The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District received approval from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to begin full passenger train service on Aug. 25.
“We are proud to say that we are ready to roll,” said SMART Board of Directors Chairwoman Debora Fudge. “This is the result of years of hard work from SMART’s staff, its team of contractors and consultants and Federal Railroad Administration Regional Administrator James Jordan and his team. Successfully opening a new transit system is a major accomplishment—and we will remember this day for generations to come.”
SMART will host a community grand opening event at 9 a.m. at its Santa Rosa Downtown Station, at 7 Fourth Street at Historic Railroad Square, and will begin running the full service schedule at 12:49 p.m. Service on opening day will be free of charge, followed by a 50-percent fare discount through Labor Day.
SMART’s initial 43 miles of rail corridor includes 10 stations, from the Sonoma County Airport to Downtown San Rafael. Future extensions include: Larkspur, which is scheduled to be completed in 2019; Windsor; Healdsburg; and Cloverdale. The full project will provide 70 miles of passenger rail service.
“This is truly historic. We want to thank the public for their support, and for providing the North Bay with a state-of-the-art transportation system. This system will bring relief to commuters stuck on Highway 101 and provide a stress-free way to travel. It will also provide a major economic boost for both Marin and Sonoma counties,” said SMART Board Vice Chairwoman Kathrin Sears.