SMART eyes closing 90-minute service gaps with revised schedule, extension to Larkspur

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Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit is planning to close several extended gaps in daily rail service with a new schedule that will increase the frequency of departures, debuting the revised routes in December with the planned opening of its new Larkspur station.

The addition of four new rail cars will allow SMART to increase the number of trains on its tracks and attempt to address complaints about long waits for service during key weekday commuter hours.

“To me, closing the gaps is significant, and the sooner the better. I think it’s common sense,” said San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips, who serves as chairman of SMART’s board of directors. “Once you have the schedule, then you have to be able to perform. We want to make darn sure that there are not any hiccups along the way.”

SMART currently runs 17 southbound trains and 17 northbound trains on weekdays, with the first train departing at 4:19 a.m. from the station north of Santa Rosa near Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport and the last arriving at 9:42 p.m.