The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has approved $16.7 million in funds to extend Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) passenger rail service to the site of SMART's Operations & Maintenance Facility near the Sonoma County Airport.
Additionally, the SMART Board of Directors approved the addition of a new passenger station at this location.
The funding is in addition to the allocation of $750,000 by the MTC earlier this year to design the track improvements to the SMART Operations & Maintenance Facility. The additional $16.7 million is allocated to construction of the improvements and to establish an operating passenger rail station at the airport site.
The total of the project is $29.1 million, including track reconstruction, completion of a station, the federally-required systems for passenger rail service to the new station and funding previously approved for an additional two-car train set. SMART is providing $700,000 in Measure Q funds as a local match.
“We’ve completed the 50 percent design for the track reconstruction to the Operations & Maintenance Facility that the commission funded in January, following the efforts by Senator Noreen Evans,” stated SMART Director and MTC Commissioner Jake Mackenzie. “There was a strong case for the last piece of funding to actually create a station at the airport, with all the benefits that brings. I thank my commission colleagues for their support for the project and commitment to a truly regional transportation system.”
The completed 50 percent design efforts include cost estimates for civil and track construction, bridge rehabilitation and replacement, systems construction and environmental permitting.
In December 2012, MTC also approved a $6.6-million allocation recommended by Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) to acquire the rail cars necessary to provide full service to stations north of Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square.
The SMART train and pathway project is currently under construction and is expected to provide a new regional transportation backbone with improved transit options for all North Bay residents.