Friday, October 13, 2017

SMART offers free service during wildfires

Written by  Stuart Chirls, senior editor, Railway Age
A SMART train pulls into the Santa Rosa Downtown station, July, 2017. A SMART train pulls into the Santa Rosa Downtown station, July, 2017. Wikipedia photo by Haha 169

As wildfires burn in its service region, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) will continue to provide free train service for passengers through Sunday, Oct.15 to assist evacuees and others who need transportation options.

 

The rail transit operator resumed operations on most of its 43-mile bi-county corridor paralleling State Highway 101 on Oct. 9 and has been providing free passenger service since that time.

Weekday and weekend train service will operate on a modified schedule from the Santa Rosa Downtown station to downtown San Rafael, serving all stations in between. SMART will run 28 weekday trips, with southbound service starting at 5:01 a.m. out of the Santa Rosa Downtown station, and northbound service begins at 6:29 a.m. out of San Rafael. Service will continue mid-day, through the peak commute, and into the evening with the last southbound train departing Santa Rosa Downtown at 7:01 p.m. and the last northbound train departing San Rafael at 8:35 p.m. SMART will operate its weekend schedule on Saturday and Sunday.

Due to power outages and closed railroad crossings in the northern portion of Santa Rosa resulting from wildfires, the Sonoma County Airport and Santa Rosa North stations will be closed through Sunday. SMART said its Santa Rosa-based control center has been operating using generator power due to the widespread outages resulting from the dangerous fire conditions.

"SMART is continuing to monitor fire conditions and will use all necessary safety precautions," the operator said in a statement.