The SMART train project is slated to start running between San Rafael and Santa Rosa in 2016. In it’s final form, the 70-mile long passenger rail line and parallel bicycle-pedestrian path will run from Cloverdale to Larkspur, with transfer to the Golden Gate Ferry connecting to San Francisco. Stations include Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Novato and San Rafael.
The “Great Recession” of the last several years has significantly decreased the funds available to complete the project on the time frame originally established. The SMART Board is now pursuing a plan to build the project in phases. The Board and its supporters, including “Friends of SMART”, are totally committed to completing the entire rail and pathway as soon as financially feasible.
Everyone would like to see a totally completed project at the outset. However, incredibly difficult financial times require equally difficult decisions on how to best proceed. The SMART train project is determined to not only provide the alternative transportation that 70% of voters approved of in Sonoma and Marin counties, but also provide a multitude of new jobs and provide the foundation for green transportation living in the north bay. The train is coming to town!
Measure Q and SMART:
Funding for the project—a 1/4-cent sales tax in Marin & Sonoma counties—was approved by the voters in the November 2008 election. The SMART Board has entered into a design-build contract for final engineering and construction of the initial operating segment from San Rafael to Santa Rosa. Reconstruction of the road bed and tracks has commenced. Railcars are under construction at a plant in Illinois, and the first trainset is expected to arrive for testing in the fall of 2013. An operating agreement is in effect with the North Coast Railroad Authority governing compatibility of freight and passenger services, and providing for freight operations during track reconstruction. Acquisition of land for the maintenance facility is under way, and discussions are under way to assure seamless connections betwee train, bus & ferry services.
Friends of SMART is working to assure that rail service is designed to be customer-orient and efficient by enabling citizent to stay abreast of the fiscal, structural, environmental, property and other issues that underlie the SMART rail and pathway project. Your time, talents, insights, and experience can help SMART succeed!
You are welcome to attend our monthly business meetings.
For information call: Friends of SMART at (707) 578-9133 or (707) 576-6632.