By Hannah Beausang : petaluma360 – excerpt
A deal to build an east side SMART station, 225 commuter parking spots, and more than 400 housing units to Petaluma appears to have collapsed after differences emerged between the rail agency and a developer… (more)
by Peter Lawrence Kane : sfweekly – excerpt
Having opened this fall with a 43-mile leg of its eventual 70-mile route, SMART connects Sonoma and Marin counties by rail — and it’s fun to ride.
For all the grumbling about how the Bay Area is sclerotic when it comes to ambitious transportation projects, trains are enjoying something of a resurgence. High-speed rail seems inevitable, BART opened an extension to Warm Springs with further infill stations planned, Caltrain electrification seems likely, the much-delayed Central Subway chugs along, and Muni may yet extend the F-Market streetcar to Fort Mason. Down south, car-choked Los Angeles plans major subway expansions along its Purple Line ahead of the 2028 Olympics.
The rail-scape is impressive. While U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier talk about building another Bay crossing for vehicular traffic, perhaps the time is right to relieve overcrowding and delays with a second Transbay Tube instead. That idea sounds farfetched, but the county that famously declined to participate in the original BART system — Marin — now has a functioning train running from downtown San Rafael to Sonoma County Airport in one hour and seven minutes.…
“They’re really learning how to transfer to buses to get to San Francisco or get to the Larkspur Ferry,” she adds. “People here are learning transit because they haven’t had transit. I’m watching them learn schedules and meet ferries and they’re so excited.”… (more)
By Stuff: ARGUS-COURIER – excerpt
Last Mile Issues require parking options
A majority of respondents to an online Argus-Courier poll said that they would not use the SMART train for their daily commute.
Here are some comments:
“Aside from the fact there is a serious lack of parking near the train station, the train goes nowhere near where I work in San Rafael. Walking or taking a bus to or from the train station will not work either. I will continue to drive.”
“I’d like to, but that may change depending on price, in particular, as well as timing with the Larkspur ferry. ”
“I am retired but want to ride the train and see the sights once all the bugs are worked out.”
“I do not and do not know anyone who will. This train has cost us millions in taxpayer dollars and has woken me up several times as it blows its horns.”
“I go into San Francisco. It is not time or cost effective, including the incomplete route to the ferry.”
If the transportation authorities quit fighting and added sufficient parking to their list of amenities for ALL public transit stations and hubs, they would not have the problem of a sinking ridership. There is no excuse for this lack of parking at the stations other than an out-dated notion that people can and should be controlled by a “wiser” government.