Study sets $1 billion price tag to extend SMART to connect with Amtrak

Proposed 41-mile extension would connect Northern California commuter line to Capitol Corridor service
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SMARTtransit

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Expansion of Northern California’s SMART commuter rail into Napa and Solano counties, allowing a connection to Amtrak, would take six years and about $1 billion, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.

The figure comes from a study funded by the state of California into the possibility of a link from the current Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit station at Novato to to Suisun City, 41 miles to the northeast, to reach the Amtrak station served by Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor trains.  

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit currently operates 43 miles of its planned 70-mile system, offering daily service between the San Rafael Transit Center and Sonoma County Airport. It will eventually extend north to Cloverdale. In receiving the study, SMART’s board indicated it would not pursue such an expansion before completing the line to Cloverdale, which will require $364 million.

The study projects travel time of 60 to 90 minutes each direction on the proposed route, based on the level of track improvement. It looked at two levels of service — four daily round trips, serving an estimated 2,100 passengers, or 10 daily round trips, serving up to 5,400 passengers.

SMART already owns 25 miles of track paralleling State Route 37 which could be used for the extension.

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