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SMART train gets $11.4 million for extension to Larkspur

By MATT BROWN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit has received an $11.4 million boost to extend commuter train service to the Larkspur ferry.

The Transportation Authority of Marin has voted to redirect funds from Regional Measure 2, which are raised from bridge tolls. The local dollars provide a key piece to a funding puzzle that includes federal grant money to complete the $40 million extension.

SmartLast week, SMART announced the project had been accepted into an exclusive federal funding program for transportation projects. Projects qualifying for the Federal Transit Administration Small Start program, of which there are about 50 nationwide, require a minimum of 20 percent local matching funds.

“These funds are a critical component for federal funding eligibility by leveraging local funds,” SMART General Manager Farhad Mansourian said in a statement. “We are grateful to TAM’s board and staff for recognizing the importance of this project as part of the overall solution, and their action definitely makes the project more competitive at the federal level.”

The money, which still needs approval by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, includes $3 million to construct a permanent crossing at Andersen Drive in San Rafael. The MTC has not yet scheduled a vote to approve the funds.

The agency is currently working on the $2.5 million environmental and engineering phase of the extension project. That phase is expected to be completed by 2014, SMART said.

The 2.2-mile extension will bring riders to Larkspur’s Golden Gate Ferry terminal, which serves San Francisco’s Ferry Building and AT&T Park during Giants home games.

Trains on the 39-mile Santa Rosa to San Rafael section are expected to run starting in 2016. SMART is continuing to look for funding to extend the line north to Cloverdale.





3 Responses to “SMART train gets $11.4 million for extension to Larkspur”

  1. Emerson Burkett says:

    Just don’t know what to say here. To me, it never made any sense to stop at San Rafael. Felt all along that the train should run to the Ferry Terminal: Train to Ferry, Ferry to ATT Park and watch a Giants game; for some of us PURE HEAVEN. As to whether the Train is worth all the $ and trouble; I will leave that discussion to some of our more “outspoken” bloggers. Just sayin!

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  2. Elephant says:

    I believe that the tunnel between Terra Linda and San Rafael is not usable. Kind of an issue here, wouldn’t you think?

    I am all for a train running between Cloverdale and Larkspur, but the DUMB train is a white mammoth run by people out to get lots of our money and nothing more. Their own figures call for tens of millions of dollars per year in the deficit between money coming in and expenses. And we the taxpayers will be paying that too.

    Stop DUMB before it’s too late!

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  3. James Bennett says:

    Did any of us have any doubt that Smart would get all the coffer crashing cash they would ever need?

    The complicit press and the treasonous officials brag about your decline.

    Nice.

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