching you from behind know you are there, especially in faded light.

        1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          Additionally, there are some Amtrak buses* which cover the same route each day. And there are two longer haul trains, the California Zephyr and the Coast Starlight, which can take you from Davis to Sacramento.

          *I think the 5:55 AM Capitol Corridor time I listed above is for an Amtrak bus, not a train. My bad.

  3. odd man out

    Perhaps it’s a local urban legend, but I have heard for many years that when the causeway was expanded from 4 to 6 lanes and the bike path added on the north side, that the bike path was actually designed to be wide and strong enough to add a light rail connection between Davis and, at least, W. Sacramento. Anyone else ever heard that? Of course, if that were done, I don’t know what options cyclists would have. Perhaps we could resume riding on the causeway itself, as we did legally back before the bike path was added!

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      AFAIK, there never was any plan for a light rail line over the Causeway using the bike lane*. I was in Davis when that was constructed. Davis bike advocates were adamant that the expanded freeway have a year-round lane for bicycles, which is what the north lane is. I don’t believe anyone ever spoke of putting light rail trains there instead.

      What you need to know is that, before the Causeway was widened, there was a bike lane from Davis to West Sacramento. It was at ground level. And, of course, it was flooded half the year or more and often the asphalt was in really bad shape. If you take the current bike route over the Causeway, you can still see portions of the old lane. I imagine, if you ride a mountain bike, you can still cover the old course.

      _____________________

      *What you may be thinking of was not light rail, but rather a proposal to expand the “Yolo Short Rail” line, which ran from Woodland to Davis. The idea was to expand its service to West Sacramento and to Clarksburg and perhaps down to Rio Vista on existing tracks.

      1. Alan Miller

        *What you may be thinking of was not light rail, but rather a proposal to expand the “Yolo Short Rail” line, which ran from Woodland to Davis. The idea was to expand its service to West Sacramento and to Clarksburg and perhaps down to Rio Vista on existing tracks.

        Uh, no.

  4. WesC

    Commuting to Sacramento from Davis via light rail only works if you are employed in one of the state govt offices in the downtown area. There isn’t much of anything else in central Sacramento other than state govt, a few restaurants, and a little bit of retail. Our current model of growth and development consists of sprawl which makes public transportation very costly and very inefficient. There would have to be a major shift in the american lifestyle before it would really make sense and I do not see Americans willing to give up their McMansions in suburbia anytime too soon.

    It would be even greater if they could make the train trip from Sacramento to San Francisco a little more efficient. As it is now it takes a little over 2 hours from the Sacramento station to the San Francisco financial district which is only 85 miles and costs $64 round trip.

    1. Mr. Toad

      How does the DC Metro do it? Rode it everyday to Arlington VA a sprawling community if ever there was one. As for going to Sacramento the current dream is to build a new stadium downtown and make it an entertainment destination. Riding a train to Sac for a Kings game or an Elton John concert or a Lawrence Welk review for all those aging in place Davisites might be fun.

      1. Dan

        “How does the DC Metro do it?”

        DC metro went online in 1976, patterned after BART, except fancier, because all the citizens of the US financed the system. It has primarily served commuters who traveled from the suburbs to their city jobs, and only recently has begun to ‘connect the spokes’ and become more of a regional transportation network.

        It was a budget buster at the time, with relatively low fares at the start. Like everything else in Washington.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      A good friend of mine lives in the suburbs and commutes to downtown Sacramento to work. He drives his car to the lightrail station, parks, and takes light rail the rest of the way into town.

  5. Alan Miller

    I am a huge advocate for expansion of rail systems and have been passionately so for the past four decades. Having said that, light rail from Davis to Sacramento is a terrible idea. Were we Europe, it may be a great idea, and it’s easy for politicians and journalists to tout ideas that will never happen. Realize how little money there is for public transportation and the huge quantities of money required to acquire linear land, relocate roads, power lines, etc., and the fact you have to build a new rail bridge over the Yolo Causeway. The author of the Bee article touts the savings due to lower light-rail fares, but if you spend 100’s of million of dollars to do it, where is the savings? Realize that light rail to the airport doesn’t even have funding for the much smaller bridge over the American River much less for the rest of the line, and the Elk Grove line is probably a decade or more for completion as well. A small trolley from Sacramento to West Sacramento will us the Tower Bridge, but a full light rail system would probably require a new bridge over the Sacramento River as well, monstrous expense. The replacement bridge for the Union Pacific (Capitol Corridor) which will be need someday, the West Sacramento Trolley, any bridges, all unfunded. Also, with ten miles of no passenger pickups, this is not a route that would do well with light rail. Yes, the Capitol Corridor is quite expensive for daily rides, but monthly tickets are affordable for most professionals if all automobile costs are truly considered, and it only takes 13 minutes to get from Sacramento to Davis. Yolo Bus takes something like 45 minutes, and light rail would also meander through West Sacramento, being at least 30 minutes to Davis I would guess, so not nearly as attractive as the Capitol Corridor. So yes, in 100 years as Mr. T says there may be light rail, I’d imagine to serve the full suburban buildout between the Causeway and Mace Blvd. Realized that even in the best of circumstances the West Sacramento trolley is nearly a decade out from completion, just a few mile loop. Once that is finished light rail into West Sac may happen in a few decades, and light rail to Davis well past the lifetimes of even the youngest of us reading this. Yes, talk is cheap, but reality is not there. Simply getting hourly service on the Capitol Corridor all day and half-hourly at peaks is probably enough for the demand, and that will require a new bridge over the Causeway for a third track and that is decades out. I have worked on bettering rail transit for decades and I know the timelines. I would love to see more rail transit, and you can be say “we should” all you want, but the umph to get a Davis light rail line just isn’t there in our lifetimes. It’s not as sexy, but we need to concentrate on what is realistically doable, and that means more money for more cars and capacity on the Capitol Corridor, and even that is a decade out and tens of millions of dollars short.

