An Alternative to Early Morning Traffic on Highway 101

By Bryan Juarez

Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit, SMART train, will become a viable alternative for students who commute to campus. First proposed eight years ago, SMART train is now months away from completion.

SMART train will run from Cloverdale, Sonoma County to Larkspur, Marin County with stops in Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park/Cotati, Petaluma, Novato, Marin, and San Rafael.

SMART train gives commuters an alternative to the rush hour traffic jam on Highway 101 Southbound coming towards campus. It promotes a healthy lifestyle since people taking the train will not be driving and will have to bike, walk or use other means of transportation to get to their final destination.

 Dominican student Roberto Macias, who lives in Santa Rosa, said, “The SMART train will most definitely help me since I am looking forward to not sitting in traffic every day.” He emphasized that SMART train will help him save money on gas commuting from Santa Rosa to San Rafael. “Money is a big factor because I am in college and college is not free.  Every dollar I can save is a golden opportunity for me and others in my situation.”

The SMART train will travel at approximately seventy miles per hour. There will be fourteen trains total; seven trains travel in each direction; and a train will depart every thirty minutes. A train ride from Santa Rosa to San Rafael will roughly take about an hour.

The only drawback on the train is that each train will be limited to twenty-four bikes per train. However, commuters can rents daily bikes from the stand right across the street from the transit in San Rafael.

SMART train will help people who still need to use a car by easing traffic on the roads and highways going Northbound and Southbound on Highway 101.

The full process will not be complete since SMART train will be in Phase two that will eventually add a last stop in Larkspur which will then connect to the Ferry that will lead to San Francisco.

We hope to see the roads less congested and see rapid changes in our daily commute once SMART train begins to run late this year.  For more information and updates visit http://main.sonomamarintrain.org