SMART to make downtown Novato a full-stop destination

Author 6/26/2019

The downtown Novato SMART station will become a full-stop destination, rail authorities told the Novato City Council this week.

The downtown stop, set to open later this year, will no longer be an alternating stop as previously planned along the nearly 45-mile Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit line. Up until this week, SMART’s plan was to alternate stops between the downtown platform and the San Marin Drive station during different days of the week. SMART has said that adding a third full stop in Novato — Hamilton also has a stop — would slow the system.

“Including the Novato Downtown station as part of each run, just as we do with all of our other stations, makes it much easier for our customers, rather alternating stops,” SMART spokeswoman Jeanne Mariani-Belding said. “It makes the most sense.”

The alternating stops were a point of concern for some residents given the investment the city made in the station. Mayor Eric Lucan, who sits on the SMART board of directors, said he still thinks an alternating downtown stop would have been a win for Novato and described the change to a full-stop destination as “huge news” for Novato.

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