SMART Ridership Rises 40% Over Last Year

Monday, March 2, 2020 - 2:55pm
Petaluma, CA— Ridership for the Sonoma-Marin Rail Transit District (SMART) continues to rise. For the second month in a row SMART has experienced a double-digit growth in ridership and early analysis of 2020 data is signaling a continued upward trend.

The preliminary 2020 data shows SMART is now carrying over 3,000 passengers a day.  Approximately 72,000 people a month are opting to leave their car at home and hop aboard a SMART train—that’s thousands of cars taken off traffic congested Highway 101 and local roads.


Below are highlights from the preliminary analysis of February 2020 data:


Continuing upward trend in ridership - In January 2020, SMART reported a 26% increase in ridership compared to the previous year.  Now the February 2020, on-board counts are indicating that this growth is a continuing upward trend as evidenced by a 40% increase in ridership from the same month in 2019.


Weekend ridership is soaring - Weekend and holiday ridership rose an impressive 70% between February 2020 and the same month in 2019—highlighting that SMART is not just popular for workday commutes, it's also becoming a favored transportation alternative for weekend and leisure trips. 


Popular transportation with bicyclists – In February 2020, SMART carried about 350 bicycles on-board during weekdays, which is nearly double the number of bicycles carried in February 2019.   Bicyclists multiply the environmental benefits of riding the train because they get to and from the train station on their bikes.  On weekends and holidays the number of people bringing bicycles aboard the train increased 269%.

SMART's twelve stations connecting North Bay cities, provide access to places of employment, schools, and centers of commerce, as well as connecting riders to other regional transit services.  Soon passenger service will extend to Windsor—construction of the railway’s extension to Windsor is underway and other stations are planned for North Petaluma, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale.