SMART secures $34M toward the construction of the system’s northern extensions
Petaluma, CA—The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) is pleased to announce the agency has been awarded $34M in Transit and InterCity Rail Corridor Project (TIRCP) funds toward building SMART railway and pathway extensions to communities in northern Sonoma County.
“With these TIRCP funds, SMART will take another big step forward in its goal to reach Windsor, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale. Investing in SMART’s rail and pathway system leverages significant long-term local investments in the community. One of the reasons we were successful in this grant application, is the wide support we received from our elected representatives, cities, school districts, community stakeholders, and chambers of commerce,” said SMART General Manager,” Eddy Cumins.
The extension of the SMART rail system to Windsor is already 30% constructed and is a necessary step to the eventual restoration of freight and passenger rail to northern communities. Completion of rail service will bring both visitors and workers to the area, promoting economic growth and resiliency, in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“Multi-modal transportation alternatives such as SMART and the bicycle and pedestrian pathway help advance our efforts to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions, while also supporting equitable access to housing, jobs, and the economic vitality of our north county communities,” said SMART Board Chair, David Rabbitt.
Expanding SMART's service will alleviate growing congestion in the corridor and provide a seamless transition to regional transit including the ferry system in the south. The grants will also support freight rail investments and all that freight service brings to local businesses. Early studies show that the Windsor station will yield some of SMART’s highest ridership.
“This $34 million investment in state funds is a game changer for SMART. These dollars will help connect northern Sonoma County commuters with the rest of the system, which is so damn exciting! We couldn’t be more thrilled to have partnered with the SMART Board to secure these funds and we’re excited that this project will also complete a critical segment of the Great Redwood Trail,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire.
Extensions to Windsor, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale, include extending the bicycle and pedestrian pathway connecting people to SMART passenger services for first- and last-mile transportation choices. Each segment of the pathway also has its own unique utility for local trips: providing a safe-haven for bicyclists and pedestrian facilities where sidewalks are lacking, and, in some cases, crossing under, over, or through major barriers like freeways or rivers. When completed, the bicycle and pedestrian pathway, which is also part of the Great Redwood Trail system, will connect communities from Marin to Humboldt County.
Funding SMART Northern Extensions
The current cost estimate to complete extensions to Windsor and Healdsburg is $230.5M, with the extension to Windsor estimated at $70M and the Healdsburg extension at $160.5M.
Last week, SMART announced that $40M in Regional Measure 3 (RM3) toll revenues allocated towards the Windsor and Healdsburg extensions, was now available due to a recent California Supreme Court decision to dismiss litigation contesting RM3. SMART is also currently awaiting announcements for three other grant applications for the Windsor and Healdsburg extensions. If these grant applications are successful, SMART will be able to complete the extension to Windsor in 2025 and to Healdsburg in 2026. SMART’s strategy is to wait for the results of these grant requests, to determine how to best leverage funding to complete the northern extensions
To date, SMART has secured $118M for completion of the northern extensions
- $34M Transit and Intercity Rail Program
- $40M Regional Measure 3
- $44M Local, state, and federal resources
Pending grant applications for Windsor and Healdsburg extensions include:
- Transit and Intercity Rail Corridor Project funds – announcement is expected April 2023
- Solution for Congested Corridors funds – announcement is expected June 2023
- Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements funds – announcement is expected June 2023