The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District announced today that it has received the green light from the Federal Railroad Administration to begin full passenger train service. Service will begin on August 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 train service will be free of charge on opening day. In celebration of the start of service, 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.
After opening day, SMART fares for everyone will be 50 percent off the regular price through Labor Day, September 4. Regular fares will be in place on September 5. Under SMART’s fare structure, commuters can purchase 31-day passes at significant discounts. Seniors, youth and passengers with disabilities also receive 50 percent off fares. SMART uses Clipper® cards, the same payment system used by other Bay Area transit providers, for a seamless trip. SMART will run 34 trips each weekday, and 10 trips on weekends.
“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.
In connection with SMART’s start of service, several public transit agencies have developed new routes or adjusted existing ones to coordinate with the train’s schedule. SMART passengers receive transfer credits to make their connections when using Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit, Petaluma Transit, Santa Rosa CityBus, or Sonoma County Transit.