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"SMART to buy more rail cars, increase schedule"

Another Steve Atnip find (thanks, Steve!):

Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 5:46 p.m.

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit officials Wednesday approved spending $6.6 million on an additional two-car train, improving service and raising the possibility of extending service to Airport Boulevard near Windsor.

With the extra cars, SMART officials said they will have enough trains to run passenger trains at 30-minute intervals to the Guerneville Road station in Santa Rosa, a station that will serve the most riders.

It also makes it possible to extend service farther north, to Airport Boulevard, if efforts to get more funds for track work are successful.

“We will be able to serve a tremendous number of riders, and that is important,” said SMART Director Carol Russell, a Cloverdale councilwoman. “And it moves us a little bit farther north.”

SMART is now rebuilding track and preparing to start service between Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa and downtown San Rafael in late 2015 or early 2016.

The commute rail agency is also constructing a maintenance and operations facility at Airport Boulevard near Windsor, which now will be accessed over the existing freight line.

There is a request before the Metropolitan Transportation Commission by state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, for $10 million to $15 million to rebuild the tracks from Guerneville Road to Airport Boulevard. MTC is expected to act on the request next month.

A station at Airport Boulevard would be a possibility if Evans' funding request is granted. It would provide service to the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport and 6,000 workers who are employed in business parks in that area.

The $6.6 million will be drawn from federal funds earmarked for projects to reduce congestion and improve air quality in Sonoma County.

The rest of the article can be read here.

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Mark, just a quick question. Do you or anyone else know where exactly Smart's Maint. Facility is to be located? I find it interesting that when they were first planning, and looking for land to build, they were thinking that they needed 30 acres which I thought was totally ridiculous. Isn't it amazing how when they know the taxpayers are watching all of a sudden they realized maybe they could get by with 3 acres. Personally I'm glad to see that someone woke up and smelled the coffee.   Alan

They're going to use the old Water Dept. land off of Airport BVD in Windsor, behined the Animal Shelter. They already bought the land and are working on plans for buildings. 

"The commute rail agency is also constructing a maintenance and operations facility at Airport Boulevard near Windsor, which now will be accessed over the existing freight line."

Alan D Nelsen, You will need enough land to build the Maintenance Building and a couple of tracks long enough to hold 2 SMART train at least leading into the building and maybe out the back side of the building. Also plus all the storage tracks to hold the rest of SMART train fleet when there not running at night.

The Balloon track area here in Eureka is 38.5 acres. 10 acres of which is going to be converted to a  restores marsh. Do people understand how much land a maintenance facility uses? Does SMART have enough land? Why do people go after SMART like they are evil? SMART is doing the best they can with the cards they have been dealt with.

Baloon Tracks take up alot of space.

Timeline on the Marsh Restoration?

Lawrence, I am not critical of SMART as a matter of fact I am very much a supporter. As a matter of fact, I feel they have made some very smart decisions. The used bridge from Galveston being the first one that comes to mind.  Alan

Not sure about the timeline for restoration for the marsh.

 

Isn't it amazing how when they know the taxpayers are watching all of a sudden they realized maybe they could get by with 3 acres. Personally I'm glad to see that someone woke up and smelled the coffee.

 

I think you were overly critical on this one. How do you know 30 acres is "ridiculous" and 3 acres is correct? 2nd I disagree totally with the idea it was because tax payers were watching. The critics have been complaining about any little thing for years and years. I think it was another long look they did because of budgeting.

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