The first Operating Segment of the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit train is up and running! And what a beautiful, smooth ride. The scenery is beautiful. Vineyards north of Santa Rosa and estuaries filled with birds along the Petaluma River and estuaries.
Trains travel from the Airport Blvd. Station to the Transit Center in downtown San Rafael with two stops in Santa Rosa, one in Rohnert Park, one in Cotati, one in Petaluma, two in Navato and two in San Rafael. The full trip takes about an hour and seven minutes.
Construction crews have already begun work on the extention from San Rafael to Larkspur. Many segments of the SMART Multi-use pathway have also been completed. A number of bike trails can be accessed from the SMART stations and you can take your bike onboard.
Work still needs to be done to better coordinate local bus times and routes. However, progress is being made. Convenient shuttle buses to the Charles Schultz Airport, to Santa Rosa downtown parking and to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal are up and running.
Demand has been so strong that SMART has added a third unit to some of the more popular trains. You can find current schedules and information on stations, fairs and shuttles on the SMART website here.
The Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) train is projected to start service between San Rafael and Sonoma County Airport north of Santa Rosa in late spring although the exact date will depend upon final federal safety approvals. Initially, rides will be free. The free period will run through the July 4 holiday. SMART will then offer 50 percent discounted rates through the September 4 Labor Day holiday. Regular fares will go into effect on September 5. For more information click here
Bart’s new extension to Warm Springs near San Jose opens up new possibilities for rail excursions from the South Bay Area. Coupled with the Larkspur Golden Gate Ferry and the soon-to-be-opened SMART train in Marin and Sonoma Counties, you won’t have to tolerate Highway 101 traffic to visit the North Bay. Bring your bicycle and visit the outback. There are many multi-use trails and little-traveled rural roads that connect you to forest, ocean and wine tasting.
Read more about Berlin’s Bicycle Superhighway.