The SMART Train is expected to begin revenue service in late 2016, traveling between downtown San Rafael in Marin County to Sonoma County as far north as Airport Boulevard. Simulated operations are scheduled to begin Summer 2016 and will continue for about three months, after which SMART will be able to seek Federal approval to begin carrying passengers.
While it is difficult to predict the length of the approval process, many project milestones have already been met. Most track reconstruction in the initial operating segment is complete, highway crossings have been largely rebuilt to permit passenger trains to operate at speeds up to 79 MPH. The operations and maintenance facility near Airport Boulevard became operational earlier this year, and seven two-car sets of railcars have already been delivered. Trains can currently be seen running the tracks in order to train engineers and test signals, track work, and switches.
Planning is ongoing to establish seamless connections between bus, train, and ferry services. In fact, City and County buses in both Sonoma and Marin now accept Clipper cards, which will be used exclusively to pay fares on the SMART Train. Several segments of the adjoining pedestrian and bicycle pathway are now open, with more scheduled to open as they are completed.
Measure Q and SMART Funding:
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 recession that set in shortly afterward significantly reduced the tax receipts that were expected to fund the full 70-mile project within the initial time frame. Nevertheless much has been accomplished—beginning with the 35-mile initial operating segment from Windsor to San Rafael. Efforts are underway to obtain grants and other funding to complete the full route from Santa Rosa to Cloverdale (about 30 miles).
Stations will be in the cities of Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael, and Larkspur. The train is coming to town!
Friends of SMART is working to assure that rail service is as customer-oriented and efficient as possible, by enabling citizens to stay abreast of the fiscal, structural, environmental, property and other issues that underlie the SMART rail and pathway project.
You are welcome to attend our monthly business meetings. Your time, talents, insights, and experience can help SMART succeed!
For information call Friends of SMART at:
- (707) 527-5633