Thursday, April 12, 2007

Governor & Light Rail

It is always good to see public leadership getting hands on experience (as that of a normal user) with issues they are setting policy about.

Governor makes night surprise on light rail
By Tony Bizjak - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, April 12, 2007

On a recent Monday night, a black SUV pulled up to Sacramento's nearly empty 13th Street light-rail station, and out stepped an eager man in cowboy boots, slacks and a jacket with the California emblem on the shoulder.

As his security retinue stood by and a handful of passengers gawked, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fed dollar bills into a fare machine and pocketed a train ticket.

Schwarzenegger -- who finds himself amid controversy for his proposed shift of transit funds to balance the state budget -- had come for a low-profile night ride on commuter rail.

Regional Transit police weren't informed. Neither were the news media. No RT executives were there, just two rail supervisors who had gotten word minutes before.

A Schwarzenegger spokesman later would say the ride, taken with a couple of staff members, was personal and not directly connected to the state budget debate.

"He is just a curious person, interested in new things," Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said. "There is really not much more to say about it than that."