FOLSOM (CBS13) — New late night light rail service into Folsom is up and running bringing more transportation choices to the community, but only a week in and some fear it’s also driving up the homeless population.
It’s been ten days since Regional Transit extended its hours and officials say a lot of riders are taking advantage of the midnight service, but and some say that includes transients coming in from Sacramento and setting up camp.
For the first time ever, folks in Folsom can ride the rails late at night, with midnight stops to Sacramento and from 7:00 pm to 11:30 pm at all four Folsom stations.
“I just thought it’d be more convenient,” said Folsom resident Bill Cole.
A convenience that some worry could come at a cost.
One Folsom woman said, “I think about the safety. More homeless population filtering into town.”
Another Folsom man, who didn’t want to be identified, lives in Historic Folsom near the Sutter Street Station, where he says the after-hours transit is bringing in transients.
“I see them all throughout the night, I see them at ten o’clock, eleven o’clock, midnight,” he said.
He has the photos to prove it, pictures showing transients sleeping on benches at the station. He says since the extended service took off, homeless people are hanging around more than ever before.
“This isn’t the Folsom we moved to.”
RT officials say they try to limit loitering, designating one Folsom Police Officer on the late trains and station security after hours.
Regional Transit PIO Wendy Williams said, “We do our due diligence to make sure that we put the time, money, energy and staff in making sure that we’re patrolling the stations.”
Will Kempton who works for the Folsom Chamber of Commerce says the flexible transportation is a boost for the city and says he hasn’t heard any complaints.
“The best news is that we’re seeing more people coming into Folsom to enjoy or recreational facilities and our nightlife,” said Kempton.
New, late night travel options in Folsom that some say is driving in unwanted guests.
Folsom police tell CBS13 they haven’t heard of any new issues with the homeless since the new train has been running, but they say it’s still early on and will keep a close eye on the situation.