LARKSPUR, Calif. (KGO) -- ABC7 News is committed to building a better Bay Area. That includes finding solutions and options for commuting to work or school. In the North Bay, a long awaited public transit link to San Francisco and beyond is finally ready for passengers.
The new Larkspur and Downtown Novato SMART stations open this weekend -- making it easier for North Bay commuters to get to San Francisco.
The hope is to help connect commuters in the North Bay and get them out of their cars. There are no BART trains in the North Bay, but now commuters will have this train.
The first SMART train pulled into the new Larkspur station Friday morning to a lot of fanfare.
The first passengers aboard say they've waited years for a train to get here.
"This is a vision for the future," SMART rider Dani Sheehan said. "50 years from now is how you've got to look at it."
The 2-mile, $55 million rail extension from downtown San Rafael, can now link riders from as far north as Santa Rosa with the Golden Gate Ferry into San Francisco.
"We're ready to make a difference for congestion on Highway 101 and local roadways, and help with global warming, this is a green commute," said SMART General Manager Farhad Mansourian.
Greenbrae resident Wadeen Treanor said, "We're excited to go to Sonoma and San Rafael ride our bikes and get out of our cars."
The new Larkspur station gets you as close as possible to the the ferry terminal but you've got to walk the rest of the way. It can take about 12 minutes to get there.
"We've made sure our ferry and train schedules match, so you've got 20-25 minutes to get there and be at the ferry on time," said SMART board member Debora Fudge.
A ribbon cutting ceremony happened Friday afternoon. The Larkspur station and new Downtown Novato station officially opens Saturday.
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