State dollars roll to SMART train

The SMART train moves along at 79 miles per hour during testing along a section of track through "The Narrows" in Novato, on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)


More trains will be added to the SMART train schedule, its officials stated Tuesday, following announcement from the rail line that it has secured $10.5 million in state funding.

The 70-mile commuter line which extends from Santa Rosa to San Rafael opened last year. Its announcement Tuesday stated the line has carried more than 300,000 passengers. Its schedule includes 34 trips each weekday and 10 trips on Saturdays and Sundays.

Funding comes through the State Transportation Agency which doled about $51.9 million in funding to seven recipients, including SMART. The funds, authorized by Senate Bill 1, will be distributed over a three-year period.

“This funding will allow us to continue to add more trips to our existing service schedule,” said Debora Fudge, chairwoman of SMART’s Board of Directors. “SB 1 funding will help ensure that we continue to grow so that we can meet the increasing demand for transportation alternatives in the North Bay.”

SMART officials said “growing demand” had recently led it to expand its two-car trains to three-car sets during peak commute. The announcement also noted construction on an extension south to Larkspur is proceeding.