    1. Mr. Toad

      I agree too but I also think we should take the long view. The DC metro has been built up over almost a century and Bart 50 years. So I have no problem with continuous appropriations over decades to make these things happen. I’d also raise gasoline taxes a hotly debated topic right now in the now recessed congress.

      As for building light rail to Davis its a long way out. First you have other places that need it more like the airport and Elk Grove. You need to build these things from the inside out. After you get to West Sac you can start to think about Davis. Its a long way off but with commitment its doable in the 21st century. Of course if Davis doesn’t grow the argument that the region should do this to support Davis’ vision of itself is going to get you laughed out of every town. Try that argument at SACOG see where that gets you. A third campus in Sac will have shuttles from Davis on a regular schedule just like we have had to Berkeley for as long as anyone can remember. Ultimately every alternative to Davis growing requires the production of more carbon in the atmosphere than growing in and around Davis generates, at least for the time required to melt the ice sheets. Cool Davis!

      1. Davis Progressive

        the article suggested that light rail to the airport didn’t have a driver. whereas light rail to davis and probably solano county could very well have economic drivers.

    2. Davis Progressive

      i don’t understand your objection here. you think this will take a long time? doesn’t that mean we should start planning and getting funding? or do you have a reason to oppose light rail?

      1. Alan Miller

        There is nothing special about Yolo County realities just because we live here. The population and the density doesn’t pencil out for light rail. Politicians will tell us it’s a great idea so we will vote for them. That’s how they stay popular. We have to compete for funds in the real world where dozens of light rail projects to dense populated areas have decades of a jump on Davis. Many decades. Not as sexy, but we need to be real about what can be funded even with a huge push over the next few decades for a City of our size. Like all-day express Yolo Bus service, or more frequent Capitol Corridor trains.

        1. Davis Progressive

          “There is nothing special about Yolo County realities just because we live here.”

          what was interesting to me is that the idea came not from davis, but sacramento – david just reversed it.

          “The population and the density doesn’t pencil out for light rail.”

          show me

          1. Alan Miller

            Such a “show me” would a lot of modeling and reports and money. I have a good sense of what pencils out, and my comparisons of other proposals that have been studied and still are not funded the SACOG area with denser populations and no humungous capital investment of a bridge over the Sacramento River and a new Yolo Causeway bridge are enough. If you choose not to believe my considered opionion, that is up to you. Idealism does not reality make.

          2. Davis Progressive

            i don’t accept any opinion – considered or otherwise – without evidence. particularly since your view differs from the views of others who are also considered.

  6. Rob White

    Though I am aware that current technology and transportation thinking make it financially, physically, politically and logistically difficult to think about expanded solutions to a Davis-Sacramento rail link, I want challenge us not to think in the past but instead to look forward. The engineering problems of how to get to the moon were not solved with small scale (or current) thinking.

    The obviously simple (though incomplete) fixes that will help better connect the Sacramento region to Davis without dramatic increases in infrastructure costs, include 1) expanded services on the existing Capital Corridor train system (including additional cars per existing train and express trains), 2) increased use of direct bus connections (use the example of the commuter buses paid for by the private sector in Silicon Valley), and of course 3) better ride share programs.

    Just so we are clear as to where I get my views, in my past positions, I was involved in considerable public policy discussions and planning for BART expansions, light rail expansions and the potential of new transportation technologies. These discussions included employment with cities and a county and working in partnership with federal, state and local agencies, as well as national laboratories. I am not a transportation engineer… but I have worked with many that are, both in the research and application fields, so what I am about to say comes from working with those highly educated and qualified people.

