Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is passenger rail service providing a safe, reliable and congestion-free transportation option for Marin and Sonoma counties. This is crucial for the San Rafael community as it supports economic vitality and expands public transit opportunities for our residents and workforce. SMART has constructed two train stations, one at the Civic Center and one in central San Rafael, a railway, and sections of a multi-use pathway through San Rafael, and commenced passenger rail service in 2017. We see the benefit of the train and have had minimal impacts in our community. We encourage ridership to reduce greenhouse gases in accordance with our Climate Change Action Plan, and to assist our local employers with making the train accessible to their employees.
Commuters will soon have a new option when it comes to Highway 101. The SMART train will run from Santa Rosa to San Rafael at a projected 70 miles an hour in brand new, clean diesel trains; SMART will allow you to get out of your car on Highway 101 and still get where you need to go – for work or for fun.
The rail project is estimated to serve between three and five thousand passengers per day, taking more than 1.4 million car trips off Highway 101 annually, reducing greenhouse gases by at least 124,000 pounds per day.
In about 55-minutes from Santa Rosa to San Rafael, you can surf the net or answer emails with on-board wifi, grab a snack or beverage at the concession stand, or simply catch up on some zzzz’s with SMART.
As safety is always our first priority, we would like to provide a reminder that the SMART Train is an active railroad and that entering a railroad right-of-way is trespassing. The railroad tracks carry trains, construction equipment and maintenance equipment. ANY TIME IS TRAIN TIME. It is important that you and your family’s activities are conducted in a safe manner. Please remember:
- It is both dangerous and illegal to enter the railroad right-of-way without permission of the railroad.
- Trains cannot stop quickly -- a train traveling at 55 mph takes about a mile to stop. By the time a train operator sees you, it is too late to stop the train in time.
- An oncoming train is moving faster and is closer to you than it appears. Similar to an airplane traveling at 150 mph that appears to float onto the runway, it’s hard to determine a train’s speed and distance from you.
- Trespass is the leading cause of fatalities on railroad tracks, both nationally and in California.
Never stand on or near the tracks. In addition to being extremely dangerous, it is illegal to trespass, and you will be subject to citation and fines. If you are standing on or near tracks, you may not see, hear or feel the vibration of an approaching train. Trains are faster, quieter and larger than you think so you cannot always trust your eyes and ears. This is why it is important to only cross at the designated railroad crossing where you see the crossbuck sign, lights and gates which will activate to warn you when the train is coming.
Rail safety education is for everyone. Start the conversation now to Build Rail Safe Communities. Visit SMART's Rail Safety Website BeTrackSMART.org where you can earn your Track SMART Certificate by taking the rail safety quiz in English or Spanish, download resources for all modes of travel, and request a free rail safety presentation to your business, classroom or community group.
For a quick dose of rail safety, download the SMART Safety Activity Book for you child. It's great for kids of all ages!