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Friends of SMART is a citizens’ advocacy group dedicated to assuring high quality public transportation in Sonoma and Marin Counties, including reliable passenger trains with an associated pathway, and compatible freight service.

We share a vision of a multi-modal transportation corridor where cities and towns along railroad right-of-ways have the benefit of high quality freight and passenger services, together with a greenway for bicycles and pedestrians. Our organization co-sponsors tours and forums, and provides informed speakers to explore modern transit services, and the compact communities that thrive within walking distance of rail stations.


Our mission is: Advocating for North Bay passenger/freight rail and completing the multi-use path.

How would rail “meet the needs”?

  • Provide dependable service to meet an increasing share of regional transportation needs

  • Offer sufficiently frequent seven-day service to provide a mobility alternative to the automobile

  • Maintain fares that make rail a price competitive alternative to driving and eventually the price-preferred alternative.

  • Pursue schedule coordination and fare integration with other transit services

  • Offer fare discounts for frequent, student, and low-income riders

  • Promote passenger safety during influenza season and pandemics

  • Promote double-tracking of rail segments to allow reduced headways

  • Eventually extend the SMART system to the initially planned length while offering interim bus service for uncompleted segments

  • Support first and last mile connections

  • Complete bicycle/ped paths to allow train riders to easily reach stations and bicycle riders to use bicycles for segments of their daily travel.

  • Facilitate transit-oriented development to reduce driving and to create vibrant office, shopping, and entertainment neighborhoods

  • Integrate passenger rail safely with freight rail

  • Add extensions to Suisun City and elsewhere as opportunities arise

How will Friends of SMART fulfill their mission statement?

  • Build cooperative relationships with the SMART Board and staff to exchange ideas about visions and paths forward.

  • Seek opportunities to educate the public on the role of rail in the North Bay.

  • Build and sustain relationships with groups that share rail goals, including:

    • Businesses that benefit when their employees commute on SMART

    • Realtors who recognize the favorable impact of SMART on property values

    • Environmentalists who want to reduce VMT and GHG emissions

    • Hotels, wineries, and other visitor-serving businesses

    • Train riders, cyclists, pedestrians, skate-boarders, and scooter riders

    • Businesses and property owners that need improved freight service

    • Policy makers at local, State, and national levels

  • Advocate for public decisions that align with the mission statement

  • Broaden participation in Friends of SMART



Funding for the project—a 1/4-cent sales tax in Marin & Sonoma counties—was approved by the voters in the November 2008 election.  The recession that set in shortly afterward significantly reduced the tax receipts that were expected to fund the full 70-mile project within the initial time frame.  Nevertheless much has been accomplished—beginning with the 42-mile initial operating segment from Airport Road to San Rafael. Efforts are underway to obtain grants and other funding to complete the full route from Santa Rosa to Cloverdale (about 30 miles).

Stations will be in the cities of Cloverdale, Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael, and Larkspur. The train is coming to town!

Friends of SMART is working to assure that rail service is as customer-oriented and efficient as possible, by enabling citizens to stay abreast of the fiscal, structural, environmental, property and other issues that underlie the SMART rail and pathway project.

You are welcome to attend our monthly business meetings.  Your time, talents, insights, and experience can help SMART succeed!

For information contact Friends of SMART:


501-C3 Sonoma County Tomorrow - Friends of SMART

Tax ID: 94-3019165


7790 Welter Lane Sebastopol, CA 95472



Tel:  707.486.3387

For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form:

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