    But getting creative, we have talked about the evolution of transit in past Vanguard articles. The biggest barriers to new technology are always demonstration that it works, political acceptance, and of course, investment. Once these hurdles can be overcome, then broad adoption can be discussed. Look at how hard high speed rail is for California to adopt, even though this is a demonstrated technology in many places on the globe. In California, there are political and financial hurdles that make it unappealing to many. And it is a considerable financial investment to develop tracks in between population centers due to land costs and planning/environmental mitigation.

    But because we can think (and maybe someday act) more robustly than our predecessors, let me suggest we look at just one evolving technology as a potential solution to how we might connect Sacramento and Davis, and then maybe even the airport.

    I have been working with CyberTran International (www.cybertran.com) for about the last 3 years. They are a technology developed at Idaho National Lab and they currently work with UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley Lab and the Lawrence Livermore Lab. Their technology is not revolutionary in its basic engineering. But in the cost for deployment and system integration, they are leading the way in some very interesting technology development spaces.

    Now before you dismiss this technology, let me point out two facts: 1) CyberTran is a semifinalist in the 2014 Cleantech Open (that’s an international level competition sponsored by many global companies – http://www2.cleantechopen.org); and 2) the City of Richmond has invested considerable time and resources in to collaboration with CyberTran, as a means to connect BART to the rest of the City of Richmond. These are very high thresholds for vetting.

    Additionally, CyberTran was previously considered for the linkage from BART to the Oakland Airport, but the technology was not selected due to the cross platform transition for such a short distance.

    For those that have missed the discussion in the past, CyberTran is an Ultra Light Rail Transit (ULRT) technology. To quickly explain the CyberTran ULRT technology, the proposed build-out of a system would be comprised of a grade separated electrified track, used to convey extremely light rail cars, and an awning covered with solar panels to generate power for the system.

    The trackway is designed to be made from precast concrete and steel track sections ranging up to 40 feet, held in place by spread footings that can range from a few feet to 40 feet in separation. At an average of 15 to 18 feet above street level, it would effectively be out of the typical pedestrian sight line and can be hidden behind (or above) buildings and in alleyways when in a downtown environment.

    As a way to framework this in your mind, think about the TerminaLink technology that connects the terminals at Houston Intercontinental Airport: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TerminaLink

    Though the technology has evolved considerably, it at least will give you a visual to understand the simplicity of CyberTran. And the realization that we are not really talking about something very revolutionary.

    You can see a video simulation of the technology on the CyberTran website here: http://cybertran.com/media/

    Their recent collateral can be found here: http://cybertran.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/CyberTran-Brochure.pdf

    Again, none of this is particularly revolutionary technology, but CyberTran gets its distinction in seven primary areas:

    1) Extremely light car weight of about 10,000 pounds carrying up to 20 passengers;

    2) Use of “off track” (or side-lined) stations so as not to slow the progress of other cars, thereby creating the potential for eliminating station stops between destinations (express cars);

    3) Demonstrated ability to traverse grades of up to 10% and span distances between columns that would allow tracks to move through and between buildings (both existing and new);

    4) Inexpensive as compared to traditional light or heavy rail technologies (about 20 to 25% the cost per mile of light rail and about 10 % the cost of heavy rail/BART type solutions);

    5) Same vehicle and trackways are designed to be used in both low and moderate speed environments;

    6) Trackways are designed to be assembled and then removed and redeployed for current and future demand, which current fixed rail solutions are unable to accomplish; and

    7) Land purchase as right-of-way is not required because the elevated track can be deployed as an easement for just the footings, creating lower overall costs drivers.

    Where CyberTran also has an advantage is that their design gives them the ability to run down the center of existing road rightaways and has been engineered to easily sit atop of existing bridgeworks due to its light weight design. By thinking about the amount of people that work at UC Davis, might work at an innovation park, and for those that are commuting in to Sacramento already, a 15 mile system might see very doable. One that would serve Davis well as an employment center and create connectivity to the trans-model station at the Sacramento Rail Yards and not require additional capacity on either the existing Causeway or rail tracks.

    And CyberTran is just one of several personal rapid transit concepts out there. Google is looking at several as a way to accommodate its workforce, both at the Googleplex and across the South Bay.

    I offer this as a discussion item, not because we should adopt CyberTran as the solution. But instead as a way to demonstrate that creativity in new transportation solutions may get us to a desirable outcome without being tied to the existing mindset of traditional thinking. Both Elon Musk and Richard Branson have been considered revolutionary in their mindsets, not taking the obvious path of least resistance. And I would challenge Davisites to again think beyond the traditional and see a future that might literally change how people think about transportation.

  7. Alan Miller

    Mr. White,

    I agree with paragraph 2. That’s it.

    Most of these similar technologies to those you expound exist on paper. It is very easy for a company looking for their breakthrough of multi-tens-or-hundreds-of-millions to fund their “revolutionary” technology to sound good on paper because a technology that does exist has no real problems. As well, claims can be made of lower costs because the reality of actual real-world costs does not exist.

