The Sonoma-Marin Rail Transit line cleared a major funding hurdle Wednesday, earning the approval of $20 million in regional transportation money — half the funds needed to extend commuter service to Larkspur.
A handful of rail spurs have been shut off as SMART builds the tracks for commuter service. Businesses along the line are upset at losing direct access to freight service, which can increase property values and save shipping costs.
The first train cars ordered up by the Sonoma-Marin Rail Transit agency have passed their factory tests in Japan and are ready to be shipped to the United States for on-track testing, SMART general manager Farhad Mansourian said Wednesday.
Cotati has always been known as a special little town, and City Council members think saving a rare chimera redwood tree and planting it near City Hall may be the perfect addition to that image.
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit board on Wednesday submitted an application for $20 million in federal money to extend the commuter line to Larkspur.
A rare chimeric coast redwood in Cotati will be spared the ax, at least for now, after Sonoma-Marin rail officials bowed to public opposition Thursday and suspended the planned removal of the tree to make way for train tracks.
The commuter rail line between Airport Boulevard just south of Windsor and downtown San Rafael will cost $427.9 million to complete, about $25 million more than the previous estimate three years ago, officials said.
A signature element of the Sonoma-Marin rail project and a key selling point for many of the voters who approved it — a 71-mile bikeway, postponed due to a funding crisis — is moving forward in places, but not fast enough for bicycle advocates.
Newly appointed mayor Carol Russell sees brighter days ahead for Cloverdale, and also is confident that passenger train service eventually will make its way into town.
She’s not willing to predict when trains will roll into the city but says “I have every faith we will be sitting on that train in a few years.”