• Friends of Smart

Letter of Support for Senate Bill SB 742



To: Senator Ben Allen May 17, 2019

Re: Intercity Passenger Rail Services: Motor Coach Transportation of Passengers –

Letter of Support for Senate Bill SB 742

Dear Senator Allen,


Friends of SMART, an unaffiliated advocacy organization for Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), is pleased to provide this letter in support of Senate Bill (SB) 742, which would amend Section 14035.55 provisions to enable the Joint Power Authorities (San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, and LOSSAN) to pick up and drop off passengers on their Amtrak intercity thruway bus routes without requiring them to have an Amtrak train ticket as part of their trip.


We appreciate that Senate Bill 742 provisions would:

  • Increase revenues for the state at virtually no additional cost

  • Provide improved access to underserved communities in Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties by allowing Amtrak bus passengers to connect with SMART in Santa Rosa

  • Reduce the amount of greenhouse gases and air pollution emissions by diverting trips that would have previously been taken by an automobile

  • Provide better utilization of current infrastructure and reduce congestion on some of the state’s most congested freeways


California’s Amtrak Thruway Bus Network is one of the largest bus networks in the United States, connecting over 250 communities throughout California and major cities in Nevada. This network is underutilized because of the Section 14035.55 restriction on who can use this network, being limited to only those who ride a train on a segment of their travel. By eliminating this restriction the State could provide transportation services to more people while reducing energy consumption and emissions.

Amending Section 14035.55 will have a very positive effect on California’s underserved rural communities by providing a convenient and inexpensive alternative to the rising costs of automobile and airline travel.


Intercity passenger rail and its associated Thruway bus network is environmentally friendly, and the state has a continuing interest in the provision of cost-effective and efficiently administered intercity passenger rail/Thruway bus services.


We are pleased to provide this letter in support of SB 742 to help move California forward.


Sincerely,


Jack C. Swearengen, Chair

Friends of SMART

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