    It may be that the technology or any new technology is the new future, but we do not want that discovery to be made in Davis. Why? Because the bottom line is any new technology will have real-world failures and real-world inflated costs. A small town such as Davis should not be the guinea pig for a new technology; we cannot afford it. As well, it will not happen here; it will happen first in a politically well-connected area with lots of money and a dense population.

    You are paid to be Davis-centric; I understand that. But you need to land and be real. This will not happen here, and unfortunately if we even get a bus stop in our new business park that will be a huge political pull. Davis needs to look forward, yes, but we need to be real. The suggestions in paragraph 2 are not sexy, but they achievable in our lifetimes, so Davis as a City should work on that.

    My concern with all such “wouldn’t it be nice” hermunkulan seven and eight figure transportation projects proposed for Yolo County is they are not going to happen, and we shouldn’t waste one freakin’ article or hour of City staff time thinking they will. We can’t even get the money to increase Yolo Bus service to half-hourly, or run an express Yolo bus in non-commute hours to improve transit times to Sacramento, or increase Capitol Corridor service frequency when in fact that service was recently reduced by one round-trip on weekdays due to lack of ridership on some trains.

    Our City needs to look forward yes, but also keep it’s head out of the clouds.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “You are paid to be Davis-centric; I understand that. ”

      but rob white is one of the least davis-centric people here – his experience is from outside of davis, his examples are from outside of davis, so that seems to be an ill-considered remark on your part.

      RW: “I want challenge us not to think in the past but instead to look forward. ”

      you failed the challenge.

      AM: “Our City needs to look forward yes, but also keep it’s head out of the clouds.”

      how is expanding rail service putting our heads in the clouds?

      1. Alan Miller

        You really don’t want to accept what I am saying about being real about this. Go for it. This personal transportation crap has been around for decades, trying to fool politicians into funding their companies. This is known as a joke among public transportation people, but these companies persist. I did advocate for expanding rail, I always have; I worked on the campaign for Prop. 116 and have been a member of the group that sponsored it since I was 14 years old. I’ve lobbied at the Capitol for better rail service and was executive director of a group who’s sole purpose was to advocate for better rail service, and I made peanuts for seven years doing that because I believe in rail service. What have you done, anonymous smart aleck? And I’m telling you, personal transportation concepts are a fraud, and light rail to Davis is a stupid investment. Believe me or believe Mr. White, the choice is yours.

        1. Davis Progressive

          “You really don’t want to accept what I am saying about being real about this. Go for it. ”

          “Believe me or believe Mr. White, the choice is yours.”

          it seems to me that you’re being obstinate and think i’m going to bow down to your proclaimed expertise without much evidence offered as opposed to rob white’s comments which are well documented.

  8. Mr. Toad

    Speaking of looking to the future the original article was focused not only on rail but on how to attract the talented human capital coming out of UC Davis to Sacramento. From this side of the river we should be thinking about how we retain and make room for that talented human capital. Sadly we don’t do that or enough of that.

      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        One thing which drives away a lot of talented UC Davis grads–especially those with advanced degrees–is our immigration policy. We effectively* permit unlimited numbers of people with no education and no advanced job skills into our country, while we tightly limit the best and the brightest from making a living in their fields here. So they go home–to Europe, East Asia, India, African countries, Latin countries, etc. What we ought to be doing is making it much easier for these very bright students to stay in the United States and let the work here, same as native born folks.

        *It might not seem this is the case to those who illegally have crossed our border and hide from immigration authorities. However, it is still the case that whole industries–especially agriculture and certain construction trades and certain service jobs–are almost entirely populated by millions and millions of illegal aliens, who we make no real effort to kick out. I am not suggesting we should kick them out. However, I would favor a system where they could register and stay here as bonded guest workers. I think that would be better for the workers and easier to regulate than what we now have.

      2. Mr. Toad

        No it isn’t or you don’t make it clear. You seem to be arguing that our workforce should live in Sac. Hey, guess what it already doesn’t live here, it lives in Woodland. Your idea is more of the same don’t build it here elitism.

  9. Don Shor

    They argue that, according to stats from the UC Davis alumni association, only about 13 percent of living UCD graduates reside in Sacramento County – as opposed to 40 percent for Sacramento State. Sactown Magazine writes, “That’s an alarming statistic, and should be a massive wake-up call for civic leaders here.”

    This seems like an odd statistic, and hardly ‘alarming’. It completely lacks context and proportion. Why would you compare UCD to Sac State with respect to whether the alumni live in Sacramento County? A UC campus is a regional, national, and — especially in the case of UCD — an international draw.
    Light rail would have very limited benefit. Increasing the bus service across the region, preferably using cleaner fuels, would cost a lot less, be much more flexible, and benefit more people.

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