New passenger train service opens in the Sonoma-Marin area
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter rail line in the North Bay area of California has been officially opened.
SMART is the San Francisco Bay Area’s newest transportation option for travel, offering passengers a rail service in the Sonoma and Marin counties. Its initial 43 miles of rail corridor includes 10 stations from the Sonoma County Airport to Downtown San Rafael.
The rail line operates a fleet of state-of-the-art diesel trains which have been assembled in Rochelle, Illinois by Sumitomo Corporation of Americas which are top-tier in the industry for safety, green technology, accessibility, and passenger comfort.
Future extensions for the rail line 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, connecting SMART passengers with jobs, education centres, retail hubs and housing along the Sonoma-Marin corridor, as well as a bicycle-pedestrian pathway.
SMART fares for everyone will be 50% off the regular price until 4 September, with regular fares being in place on 5 September. Commuters on SMART can purchase 31-day passes at significant discounts or alternatively they can use the Clipper® card (which is the same payment system used by other Bay Area transit providers) for a seamless trip.
This system will… provide a stress-free way to travel. It will also provide a major economic boost for both Marin and Sonoma counties”
“This is truly historic,” said SMART Board Vice Chairwoman Kathrin Sears when the date of the opening ceremony was announced. “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.”
The new rail line will run 34 trips each weekday, and 10 trips on weekends.