Smart Voters finally approve SMART Train for Sonoma and Marin Counties
At long last both Marin County and Sonoma County voters have approved a 1/2 cent increase in the county sales tax to fund the development of the SMART train which will run on already existing train tracks from Cloverdale in North Sonoma County to Larkspur in Central Marin county, where it will be easy to connect via bus or ferry to San Francisco’s financial district.
Imagine a North Bay with a transportation network of buses, shuttles, ferries, trollies, bike paths and sidewalks all connected with a centralized rail line that makes it possible to easily travel around Marin and Sonoma counties without ever getting behind the wheel of a car.
Itâ€™s hard to envision such a network in 2008, when driving on Highway 101 is virtually the sole alternative for travel between the two counties. But the public already owns an asset capable of changing that reality.
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District â€“ SMART â€“ proposes a 70-mile passenger railroad and parallel bicycle-pedestrian path along the publicly owned Northwestern Pacific Railroad right of way through the two counties. The rail line runs from Cloverdale, at the north end of Sonoma County, to Larkspur, where the Golden Gate Ferry connects Marin County with San Francisco. Along the way SMART will have stations at the major population and job centers of the North Bay: San Rafael, Novato, Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Windsor and Healdsburg.
For a cool video view of a similar system in San Diego click here.