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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

SMART gets $2.5 million for commute-rail work

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The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit district in California has received $2.5 million in federal funds for preliminary engineering and environmental work on its planned commuter rail line, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. The funds were in the Fiscal Year 2010 Omnibus bill, which the Senate passed on Dec. 13, according to Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif.

SMART, which is being funded primarily by the Measure Q quarter-cent sales tax measure passed by voters last year, has begun engineering work on rail cars and on the 71-mile line that stretches from Cloverdale to Larkspur. Service is scheduled to begin in 2014. The funds will help bridge the long-term $155 million shortfall SMART faces because the economic recession has weakened the bond market and depressed sales tax revenues.

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