SMART secures critical funding for construction of extensions to Windsor and Healdsburg | Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit

SMART secures critical funding for construction of extensions to Windsor and Healdsburg

Wednesday, July 5, 2023 - 4:45pm
SMART secures critical funding for construction of extensions to Windsor and Healdsburg

Petaluma, CA—The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) is pleased to announce that on June 28, the California Transportation Commission awarded the agency $30M in Senate Bill 1 Solutions for Congested Corridors Program (SCCP) funds toward completing the rail system and bicycle/pedestrian pathway extension to Windsor. With this award of SCCP funds, SMART can complete the Windsor extension and begin engineering and construction of critical segments of the Healdsburg extension.

“This is great news for the Town of Windsor and for Healdsburg and Cloverdale. With these funds, SMART is taking another big step toward accomplishing its goal of reaching Windsor, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale,” said Town of Windsor Councilmember and SMART Board member, Debora Fudge. “SMART’s rail and pathway system is an investment in quality of life for our community and in sustainable transportation for generations to come. I want to thank the Commission and the State for recognizing the importance of funding local transportation solutions.”

The extension to Windsor is already 30% constructed and is a necessary step in restoring passenger rail and freight service to northern Sonoma County. Ridership models project the Windsor station will yield some of SMART’s highest ridership.

Resiliency and access to opportunity
Achieving climate resiliency and providing access to essential services such as education, employment, healthcare, and housing, depends on a robust transportation system serving the entire North Bay. Extending SMART northward to Windsor, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale will unlock opportunities for individuals residing along the entire SMART corridor.

This investment in passenger rail service will reduce traffic in the highly traveled and congested Hwy 101 corridor and will bring visitors and workers to the area, promoting economic growth, employment opportunities, and resiliency. SMART’s northward extension supports California’s Climate Action Plan by providing transportation improvements focused on first-and-last-mile connectivity, reducing vehicle miles traveled, creating a network of safe and accessible bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and integrating climate adaptive and resilient design so these facilities can endure extreme weather events.

Funding SMART Northern Extensions
The current cost estimate to complete extensions to Windsor and Healdsburg is $230.5M, with the extension to Windsor estimated at $70M and the Healdsburg extension at $160.5M.

Construction for the extension to Windsor is now fully funded and construction crews are expected to begin work in late 2023. The extension to Healdsburg is partially funded with $82.2M needed to complete the project. Preliminary plans are to construct the rail and pathway segment from Front Street to Bailhache Avenue in Healdsburg, including replacement of the bridge spanning the Russian River.

Passenger rail service is a vital part of the North Bay’s economy and expanding the SMART railway northward will bring economic opportunities by strengthening our housing, business, and community infrastructure and creating hundreds of construction jobs.

Additional facilities funded for construction
SMART will soon begin construction of a new station serving North Petaluma and 12 additional miles of multi-use pathway. The Petaluma North station is slated to be completed in early 2025.

Extensions to Windsor, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale include extending the bicycle and pedestri­an pathway connecting people to SMART passenger services for first- and last-mile transportation choices. When completed, the bicycle and pedestrian pathway—which is part of the Great Redwood Trail system—will connect communities from Marin to Humboldt County.

SMART is a popular mode of transportation for commuters, students, and leisure travelers, and 15% of riders bring bicycles onboard the train. The agency has seen a steady increase in daily ridership with the number of passengers now exceeding 2019 levels. SMART recently launched SMART Connect, an on-demand microtransit shuttle connecting the SMART Airport Station to the Sonoma County Airport and is offering free service to youth in Summer 2023.

Agency Contact:
Julia Gonzalez, Communications and Marketing Manager
Office: 707-794-3063 | Mobile: 707-981-1028