Mark your calendars, North Bay commuters.
The long-awaited Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit, or SMART train, will finally launch full passenger service on Friday, Aug. 25, after receiving approval from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the agency announced on Thursday.
The 43-mile system will stretch from the Sonoma County Airport to downtown San Rafael. An extension to Larkspur is expected to be completed by 2019.
It’s been a long road for North Bay commuters to get to this point. Voters approved a sales tax to pay for the train in 2008, but the financial crisis delayed the project. A design flaw and the need for more testing pushed a scheduled 2016 launch date into this year.
“People have been working seven days a week for years for this day,” said Debora Fudge, the mayor of Windsor and chair of the SMART Board of Directors.