Rail Advocacy Program

SMART Initiative:

EcoRing has long supported the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter rail and the SMART Pathway. SMART Pathway System Map-April 2019. It will be a de facto tourist train as well.  Prior to the start of construction, we held the EcoOdyssey 100, a demonstration tour publicizing SMART’s potential as a tourist train.  We invited many public officials to join us for two days in a caravan of 20 vintage railroad workman’s motorcars on the SMART line.  The officials told us that the event was extremely educational and helpful.  The publicity helped to raise public support for the SMART ballot initiative.

We serve on the steering committee of the Friends of SMART and regularly attend the SMART Board of Directors meetings.  We advocate for interconnecting SMART stations with Sonoma and Marin’s multi-used trail network and providing shuttle service from SMART stations to tourist destinations.  We also comment on safety, pathway and connectivity issues.

We also advocate extending SMART commuter service east to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor service via existing rails to Fairfield/Vacaville Station.  EcoRing has produced a Position Paper containing all of our suggestions to SMART titled “The symbiosis of SMART with Tourism“.

Goal:  A safe, comfortable, convenient and connected Rail line from Ukiah to Larkspur Ferry and from Navato to Fairfield/Vacaville Amtrak which includes a multi-use path along the its routes.

Status: SMART trail are now running between Santa Rosa Airport Blvd. and San Rafael Transit Center.  Construction is underway for the extention to the Larkspur Landing.  Funding is secured for Extention to Windsor and for preliminary planning for extention the Healdsburg.  Legislation recently transferred ownership of the rails and right-of-way north to Willits from the North Coast Rail Authority to SMART.  SMART has publicly stated its desire to build east from Novato to Fairfield Amtrak. 

SMART Pathway System Map-April 2019

Donate to help EcoRing’s SMART Initiative!

TranSonoma Transit

EcoRing advocates the construction of a east-west, battery-powered electric streetcar line connecting Oakmont to Sebastopol via the Railroad Square SMART station in downtown Santa Rosa. The proposed route which EcoRing has carefully researched would connect urban residential areas with Annadel State Park, Spring Lake Park, the Laguna de Santa Rosa and multiple city parks and plazas. It would also connect hospitals, medical buildings and government buildings.

Click on the image below for an expandable map of the proposed TranSonoma Transit route or here for a one page print version.

Map of TranSonoma transit route

EcoRing has written a formal proposal for presentation to the cities of Santa Rosa and Sebastopol and the County of Sonoma.  The proposal advocates that these governments jointly apply to the Metropolitan Transit Commission for a grant to fund a feasibility study for the TransSonoma Transit.   You can read the entire proposal here.  We are producing a powerpoint that explains the proposed route and provides photoshopped images to help the public and their servants visualize a future streetcar.

Support the TranSonoma Transit Initiative!


EcoRing supports the goals of the Petaluma Trolley Living History Railway Museum.  The Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad’s Trolley once served historic downtown Petaluma along the Turning Basin extended north to Sebastopol, Forestville and Santa Rosa.  We wish to see it revived from Water Street downtown to the Outlet Mall on the northern edge of Petaluma.

Goal: A restored classic tourist trolly from downtown Petaluma to the Outlet Mall.

Status:  After initially supporting the concept and refurbishing the rail line on Water Street in Downtown Petaluma and new city council has shelved the project.   A planed highrise housing development may block the former right-of-way.

You can help.  Write the Petaluma City Council and explain how disappointed  you are that they have je0pardized this part of Petaluma’s history, missed an opportunity to enhance the economy and failed to add a tourist attraction to the city’s charm.