MPO backs SMART Larkspur funding plan

Written by Douglas John Bowen
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Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) has maintained that success of its passenger rail startup in its California namesake counties was ultimately linked to ferry service to and from San Francisco. That vision now has been endorsed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Bay Area's metropolitan planning organization (MPO).

The MTC approved an effort to seek $20 million in federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds. Such approval should aid SMART’s chances in seeking such funding, a competitive process which annually attracts more candidate projects than the Federal Transit Administration can qualify and/or reward.

“We are grateful for the endorsement; now we have to work with our federal representatives,” SMART General Manager Farhad Mansourian told local media Friday, April 11, 2014.

Last December MTS approved $16.7 million in funds to extend passenger rail service to the site of SMART’s Operations & Maintenance Facility (OMF) near the Sonoma County Airport.

SMART ultimately seeks a 70-mile line linking Cloverdale and Larkspur, with ferry connections planned to link Larkspur with San Francisco.

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