Transit authority considers donating to smart rail

June 23, 2011 2:47:46 PM PDT
The Transportation Authority of Marin this evening will consider contributing $8 million toward the $21 million funding shortfall for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit passenger train service and pedestrian and bicycle path.

The Sonoma County Transportation Authority approved a $3 million contribution earlier this month, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will provide the remaining $10 million, according to an agreement among the three agencies.

TAM's agreement to contribute the $8 million stipulates that the money be used for capital improvements on the initial operating segment of the bike path and rail line between downtown San Rafael and Railroad Square in Santa Rosa.

Voters in Marin and Sonoma counties approved a quarter-cent sales tax in 2008 for what was then supposed to be a $695 million rail line and bike and pedestrian path between Cloverdale and Larkspur.

However, because of reduced sales tax revenue during the recession, SMART decided to scale back the project and initially build and operate a $470 million, 40-mile rail line and pathway between the downtowns of Santa Rosa and San Rafael by 2014.

The entire 70-mile line would be completed when funding becomes available, possibly by 2018.

The TAM meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in Room 330 of the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive in San Rafael.


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