SACRAMENTO -- On the eve of the new Golden 1 Center's grand opening, Sacramento Regional Transit has announced a new program aimed at encouraging more riders. It will pay for the first $5 of any passenger's Uber, Lyft or Yellow Cab ride to or from one of six light rail stations.
With trains pulling right up to the arena's entrance, Regional Transit believes its service is the solution to the Golden 1 Center's limited parking.
At an event Monday, the transit agency announced a program to put $50,000 toward customers rides.
"What we're doing is incentivizing people to consider this as an option to move into the transit system," said Andy Morin, a Folsom city councilmember and Regional Transit board member.
Riders going to or from one of six stations can use a promo code to knock $5 off their trip.
"All you need to do is punch in the promotion code '[SACRT' into the Uber app and you'll be able to reclaim your $5 promotion," said Jay Gierak, general manager for Uber Sacramento.
This program doesn't have to be used only when there's a game or event at the Golden 1 Center. But the money may not last forever as the program is only set to run for six months.
"Then there's an evaluation time. 'OK how well did it work? Are people going to continue to use this even without the subsidy from transit?' But if it works well and we're adding ridership to our backbone system, then there's opportunities for RT to actually step in and start funding this ourselves," Morin said.
But even when offered money some said that isn't enough to convince them to take the light rail.
"(I'd) probably not (take RT down here), I'd just rather bring my car," said Sacramentan Mary Zipf.
Regional Transit said it will be increasing the number of trains and officers after games and events at the Golden 1 Center. For the first Kings game of the season on October 27, the light rail service will be free.