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SMART Commuter Rail Takes Off

Passenger rail service returned to the corridor between Santa Rosa and San Rafael, CA, for the first time since 1958 with the launch of Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) service on Aug. 25.

The 43-mile system, which uses PTC technology, stretches from Santa Rosa near the Sonoma County Airport to downtown San Rafael, adjacent to a major transit hub. When several proposed extensions are complete, SMART will provide 70 miles of service, connecting passengers with jobs, education centers, retail hubs and housing.

“SMART, in just over five years, has built a complete transit system,” said General Manager Farhad Mansourian. “We replaced 43 miles of antiquated tracks with continuously welded rail, we have built 10 stations and are in the process of building more, and we have rebuilt or replaced more than 30 bridges."

Mansourian called the grand opening “a historic day for the North [San Francisco] Bay [region],” adding, “We now have a safe, reliable transportation option to sitting in traffic gridlock every day.”

A local television reporter interviewed passengers on the initial run of SMART passenger rail.

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