Rail Advocacy Program
EcoRing has long supported the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter rail and bike path project. 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 meet regularly with the General Manager of SMART. We advocate for interconnecting SMART stations with Sonoma and Marin’s multi-used trail network and providing shuttle service to tourist destinations.
We also advocate connecting SMART commuter service to the Amtrak Capitol Corridor service via existing rails to Suisun Fairfield Station.
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.
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. 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.
PETALUMA TROLLEY PROJECT
EcoRing supports 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.