SMART is coming to town!

SMART Petaluma

SMART is coming to town! ~ Petaluma

I’ve noticed a lot of local surface street and freeway construction activity in Petaluma recently. It looks like the SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit) groundwork is underway. This new train service will provide 70 miles of the historic Northwestern Pacific Railroad alignment, connecting two counties serving 14 stations from Cloverdale down the North bay corridor to the San Francisco-bound ferry terminal in Larkspur. SMART will also include a parallel 70-mile bicycle-pedestrian trail, which is great planning and forward environmental thinking! I scanned a few postings online and discovered that BART rail costs more than $100 million a mile. Light rail wouldn’t be as efficient, and would also cost more. SMART costs about $7.7 million per mile, which is the least expensive of several options suggested for the NWP corridor. Funding budget was $541 million, with an annual operating costs of $19 million. Existing state and federal funding, fares and a dedicated ¼-cent sales tax (2011 $191 million Measure Q Sales Tax Revenue Bond issuance) will help pay for this project. Timeline, by 2015 – 2016 Phase I completion between North Santa Rosa and San Rafael will be in service. Excellent ~ Follow their progress. @smarttrain

SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit)